Buenas Noches Barcelona: Best Night Time City Attractions

20.January 2014

Our Journey

One of the many, many things we have learned since we started our journey just over a year ago is that every city we have visited has been very different at night. Barcelona is no exception to this rule, and when people told us that the city really gets started at night, they weren’t kidding! It’s customary for people to eat late, sometimes as late as 10pm, and while night clubs back home were kicking everyone out after 2am, we found that this is just when the party gets started!

But with so much happening at night in this great city, what can we recommend if you’re looking at short breaks to Barcelona? Here are just a few sights in the Catalonian capital that cannot be missed.

Magic Fountain, Plaça d’Espanya

Yes, you read that right; in Barcelona, they don’t only have beautiful fountains, they have magic ones as well! First opened in 1929, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc fuses music, light, sound and water acrobatics to create a unique and utterly mesmerising show for tourists and locals alike.

Free to watch, and often described as a “must-see” by travellers, the fountain operates on Thursday – Saturday from May to October, with the first performance beginning at 9pm. Performances last 30 minutes and the last show starts at 11pm. It must be seen to be experienced, especially if you are travelling with your significant other.

Casa Batlló

Located in the heart of Barcelona, the Casa Batlló is perhaps one of the most iconic and infamous buildings in the city. Designed by the famous artist, Gaudi, and originally designed on a previously built private house, work on the building began in 1904. Famously, work has continued on it ever since, with the current owners renting out rooms as function suites.

A truly remarkable building during the day and night, it combines superior architecture with child like imagination, and millions of people from all over the world flock to see it every year.

Las Ramblas

We couldn’t write a piece about Barcelona without mentioning Las Ramblas at night! While it can get quite crowded, especially in the tourist season, a visit to the tree-lined pedestrian street is well worth it. Boasting various shops, bars, restaurants as well as open air markets and street performers, Las Ramblas is also home to Barcelona’s Opera House, the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Teatre Principal, the oldest theatre in Barcelona, originally built in 1568.

Hospital Sant Pau

While a trip to the hospital when travelling is best avoided, Hospital Sant Pau is no longer a working hospital, but a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built between 1901 and 1930 and designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Now being redeveloped as a museum and cultural centre, it is still possible to go on evening tours around the old hospital buildings.

So for something a little different on your next continental trip, try staying up late and turning nocturnal to really get to know Barcelona better. What other European cities would you recommend at night?

Images by Carwyn Lloyd Jones – Dylunio Creadigol, Tony Hisgett, Anna and nicolai_po used under creative commons license.

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