By day the Gothic Quarter may be all about sightseeing -- from the cathedral to the Picasso Museum, and the medieval streets -- but by night its a going-out headquarters. Wandering northeast off Las Ramblas, take your pick of offers from promoters who often hawk free admission to various clubs (typically before a certain hour), or even a complimentary drink. Or head straight to some of the neighborhood’s most popular nightspots, like Sidecar to get your indie-music fix, and Marula for jazz, soul and more. If you’re looking for a trendier scene, but minus as many tourists, pop over to the nearby Born District.
Seeking out something still a bit more alternative? Head to the edgy Raval district, known for its eclectic vibe. Start your night at historic bohemian hangout London Bar, once frequented by the likes of Hemingway, Picasso and Miró, then shift your night into full gear at nightclubs like Boulevard, situated right on Las Ramblas, and techno-happy Moog Club, which is open every night of the year.
For a more upmarket scene, go to Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood. This barrio was built during the 19th and early 20th century, and is now home to some of the city’s most beloved architecture (such as the Gaudí-designed leafy iron balconies of La Pedrera and the mosaiced facade of Casa Batllo), and also some pretty sweet clubs too. Bring your dancing shoes to hotspots like the three-story Otto Zutz for a little hop hop and R&B, or grab a fancy cocktail at speakeasy-style Dry Martini Bar.
No matter your going-out destination, keep in mind that the night starts late and ends late (or early, depending on how you look at it). Expect most clubs to be virtually vacant until 1 or even 2am, with, partygoers raging until the next morning.