After Five Guides,  Europe

Barcelona After Five: Exploring Architecture and Tapas

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Lucky you! You are coming to Barcelona! The city of modernist architecture, great Spanish food and a night life other cities are envious of. That is partly because everything happens later in the day – late lunches, late dinners, late entertainment options.

Even many tourist attractions are open until well after 5:00 pm.  If you really only have a few evenings to get an idea of what Barcelona is about, I recommend the following activities:

Magic Fountains

For almost 90 years the Magic Fountains have been a Barcelona favorite at Place España (Metro stop: España on L3 and L1 lines). It is a colourful show of dancing water with music that is completely free for everybody. Show times vary depending on the season but never start before 8pm.

Flamenco Show

What could be more Spanish than Flamenco dancing? There are so many shows to choose from in Barcelona it´ll be hard to decide. Some of them also include a dinner. I have seen one on Placa Reial at Los Tarantos I liked, but I also heard great things from my friends about Palau Dalmases Flamenco in Born, a lively area at night.

Casa Batllo

When you come to Barcelona, the city of Gaudi, you have to see at least one of the impressive modernist buildings our world famous architect built. Casa Batllo on Passeig de Gracia (Metro stop Passeig de Gracia on line L4) is open until 9am, last entry at 8pm for visits of the building itself. They also have events in the evenings, for example what they call Magic Nights, when they host concerts on their rooftop after 8pm. Reserve tickets in advance if you are in town during Magic Nights. For a regular visit, you can get tickets on the day. Other options of modernist buildings worth seeing are Casa Mila, Casa Vicens and Palau Guell.

Palau de la Musica Catalana

For the music lovers I recommend an evening in Barcelona´s Music Palace: Palau de la Musica. This is where you will find all the classics and grand concerts, ballets and operas. Even if you don´t care for any of those genres, a visit to the Music Palace is worth it for the building itself. It was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in 1905 and is elaborately decorated with tainted glass, colourful tiles and shapes on the inside and outside. They offer guided tours up until the nightly shows.

Roof top bar

I was stunned by how many wonderful roof top bars this city has! Barcelona is full of them! It is one of my favorite spots to watch a sunset… on a roof top of some luxurious hotel, by the pool, with a cocktail. The options are endless, but I have compiled a guide to my favorite roof top bars in Barcelona for more detailed information. If the weather does not allow for open air activities, check out the Eclipse bar at the W hotel in Barceloneta – it is indoors but offers a view over the beach and the city all the way up to the mountains.

Tapas and wine

You absolutely cannot leave Barcelona without having tapas and wine. You will find many lovely little tapas restaurants in el Born (metro stop: Jaume I on L4 line), just take your pick and enjoy! This area also invites you for a stroll through the narrow streets afterwards, where you will find the cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar and shops of local merchants selling unique fashion, accessories and other artsy items.

I hope this guide inspired you to get out of the hotel during your next business trip to Barcelona and explore our wonderful city! Have fun! If you still have any questions, please feel free to comment below.


Guest Writer

Christin Braatz | Christin Has Fernweh | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Enjoy exploring the architecture and delicious tapas in Barcelona, Spain after 5:00 pm. If you are traveling to Barcelona for work, there are still many activities in the evening. Magic fountains, Flamenco shows, Casa Batllo, Palau de la Musica Catalana, roof top bars, and tapas are still available to you in the vibrant city of Barcelona.

Are you traveling in a city for work or for a conference, and not sure what is open afterwards? Check out our city guides on Travel After Five for some ideas on open tourist attractions.

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