The Best Parties in Barcelona
Where to mix it up, Monday to Sunday…
By Duncan Rhodes
Monday mash ups, summer booze cruises, VIP club nights, Sunday day festivals and electronic music nights… we take a look at the best weekly parties and events in the Catalan capital. There’s always something great going on in Barcelona, and this guide will make sure you don’t miss the boat… sometimes literally!
So you’ve read all about the best party districts and places to go out on our Barcelona nightlife article, and you’ve checked out our ‘drink‘ section for some top bar and club reviews… but there’s still one vital piece of the knowledge jigsaw missing. When to turn up!
As the Barcelona Life team are something of nightlife connoisseurs ourselves, we know that ‘when’ can be even more important than ‘where’, and that’s why we’ve compiled a short list of suggestions of hot parties to check out on each separate night of the week. We hope this party calendar helps you keep on top of all the drinking and dancing action in the city, and as always we welcome – indeed actively encourage – your comments below. Salud amigos!
Barcelona Weekly Party Calendar
Whatever the night of the week it is, there’s always something going on in this town, from one of Europe’s biggest midweek mash ups to a cruise on the high seas courtesy of the legendary Barcelona boat party! Check below for some guaranteed great nights out…
Nasty Mondays at Apolo have been a rite of passage for newcomers to Barcelona for many a year, and still attract a loyal following thanks to the crazy vibes, hot crowd and mash-up of rock, indie and pop sounds, with a second floor of electro. The night is held in Sala Apolo, just by Parallel Metro station.
Not got any friends to go out with? Then nota bene that, come spring, Monday is the first night of the week that the Barcelona bar crawl begins to stagger around the streets… bringing plenty of fun and mayhem en route.
Didn’t make it to Nasty Mondays? Why not try Barcelona’s Crappy Tuesdays instead? Run by the same crew, it’s a little less hyped, which actually makes it better (less crowded!) in our humble opinion. Otherwise, as most locals can’t go too wild on a Tuesday night it’s best to hang out with the tourists either on Plaza Real in the Gothic quarter, or during summer you could head down to the Olympic Port where all of the fancy beach clubs are located. During high season they are busy every night of the week.
During summer Wednesday is one of the biggest nights of the week at Barcelona’s infamous Opium club on the Port Olimpic. This nightlife behemoth invites some of the platinum level DJs from around the world to spin: names like David Guetta, Black Eyed Peas and Avicii. For something a bit more alternative you could try Moog club in Raval, a sweatbox of a club with good minimal and techno beats that happens to be popular on Wednesday nights.
Thursdays are the start of the weekends in Barcelona and you should note a marked increase in the number of locals propping up bars around the city. Head to our “drinking” section for some great recommendations! One event that could be perfect if you’re new in town and want to meet people is ESN (Erasmus Student Network) nights at Belushi’s Bar. Yes these Erasmus kids know how to party, so come join them for some beer pong and insane student drinks discounts starting at 8pm. Later at night there are good times to be had at the upmarket Sutton Club situated uptown, where many dressed up students head for a pre-weekend boogie.
During summer Thursday is also the first day of the week that the Barcelona booze cruise launches onto the Mediterranean for a sunset sail, with DJs, an Ibiza-style crowd and a dangerous amount of beer and sangria on board. Book your tickets early as they fly fast!
The weekend starts in earnest and every den in the Catalan capital will be heaving. Almost every bar in town will be open until 2 or 3am and serving drinks. After that it’s time to move your feet, and on Friday night every nightclub in the city will boast a packed dancefloor from 3am to sunrise. It’s impossible to list them all here, but the likes of Razzmatazz, Pacha and La Terrazza will be bringing out the big guns when it comes to international DJ acts, whilst hip venues like Slow will bring in more eclectic sounds.
For a guaranteed great night out check out this Barcelona Life-endorsed VIP night tour, which runs every Friday and Saturday from April ’til October and finishes in the upmarket Opium Club on the beach at the Port Olimpic.
NEW. If you are looking for something a bit more alternative the so-called Hipster’s bar crawl runs every Friday night and is a good option for those who want a less touristic night out…
Ditto Friday night. Everywhere around Plaza Real and the Port Olimpic will be heaving. Best to get to clubs a little before the Catalans to be in with a better chance, as the queues get nasty around 2am generally. Our guide to nightlife in Barcelona is probably the best place to start for an overall look at the scene, and the different districts to choose from.
If you want to be sure of getting into all the best clubs, and skip the lines, a great idea is to buy a VIP Club Card – just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your dates and we’ll send you full details of what’s included and a booking link. They can be delivered to your hotel or apartment. At 27 euros per card, if you plan on going to more one than one venue it usually works out cheaper as well.
The music never stops in Barcelona, and whilst (after) parties on Sundays can be clandestine affairs, there are certainly a few big events to check out. The aforementioned Pacha and Opium will both be open at night time, and always draw a large crowd of tourists and internationals. Hipsters meanwhile will enjoy the vibe at open air weekly festival Brunch In The Park which takes place on Montjuic mountain during the day during summer, and in Poble Espanol during winter. Another great Sunday afternoon party is Ven Tu.
Getting On The Guestlist
A lot of the more popular club nights operate a strict door policy – if your name ain’t down you ain’t coming in! Read our article about guestlists and free entry to Barcelona nightclubs to ensure your big night out doesn’t come to a premature end.
As we mentioned, a good option on Friday and Saturday nights is to sign up for the Barcelona Party Nights tour, which includes free VIP entry to Opium and takes the hassle out of having a great night, as well as introducing you to some like-minded hedonists!
Or for more independence the VIP Club Card is a great product that lets you club-hop to your heart’s content.
Electronic Music: Party Promoters
Underground clubbers and/or electronic music lovers have plenty of options in Barcelona, and clubs like Sala Becool, The Loft at Sala Razzmatazz (ie. the top floor of this five room club), Sala Apolo, Moog, and City Hall have beeps and blips aplenty. Some of the best parties however are thrown by passionate independent promoters keen to expose Barcelona to the most exciting trends in house, techno and electronica. Here are a couple whose mailing lists are well worth joining:
These guys have been organising dance music events since 2003 in Barcelona and show no signs of letting up. Funky techy house aplenty, and great vibes characterise their regular events. Check out their website and join their mailing list for info and discounts.
It’s no secret that Barcelona’s underground culture scene is not what it was… constant bills of new legislation and a pandering to mainstream tourism is, if not killing, dampening the vibe of the underground dance music and artistic culture. Ababol Party are keen to bring this vibe back to life and whatever’s going on around town that’s unique and interesting, they publish in their weekly programme. Squat raves, dubstep parties or italo-disco… check out their website to find out more.
Barcelona Techno Sound
EDM fans might also want to check out this resource that has listings of all of the best techno nights in various clubs around the city. As they are not affiliated with any one venue, BTS publish a good spread of events… so worth checking before the weekend.
Ababol also post their party recommendations on this exclusive Barcelona Nightlife Facebook group!
Other Great Events
Epic booze ups on a nightly basis are not the only things going on in the Catalan capital, so if you’re broadminded about your nocturnal entertainment you might want to keep an eye on our monthly event listings, whilst our list of top festivals and our guide to the city’s live music bars should also be of interest. And if you fancy something a little more cultural how about checking out a flamenco concert? We’ve got the lowdown and can help you get affordable tickets.
About the Author
Duncan established Barcelona Life in 2009, whilst freelancing for the likes of Conde Nast, The Guardian, Easyjet Magazine, CNN Traveller and many more. From interviews with Ferran Adria to revealing the secrets of the city’s poetry brothels, he knows the city inside out… and shares all his best tips right here.