Day times in Barcelona and Paris may bring an endless stream of historical legacies, marvelous monuments, stunning sights and breathtaking views, but come nightfall, a whole other side of these cities jumps into life, offering locals and tourists alike a plethora of choices to spend their precious evenings. With so much choice, from calm, quiet and classy to loud, lively and energetic and everything in between, there are spectacular spots spread all over these beautiful cities to cater to everyone’s tastes! Take a nap on your comfy Renfe-SNCF en Coopération trip between cities, and you’ll even have extra energy in the evening to live to live up the nightlife of Paris and Barcelona!
Rumoured to be the oldest standing bar in Barcelona, dating back to 1820, it is said to have been one of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso’s favorite spots to be. This near bicentennial bar simply oozes character and atmosphere, and although to some it may seem worn and outdated, it is precisely therein that lies its magic. Simply walking through this bar’s doors in the Raval district in Barcelona, you will be instantly transported decades into the past, with no part of its tiled floor, decorated walls, dusty chandeliers or rusty mirrors betraying its presence in the 21st century. Be sure to try its signature drink - a glass of fiery absynth, served with a flaming sugar cube and a bottle of water.
Photo by Nevermind - Facebook
Although not ideal for those who prefer a classy and quiet space, this Grunge-Rock bar ironically named “Nevermind” is nothing if not atmospheric and above all, unique. Its average-looking exterior could never hint at the alternative heart pumping inside, with its relaxed young crowd, colorful graffiti covered walls and loud 90’s rock and alternative music. And don’t be fooled by its small looking size - this incredible bar even has an interior skateboard bowl (yes, you read that right) which can double as extra casual seating space, depending on the crowd’s mood. Visit between 4 and 10pm any day to coincide with their Happy Hour, with 1 euro beers, 3 euro cocktails and free popcorn for all.
With Barcelona’s spectacular sights and almost all year round sensational weather, and especially its long, dazzling summers, it is only logical that rooftop bars are a big hit. This quiet, calm and classy bar reflects the tone of the beautiful Raval hotel it lies on top of - Barcelo. Open to the public with a large assortment of beers, wines, cocktails and food, this terrace’s breathtakingly beautiful 360 degree panoramic views of the entire city will make for a sensational experience, no matter what you order. You will see all the way from the deep blue sea to the tips of the tall mountains, with silhouettes of most of Barcelona’s most treasured landmarks along the way. There are even binoculars around the deck to help make it even more spectacular.
El Bosc de Les Fades
Photo by El bosc de Les Fades - Facebook
El Bosc de Les Fades is, quite literally, out of this world. With a name that translates to “The Fairy’s Forest”, this quaint café bar takes its customers out from a busy bustling city and transports them straight into a fantastic fairytale, with a dreamy Enchanted Forest full of thick, enclosed trees, trickling water and ponds, wooden bridges, twinkling lights and magical creatures. Its small, dark and cozy environment will enchant and mesmerize you in ways you swore you would only ever feel in dreams. Located just off La Rambla, in an extension of the Wax Museum, you will barely believe your eyes and swear you have slipped into a slumber when you stumble across this hidden gem.
Harry’s New York Bar
Harry’s New York Bar - Frédéric de Villamil, Wikimedia Commons
Do not be fooled by its name - Harry’s New York bar is one of Paris’ most legendary nightlife hotspots, and very well known world wide. Specializing in cocktail concoctions, it is said to be the birthplace of some of the world’s favorite cocktails such as the Bloody Mary, the Side Car and the White Lady. Located in Paris’ 2nd Arrondissement, just a short walk away from the Louvre Museum, the bar has been in operation since 1911, and has welcomed many celebrities through its doors over its century of existence, including people such as Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre and Coco Chanel.
Experimental Cocktail Bar
Photo by Experimental Cocktail Bar - Facebook
The name may have already given it away, but this is the place in Paris you come if you want to try some new and daring cocktails that the rest of the world has never seen. Or, if you want the absolutely perfectly shaken and stirred classic cocktails. Its endless stream of sweetened and spiced spirits with garnished glasses will give you more than enough fuel to stay up sipping them into the wee hours of the night. Live DJs will give you the tunes to accompany your fearless adventure of cocktail tasting, and the knowledgeable staff will tell you anything you need to know to help you with your torturous beverage decision.
Photo by Chez George’s – Facebook
French or foreigner, young or old, groovy or classy - no matter who you are of where you come from, Chez George’s will welcome you with open arms. Its two floors, one slightly calmer and quiet with beautiful decorations and a underground cave that later turns into a dancing disco allows it to cater to everyone’s tastes. It has remained all but unchanged since it first presented itself to the Parisian public back in 1952, had has given countless people the nights of their lives over its dynamic decades. Serving both as a delicious restaurant and an energetic dance club, Chez Georges is not far from the Jardin du Luxembourg, and just a stone's throw from the Mabillon metro station.
Photo by Batofar - Facebook
Renowned for its scrumptious food, delicious drinks, impressive DJs and after-hour dance parties, this incredible restaurant by day, nightclub and bar by night is not only overlooking the beautiful river Seine, it is physically on the smooth waters of the Seine. Be it due to its spectacular views over the water and city, the soothing, gentle movement of the boat or the incredible atmosphere that its owners and employees have created with their perfect lighting, enticing music and tasteful decoration, this spectacular boat seems to attract people of all kinds aboard its adventurous deck. Having been moored on the banks of the Seine in Paris’ 13th arrondissement back in 1998 after years of service, Le Batofar was the creator of the “nightclub on a boat” trend in Paris, and continues to attract hundreds of people to stand in awe of both the late night techno parties and talented concerts held aboard.