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, C/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.

Zelig Barcelona is a laid-back, gay-friendly pub with a bohemian vibe serving pasta and light bites, as well as cocktails and beer. It's a mixed gay/straight atmosphere located in one of the most authentic areas of the city, in the heart of Raval district. Zelig welcomes a mixture of both locals and customers from all over the world. It's all served up with the current hits and past decades music.


After the food comes the action. Berlin Dark in Passatge 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.

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.

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, 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.

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 vibethat 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
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 has dance music with multi-lingual staff and outdoor seating throughout the year. 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!

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 Sala Classic for cheese, pop and retro next door. The "Arena" brand may technically extend to the Arena Sala Dandy with its doubtless fine house, garage and trance - but you'll find more straight than gay in here 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 limitlessly 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. Easyjet fly from London, Bristol and Newcastle. We have a great selection of hotels in Barcelona at special online rates through our partners Bookings.


Arena Sala Classic (C/Diputació 233; T: +34 93 487 8342;Website; facebook)
Aire Sala Diana (C/. Diputació 233; T: +34 93 451 5812; Website)
Arena Sala Dandy (Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 593; T: +34 93 487 8342)
Bacon Bear Bar (C/. Casanova 64)
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 Prunera 18; T: +34 63 577 3955; Website)
Boys Bar (C/. Diputació 174; T: +34 65 168 0643; Website)
Candy Darling (Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 586; Website)
DMEN'S Gay Bar (C. 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 (C/. Villarroel 86; Website)
Gingin Gay Bar (Carrer d'Aribau, 40; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Hostel Medea (C/Mallorca 290; T: +34 93 459 2366; Website)
La Casa de la Pradera (Carrer de les Carretes, 57; T: +34 625 23 27 55; facebook)
La Chapelle (C/. 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 (C/. Sepulveda 178; Website)
Night (C/. Diputació 161; T: +34 93 503 1701; Website)
Open Mind (C/. Aragon 130; T: +34 93 451 0479; Website)
Pink Corner BCN (Carrer de Balmes, 52; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Plata Bar (C/. Consell de Cent 233; T: +34 93 452 4636; Website)
Pride Barcelona (Website)
Priscilla Cafe (C. del Consell de Cent, 273; T: +34 679 11 51 05; Website)
Punto Barcelona (C/. Muntaner 63; T: +34 93 453 6123; Website)
Sauna Casanova (C/Casanova 57; T: +34 93 323 7860; Website)
Sauna Condal (C/Espolsa Sacs 1; T: +34 93 301 9680; Website)
Sky Bar by Axel (C/. Aribau 33; T: +34 93 323 9393; Website; Instagram)
The Basement Club (C/ de Lluís el Piadós, 4; T: +34 660 55 08 98)
The Black Room (Rambla de Catalunya, 4; facebook)
Xman Fetish Private Club (Carrer de Calàbria, 91; T: +34 638 28 30 80; Website)
Zelig Barcelona (Carrer del Carme, 116; Website)

Revised August 2022.


search | site info | site map | new this week | outuk shop | home | outgoing | more



  UK gay lads | Gay news UK | Gay travel and holidays UK | UK & London gay scene

OutUK features the latest gay news, advice, entertainment and information together with gay guides to cities and holiday destinations around the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. There are hundreds of galleries of photos and videos of the sexiest gay guys plus intimate personal profiles of thousands of gay lads from all around the UK.