In this post, you will learn everything on the nightlife in Gothic centre of Barcelona, how to go out like local and do it real cheap.
I’m not from Barcelona although I lived here for the last 8 years and know it much better than some of my local friends. I used to walk out of my door to wander through the streets of the Gothic centre for hours without any particular reason.
Now I know some of the spots by heart even without remembering the street’s name. I think it took me months to explore and understand for real the Gothic neighbourhood (barrio Gotico).
It took me some time to learn where to go out here and how to do it like a local. The truth is, most of my visiting friends asked me about it and they literally have no time that I had except for one or two evenings out.
Let’s start our route through cultural and musical activities of the Gothic quarter after dawn.
Plaza Reial – The Meet-up spot
As a matter of a fact, the Royal Square is one of the favorite meet-up spots for locals, students, and almost anyone. It’s very central and located literally in the middle of the Gothic centre. In the morning, this place looks not just peaceful but totally abandoned in comparison with what you usually see in the night hours.
The crowd gathers by the dinner hours to start the night on one of the summer terraces of Plaza Reial. For there are lots of them and most are quite touristy and expensive, nonetheless you’re still paying for a terrace table on one of the most visited squares in Barcelona. I personally like Ocaña for the vintage interiors and nice lounge area. If you’re up for a dinner before going out but prefer a more refined place, you can check the local food guide on where to eat in the Gothic district by our fellow barceloner Julia. She’s a true hedonist, knows how to eat well and avoid so-called “tourist traps”.
The Royal Square is also a centre of “botellon” which takes place from dusk till dawn. “Botellon” is a way to socialize while drinking alcohol in the public places, which is prohibited and punished with the fines by the local police so I strongly suggest refraining from this activity for there are so many good and sometimes very cheap bars around! I recently wrote the article on the Craft beer bars in the Gothic centre with the list of my favorite artisan beer bars where I go before starting the night out.
Start with Live Flamenco – Gypsy roots in the Gothic centre
Most of my friends when coming to Barcelona for the first time are asking where to see Flamenco. No wonder they do since Barcelona is considered one of its capitals (if we look into history, mostly thanks to Andalusian immigrants).
They get disappointed when I tell them that they will have to free most of their evening for it as Flamenco’s duration usually ascends to over one hour and comes with drinks or dinner making you spend much more than you’d expected.
For me, this never worked as I prefer having dinner at home or in one of my favourite places and save some money for later drinks elsewhere.
Luckily, one of those wanderer’s evening I stumbled upon Tarantos on Plaza Reial, right in the heart of the Gothic centre.
Their 30-minutes show is a perfect option when you’re looking to see the real Flamenco with ones of the most renowned artists in the city without spending too much. These shows have the flexible timetable and ample agenda so you will be able to pick the most convenient hour and day for you.
It’s 3 or 4 times cheaper compared to other offers in the city and the good news is that you will have the rest of the evening for other activities.
Check this video of one of Tarantos Flamenco concerts to have the idea of how it looks and feels like. (Skip to minute 2 to see the actual performance)
Jazz sessions in Jamboree – Jazzy and classy Nightlife in Gothic centre
Plaza Reial has also a lot to offer for Jazz lovers so you don’t have to cross the city in order to find your favourite music. Jamboree Jazz is located next door to Tarantos and offers an ample variety of live Jazz sessions with local and international artists every day, usually, it’s 2 sessions a day so you could be there just in time after your Flamenco Session or home dinner.
Jamboree at night – Funky Nightlife in Gothic centre
After midnight, Jamboree fully converts to the dance club offering live sessions of hip-hop, funk and soul every day until the very morning. The most usual resident is DJ Yoda, but you could definitely check the agenda for specific guest DJs which are usually good.
Entrance tickets are as cheap as 5 to 10 euros but you can still make it in for free before 2:30 AM if you’d add yourself to the list in Jamboree’s facebook page.
Techno in Moog – Techno Nightlife in Gothic centre
And if you’re more into techno rather than hip-hop and soul, you will definitely want to check Moog, one of the oldest electronic music clubs in Barcelona boasting with 2 dance floors.
One is used for greater events and international DJs, and the other one is smaller and accommodates resident DJ with his usual electro-pop, the 70s and 80s disco sets.
This place located on Arc de Teatre, 3 has converted into local classics for someone who’d appreciate quality electronic music for a fair price which varies from 5 to 10 euros, and there’s always an opportunity for free admission before 02:00 PM with the lists on Moog’s facebook page.
There are no free admissions for the special events like OFF Sonar concerts, but if you buy the tickets on the official website in advance you will get a fair discount.
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