You know, that place near Sitges: OutUK's Adrian Gillan visits the Catalan capital of camp and cool. But is Barcelona still one of the hottest, hippest gay places in Europe?

Though truly steeped in history and conflict and fiercely protective of its Catalan language and identity, much of Barcelona is in fact a modern, post Olympic Games style construct.

Nowhere is this truer than in the queer quarter - just behind the chaotic Old Town bordering the Med - in part of the ordered nineteenth century Eixample road grid system the locals call "Gaixample".

Here the gay bars quite literally cluster around the blocks. Huge, noisy and welcoming Punto is one of the few venues to open its doors as early as 6pm in a late Latin culture where you eat at 10pm, hit bars at midnight and rarely reach a club before 3am.

As ever, we poor English boys mostly need to take a "club kip" 5pm-9pm if we want to last the course. That gives you time to wake up, doll up and find that restaurant base camp. This city does not go to bed early, so be prepared to party and enjoy!

A stunning view of Barcelona as seen through the towers of La Sagrada Familia the still unfinished church designed by Barcelona architect Gaudi.
Photo: Rob Hilken courtesy Spain Photos


I'm convinced that gay eateries are actually one of the best reasons to visit Barcelona. There are quite a few of them, all different, and mostly excelling in food, service and ambience. They often have a good priced set menu where you can pick up an interesting meal including bread, wine, coffee and service.

Some of our favourites include El Bierzo A Tope, which has great local cuisine, some outdoor seating and friendly service.

Bit by bit, Carrer de Carretas has grown into a local bubble with a personality all its own. This street and its charming variety of people and personalities are complemented by La Casa de la Pradera, a friendly and relaxed gay bar with an outdoor terrace. Along with good beer and a free tapas with every drink, the place adds a hearty dose of freshness and queer enthusiasm to an already vibrant neighbourhood.


After the food comes the action. Berlin Dark in Passatge de Prunera has a strict dress code. It's a bar club aimed at a hard and fetish clientele, with slings, bath, dungeon, BDSM, shower and anal shower with toys, condoms and lube for free.
Boys Bar was the former Le Privilege Barcelona with a darkroom attracting a gay crowd and The Basement Club is a sex club on 2 floors, with plenty of different play spaces to suit all interests. You can leave your clothes in a locker at reception and then have a good time watching all the action, or by joining in. There's normally a good mix of men, 30's to 50's, eagerly at play.
Barcelona LGBT Monument
BoBink, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Xman Private Club is run by an Association so everyone who goes there has to become a member. XMAN is a 100% Fetish Club with a very strict Dress Code. To enter you must have appropriate clothing (Leather, Military, Rubber, Skin, Sportwear, Jockstrap or Nude). If your clothes do not correspond to the club code of that night, you can change clothes, go naked or leave the Club. You must always wear boots or sneakers, no bare feet or flip flops.

Night is a men's club, that's beginning to become popular having been around for some time. It's a bar for men only, with a cruising crowd and no dress code, but with a darkroom, cabins and glory holes. It's located in the heart of the Gaixample, the gay district of Barcelona.

Open Mind was the first private men-only sex club to open in Spain. The club spreads over two floors, where you will find slings, piss and fist zones, bondage area, glory holes, cabins, shoe polishing and barber chairs, crosses, a cage and much more. There's a bar on the ground floor and lockers at reception where you can pick up free condoms, lube, paper towels and gloves. You have to stick to the dress code of the club - accepted are sport, leather, rubber, military or camouflage clothing, uniforms, and skin look. Alternatively, you can go naked or in your underwear.


Barcelona has always been a city with an open heart and respect for diversity. PRIDE Barcelona is an event for everyone, where people can be heard and become visible, celebrate and make a stand. Their annual event in June is one of the biggest the world with more than 250,000 people taking part. As well as a Pride Parade there are concerts, social and cultural activities, talks, movies and exhibitions.

Gay Pride Barcelona from Barcelona, Spain
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


If you don't really feel like hitting the town too hard and rather fancy sipping away the small hours with a lover or friend, then you might like to settle into one of the intimate style bars for the night. It's here where Barcelona again really comes into its own.

Candy Darling in the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes is named for the iconic American actress and transsexual from Andy Warhol’s Factory. They offer some food - do try their toasty ‘bikini darling’ or just chill on a plush sofa and enjoy a drag show, circus act or burlesque performance. In the Wild Room they offer the queer disco of your dreams where you can dance all night. There's also some wonderful art on the walls.

Bar Olimpic is a 2-min walk from the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and offers a whirlwind of bohemians, hipsters, Raval revellers (Raval being an historical neighborhood that borders La Rambla), drunken university students and broke lovebirds. It's one of the best known bars of the Barcelona LGBTQI+ scene as it is a bar with an old soul but a young spirit.

If you are up for meeting some bears and some older chaps then you can be sure to at a bar called Bacon Bear Bar. It is exactly as it says, with a happy hour on Thursdays from 7pm until 10pm. Plata Bar is worth a visit too with dance music, multi-lingual staff and outdoor seating throughout the year.

La Federica is a laid-back LGBTQ bar offering cocktails and tapas, with music and regular exhibitions by local artists. It has a welcoming and friendly vibe that is cool and kind of edgy. The well dressed drags are very friendly and funny.

Moeem Barcelona in the heart of Barcelona's Eixample is an upbeat gay bar with DJs playing pop and reggaeton - a style of music originally from Puerto Rico influenced by Reggae, Hip Hop, Dancehall, Bomba and Plena. They have comfy lounge sofas in the bar area and a long list of gin drinks!

Gay Pride Barcelona from Barcelona, Spain
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Black Room offer a vibrant Sunday night gay dance and cruise event with DJs, lighting effects, a dark room and a terrace. They have hot go go dancers and good music. The line gets long outside very quicky. We would recommend getting there earlier, around 11pm and then waiting for the crowd to build up inside.

DMEN'S Gay Bar is an intimate, neon-lit and energetic gay bar offering cocktails alongside rotating DJs and dancing, drag shows and snacks.

If you want to up the nocturnal tempo there's quite a choice. Aire Sala Diana is a cafe bar and club in one. It has music from the 70's, 80's and 90's and El Cangrejo Eixample has a special party on the first Thursday of the month with a 2for1 before midnight.

La Chapelle is a small popular gay bar and Museum is a music video bar, that on Fridays & Saturdays includes a good range of pop music with a VJ.

Gaudi's Parc Guell was orginally designed as a garden city area in the northern part of Barcelona.
Photo: Rob Hilken courtesy Spain Photos
The Gingin Gay Bar has a reputation for Queer Cocktails and Shots. It's influenced by the legacy of Tintin, the Belgian affable redhead adventurer who's one of the most popular cartoon characters of the last century. Gingin is the bar’s carrot-topped mascot, and gin and tonics flow freely. Take your pick from a formidable list of drinks and enjoy the vibrant, youthful environment.

There are quite a few themed bars in Barcelona, many of them run by the same organisation - the BCN Group. They operate the Gingin Gay Bar, as they do Titanic Barcelona, a Titantic film themed bar in the L'Eixample area. Expect lots of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as Jack and Rose, as this mythical ship resurfaces form the depts of the Ocean. Rather camp with a load of sailors? Well what would you expect? It's a themed gay bar where you can always be yourself.

Blond Ambition is a cute little bar which loves Madonna. Their decor really is a highlight and the music they play ranges from Madonna to other Queens of Pop (Gaga, Britney, Ariana and more), so the vibe is fantastic. The service is top notch, and the crowd is fun as well. It's a little bit more mainstream than some of the other LGBTQ bars available in the area and a little more pricey as well but the usual drinks are available to order.

On the same basis LaCarra BCN is all about joy and shine. It's a tribute bar to one of the greats, the Italian singer, dancer, television presenter, actress and model Raffaella Carrà. For something more spokey there's also the Elvira Cafe, a LGTBIQ+ dark bar with a particular goth/dark decoration that will certainly not leave you feeling indifferent.

The Priscilla Cafe also has Tapas and cocktails on offer and as you'd expect given the flamboyant name. It comes with a kitsch-pop soundtrack in a buzzy, quirkily decorated bar that stages regular and very popular drag shows.

Believe Club Barcelona is a disco club with Drag Queen shows and music to ensure that you enjoy a fabulous night! Pink Corner BCN has a bar and terrace serving drinks, cocktails and snacks to a mainly gay clientele with their best smile, because life is pink!

Bears and their friends are catered for as well with the themed bars. The Honey Furry Bar also in the L'Eixample area, claims to be the most welcoming Bear Bar in Barcelona. You can be relaxed and at home amongst all the bears and their admirers, the odd drag queen and plenty of puppies playing sweetly in the corner.

Teddy Bar just down the road is independently run but offers a similar environment. Couches and chairs, not just bar stools, lounging atmosphere. A fun place to enjoy the night with friends and to make a new ones. Drinks are well served and the bartenders are friendly and sexy. There are plenty of bears as well as lots of daddies and chasers.

Bears at the Festa Major de Gràcia - Photo: Enric
CC BY-SA 4.0 via
Wikimedia Commons
The Moon Tropical is an LGTBI bar that offers friendly service, a nice atmosphere and lots of LATINO music. It's full of students and young crowd. Bar tenders were nice and generous in the alcohol portions as well as being a decorative feature of the bar.


Sky Bar by Axel is a lounge-bar located on the Axel hotel rooftop. You can enjoy your cocktails with spectacular views over the city. It's the place to be during the city’s sweltering summer months. Lounge on chaises, take a dip in the stunning infinity pool and enjoy an exclusive, international atmosphere of a ‘hetero-friendly’ rooftop. Their menu offers modern snacks and a fondue for two. Do check out their events like drag shows, pool parties and concerts.


The truth is the gay club scene in Barcelona isn't a London or a New York. There's a definite dip in the style stakes as you hit the gay floors - but still fun to be had. A slightly older crowd tends to fill the Arena Experience for cheese, pop and retro next door. The "Arena" brand may technically extend to the Safari Disco Club with its doubtless fine house, garage and trance - but you'll find a little more straight in there on any given night.


Beyond the bars and clubs, there's much to get you steaming in Barcelona. Sauna Casanova is the most popular and youthful "men's health" complex, bang in the centre with a brilliant red neon sign behind frosted glass luring in off the streets punters of all ages. Sauna Condal is older in more senses than one and not so hot.
The famous La Rambla boulevard that cuts a swathe through the heart of the old town from the gay district right down to the sea is in truth a little too public for serious gay cruising. Boys in the know rise up the Mont Juïc overlooking the city, to its many gardens and Olympic area. The nearest beaches to the centre of Barcelona are 15 to 25 minutes walk and some of them you can reach by metro train.
Barcelona's beautiful scenery and beaches.
Photo: OutUK
The midday sun can't hide the gays and stays all along the miles of Barceloneta, the unique and amazing inner-city beach. The beaches of Barcelona are a major attraction in the summer. Beach is called 'playa' in Spanish and 'platja' in Catalan. The swimming season is from generally from May to mid-September when the sea water temperature is most comfortable around 20C to 24C degrees.
Barcelona has nine Mediterranean beaches that border the city coastline for 4.5km. All have the EU blue flag of excellence awarded for water quality and services. There are plenty of things to do on the beach besides swim. Windsurfing and kite surfing are popular. You can also enjoy a refreshing drink from one of the many beach huts, or just lie down and soak up the hot Spanish sun with a good book.
Barcelona's beautiful scenery and beaches.
Photo: OutUK


We can recommend the friendly and beautifully laid out gay Hostel Medea in a lovely old corner building less than ten minutes walk from the city's gay heart. Barcelona is a rightly celebrated gay cosmopolitan haven on the edge of the Med, under two hours away via several low-cost carriers. Perhaps time your visit to coincide with the International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival every October; or the annual February Carnival at the famous Sitges resort nearby, just 20 minutes away down coast.


There's a good choice of cheap flight options to Barcelona. BA fly from London, Manchester and Edinburgh. Easyjet fly from London, Bristol and Newcastle. Vueling fly from London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Book the best hotels at the best prices in all OutGoing Destinations including Barcelona.
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Arena Experience (19-21 Ronda St Pere Street; +34 628 770 114; Website)
Bacon Bear Bar (Carrer de Casanova 64; Website)
Bar Olimpic (Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 25; T: +34 931 71 15 25; Pinterest)
Believe Club Barcelona (Carrer de Balmes, 56; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Berlin Dark (Passatge de Prunera 18; T: +34 63 577 3955; Website)
Blond Ambition (Carrer de la Diputació, 203, L'Eixample; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Boys Bar (Carrer de la Diputació 174; T: +34 65 168 0643; Website)
Candy Darling (Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 586; facebook)
DMEN'S Gay Bar (Carrer del Consell de Cent, 257; T: +34 934 87 83 42; Website)
El Bierzo A Tope (Carrer de la Diputació 159; T: +34 93 453 7045; Website)
El Cangrejo Eixample (Carrer de Villarroel 86; Website)
Elvira Cafe (Carrer del Consell de Cent, 275, L'Eixample; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Gingin Gay Bar (Carrer d'Aribau, 40; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Honey Furry Bar (Carrer de Muntaner, 73, L'Eixample; T: +34 679 115 105; Website)
Hostel Medea (Carrer de Mallorca 290; T: +34 93 459 2366)
LaCarra BCN (Carrer de Muntaner, 34, L'Eixample; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
La Casa de la Pradera (Carrer de les Carretes, 57; T: +34 625 23 27 55; Instagram)
La Chapelle (Carrer de Muntaner 67; T: +34 93 453 3076; facebook)
La Federica (Carrer de Salvà, 3; T: +34 936 00 59 01; facebook)
Moeem Barcelona (Carrer de Muntaner, 11; Website)
Museum (Carrer de Sepúlveda 178; Website)
Night (Carrer de la Diputació 161; T: +34 93 503 1701; Website)
Open Mind (Carrer d'Aragon 130; T: +34 93 451 0479; Website)
Pink Corner BCN (Carrer de Balmes, 52; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Plata Bar (Carrer del Consell de Cent 233; T: +34 93 452 4636; Website)
Pride Barcelona (Website)
Priscilla Cafe (Carrer del Consell de Cent, 273; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Punto Barcelona (Carrer de Muntaner 63; T: +34 93 453 6123; facebook)
Safari Disco Club (141 Tarragona Street; +34 628 770 114; Website)
Sauna Casanova (Carrer de Casanova 57; T: +34 93 323 7860; Website)
Sauna Condal (Carrer d'Espolsa-sacs 1; T: +34 93 301 9680; Website)
Sky Bar by Axel (Carrer d'Aribau 33; T: +34 93 323 9393; Website; Instagram)
Teddy Bar (Avenue de Roma, 155, L'Eixample; Instagram)
The Basement Club (Carrer de Lluís el Piadós, 4; T: +34 660 55 08 98)
The Black Room (Rambla de Catalunya, 4; facebook)
The Moon Tropical (Carrer de Villarroel, 60, L'Eixample; T: +34 660 84 98 90; facebook; Website)
Titanic Barcelona (Carrer de Muntaner, 34 Bis, L'Eixample; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Xman Fetish Private Club (Carrer de Calàbria, 91; T: +34 638 28 30 80; Website)

Revised April 2024.


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