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Spain nightlife

Spanish nightlife is legendary, and for good reason. This is the country that brought the world Ibiza-style house music and the international nightclub group Pacha. Yet not every night has to pulse with the beats of electronic and house music. Sophisticated cocktail bars are more popular than ever in Spain, as are theme bars (ever hear of Spanish country music?). Bohemian bars like Barcelona's Tinta Roja, with poetry readings, comedy nights, and classic film screenings, abound in the artsy districts of the big cities.

City dwellers tend to hit the first bar of the night after dinner ends (around 1 am), and then migrate to thediscotecas, or nightclubs, by 3 am, dancing till dawn. Cover charges vary widely, but you should expect to pay upward of 20 euros in classy venues. Dress to impress; trendy nightspots have strict dress codes and only allow those who look the part to cross their thresholds.

The Spaniards' deeply ingrained love for fiestas means that any city or town can host a good party, but a few stand out. Madrid residents are known as gatos (cats) for their late-night prowling; the city is famous for 3 am traffic jams caused by throngs of partiers. Seaside resorts, especially on the islands of Ibiza, Mallorca, and Gran Canaria, are also known for their nightlife.

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Xukela, Bilbao

Toss back a few cañas at this convivial Casco Viejo bar, which stays hopping late into the evening. There's an excellent selection of cheeses, which you...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
Editors' Pick
Tito's, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca

This multi-story town house is a spectacular-looking pile framed by palm trees beside Palma's port. Staircases on the outside lead to six different bars and...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
Terraza Capote

Hidden away by the Puente Isabel II, better known as the Triana Bridge, this outdoor hot spot is Seville's answer to the beach bar, with shady palm trees and...more

see the Seville guide
Editors' Pick
Suite, Madrid

Suite, a gay hot spot with a mixed crowd not far from Puerta del Sol, is anything you want it to be. There's a trendy restaurant; there's a bar that teems...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Space Barcelona, Barcelona

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....more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Space, San Jordi de Ses Salines, Ibiza

The legendary club Space celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2009 by completely refitting the dance area, adding new high-tech light shows and a very...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
Sala Bikini

While one usually imagines left-wing intellectuals of old hanging out in cafés, the legendary nightclub Sala Bikini was where the Franco-opposing gauche...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Rick's, Madrid

Rick's in Casablanca wasn't a gay bar—at least not openly—but its Madrid namesake is. The Humphrey Bogart theme is fleshed out with marble floors,...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Razzmatazz, Barcelona

Currently the hottest venue for big-name bands visiting Barcelona, Razz is everything superstadiums are not. Small-scale—even the most vertically...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Puro Beach, Palma de Mallorca, Mallorca

Puro Beach is on a man-made island in the Bay of Palma and attached to the Puro Hotel in town, though it's open to discerning non-guests, too. From the...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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