Those who have been, know that getting home in daylight is more the norm than the exception! Whether you love the sound of groovy beats in an open-air beach club, or a marathon tapas and pub crawl in the trendy centre of a metropolis, the Iberian peninsula offers world class shindigs for just about every taste.
We have compiled a Top 5 list of Spanish party cities, complete with tips on bar and club districts that will definitely blow your socks off – and to boot, we’ve even included some handy Spanish phrases for you to try out during your night time expeditions. When you come out here to learn the language, going out at night provides the perfect opportunity for practicing your new language skills.
Find your way around the city’s trendiest party spots, get in there with the locals and become part of the exhilarating, vibrant experience of la noche en España…
Here are our top five party locations for 2013!
If you want glamour, if you want excitement and if you looove the sun, Marbella is your spot. This Mediterranean city boasts the famous millionaire’s playground, Puerto Banus, a luxurious yachting port where party goers can enjoy not only some of the biggest DJ appearances and coolest beats, but do a bit of celebrity spotting along the way, summer or winter.
The hotter summer season, from late April to the end of September, includes the opening of several luxurious beachside lounge bars and clubs that usually kick off from 11pm until late – or early morning.
Top circuit DJs like David Guetta and DJ Tiesto are guaranteed to make an appearance at one of the bigger clubs every summer, and the Marbella auditorium and bull ring put on fabulous open air concerts. Here are a few gems you shouldn’t miss out on…
Places to go
Marbella’s Old Town district, known as the Casco Antiguo, with its narrow, winding cobblestone streets and white washed buildings, is positively bursting with tapas and cocktail bars, restaurants and pubs.
Whether January or August, this area is guaranteed to be busy with life, and provides tens of superb venues that make for a great night of wine tasting, nibbling on tapas and general bar crawling and later, mayhem! Puerto Banus offers several nightclubs and zillions of noisy bars to choose from – you can get lost in PB for several nights if you’re not careful… If you want something a little more calm, try Marbella’s alternative port, the Puerto Pesquero near Calle San Ramón and the long Paseo Marítimo, for some scrumptious sea food and fab chill out venues.
For the ultimate summer party, it’s Nikki Beach of course – set on an exclusive strip of private beach belonging to the five star Hotel Don Carlos, this venue represents everything that is cool, sexy and glamourous in a sumptuous Andalusian setting of palm trees and sand.
Things to say
¡Está como un tren! He’s seriously gorgeous!
Ponme una caña, por favor. Pour me a draught beer, please.
You cannot get a city more Andalusian than Seville (or Sevilla to the Spanish), and with good reason: it is the capital of this Southern Spanish region. If you want to experience some authentic Iberian partying, Seville does it better that the rest – it heralds itself as the birthplace of tapas and flamenco.
Seville offers anything and everything from sophistication and culture (theatre, ballet and opera), tablao (authentic Flamenco dancing) and night clubs that open until 6am.
In April the city launches into its annual Feria week, complete with round-the clock, traditional Spanish music, plenty of Sevillanas dancing, typical foods, fabulously decorated horse drawn carriages – not to mention stunning dark-haired beauties and handsome caballeros dressed in Flamenco costume.
But no fear, the rest of the year also offers seriously happening, trendy bars and nightclubs, thanks to Seville’s enormous and bohemian student population.
Places to go
The Triana District is where most of the bar and pub hopping happens, because this traditional party district in Seville is where you can find anything from authentic flamenco shows, to elegant roof top terrace bars, late night tapas – and dark beer halls where Seville’s football club Betis will probably be playing on the telly! Those hankering after tradition will not be disappointed.
In Los Gallos, just to name one place out of so many, you can enjoy authentic flamenco shows accompanied by the best wines Spain has the offer, and the duende (emotion and spirit) of these passionate dancers, and the deep rhythms of the melancholy Spanish guitar, will not leave you indifferent.
Things to say
¿Qué vino me recomiendas? Which wine would you recommend to me?
Ay hija, ¡que guapa eres! Wow darling, how beautiful are you!
The capital is where the party really starts. Where many cities have a lively weekend or seasonal nightlife, Madrid is one of those places where every bar is heaving each night of the week, at least until 4am. Most people will saunter out for a leisurely meal or some tapas about 10pm and then let the night develop from there.
The El Pais newspaper provides listings on events, shows and happenings in the city, although you are just as likely to see street performers, buskers and interesting people wherever you go.
Places to go
North of the Gran Vía is where a lot of the real action happens and where Spain’s nightlife comes to full bloom. If you head up and beyond this grand avenue, you’ll find the Malasaña district to the west and the Chueca barrio to the east.
If you are into rock and indie music Malasaña is recommended, for dance music, Chueca is an absolute must. And it certainly does not end there: La Latina caters wine bars for the 30-40 crowd, Barrio de Las Letras provides a heady mix of bars and clubs for all ages and if you love heavy metal and hate tourists Bajos de Argüelles is where you need to head, between Calle Gaztambide and Calle de Andrés Mellado. For super clubs, try Ananda – this is probably the most ginourmous, terraced nightclub you’ll ever have been to, anywhere.
Heaving with people through the summer months, Ananda is located near the Atocha Station and provides an ultra cool summer setting with its big DJ names, and sofa and cushion strewn chill out lounges.
Things to say
¡Buscamos fiesta! We’re looking to party!
¿Dónde esta la mejor discoteca de Madrid? Where’s Madrid’s best nightclub?
This Catalan capital is where Gothic meets minimalist, and a Mediterranean seaside city blends a robust underground club scene with enough bars and pubs for every night of the year.
La Rambla is the massively wide, busy boulevard that gets packed day and night and boasts plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs to start the night off – before moving onto other, more serious night time pursuits. Beyond La Rambla, you’ll also find the narrow medieval streets of Barcelona’s Old Town.
Places to go
The Gothic Quarter is where you’ll find the coolest little venues hidden away in corners and for those who love beer, a considerable selection of Irish and British pubs.
El Born, on the other hand, is a touch more elegant, sporting sophisticated cafes and bars – especially on Passeig del Born. On the other side of La Rambla, there is also the El Raval district, bohemian and edgy, where fast food shops mingle with cocktail bars.
Things to say
Tienes unos ojos preciosos… You have beautiful eyes…
¿Dónde vais ahora? Where are you heading now?
If you love la fiesta, but have never lived it up in one of the island’s epic nightclubs, this is where it all happens, baby! And even if clubbing and hyper famous DJs are not your thing, there is something for everyone on this dreamy, delightful island.
You can spend your evenings chilling in fabulous beachside bars under bamboo canopies, sipping cocktails, watching the sunset and then moving onto enjoying some delicious sea food and hanging out in some of the island’s friendly bars, listening to the latest grooves.
Where to go
Check out up-to-date 2013 information on nightclubs, DJ visits, party nights and other clubbing news to know what’s going down. You’ll find Eden, one of the more famous clubs, in San Antonio and the world famous Pacha in Ibiza Marina.
One of the things Ibiza is so famous for, is being able to catch the beautiful sunsets. Party people can indulge in this romantic sight on the so called sunset strip, the Caló des Moro in San Antonio.
And if the partying (krhm… and the studying!) gets too intense, you might want to consider visiting one of the island’s stunning natural retreats or spas for a pampering massage, or just chill a few hours on the beach, catching a tan, before your next clubbing adventure!
Things to say
Madre mía, ¡esto es maravilloso! My goodness, this is wonderful!
Pásame mi calimocho, tengo sed. Pass me my (large & cheap) cocktail, I’m feeling thirsty.
So there! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our best 2013 Spanish party cities. When you book your language course with us, make your learning trip a fun experience too and make sure you explore the exciting nightlife Spain has to offer. And be sure to let us know some of your favourite party venues too – we’d love to hear from you and pass on your recommendations and reviews onto our other students. ¡Qué comience la fiesta! Let the party begin!