Being one of the most liberal cities in Europe, Barcelona actually has a vibrant gay scene and many bars, hotels and restaurants that are gay-centric and gay-friendly. You can check into a hotel, hostel or apartment that is either gay-exclusive or open and friendly. In gay Barcelona, you’ll find your agenda full from sun-up to sundown.
Where to Stay
The most popular gay hotel in Barcelona is most probably the Hotel Axel on Calle Aribau. Found in the centre of L’Eixample, the Hotel Axel is an utterly gorgeous restored 16th century hotel with each room individually designed. Asides from a spa and a gym, it has its very own Turkish bath.
If exclusivity is what you’re looking for Beauty and the Beach Bed and Breakfast is a men only B&B just a short train ride from town. It has spacious rooms and pretty terraces with spectacular views and the breakfast is to die for.
You weren’t able to make a reservation? Not to worry. There are many flats for rent with open and liberal landladies. GoGay Barcelona is an agency that will help you look for apartments either for short vacations or for longer leases.
Where to Go
One of the highlights of Gay Barcelona is its very own nearby gay beach resort in the town of Sitges. There are a fair share of straights who come to Sitges although this doesn’t keep the swimwear from getting skimpier and skimpier. If you like a full tan it’s not hard to find a nudist beach in the area where you can sun yourself in all your glory. The famous Gay Carnival in Sitges is held every February but you must book accommodations in advance as the place is always fully packed during this time.
Where to Eat
The best thing about gay restaurants are that the décor and the food are bound to be fabulous. Dine in luscious interiors or gorgeous patios in the sun on meals fit for a queen.Right in the centre of Barcelona is an entire area that is full of these wonderful restaurants and bars. Named L’Eixample (pronounced “Lay Shawmplay”), it is often called GayXample for its utter fabulousness. While most of Barcelona’s gay bars and restaurants are found here it’s not an exclusive gay area and most straights who come here do so to have fun.
Restaurants in GayXample that you should visit include Eterna, Sazzerak, Tafina and Iurantia, which is known as a great pizzeria. Tafina and Sazzerak offer live jazz over meals as well as Nao Colón and Little Italy both in the Born district. If you want live drag shows with dinner you should visit Miranda, Divine and La Diva.
Where to Party
Fenix has an underwear party every Thursdays so come in your most expensive pair. Other well known bars include Dietrich, which has even more live drag shows and acrobats, Punto BCN, which offers chillout music early evening and gets hotter as the night deepens and the must-see bar in Barcelona, Zeltas.
Aside from the highly popular Arena VIP other gay discos in Barcelona include Salvation, Madame, Metro Disco and the other Arena discos Arena Dandy and Arena Classic. Some of these discos are open only on certain days of the week although others are open every night. Space Ibiza, which recreates the Ibiza experience, is open every night in the summer season.
Where to Continue Partying
This is the norm in Barcelona: after partying hard in a bar the next item on your schedule is not back to the hotel for some zzz’s but off to another bar for more fun, fun, fun. It sounds crazy but this is Barcelona! You could go to Cyber Loca for more live shows or to any of the still open cafes and bars. Wind down Merci, which offers soothing chillout music to cool down to after all that partying, or in Balmes 88, featuring the best breakfast bar in the city.
With so many gay-friendly places to come to it’s no wonder Barcelona is a city that reverberates with excitement. Spending your next vacation in Gay Barcelona may be a wonderful first and definitely not your last.