Easily recognisable thanks to its geometric grid pattern, the Eixample is an eclectic mix of historic buildings, designer shopping, trendy bars and homes. The nightlife of Eixample is also a mix, with some of the most exclusive clubs in town gathered round the border with upmarket Sant Gervasi along with more laid-back clubs catering to a mixed crowd of international visitors, students and the local party crowd.
Located just off Plaça Catalunya, City Hall occupies the 19th-century Teatro Barcelona and has kept much of the original theatrical appearance. Open every night of the week, the club attracts a fairly international crowd and is popular with overseas students as well as young locals. The music varies depending on what day of the week you go, from latin and reggaeton to house and techno. Entrance is often free before 1am during the week.
Latin music lovers know that Mojito Club is the place to go in Eixample for pure, unadulterated salsa and bachata every Thursday and Sunday. If you’re a complete novice, fear not as there are dance classes available in the afternoon and regular workshop evenings – plus there’s usually always someone willing to show you the basic moves. On Fridays and Saturdays, the music is slightly more varied and the DJ plays a mix of classic Latin tunes and chart-toppers.
Slap bang in the middle of what is known locally as ‘Gayxample’, Arena Classic is one of the most well-known LGBTQ+ clubs in the city. Everyone is welcome in this hetero-friendly club which attracts a pretty varied crowd, from international students to middle-aged Catalans. The main thing everyone has in common is an open mind and a willingness to have fun. The music is a crowd-pleasing mixture of pop, latin and electronic music with plenty of classic hits scattered around for good measure.
Luz de Gaz is a renovated old music hall turned into a bar and renowned for its excellent live music scene. Performances are given by international, national and local artists, some events are benefit concerts for local causes. From blues and jazz to disco and rock, a wide range of genres can be heard at Luz de Gas. This friendly bar generally welcomes a more mature audience, inviting customers to indulge in a tasty cocktail or a satisfying meal while enjoying a great show.
Pitching itself as a more upmarket club than some of the other Barcelona venues – it’s not called Bling Bling for nothing – this is the kind of place you’ll see bottles of champagne with sparklers passing through the crowd. Keeping up with its image of exclusivity, the club has a main room but most people aim to edge their way into the private or VIP areas where you’ll find big cozy couches and a shorter queue for the bar. The music is relatively mainstream and sticks to tried and tested chart music except for special nights.
If you like intimate clubs where you soon get the sense of knowing who’s who and what’s what, Hyde Club is a staple of the Eixample nightlife scene. Open three days a week with a different theme each night, the club opens early on Thursdays for its ‘after work’ special from 9pm, which comes with a buffet of savoury and sweet snacks before pumping up the volume later on. Saturdays are when the party really kicks off and everyone lets loose with a mixture of pop, rock and electronic music as well as classic hits.
Sutton Barcelona opened its doors in 2001 | Courtesy of Sutton Barcelona
Another member of Barcelona’s more exclusive circle of nightclubs located just up from the Avenida Diagonal, Sutton Barcelona is a rather sophisticated affair which ostentatiously claims to attract the local it-crowd. The club hosts live music performances which in the past have included acts such as Craig David and Calvin Harris. Expect to have to dress up if you want to get past the front door as this is definitely the kind of place where people are prepared to dress to impress.