What to do in Barcelona at night: Sightseeing and touring
Barcelona by night: attractions and sites open for visits
Figuring out what to do at night when you are in a foreign city can be tricky. It’s hard enough to choose where to eat! And the prospect of going early to bed, while it can be good for your energy levels if you need a good rest, it can also be pretty boring, when not plain frustrating. I know: I’ve been there, too! And my goal is to help you avoid such down moments in your trip.
If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you might be already familiar with this blog for things to do at night in Barcelona. But that post was mostly about nightlife: flamenco shows and concerts, nightclubs and drink bars. And not everyone is such a party goes: sometimes you prefer something different. So this time I want to give you some more relaxed but still quite exciting ideas, some of them possibly things you’d never had thought of. Are you ready for some cool plans?
These are the best things to do at night in Barcelona:
The Belltower of a Gothic Church. Have you read the Pillars of the Earth and imagined yourself being one of its characters, walking around the silent church at night? Being inside a medieval chapel after dark is a quite unforgettable experience: every breath you take smells of centuries of history, every step there sounds like it’s breaking a silence of the night of times… The Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi is one of the three most important Gothic Churches in town, and it opens for visits Thursday through Saturday. You get to learn about its fascinating past, and see many details you’d be missing on day time. And the best part is the ascent to its bell tower, one of the tallest in the Barcelona Old Town, to admire the night lights of the city.
The Fabra Astronomical Observatory. Science lovers will be delighted to know that June through October (daily, except Mondays) you can dine with the stars at the city Astronomical Observatory on top of the Tibidabo Hill. The activity starts with an outdoors dinner with views over the city, and continues with a visit to the observatory with its museum, the meridian telescope from 1904 (one of the oldest and largest in Europe) and the great dome, where you’ll be invited to watch the celestial bodies. You’ll also learn about the astronomical, seismic and meteorological activities performed at the observatory. BTW, the rest of the year they continue to offer observatory night tours on Friday and Saturday, but without the dinner option.
Themed evening tours around the Old Town. If walking is your thing, you might be interested to know that there is a variety of unusual themed tours available at night to explore the Old Town from a different light. There are Ghost Tours, there are less scary Tales and Legends Tours, and there are tours that show you the Dark Side of Barcelona, covering off the beaten paths areas of the Old Town with documented real stories on executions, deaths and more. There’s also a quite interesting Jewish Tour followed by dinner. Just to be clear, we don’t run them but we trust the companies organizing them (we could create a custom themed night tour for you if asked in advanced, though). What we do run at night are our evening tapas tours, either all-tapas or flamenco & tapas.
Medieval soirée in a palace. Travel back in time as you cross the door of the Palau Requesens (now the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Letters), where you’ll enjoy a visit of this ancient medieval palace followed by a gorgeous dinner featuring medieval recipes with dishes and sauces documented in some of the oldest recipe books in Europe (that happen to be precisely written in Catalonia, did you know?). Dinner will be followed by medieval entertainment such as sword fighting, belly dancing and juggling. You can book it here. And once you are done, nothing better than walking around the alleys of the Gothic Quarter and be inspired by the beauty of the gargoyles overlooking the streets. Spring and Autumn, you might still hit the traditional dancing at Plaça del Rei on Fridays until midnight.
A Graveyard. OK, hitting this can be a bit trickier, but if you are visiting Barcelona around the first day of Spring or for Halloween, then you might want to join these unique guided tours of the Barcelona cemeteries that only take place twice a year: the Spring session at the Cemetery of Montjuic, the Halloween one in Poblenou. You’ll be following characters from the 1800’s along the graveyard paths illuminated by candles, to learn about the local history and see the most impressive graves. The activity is free, but you need to sign up here as soon as the activity is available.
But wait! Are there any Gaudi sites that you can visit in Barcelona by night? Share this post using the buttons below to read the answer.
Gaudi sites open at night. Of course there are Gaudi sites opening at night! The visit is usually shorter, but some special touch is added in exchange. For instance, La Pedrera by night won’t let you walk on your own but you must follow a guide that will show you around a shorter itinerary of the building liven up with hologram and video effects, plus a glass of cava. This is so far the only Gaudi site that is opening at night all year around, but in the Summer months you have two more options: the Magical Nights at Casa Batllo program a variety of concerts at the rooftop, with 2 drinks and optional visit of the house, and the Gaudi Nights in Torre Bellesguard offer live music, drinks and a walk around their gardens.
So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: Do you have any plans for what to do in Barcelona at night during your stay?