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:
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.
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 t
elescope 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 m
ore. 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.
See the city skyline from the sea
If people consider going to vantage points to see the views “sightseeing”, why taking a boat to see the city skyline at night wouldn’t be so? If that sounds like a plan for you, we can give you a few options: Music-al Mar is a 1-hour sail on a pleasure boat with live soul and flamenco music, that takes you past the Barceloneta and the Olympic Marina. For those wanting a longer experience and prefer a drink to live music, this company organizes sunset sails every day (schedule changes depending on the season) – and they even offer the option of a private sail! And on Saturdays only, you have a quite similar service slightly cheaper and with drinks optional, operated by this other company.
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.
AND BONUS! The Gaudi sites that you can visit in Barcelona by night:
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?