Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, Spain’s most north-eastern region. The city is a mecca for fiesta, and with just under 8 million visitors a year it boasts the title of third most visited city in all of Europe. The runways of the El Prat airport, as well as the slightly further Reus and Girona airports, can be reached in 2 hours from London. Budget airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet have hundreds of flights both to and from these airports every single weekend, and with enough luck and planning these can often be booked for around €100 return (Approx. £80).
Most visitors to Barcelona start off their stay atop the famous strip known as Las Ramblas. This stretching pedestrian causeway leads you from Plaça Catalunya, the border between the old and new city, right down to the city’s monster yacht parking lot, or as it is officially known Port Vell. Despite its notoriety Las Ramblas is an area for stags to avoid like the plague! Flooded with overpriced pubs, sneaky pickpockets, and currency exchange shops, that like the thieves prey on the thousands of tourists, this is an area that serves no use to the lads, day or night.
|A sunny beach in Barcelona|
A block to the right, a block to the left, and you can literally see the city change before your eyes. From the trendy cocktail bars and tiny tapas hangouts of the El Born community, to the 300 year old absinthe bars, and scruffy taverns of the Raval neighbourhood, Barcelona has flavours for every taste bud. Rather than losing yourselves amidst the 3,000+ bars in this city it can be a smart idea to hire a rep, a local expert, who will guide you throughout your vacation. These reps not only show you the best bars and pubs in the city, but if they are worth their salt, they should be able to get you some freebies, including VIP entrances, and drinks. Companies such as Pissup Tours offer reps who are on call 24/7 throughout your stay. Best of all their consultation prior to booking is free, so they can save some major time and stress when planning a stag do Barcelona.
The heart and soul of this city’s proud Catalan inhabitants, lies within the walls of the Camp Nou stadium, home to the infamous FC Barcelona, Spain’s most credited football club. With nearly 40 games a season, a stag do planned around their schedule is bound to be a sure-fire success. Tours of the stadium, including the dressing rooms, and museum, are also available seven days a week, excluding game days. Book these tickets in advance, as both of these activities are extremely popular!
Far outside the stadium walls lie the sun-soaked beaches of Port Olimpic. Created for the city’s 1992 Olympic Games, these man-made beaches are just a stone’s throw from the city centre. The golden sand lines the outskirts of the Barceloneta community, home to the city’s best sangria and seafood. It is here you can spend your days sweating out the previous night’s sins, and washing it all away with a dip in the temperate waters of the Mediterranean. Beers and sangria at the various chirunguitos (beach bars) are a great start to an afternoon in Barcelona, although the food at these same bars should be avoided. A bike tour between these bars speeds up the drinking, and a public catamaran party along the coast is a great way to transition yourselves into the city’s decadent nightlife.
|Beer by the Sea in Barcelona|
The nightlife in Barcelona starts late, very late. It is not uncommon to enter one of the many beachside clubs of the Port Olimpic before 1:00 AM, to find you are the only patrons on the dance floor. Entrance to these clubs is between €15 and €20, although as mentioned previously, reps should be able to wipe this charge and send you in for free. Starting late means ending late too, most clubs along the water will not kick you out until 6:00 AM. Stumbling out of the club you will be greeted by a long line of taxis, this is your best transport option in the city. They are highly regulated, and very honest in what they charge. A taxi ride home also saves you from the prowling thieves who look specifically for tipsy foreigners with loose pockets.
Barcelona is a world class city with its own individuality, and there is a reason it continues to be one of the most popular destinations for that last weekend of freedom! Pack up your bags (don’t forget the sunscreen) and come discover for yourself!