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Highlights, tips & info to live authentic going out experiences in Barcelona
What time do people go out and how is the nightlife in Barcelona?
Barcelona, a city full of life, full of music. For decades, consolidated as one of the great neuralgic centres of the party in Spain... and throughout Europe. In Barcelona, there are parties from Monday to Sunday, although they're not always the same. The 3 best nights to go out are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In these nights, all the clubs of Barcelona open their doors to the public. You'll have to adapt your timing a little if you come to Barcelona (or anywhere else in Spain). Here, people have dinner late. Some, very, very late. People from Barcelona don't want to hear about partying or nightclubs until after midnight, at least. The most common plan? Have dinner around 10 pm, organize a good pre-party (the "previas" here are a ritual) at home, in a bar or even in a park (we don't recommend the latter; you can get fined by the Guàrdia Urbana, the police in charge of these things) and go to the club around 2 am or even after 3 am. Clubs and discotheques close at 6 am, due to municipal regulations, but people don't seem to worry too much. If you prefer daytime parties under the sun, don't worry, in Barcelona you’ll find that as well. During the week, European style afterworks are very common. Many of the attendees are expats who live and work in Barcelona. These events usually don't last longer than midnight or 1 am. On weekends, you'll find big parties in parks or open spaces. They usually take place on Saturdays or Sundays and the opening hours are usually from 1 pm to 10 pm. As mentioned, the pre-party is a must here, but don't confuse it with the classical Spanish "botellón". It's not a good idea to have long-drinks (or "cubatas", as they're called here) and get drunk while laughing in the street. Drinking alcohol in the streets is forbidden here, and the Guàrdia Urbana patrols every night, looking for groups to sanction. It’s not a very big deal (barely 50€, or even 12€ if you pay it immediately), but your drinks will be confiscated, and that's never a good way to start the night. Afterhours are another big ban in Barcelona. As already mentioned, clubs close at 6 am and that's where the party ends. You want to keep dancing? The only option is to ask people outside clubs for "algún after". They are small associations of friends, where you will be asked to register with your personal data to enter. If you aren't a member, you won't get in.
Which are Barcelona’s best neighborhoods to go out?
Music for all tastes. Although... yes, in the most famous clubs of Barcelona, reggaeton, trap, commercial hits and techno, tech-house and groove dominate the scene. Of course, if you prefer, you can choose between smaller clubs and alternative parties that offer rave genres such as acid or electro, or even small drum 'n bass or dubstep strongholds and downtempo, microhouse or breakbeat micro-clubs. One of the best-known neighbourhoods for partying in Barcelona is La Barceloneta. Here you’ll find some of the legendary discotheques such as Pacha, Opium, Shôko, CDLC or Catwalk. Except for a specific party in Pacha, these clubs offer the most mainstream sounds, ranging from house to rap, RnB, trap, hip-hop, dancehall and reggaeton. The atmosphere is rather international and touristic. If you're one of them, don't be surprised if they call you "guiri". Don't take this the wrong way... It's not an insult! Other famous clubs in the city are Sutton, Bling Bling or Costa Breve. All of them are in the area called Upper Diagonal. There, the people are mostly high-class locals. It is, let's say, the poshest area in town. The third prominent area is the centre, near the historical neighbourhoods of Raval and El Borne. The clubs here are smaller, more underground and also quite hipster, and the atmospheres are varied. Other important clubs, such as Apolo or Razzmatazz, are located in Poblesec and Poblenou, respectively, away from the other areas, but also surrounded by a lot of nightlife, bars and venues, ideal for those "previas" of which we spoke before.
How expensive is to go out in Barcelona?
Going out in Barcelona is not very expensive, although it's not super cheap either. The average price to enter a club is around 15€ or 20€, depending on the area and, especially, the time you get in. The habit of drinking a lot and till late before entering the club makes many enter late. And, of course, discotheques don't like that. That's why all clubs try to make people arrive early with offers, usually lower prices. If your budget is tight, we advise you to take advantage of the situation. As for alcohol, the average price of a long-drink (yes, long-drinks, such as gin-tonic or rum-cola) is 10€, which can reach 12€ or 13€ in some cases, beer usually costs 6€, and a shot 5€. If you decide to extend your pre-party, a drink in a bar shouldn't cost more than 7 or 8€. Beer, no more than 3 or 4€ and same for the shot. If you prefer warming-up at home, the 750cl bottle of alcohol in a supermarket will rarely cost more than 20€.
What's the dress code in Barcelona?
In summer, it's hot. In winter, it's cold. Obvious, isn't it? But, in the club, there is always an exaggeration with clothes (and we don't say it with second intentions...). If you are going to visit Barcelona in winter, we recommend you to wear something light and a jacket on top. For 2€ you can leave it in the cloakroom and enjoy the night without worries. In summer, don't count too much on your T-shirts and shorts in the clubs of the upper zone or in La Barceloneta. Unless it's an electronic music party, people are all well dressed up and some clubs won't let you in. If you go to Apolo or the other clubs in the centre, simply go as you like. They rarely make trouble. Avoid sweatpants and sportswear. These will only be accepted in Razzmatazz, where, simply, there are no access policies, except for age or bad behaviour in the line.
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