Located on the northeastern coast of the Mediterranean, Barcelona has been a booming port city since Ancient Roman times. As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city and the central hub of Catalan culture, food & art. Barcelona’s beautiful architecture attracts millions of tourists each year and with so many amazing things to see, there’s no surprise there! With an average of 8.9 million annual foreign visitors, Barcelona is undeniably one of Europe’s top tourist draws. Although Barcelona is brilliant during the daytime, it’s equally stunning after dinner. Below, we’ll go over a few of the best Barcelona evening activities to take advantage of when visiting this sensational city.
#1 Visit the Magic Fountain
Located at the end of Avinguda Maria Cristina, the Fuente mágica de Montjuïc puts on unforgettable water-light shows choreographed to music every weekend. Originally constructed for the 1929 International Exposition, the Magic Fountain was given a huge makeover just in the 1980s to show off for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Due to the increased tourist traffic between June – August, there are more opportunities to see these water shows in the summer.
#4 Visit Barcelona’s Cathedral
Another fascinating building to check out after dark is the Barcelona Cathedral near the Urquinaona metro stop. Officially called Catedral de la Santa Cruz y Santa Eulalia, this Gothic cathedral had its origins in the 13th century and is well known for its fascinating gargoyle statuary.
#2 Watch a Flamenco Show
One of the most iconic things to do while in Spain is to see an authentic flamenco performance with professional musicians and dancers. Luckily for tourists, Barcelona is home to many historic flamenco establishments. One superb flamenco theatre is El Tablao de Carmen, which is only a 5-minute walk from the Magic Fountain.
#3 Watch around Hospital de Sant Pau
Nothing can compare with the pleasure of seeing Barcelona’s historic buildings light up after the sun sets. One such building is the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Paunear the Guinardómetro stop. Designed by modernist master Lluís Domènech i Montaner in the early 1900s, the Hospital de Sant Pau now serves as a museum and is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site.
#7 Try some Catalan Tapas
Since Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many eateries serve Catalan-inspired tapas at night. A few ingredients visitors will find in most Catalan cuisine include wild mushrooms, fresh seafood, and sweet spring onions called calçots. Be sure to order a glass of sparkling cavawine or vermouth to wash down all those tasty tapas.
#5 Visit the Rooftop Bars
Sipping a cool beer with friends on a rooftop bar has quickly become one of the most popular Barcelona evening activities. Whether you want to visit a chic establishment with a rooftop pool or a simple and affordable bar with good views, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a bar in Barcelona to suit your needs.
#9 Visit Gaudi’s Artwork
No single architect left his mark on Barcelona like Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). Even though Gaudí’s Sagrada Família Basilica won’t be completed till 2028, it has earned a reputation as the architect’s masterpiece and is now the symbol of Barcelona. Visiting the Sagrada Famíliaand other Gaudí buildings like Casa Milà at nighttime is a mesmerizing experience.
#8 Watch a Soccer Match at Camp Nou
Soccer fans can’t miss taking in a live game with Futbol Club Barcelonaat the massive Camp Nou. Even people who aren’t into soccer can’t help getting swept away by the passion of Barcelona fans at a nighttime game. Believe it or not, Barcelona’s Camp Nouis the third largest stadium in the world with a seating capacity of 99,354.
#6 Watch the Sun Set Over Montjuic Hill
For an exceptional view of the Barcelona sunset, look no further than the top of Montjuïc Hill. Visitors can easily take the Montjuïc Funicular to the top of the hill and enjoy panoramic views of the Catalan capital any time of the day.
#10 See the Nightlight on Gaudi’s Masterpieces
While we’re on the subject of Gaudí, it’s a great idea to book a tour of his Casa Batalló as late as possible. Not only will you get a great view of Barcelona’s sunset from the terrace, you’ll also get to appreciate what this building looks illumined by nightlight. There are often live music performances at Casa Batallóand, as an added bonus, it’s usually less crowded at night.