FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

New Venues Light Up The Night In Barcelona

by Patrick Adams

May 1, 2013
2013 / May 2013

From the stone walls of the Gothic Quarter and the labyrinthine streets of El Raval to the leafy plazas of Poble Sec and the reborn barrio of Born, Barcelona, the Catalonian capital, stays up late. The country’s economy may be in the doldrums, but that hasn’t stopped Spaniards from smelling the roses — or sating themselves on tapas and cava. Indeed, for all its fiscal woes, new bars and restaurants continue to pop up around town, and a seemingly ceaseless stream of visitors is seeking them out.

The most notable of the new crop is the theater-themed Tickets, a much-talked-about tapas restaurant opened in 2011 by the creators of the celebrated El Bulli, chefs Ferran and Albert Adrià, soon after its famed predecessor served its last meal. Also by that Michelin star-studded duo is the swank cocktail lounge 41˚, where the drinks are paired with a 41-course tasting menu featuring a few holdovers from El Bulli.

But the Adrià brothers aren’t the only show in town. All around the rejuvenated neighborhood of Poble Sec, once an unsightly industrial zone, are watering holes popular with tourists and locals alike, including the new Koska Taverna, a Basque-Argentine collaboration acclaimed for its unpretentious atmosphere and cheap but delicious pintxos, the small snacks typical of Basque country. At nearby Quimet & Quimet, a tiny, family-run fixture, revelers come for the finest selection of cheeses in all of Barcelona and a wine list to match. (Three-hour tapas tours can be booked through Barcelona Turisme.)

Barcelona’s vibrant LGBT nightclub scene can be experienced in the L’Eixample and Gràcia neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the city’s mainstay disco for the gay community is Metro, located in Raval and known for its dancing and DJs.

Of course, no night on the town can be complete without a stroll down Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous avenue. Head to the Plaça Reial, the city’s busiest square from dusk to dawn, and grab an icy cana (draft beer) at one of the many cervecerías or take in some jazz at Jamboree (concerts typically begin at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.). For something a little flashier, try El Molino. More than a century old, the music hall on Avinguda Parallel closed its doors in 1997. But three years ago, new ownership refurbished and reopened the iconic venue, home to the super-stylish Golden Bar and nightly cabaret acts.

Wrap up the evening with a nightcap at the Gallery Hotel. Long a standout for its prime location — 10 blocks from the Sagrada Família, the city’s most famous landmark — its well-stocked bar won’t disappoint. Or follow Barcelona’s beautiful people to the trendy Omm Hotel and dance ’til dawn in Ommsession, the hotel’s über-chic nightclub.

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