For many Americans, the timeline of nightlife in Barcelona may seem a bit odd. If you’re used to American nightlife, you might pregame at a bar from 9 to 11 p.m. Then head to whatever club you’ve heard is the best, get in at around 12 and stay until around 2:30 or 3.

A night out in Barcelona, however, typically runs much longer and later. Nights start at around 10 and not wrapping up until 4 a.m. at the earliest. If you’re not used to it, you can easily end up drinking too much, drinking too little, or just showing up at the right places a few hours too early.

With that in mind the following is a simple guide to how a typical night in Barcelona tends to shape up. Along with some tips on how to make the most of your time out.

9 PM-12 AM

It’s important to remember that dinner in Spain is late by American standards. Most restaurants are brimming with people at around 10. Knowing this, the best approach to starting a night out is to find a good place to sit outside. Then, order some tapas and a few rounds while enjoying the scenery. There also isn’t the same rush to pay as there is in the states. So you should feel free to stick around and continue drinking for another few hours until your party feels like moving on. Restaurants will often clear out at around midnight, at which point the bars are the typical next stop.

12 AM- 1AM

.Once you’ve had some food and more than a few beers, the bar will be your next move. Unlike the United States, the bar scene in Barcelona is typically very laid back. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a bouncer or paid a cover while bar hopping here. This is the time of night where it’s best to socialize before getting into the often defining atmosphere of the club.

As expected, the more touristy bars tend to attract more English speakers. But, if you’re looking to practice your Spanish, your best bet would probably walking around El Raval, Gracia or the Gothic Quarter. You’re basically looking for bars that don’t show up on Google Maps. Likelihood there will be fewer tourists, and the liquor will flow just as freely.

1 AM- 6 AM

The final leg of your night out will undoubtedly be a club. Deciding which venue to go to is often the most important task of the night. It’s likely where you’ll have the most fun. But, it might also be the most difficult decision to change later on due cover charges and certain clubs that don’t allow reentry.

The up side is that the clubs typically don’t shut down until 6 a.m., so there’s plenty of time to make that decision. Don’t worry if you don’t get in until 1 a.m. That’s the usual entry time for locals or even later. 

The scene will vary wildly thorough the city, but typically clubs closer to the beach will have more touristy clientele. So, if you’re looking for a more local experience, focus on clubs more towards the center of the city, They’ll be harder to find, but well worth the effort.

Famous Clubs that you might want to try are Opium, Pacha and Catwalk on the coast. Jamboree, Boulevard and City Hall near Las Ramblas. Sutton, Bling Bling, Soho or Otto Zutz around Diagonal and for the LGTB community there’s Arena Sala Madre, Belladona or Aire Sala Diana.

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