19 Carrer de Rocafort
Tel: 34 93 423 4314
This converted granja (dairy), with soothing black and white marble tiles and a carved white marble bar is a real find in a Sant Antoni neighborhood filled with crusty old bars and neon-lit tapas joints. Scottish owner Mike Cruickshank, a connoisseur of gin, offers a showstopping range of new-wave G&Ts: Hendrick's with cucumber; orange Beefeater with a drop of Grand Marnier. Stop here for a nightcap after a tapas dinner across the road at Inopia.
32 Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta
Tel: 34 93 224 0470
The reigning queen of nightlife on the water's edge, CDLC is modeled on Amsterdam's Supperclub. Daybeds heaped with silken cushions discreetly obscured by gauze drapes (often peopled by members of the Barcelona football team) are the main attraction. The rest consists of an uncomfortably loud restaurant and sea-facing terrace, roaring techno on the dance floor, and a red velvet chill-out room straight out of David Lynch's Twin Peaks. If you can get your name on the list among the C-list celebrities, count yourself lucky.
21 Carrer Comerç
Tel: 34 93 319 4696
The Born area of Barcelona—a ten-minute walk from the Ramblas and Barri Gòtic—is a magnet for night owls. Bars from the insalubrious to the swish line the Passeig del Born and the labyrinth of streets around it. Club Mix pulls in anyone up for post-midnight dancing. Up front there are a handful of tables, but head to the back, where funk and house classics are a staple on the tiny dance floor, ensuring an international thirtysomething crowd.
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 pm to 3 am.
162166 Carrer d'Aribau
Tel: 34 93 217 5072
In a city that has nearly as many bars as it does people, choosing a favorite is next to impossible. But for many, this emblematic cocktail bar comes close. It's filled with ancient drinking paraphernalia, bottle-green banquettes, and a mirrored bar. The liveried bartenders mix the best drinks in town.
Gay nightlife in Barcelona is centered on a sizable swath of the Eixample district dubbed the Gaixample. Roughly outlined by the streets of Balmes, Comte d'Urgell, Aragó, and the Gran Via, it contains gay-focused and gay-friendly bars, clothing shops, and restaurants. Presiding over the scene is the five-star Axel Hotel, with a summer-only rooftop terrace bar that draws the bronzed and beautiful. La Chapelle is a fun café-bar with lots of religious iconography on the walls, and Sweet Café is a good option for an early evening drink. As for clubs, house-heaven Metro is the classic old-timer, while the current darling is Museum, whose odd combination of kitschy Greek decor and dance and pop classics has hit a collective party nerve. Pick up a copy of City Loop, a free Gaixample map and guide pinpointing the latest hot spots.
8 Comtessa de Sobradiel
Tel: 34 93 310 0755
The Harlem Jazz Club is an icon in the city. An intimate club perpetually choking with smoke (seriously, you could cure meats in this place), it combines a simple bar, an open dance floor, and a stage. But when jazz, blues, flamenco, Latino, and fusion musicians play to Harlem's appreciative crowds, magic happens. With the city's ever-tightening noise ordinances, this has become one of the few remaining live music venues in the city; thankfully it was always one of the best. Nightly concerts, which usually start around 10 pm, are free during the week.
244 Carrer Muntaner
Tel: 34 93 414 3325
Luz de Gas, in the well-heeled upper Eixample neighborhood, is synonymous with Barcelona's vibrant Latin music scene. Originally a fin de siècle music hall, it now hosts local and international acts performing salsa, flamenco, and everything in between, either in the main hall or the smaller Sala B next door. Like all successful clubs in Barcelona, it multitasks, turning into a popular spot for mainstream and Latin-tinged dance music that attracts a smart, well-off 25–40 crowd (starting at 1 am Wednesdays through Sundays). Put on your glad rags, the trendier the better: The doormen are notoriously snooty.
Open daily from 11:30 pm.
249 Carrer Diputació
Tel: 34 93 272 6187
Monvínic, in the Eixample, is a wine bar, restaurant, and (for members) a library on viticulture. Its cellars hold 3,000 varieties of wine from all over the world, but there's a daily list of wines by the glass, in case you're feeling overwhelmed. There are plenty of high-tech elements in place: For example, nifty electronic panels let you search by year, grape type, and region, and temperature-controlled ice buckets are built into the communal tables in the restaurant. Despite all the gadgetry, the surroundings are warm and welcoming, with oak and bronze surfaces and modernist furniture by local designer Alfons Tost (also responsible for interiors at the restaurant Santa), and laid-back jazz on the soundtrack. It'll come as no surprise that wine geeks love this place, but if you're a novice, the friendly staff will point you in the right direction without making you feel like an idiot.
Opens Mondays through Fridays 1 to 11:30 pm.
6365 Carrer de Muntaner
Tel: 34 93 453 6123
Open from 6 pm, this bar in the heart of "Gayxample," the city's gay and lesbian hot spot, is a chill spot to start the evening. A sprawling space dominated by a long bar, it doesn't earn many style points for the mundane, cafeteria-esque decor, but the friendly vibe, chill-out tunes, and constantly changing art exhibits keep this place busy all week long. Here you can also pick up passes for the Arena nightclubs, icons of the city's gay scene.
122 Carrer dels Almogàvers
Tel: 34 93 320 82 00
Currently the hottest venue for big-name bands visiting Barcelona, Razz is everything superstadiums are not. Small-scale—even the most vertically challenged can get a glimpse of the stars here—with top-notch acoustics. The five clubs attached to this performance space attract night owls by the thousands who come to enjoy a smorgasbord of pop, punk, house, and funk in a seemingly endless variety of all-night fiestas. Since getting away from Poble Nou in the early hours can prove excruciating, you might as well stay till well after dawn. Check their site for full details of upcoming events.
547 Avinguda Diagonal
Tel: 34 93 322 0800
While one usually imagines left-wing intellectuals of old hanging out in cafés, the legendary nightclub Sala Bikini was where the Franco-opposing gauche divine came to party in the 1970s. Rather bizarrely, it also had an on-site mini golf course, which is, sadly, long gone. Although completely rebuilt in the early 1990s in a post-industrial style, the club's party reputation remains intact. International acts such as Pink Martini and Ben Lee play in the smaller hall, but post-concert, the walls slide back and the larger space morphs into Bikini, a popular club playing both live and deejayed Latin-tinged beats. The crowd depends on the night and can be anything from hip-hop to rock fans, while Bikini tends to attract Barcelona's young expats.
Open Wednesdays through Sundays midnight to 5:30 am.
141-147 Carrer de Tarragona
Tel: 34 93 453 0582
Space arrived in Plaça Espanya from Ibiza in 2004, and since then has risen through the ranks to become one of Barcelona's most fashionable nightclubs. Bathed in rainbow hues from its extravagant light show, Space throbs with the rhythm of Barcelona's most beautiful people and DJs flown in from the mother club. Big names occasionally headline, but this place is more for dance fanatics than followers of the music charts. Spanish grooves take center stage midweek, and the gay crowd comes for the hugely popular tea dances on Sundays. Less is more when it comes to the fashion here, except for shades—"the bigger the better" rule applies for those.