Night Life in Barcelona

By: Gaizka Pujana

The city of Barcelona itself has a population of just over 1.6 million, with more than double that in the outlying areas.

A quintessentially Mediterranean city, Barcelona was home to the 1888 World's Fair, which catapulted the city onto the international scene as an icon for culture and the arts. Today, the city is a riveting study in contrast: Modern skyscrapers reflect their shadows over the city's Gothic center, which is preserved, almost completely intact; historic Barcelona is a maze of narrow streets, while the 19th century Eixample district, for example, is a perfectly ordered grid. Locals speak Catalon as well as Castillian Spanish, another reflection of the city's dual heritage.

If you like history, Barcelona is a perfect choice, as you can take advantage of a dizzying array of historic not to mention culture, religious and culinary. (Do keep in mind that like most of Spain, Barcelona observes a daily siesta, so be sure to double check hours of operation for museums and city tours before you venture out.)

However, if you're coming to Barcelona for a taste of its nightlife scene, or even if you're just curious about the city's renowned late-night culture, then you definitely won't be disappointed.

The evening's activities are usually kicked off with a leisurely and social dinner, which starts no earlier than 9 PM. Barcelona is famous for its restaurants, many of which fuse international cuisine with a local, Mediterranean flare be sure to check out a tapas place or two! After dinner, you can head out to one of the dozens of typically Catalonian champagne bars. Then, following the suit of locals, a discotheque is next on the agenda. Or, for a more authentic experience, you can check out a flamenco club. Barcelona also has countless live music clubs, with a wide range of world musical styles. You can even find more than your fair share of karaoke clubs.

If you are visiting in the summer and are interested in a slightly more refined experience, you might want to check out the Sonar Music Festival, usually held in June. Barcelona is also home to Catalonia's largest symphony orchestra, the Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC), which performs seventy-five concerts per season at its new home, the l'Auditori.

Sports enthusiasts are also sure to love nighttime in Spain, as that is when the city's star football and basketball teams come to life. The FC Barcelona sports club is best known for its football team, one of Europe's largest and a two-time winner of the UEFA Champions League.

At the end of long night of dining, drinking, dancing or cheering on your favorite footballers (an intensely ruckus experience, especially in the football obsessed Barcelona), visitors will find an array of accommodation options to retire to. While Barcelona certainly has numerous luxury hotels including some of Europe's highest rated the city also offers ideal accommodations for visitors on a budget even a shoestring one.

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