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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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Korgui, Madrid

The groundbreaking drinks at this artistically lit "bar gastronómico" extend the Spanish flair for culinary experimentation to the cocktail...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
KM5, Ibiza

KM5 is where the party people come to wind down. It's pretty obvious why, with its scatter cushions, hammocks, leather poufs, hanging lanterns, and red, green,...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao

Housed in an old theater building, this place morphs from a restaurant and café frequented by students to one of Bilbao's best places to hear live...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
Editors' Pick
Jockey Club, Sant Jordi de Ses Salines, Ibiza

The stretch of beach at Platja de Ses Salines bristles with a party atmosphere through summer, when the upmarket beach clubs like Malibu and Guarana open their...more

see the Ibiza + Mallorca guide
Editors' Pick
Harlem Jazz Club, Barcelona

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...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
Glass Bar and La Terraza del Urban, Madrid

If you can get in—and come early (before 10 p.m.) if you want to be guaranteed a spot—these bars in Hotel Urban are the hottest places in the city...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Glam Street, Madrid

In keeping with the style consciousness of the neighborhood, this Malasaña lounge and dance club is owned by the artist Yurena, formerly known as...more

see the Madrid guide
Editors' Pick
Gay Nightlife

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...more

see the Barcelona guide
Editors' Pick
El Eme, Bilbao

Over 50 years old, this place—currently run by the fourth generation of the same family—has a cheerful bar in its front room and an informal sit-down...more

see the Bilbao + Basque Country guide
Editors' Pick
El Divino, Ibiza Town, Ibiza

Widely recognized as the white island's most glamorous club, the divine one is situated in the middle of Eivissa town's new harbor, affording captivating views...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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