Whether your idea of the perfect holiday is spoiling your taste buds, relaxing in a bar or letting loose with your friends on the dance floor, look no further than these top cities in Spain. Discover famous venues in each city, from brunch spots to nightclubs suitable for all budgets.
Valencia has a lot to offer culturally, but as Spain’s third largest city it has a well-established social and party scene. One of the most impressive venues is the L’Umbracle, housed inside the City of Arts and Sciences. Sip on a cocktail in the tropical garden, underneath the stars and if a few drinks get you in the mood to go clubbing, Mya nightclub is positioned next door. This club is renowned for being at the heart of nightlife in Valencia. Other infamous clubs in the city are Barraca, La3 and Le Premier.
Valencia city has recognised the growing demand for bars serving craft beer. The Olhöps group is dedicated to promoting craft beer in Valencia – drink in their brewhouse on Calle Sueca, 21 or in their H2ÖL craft beer lab on Calle Carlos Cervera, 22. For those who want to taste some traditional Valencian tapas alongside their tipple of choice, head to El Laboratorio in Plaza L’Escolania de la Mare.
El Negrito attracts a young and lively crowd and is one of Valencia’s coolest hangouts, especially throughout the summer, where visitors take full advantage of the large terrace. Other hot spots are Hawaika and Radio City.
If you’re feeling the effects of the night before, or gastronomy is your main focus when you go on holiday to Spain, Valencia has a lot to offer for foodies. Find a holiday rental in the Ruzafa neighbourhood, which has been recognised as the ‘trendy’ barrio in Valencia – full of coffee shops, bakeries, terraced bars and restaurants as well as art galleries and indie clothing shops. For delicious pizzas and a glass of wine in a fun, informal environment, head to La Finestra. For those craving a burger, The Black Turtle will not disappoint, with a menu catering for vegans and coeliacs too.
The famous rice dish of Paella originates from the region of Valencia, to taste one of the most authentic recipes, book a table at Casa Carmela located on the beach. Vegetarians will be spoilt for choice at Copenhagen restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine with a modern and creative twist. If you’re after something spicier, the best Mexican in town is Taqueria La Llorona.
One of the best breakfast spots is Dulce de Leche, serving delicious breakfasts and brunch – from fresh fruit and yoghurt to pastries and cake. Or try the American pancakes at La Mas Bonita, and for coffee lovers head to Bluebell and Federal Café for eggs benedict.
Lloret de Mar
Lloret de Mar is a party-goers paradise due to its wide range of clubs. The most famous being Disco Colossos and Disco Tropics, both with a vibrant atmosphere and top DJ’s on the decks. Other popular nightclubs are Disco Londoner, Disco St., Trop and Disco Moef Gaga.
For those seeking a cocktail bar in Lloret de Mar you are spoilt for choice. Bar Room, Tequila 85, Polynesian bar Hula Hula, Blue Bar, Shake Café and 3Monkeys all serve a selection of delicious cocktails with a fun and lively atmosphere. If you prefer a nice cold beer, head to the traditional sports bar El Pub Lloret.
Try a selection of Spain’s traditional rice dishes such as paella or fideua – a pasta dish at Al Freskito or eat tapas by the sea at La Cantina. El Jardin is another typically Spanish restaurant, stylishly decorated and serving the best of Spanish cuisine. Dine with sea views at Atics La Carpa or sample some delicious seafood at Can Tarradas.
When people think of partying and Spain, Ibiza always comes to mind due to its long history of party culture. The most popular areas in Ibiza for party-goers are Playa d’en Bossa (east coast), San Antonio (west coast) and Ibiza town.
To name just a few of the clubs, party through the night in Amnesia, Space, Bora Bora, Privilege, El Divino, Es Paradis, Usuahia, Moma, Pachá, Ocean Beach, DC-10, Destino, Eden and Heart. The island also hosts world famous DJ’s throughout the summer in various venues from Karl Cox to Martin Garrix, a holiday in Ibiza provides the ultimate party experience and the chance to see your favourite DJ in the flesh.
Ibiza has many bohemian style bars, cafes and restaurants, Kumharas beach bar has a large open-air terrace and a cool, chilled atmosphere ideal for watching those famous Ibizan sunsets. La Bodega has been named as one of Ibiza’s most picturesque venues for wine and tapas, located in the old town it is a bustling yet cosy bar.
One of the trendiest places for foodies is La Cava Ibiza, a sophisticated and cosmopolitan setting serving a selection of food and modern tapas as well as a range of their own vermouth.
Cocktails are the speciality at Bambuddha – a beautifully decorated Asian bar and restaurant. Other recommendations are Dunes Ibiza – a lively, colourful bar and Ibiza Rocks with a prime spot on the beach and where you can drink well into the night.
Aside from being the ‘cool’ party island in Spain, Ibiza also offers some of the trendiest places to eat. Many venues now catering for special dietary requirements and experimenting with a range of ingredients. Passion Café serves an excellent range of breakfasts and lunches including delicious salads, cakes, juices, smoothies and pancakes – all made using organic fair trade ingredients. For some more traditional Spanish cuisine, one of the most romantic and fashionable terraces in Ibiza is La Brassa. Dine here beneath a carpet of flora decorated with fairy lights and hanging crystals.
Barcelona city offers nightlife for all budgets. Two of the biggest and best venues are Sala Razzmatazz and Pacha, with regular live performances and resident DJ’s. La Terraza has been named as one of the trendiest clubs in Barcelona and is located in a unique setting – on the mountain of Montjuic. The large open-air terrace is decorated in a style depicting a typical Spanish village reflecting the historic part of town. More places to party in Barcelona are Jamboree Dance Club for hip-hop, Elrow, Shôko, Club Otto Zutz, R33, Opium, Sala Apolo, Input and Moog for techno music.
To start the party or for a casual drink, visit some of Barcelona’s famous Vermouth bars such as Gran Bodega Saltó, Colibrí and Jai-ca. For cocktails, stop by Rubi or Mint – two mojito loving spots both located in the arty neighbourhood of El Born.
Cava originates from the region of Catalonia and at La Champagneria a glass of cava cost a little more than €1, and a bottle just a little more than €5.
An eccentric cocktail bar, located in the heart of the Vila de Gracia district is El Ciclista – hip and uniquely decorated with bicycle wheels turned into tables.
One of the best places for breakfast/brunch in Barcelona is Milk – with a modern menu and relaxed setting. For a healthy breakfast, Brunch & Cake is an excellent choice, serving what seems to be the rainbow on a plate. Similarly, Flax & Kale Tallers is the first healthy ‘flexitarian’ restaurant in Barcelona – one of the most stylish and chic food locations in the city and 80% of their menu is plant-based. Be sure to taste their acai bowl, vegan croissants and heavenly blueberry muffins.
For a late afternoon/early evening snack, tuck into some tapas at Bormuth, Tantarantana, Cervecería Catalana or Sensi Bistro and try their famous goats’ cheese croquetas. For something a little heavier, head to My Fucking Restaurant on Calle Nou de la Rambla with a menu inspired by traditional Italo-Catalan family recipes, based on seasonal products and their proximity.
San Sebastián is located in the Basque country and is a big contender as one of the best cities for nightlife in northern Spain. Some of the most famous clubs in the city are Bataplan Disco and GU San Sebastián where you can party next to the Atlantic ocean and spectacular views of the La Concha Bay. Other popular venues are Discoteca Miramar, Komplot, Le Bukowski, Dabadaba and Disco Friends.
If clubbing isn’t your style, some of the best bars in San Sebastián are Ondara 16 Bis which serves drinks alongside delicious pintxos (small snacks), accompanied by great music. For some rock music head to Eiger Edaritegia and Akerbeltz.
San Sebastián is celebrated for its gastronomy and pintxos are synonymous with this region. Some of the best spots to taste them are bars such as A Fuego Negro, Ganbara, La Cuchara de San Telmo and Sirimiri Atari Akadamy for pintxos with a modern twist.
From breakfast through to lunch, wandering around the city you will find a plethora of quirky cafes such as La Guinda, Ijentea Kafea, Art & Cakes, Old Town Coffee and Alabama Café who serve delicious ‘super bowls.’ Kafe Botanika offers healthy lunch options, Mapa Verde is great for vegan and vegetarian food and Belgrado for dining with a view overlooking Zurriola beach.
Málaga is trending as one of the hottest cities in Spain. Located in the south, the city is thriving with cool clubs, bars and restaurants. The hub of the nightlife can be found in Plaza de Uncibay and Plaza de La Merced where you will find the hottest clubs such as Sala Gold, Sala Wengé, Andén, Bubbles, Teatro, Bambu, Malafama, Gallery, and Velvet.
Some of the best nightlife in the city takes place on Málaga’s rooftop bars, enjoy a few drinks with views of the Catedral or the famous port in Hotel Molina Lario, Ac Hotel Málaga Palacio, Room Mate Larios Hotel and the Alcazaba Premium Hostel.
Some of the best breakfast and brunch spots in Málaga are La Teteria for delicious granola, El Mortal, Café con Libros, Julia Bakery, Lova and El Último Mono for the best juices in town. For lunch, Recyclo Bike Café is home to the best burgers with vegan and veggie options too, this quirky cafe has bikes adorning the walls and ceiling all with a chilled relaxed vibe. Tapería Astrid serves delicious healthy and ecological cuisine and La Machina in Pedregalejo is a bohemian bar/restaurant that sits on the beach. The menu has a range of cuisine with Asian style noodles to cheese filled bagels.
For an evening meal, try Gloria y Hoyos, Maria Pistolas for Mexican food, stylish venue Batik and no one visits Málaga without eating some traditional food from the region at El Pimpi Bodega. To experience the famous tapas culture of the city, book a table at Matahambre or at the authentic Las Merchanas.
Up and down the country you will find cities offering unique, fashionable and authentic places to eat, drink and party in Spain. From San Sebastián to Ibiza, which one will you visit first?