There are few places in Barcelona with as exciting a nightlife scene as the Gothic Quarter. As the oldest part of town, rich in history, this part of Ciutat Vella is also known for its late night bars, clubs and delicious eateries. Whether you’re on La Rambla itself, or nestled in the heart of the windy alleyways and out of the way cobblestone streets, Barcelona’s Gotico has something for everyone. Mainstream, top 40’s classics, live music at places like Jamboree and El Paraiguay and ‘indi’ nights at Harlem Jazz Club and Macarena.
If you’re looking for an authentic evening out in the city’s downtown core, the Gothic Quarter is a fabulous way to spend the night. It’s ideal for dinner and drinks followed by an eclectic night club, most of which stay open until the sun comes up. Thanks to plazas such as Plaza Reial, and George Orwell plaza, many of the clubs are congregated in the same area or are just a stone’s throw from each other, making it easy to club hop and enjoy a diverse option of places. And if you’re into keeping the party going until the sun goes down the next day, the Gotico its fair share of ‘aftas’ (after parties). You just have to know where to look.
Boulevard, or BLVD as it’s known to the locals, is one the most central La Rambla club. Located smack in the middle of the street, closer to the sea, this is a huge venue with the capacity to hold about 1000 people, spread out over three dance floors. With a mix of oldies, techno, dubstep, pop and 80’s classics, BLVD is the ideal place to party on La Rambla. Although it’s in the tourist heartland, you’ll still see a strong local representation at Boulevard including Catalans and expats. After the club closes (6-7am) you can head to the beach and watch the sun rise on the boardwalk.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: A fabulous club with great music, tons of space and a good vibe
Sam’s expert tip: Get a flyer handed out on the street, for drink and entrance discounts
A new Cannabis Social Club in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. 4:20 Cannabis Social Club is an ideal place to relax, mingle, play board games and smoke your favourite weed. The club offers a wide variety of marijuana and is said to have some of the best creations in the city. They also offer delicious pot brownies and truffles including other tasty snacks. If you’re in the mood for a late night, go on Fridays and Saturdays where live Dj’s play until 2am. Other nights have magic shows and stand up comedy routines, or there’s always the more low key nights where you can just play games and chat with friends for hours. This club is by membership only, so be prepared to pay at the door and show some ID.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: Open all hours, day or night. A great place to feel relaxed in good company
Sam’s expert tip: Try their specialty food of the day
With its hanging disco ball, plush leather seats and wooden tables, many Ginger fans have coined this trendy wine and cocktail bar as an ‘airport lounge’. It is however, rather known for it’s innovative cocktails, wide selection of amazing wine and high quality tapas. This is a Barcelona gem, ideal for weekend adventures, intimate drinks and lively evenings on the town. Ginger is nestled behind Plaza Sant Jaume, in Plaza San Jus a little hard to find if you don’t know where to look, but once you stumble upon it you’ll be sure to mark the spot and keep on coming back for more.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: Trendy cocktail bar open until late with a great wine list and disco music
Sam’s expert tip: Try their Gordito Red Wine.
Romantic, intimate and cozy, this dimly lit wine and tapas bar is tucked away on one of the Gothic Quarters’ many side streets. Ideal for dates or a few drinks with friends, it’s owned by a Canadian and the service is top notch and so is the food. The bar has a great selection of comfy couches and tables and ideal for groups of friends who want a large space with little interruption. Andu’s wine list is also quite extensive and includes dessert wines as well as a few international bottles. Their food is limited to tapas but their cheese plate is quite yummy.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: Intimate late night bar, great wine and food in an off the beaten path setting
Sam’s expert tip: Ask for their happy hour specials which change daily
Live music in one of the Gothic Quarter’s most rustic bars, Harlem Jazz Club is one of the most well known and renowned Barcelona hang outs. Always ripe with a killer weekly line up of funk, blues, Brazilian music, Cuban pop/rock and jazz and all featuring incredible up and coming musicians, this is an excellent place to get a taste of the ‘real’ music scene in the city. Depending on the night, you’ll either be able to see a live show or witness stellar djs, but no matter which night you decide to go it’s always a lively and electric atmosphere.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: Excellent live music in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, small and intimate locale
Sam’s expert tip: For more well known bands be sure to get tickets in advance via the website
Relatively new to the Barcelona Club scene, Marula is a vibrant space, ideal for hosting concerts, live music and parties. It specializes in funk, but features rock, pop, jazz and other genres as well. Centrally located in the Gothic Quarter, right off of Plaza Tripi and La Rambla, this is a great late night party especially on weekends. Situated on Escudellers street, this is one of the liveliest streets in the Old City, right beside ‘Plaza Tripi’ and a stone’s throw from other clubs like Macarena and El Paraigua behind Plaza Sant Jaume. It’s a lot of fun and extremely unpretentious.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: The best Funk, rock and Jazz, a fun club open until the morning
Sam’s expert tip: There’s an excellent pasta place for late night food right next door to the club
Indie rock with the occasional live music gig, Sidecar is sheer late night fun. You can’t get more central than Plaza Reial and this hip, unpretentious two-storey space (restaurant and bar upstairs, club downstairs) is a great way to dance until the sun comes up. Sidecar is great for those looking to have a good time in an unassuming atmosphere in the center of the Gothic Quarter. Their bands are excellent with a great live music selection as well as the occasional DJ night playing a mix of funk, blues, top hits and 70s and 80s. If you get bored walk two seconds to Karma or Marula Cafe.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: A mix of 70’s, 80’s and hot shot Dj’s, a great bar in the city center
Sam’s expert tip: Show up before 2am if you want to avoid a line.
A Barcelona staple, Macarena Club has been around for years and to locals and tourists alike it is a late night gem. But be sure to arrive early (by 1:30am) as the club is tiny and once it reaches capacity, the doors shut. If you’re looking for a mix of house and electronic beats this is the place to go. Centrally located in the Gothic Quarter, it’s easy to find and easier to stumble home from, especially if you’re staying downtown. Macarena has a loyal following so locals come nightly meaning it’s always busy and for a very good reason.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: This is about as authentic as it gets in the Gotico. Small, cozy and all about the music
Sam’s expert tip: Great place for a private party
This chic nightclub serves a varying choice of music, including hip-hop, jazz and Latin beats. The venue is split level with a dance club downstairs and live Spanish music upstairs. Most nights the place (downstairs) kicks off with live music and then later transforms into trendy and lively club. If you’re looking to dance until the sun comes up, then Jamboree is a great choice. Situated in Plaza Reial in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, right off La Rambla, it’s surrounded by plenty of other bars and clubs, all with a variety of music. Most places don’t charge admission and if they do it includes a drink.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: A hot spot in Plaza Reial with great live music and fabulous Dj’s
Sam’s expert tip: Arrive before the dj and mixed drinks are half price (selected evenings check website)
This is a definite local hot spot or a place to frequent for those ‘in the know’. One of Barcelona’s best live music venues, El Paraigua is a swanky, cocktail and live music bar/lounge, located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Just around the corner from Plaza Sant Jaume, the top floor is a local restaurant, but if you head downstairs, you’ll be privy to a world of live jazz, blues and delicious drinks. Always buzzing, El Paraigua is usually busiest on weekends, however it’s open every day. Their restaurant also has a great outdoor patio which is excellent especially during the summer.
Recommended for Gothic Quarter’s Best Nightlife because: Excellent live music underneath a restaurant in a stone jazz bar
Sam’s expert tip: Get there early on Fridays and Saturdays if you want a seat on the couch