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Things to Do in Spain

My blog is all about different things to do both during the day and at night in Madrid and Barcelona. Both of these great cities have some amazing things to offer, and I want to make sure you're in-the-know.

Things to Do in Barcelona – a Culturally Vibrant City
23 July 2013

 As the second biggest city in Spain, Barcelona is a highly worthwhile destination spot for summer travelers. A culturally vibrant city, Barcelona providessignificant historical landmarks, innovative architecture,impeccably warm weather, and superb nightlife. Not to mention thedelicioustraditional Spanish food and drink like tapas, seafood paella, sangria, and churros with coffee. For those privileged enough to visit the city this summer, there are countless of culturally stimulating, fun things to do in Barcelona. Barcelona’s highlights range from outdoor parks and historical plazas, to white sand beaches and some of the world’s best nightlife.

Barcelona offers architecturally innovative structures, providing lots to see while outdoors in Grácia. This is largely due to the creations of Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona’s most famous architect. Park Güell, a park designed by Gaudí, mixes the landscape’s natural beauty with artistically appealing structures. The park is centered on a hill and diverges into steep pathways, along which tourists can enjoy twisted stone pillars, mosaic artwork, and incredible views of the city. Other Park Güell highlights include the mosaic dragon fountain at the entrance, Gaudí’s house that was transformed into a museum, and two buildings that resemble gingerbread houses. Other architecturally interesting hotspots in Barcelona include La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic, and Passeig de Gracia.

While in Barcelona, make sure to soak up some history at plazas in Barri Gótic. Placa Sant Felip Neri is one of the most beautiful squares in Barcelona and hasa chilling historical significance.The baroque church in this small square is the location of Gaudí’s death, as well as a fascist’s bombing that killed over a hundred people. Nowadays, Placa Sant Felip Neri is a scene of couples, tourists, locals, and children who attend Sant Felip Neri, a school adjacent to the church. Pickpockets are also common in this plaza – as with most Barcelona tourist destinations – so remain aware of your surroundings and mindful of your valuables.

The hot, sunny weatheris optimal for the beautiful, white-sand beaches in Barcelona. In particular, Barceloneta Beach is one of Barcelona’s most popular. Centrally localized, Barceloneta Beach is in an old neighborhood and nearby to many beach bars, restaurants, and casinos. This lively beach attracts rollerbladers, bikers, skateboarders, dog walkers, windsurfers, and tennis and volleyball players. Although this is not one of Barcelona’s listed nude beaches, you will likely spot the occasional topless female tanner. By night, the beach embodies the party atmosphere with live music from guitarist and bongo players.

For the eager club-goers, Barcelona provides unbeatable nightlife, most notably at the clubs in Port Olímpic. Specifically, Opium Mar – with an outside patio, an incredible ocean view, and a lively dance floor – lives up to its reputation as one of the best clubs in Barcelona. The crowd consists largely of impeccably dressed, good-looking people from all parts of the world. The outdoor seating area provides modern lounge couches and mood lighting for patrons to enjoy the fresh outside air and the beachfront view. Inside the club, there is a huge dance floor and top 100 tunes and house music. Barcelona often has famous DJs performing, which have included David Guetta and Tiësto.

 

Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth - a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: clubs in Paris, beaches in Ibiza, plazas in Rome, bars in Los Angeles, parks in New York, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more.



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Summer Concert Guide for the European Backpacker: Spain
21 June 2013

Leaving home with only a backpack on your shoulders and a map, you have decided to dedicate your summer to the spirit of adventure. As you backpack your way through Europe, you reach Spain and you’re eager to immerse yourself in its vibrant culture. Explore its dynamic music scene by dancing the night away at any one of the concerts in Spain listed below.

Take advantage of the raging nightlife in Madrid by beginning your evening with a rock concert or dedicating the night to your favorite DJ at two of Madrid’s hottest venues.  Situated on the banks of the Manzanares River is one of Madrid’s most popular clubs, La Riviera. Known for attracting the biggest and the best musical talent, this summer La Riviera hosts a diverse calendar of artists such as Lana del Rey, Of Monsters and Men and Tame Impala. For mainstream concerts in Madrid, it’s best to head to Palacio Vistalegre, Madrid’s multipurpose indoor arena. Dance along with the masses to the beat of One Direction or rock out to Def Leppard this summer when they stop by Madrid on their summer tour.

Experience all that Barcelona’s music scene has to offer by hitting up their festivals and intimate concert venues. As part of the Apollo group, La (2) de Apolo is one of the best venues to see concerts in Barcelona. With lineups ranging from drum and bass to indie rock bands, no two nights at La (2) de Apolo are the same. Expect to see names such as Imagine Dragons and The Ataris on their summer calendar. If you’re looking to get lost in the crowds, check out La Primavera Sound Festival at Parc del Forum. While this spectacular park regularly hosts festivals, this one is the highlight of the year. Featuring big names such as Phoenix and The Postal Service at this year’s festival, it’s a must for any backpacker traveling through Spain!

If you need a break from the club scene in Ibiza, the Ibiza Rock Hotel is your saving grace. Every Wednesday, the courtyard of the Ibiza Rock Hotel transforms into an epic rock concert. Throughout the years, this hotel has seen a wealth of big name bands and this summer will be no different. With a concert calendar listing the likes of Ellie Goulding and Franz Ferdinand, rockaholics are guaranteed to get their fix.

Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth - a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: things to do in Amsterdam, beaches in Ibiza, plazas in Rome, bars in Los Angeles, parks in New York, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more. 



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Kicking it in Barcelona
22 May 2013

The most important word you need to know in Barcelona is siesta, because a solid afternoon nap is the only way to survive this action-packed city that decided dusk till dawn just wasn’t enough. The architecturally gorgeous coastal destination is absolute paradise; you can tan on hot beaches filled with beautiful people, navigate through two-and-a-half lifetimes worth of bars (yes, that’s statistically accurate), and dance at the open-air nightclubs that are packed till sunrise.

But if it feels like these options are missing something, you’re right – it’s missing sports! Which is why a less obvious but just as awesome thing you have to do while in town is go to an FC Barcelona match. The quaking stadium couples one of  the most fanatic fan-bases with one of the best football teams in the world for a sporting experience unlike any other. With this in mind, make sure to buy tickets in advance for the big match, because below is an amazing way to spend a day in Barcelona.

Barceloneta Beach

It’s a typical Catalonian day; the sun is baking, the mercury is rising, and you are wondering what to do. Take our advice and head to Barceloneta Beach, the most popular stretch of sand in the city. You’ll find yourself lying out amidst an energetic mix of all sorts, from sexy locals to tourists to entertainers playing their instruments to vendors selling random goods. And when you’re feeling fried and dreaming of refreshment, simply walk over to one of the many chiringuitos (beach bars), and cool off with some chilled sangria or a cold brew. Beach, beer, beautiful people, what could be better?

Camp Nou

After you awake from your UV induced coma, throw on your Messi jersey and follow the masses to Barcelona’s sports mecca, Camp Nou. 90,000+ crazed fans sell-out the stadium for nearly every big match, causing the steel and concrete to shake and sway to the unified chants of the spectators. Don’t be surprised if trash fires pop up in the middle of the stands while world-class soccer takes place on the field. The energy in the air is so overwhelming that you’ll be jumping and hugging with total strangers when FC Barcelona puts one in the net.

Chupitos

There’s nothing quite like the ecstatic high of a sports victory witnessed in person…except for taking shots of god-knows-what while wearing an army helmet as a bartender whistles at you to finish. That’s just the sort of thing you can expect at Chupitos, which specializes in shots accompanied by ridiculous props and performances that makes the joint one of the wildest bars in Barcelona. Hundreds of options with no translation or description are available for your choosing on the long blackboard behind the bar. Grab your friends and play a little bit of Spanish roulette with the random options. You can’t lose.

Opium Mar

It may be the middle of the night, but the city’s finest are heading back to the beach, replacing their bikinis and shorts with mini-dresses and collars for the trendy beachfront venue of Opium Mar. The sleek multi-leveled cavern is one of the best clubs in Barcelona, providing a decadent playground for trendy locals and international jetsetters, with plenty of VIP areas for anyone trying to drop some extra cash. You can start by enjoying the warm night on the terrace outside while eyeing the incoming patrons, but the bumping dance floor inside is where the real action goes down. With some of the best DJs in the world, an abundance of gorgeous people, and state-of-the-art lightshows, Opium Mar will be a crazier party on the sand than any bonfire you’ve ever been to.

 

Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth - a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: things to do in Barcelona, beaches in Ibiza, plazas in Rome, bars in Los Angeles, parks in New York, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more.



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Summer Concert Guide for the European Backpacker: Spain
25 April 2013

 Leaving home with only a backpack on your shoulders and a map, you have decided to dedicate your summer to the spirit of adventure. As you backpack your way through Europe, you reach Spain and you’re eager to immerse yourself in its vibrant culture. Explore its dynamic music scene by dancing the night away at any one of the concerts in Spain listed below.

Take advantage of the raging nightlife in Madrid by beginning your evening with a rock concert or dedicating the night to your favorite DJ at two of Madrid’s hottest venues.  Situated on the banks of the Manzanares River is one of Madrid’s most popular clubs, La Riviera. Known for attracting the biggest and the best musical talent, this summer La Riviera hosts a diverse calendar of artists such as Lana del Rey, Of Monsters and Men and Tame Impala. For mainstream concerts in Madrid, it’s best to head to Palacio Vistalegre, Madrid’s multipurpose indoor arena. Dance along with the masses to the beat of One Direction or rock out to Def Leppard this summer when they stop by Madrid on their summer tour.

Experience all that Barcelona’s music scene has to offer by hitting up their festivals and intimate concert venues. As part of the Apollo group, La (2) de Apolo is one of the best venues to see concerts in Barcelona. With lineups ranging from drum and bass to indie rock bands, no two nights at La (2) de Apolo are the same. Expect to see names such as Imagine Dragons and The Ataris on their summer calendar. If you’re looking to get lost in the crowds, check out La Primavera Sound Festival at Parc del Forum. While this spectacular park regularly hosts festivals, this one is the highlight of the year. Featuring big names such as Phoenix and The Postal Service at this year’s festival, it’s a must for any backpacker traveling through Spain!

If you need a break from the club scene in Ibiza, the Ibiza Rock Hotel is your saving grace. Every Wednesday, the courtyard of the Ibiza Rock Hotel transforms into an epic rock concert. Throughout the years, this hotel has seen a wealth of big name bands and this summer will be no different. With a concert calendar listing the likes of Ellie Goulding and Franz Ferdinand, rockaholics are guaranteed to get their fix.

Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth - a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: things to do in Amsterdam, concerts in Barcelona, plazas in Rome, bars in Los Angeles, parks in New York, festivals everywhere, and more.



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Must-Do Pre-Club Spots in Barcelona
29 March 2013

 Barcelona is a captivating destination of picturesque beaches, abstract gothic architecture, and centuries of history. But of all the things to do in Barcelona, at its heart, it is a city that comes alive at night. Travellers from all over the world flock here with dreams of all-night extravaganzas ­– dancing till morning at one of Barcelona’s world-class clubs, taking shots they can’t pronounce with new best friends, and stumbling out at sunrise with a beautiful Catalonian on their arm. But no matter how many times they hear that things here start late, too many a tourist has fallen into the trap of showing up at a club at midnight and wondering what all the fuss is about. Luckily, Barcelona is also home to some of the wildest bars around. So while you wait till two in the morning for the clubs to get hot, here are a couple of interesting places that are guaranteed to lower those inhibitions and let you get loose on the dance floor.

 

Bar Dow Jones

For those looking to pass on the crowds and the prices of the infamous La Rambla bar-scene in lieu of something more unique, cruise down Avenida Diagonal, navigate down some back alleys, and keep your eyes peeled for Bar Dow Jones. As you step off the streets and into this Manhattan-esque dive bar, you’ll realize why it’s named after a New York stock exchange, and that’s where the fun begins. Dozens upon dozens of different types of shots and drinks are all displayed on digital monitors, all fluctuating in price based on demand. You’ll be exhilarated as the raucous tavern brings out your inner day-trader, hustling to get the cheap drink before the prices shoot up from demand. Take a break from the commotion and enjoy a game of pool at the venue’s billiards tables, or sip down one of their many delicious brews on tap. By the time the Dow Jones closes, you’ll be liquored up and ready to cab over to popular nearby clubs like BeCool and Razzamatazz.

 

Chupitos

The name of the place literally translates to shots. Lots and lots of shots. This Barri Gòtic bar specializes in the most extravagant and possibly unnecessary over-the-top shots you could ever imagine. Spanning across the entirety of the wall behind the long bar is a listing of hundreds of different types, and you’ll be lucky if you’ve even heard of a few dozen of them. The place is always packed with young partygoers looking to enjoy the show, and what a show it is. The bartenders incorporate fire and props into the drinks, and you’ll often find yourself either staring at a blue flame dancing on the surface of a shot glass or wearing an army helmet as the bartender-turned-drill-sergeant screams drinking orders at you. It’s nearly impossible to leave Chupitos without a good buzz, and is in a perfect location to enjoy the nearby clubs on the harbor.

 

Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth - a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: bars in Paris, pubs in London, things to do in Barcelona, beaches in Los Angeles, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more.



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The Best Live Music in Barcelona
01 March 2013

 Barcelona’s nightlife scene has something for everyone, but especially for those who love live music. The vibrant culture and even more energetic nightlife provide this city with the perfect atmosphere to kick back and enjoy some mellow tunes or bust some moves to an enthusiastic DJ. From the enormous venues that have hosted Olympic games to sultry hidden jazz dens, Barcelona offers incredible live experiences for any kind of music lover.

Bel-Luna Jazz Club is open every night of the week and offers an upscale menu of contemporary cuisine and amazing drinks. Black walls and black sofas are complemented with blue lights that give this venue the literal feel of “the blues.” There is a section for those who are looking for some intimate conversation or a smoke as well as a spacious non-smoking area for patrons who want to simmer down to the sounds of some calming saxophone while sipping wine and finishing dinner.

Angsty youth and those who appreciate some live punk music have found a punk paradise in Sala Apolo, a lively club with two separate areas to give patrons options for how they want to spend the night. The main floor is meant for intense, elbow-to-elbow dancing and the upstairs is intended as a place to grab a casual drink. The venue features various musical acts from an assortment of genres every night of the week.

Sala BeCool is a medium-sized club and one of the best music venues in Barcelona for a true house/tech/minimal variety dance experience. The fact that it is a somewhat lengthy walk from the nearest public transportation shouldn’t deter those who want to spend their night gyrating and sweating to some of the city’s most well respected DJs. The crowd is fun-loving and sociable, a great fit for those who want the classic nightclub experience without any pretension.

Those looking to see a show in a stress-free or VIP environment should head straight to Sant Jordi Club, a mid-sized music venue located in Barcelona’s Olympic Ring. Strategically placed lights and a sleek atmosphere make this the ideal place to see big name bands. Performers such as The Cranberries, The Hives, The All-American Rejects, and Lenny Kravitz have performed at this 2,900 square meter concert venue.

Palau Municipal d’Esports de Bandalona (also called Pavelló Olímpic de Badalona) is a large arena originally built in 1991 to house the Spanish team Joventut de Badalona. The venue can accommodate up to a whopping 12,500 concertgoers making it the perfect place to see A-list bands in an energetic atmosphere. Past performances at the the Pavelló Olímpic de Badalona have included Guns & Roses as well as the Olympic Basketball Tournament during the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona featuring America’s original Dream Team.

Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth - a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: bars in Paris, pubs in London, beaches in Ibiza, plazas in Rome, parks in New York, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more.



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A Day in Barcelona
28 January 2013

The most important word you need to know in Barcelona is siesta, because a solid afternoon nap is the only way to survive this non-stop party city that decided dusk till dawn just wasn’t enough. The architecturally gorgeous coastal destination is a traveler’s paradise; you can tan on hot beaches filled with beautiful people, navigate through two-and-a-half lifetimes worth of bars (yes, that’s statistically accurate), and head to the notoriously hedonistic nightclubs that are packed till sunrise.

But if it feels like the endless array of party options are missing something, you’re right – it’s missing sports! Which is why a less obvious but just as awesome thing you have to do while in town is go to an FC Barcelona match. The quaking stadium couples one of most fanatic fan-bases with one of the best football teams in the world for a sporting experience unlike any other. With this in mind, make sure to buy tickets in advance for the big game, because below is the ultimate itinerary for a day in Barcelona.

 

Barceloneta Beach

It’s a typical Catalonian day; the sun is baking, the mercury is rising, and you are wondering what to do. Take our advice and shed your shirt at Barceloneta Beach, the most popular stretch of sand in the city. You’ll find yourself lying out amidst an energetic mix of all sorts, from sexy locals to tourists to entertainers playing their instruments to vendors selling random goods. And when you’re feeling fried and dreaming of refreshment, simply walk over to one of the many chiringuitos (beach bars), and cool off with some chilled sangria or a cold brew. Beach, beer, beautiful people, what could be better?

 

Camp Nou

After you awake from your UV induced coma, throw on your Messi jersey and follow the masses to Barcelona’s sports mecca, Camp Nou. 90,000+ crazed fans sell-out the stadium for nearly every big game, causing the steel and concrete to shake and sway to the unified chants of the spectators. Don’t be surprised if trash fires pop up in the middle of the stands while world-class soccer takes place on the field. The energy in the air is so overwhelming that you’ll be jumping and hugging with total strangers when FC Barcelona puts one in the net.

 

Chupitos

There’s nothing quite like the ecstatic high of a sports victory witnessed in person…except for taking shots of god-knows-what while wearing an army helmet as the bartender whistles at you to finish. That’s just the sort of thing you can expect at Chupitos, which specializes in shots accompanied by ridiculous props and performances that makes the joint one of the wildest bars in Barcelona. Hundreds of options with no translation or description are available for your choosing on the long blackboard behind the bar. Grab your friends and play a little bit of Spanish roulette with the random options. You can’t lose.

 

Opium Mar

It may be the middle of the night, but the city’s finest are heading back to the beach, replacing their bikinis and shorts with mini-dresses and collars for the trendy beachfront venue of Opium Mar. The sleek multi-leveled cavern is one of the best clubs in Barcelona, providing a decadent playground for trendy locals and international jetsetters, with plenty of VIP areas for anyone trying to drop some extra cash. You can start by enjoying the warm night on the terrace outside, but the bumping dance floor inside is where the real action goes down. With some of the best DJs in the world, an abundance of beautiful people, and state-of-the-art lightshows, Opium Mar will be a crazier party on the sand than any bonfire you’ve ever been to.

Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth - a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: clubs in Paris, pubs in London, beaches in Ibiza, plazas in Rome, parks in New York, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more.



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