Gay Guide to Barcelona

Best LGBTQ+ places to visit

Cédric Olive

With its vibrant nightlife, fascinating cultural heritage, sandy beaches and cosmopolitan atmosphere, it's no wonder that Barcelona has established itself as one of the most fun cities in Europe, and that it is also considered an iconic LGBTQ+ destination.

Whether you're looking for the hippest rooftops, the friendliest beaches, the best bars, clubs and hotels in the city, or want to know everything about the LGBTQ+ festivities celebrated throughout the year, our gay guide to barcelona will take you on a journey to discover the best gay spots in the Catalan capital, for a rainbow-tinted holiday!

Best gay beaches in Barcelona

La Rambla ? Check. The Gothic Quarter ? Check. The Sagrada Familia ? Check. It's time to get down to business... Your Barcelona holiday will really only start when your toes touch the warm sand of Barcelona's gay beach!

Located only a few blocks from the city centre, the festive atmosphere of Mar Bella is in full swing... Frequented by tourists and locals alike, you'll discover a half-kilometre beach of golden sand, where you can sunbathe and wade in the water.

You’ll have to wear a swimming costume on the large section of the beach at Mar Bella, but there’s also a naturist area on the right of the beach bar if you prefer sunbathing and swimming in your birthday suit!

Finally, if you're not in the mood to carry a cooler full of drinks, the aptly named Chiringuito BeGay sits proudly in the middle of the beach, and acts as a meeting point. At this beach bar, you can eat, sip delicious cocktails and lounge on a deckchair while enjoying the sound of pop and electro music.

Want some more?

Go to the Chernobyl beach in San Adrián de Besós (15 minutes by train from the city center), the gay naturist beach of San Pol de Mar (1 hour by train), or head to Sitges (50 min. by train) to lounge on the Balmins beach and the Dead Man beach.

Where to stay in Barcelona: the best gay and gay-friendly hotels

To (re)discover and enjoy the LGBTQ+ scene in the Catalan capital, we recommend a stopover in Eixample, Barcelona's gay neighborhood, nicknamed ‘Gayxample’. It has become a hub for the Spanish and international gay community, with the best gay bars, clubs and saunas in Barcelona. But the district also offers a wide range of gay and gay-friendly hotels, here are our favorites...

A true temple of Barcelona's gay life, Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa is the place to go for a unique experience, thanks to its hip and cosmopolitan atmosphere. In addition to its tasty restaurant and cosy spa, this 4* hotel (adults only) offers a rooftop with a pool (always very well attended), as well as a festive Sky Bar, from which you can watch over the city. Remember to book in advance because the hotel is very popular all year round!

Too late to book? No problem, Two Hotel Barcelona By Axel, a newcomer from the same group, is located just a few blocks away. It also has a rooftop terrace with a pool, so the atmosphere is just as enjoyable. You'll love the contemporary decor with pop accents, as well as the gym, where you can blow off steam before a caliente evening.

Offering excellent value for money, Hotel Soho is a great alternative in the neighbourhood. Though the size of the rooms may generally be slightly more compact, the refined setting, the comfort, the massage service, as well as free access to a gym in the neighbourhood will be more than enough to make up for it. To take in the view, head to the spectacular terrace on the 8th floor, where you can enjoy Barcelona's skyline from the pool or solarium.

Want some more?

To stay in the heart of Barcelona's gay district and enjoy a rooftop with a pool, the Olivia Balmes, The Corner Hotel, H10 Art Gallery and Sunotel Club Central all fit the bill. If you want to stay close to Barcelona's gay beach, the Melia Barcelona Sky is the best option.

Where to go out in Barcelona: the best LGBTQ+ restaurants, bars and parties

When the evening comes, you'll discover a new facet of Barcelona's gay district. Want to party? Our guide will show you the way! Let us share all the best places to dine, drink and dance the night away...

Gay restaurants in Barcelona

Want to treat yourself to a high-flying dinner? We recommend the Peruvian-Japanese restaurant Nikkei 103, located in the Axel Hotel. To enjoy delicious traditional tapas, you can visit the gay-friendly terrace of Casa Jaime. The Belladona restaurant offers tasty (and affordable) Mexican specialties and tapas, to be enjoyed with one of the house's signature cocktails. Finally, the lively atmosphere of D'Divine is sure to seduce you. Although the menu is quite simple, the colourful drag show promises a memorable experience.

Gay bars in Barcelona

It's good to know that in Barcelona, as in the rest of Spain, the bars fill up relatively late... But in the Gayxample neighbourhood, you won't be bored for a minute. Most of the bars are located within walking distance of each other. Here's a quick tour of the best ones!

You can start the evening by admiring the breathtaking view from the trendy Sky Bar (located on the 7th floor of the Axel Hotel) before heading to Punto BCN, which is often full to bursting. Want to discover bars with unique decor? Priscilla Café will plunge you into a colourful and glittery universe, Elvira Café will transport you to a gothic and glamorous atmosphere, while Madonna fans will be won over by Blond Ambition.

If you want to dance to the pop hits of the moment, go to Boys Bar BCN: the music, gogo dancers and the irresistible cocktails are really worth the trip. Or try El Cangrejo, a meeting place for locals. If you're a fan of “bear dens”, Bacon Bear Bar and Honey Furry Bar should satisfy you. Finally, for a sultry atmosphere, NightBarcelona should definitely be added to your list, while Berlin Dark and OpenMind will be the boldest options...

Clubs and gay parties in Barcelona

If at around 2 or 3 am, the irresistible urge to dance until dawn hits you, you’re in the right city! Barcelona is full of unforgettable party nights!

To let off steam on the dancefloor, the Arena group offers a range of eclectic clubs: Arena Classic, located in the Eixample, is the best gay club in Barcelona for fans of pop music, while Arena Aire Chicas is the emblematic meeting place of Barcelona's lesbian scene. Also in Gayxample, BELIEVE Club sets the neighborhood on fire with its drag shows during the week, while on weekends, DJs are on the decks to make it one of the liveliest gay nightclubs in the city.

But Barcelona is also home to many LGBTQ+ parties hosted by the city's best clubs... With its Bananas Party every Friday, and Yass! every Saturday, the Safari Disco Club promises wild nights, just a few steps from Plaça Espanya. The PopAir Party, which is held in the same club once a month, invites you to let loose with the best sounds in a fun and crazy atmosphere.

One Sunday per month, the Apollo club resounds to the sound of pop music during Churros Con Chocolate, a night that has become iconic, where extravagance is the name of the game. Every Sunday, The Black Room invites you to the sexiest party in Barcelona... The house music and the sweaty atmosphere will make you want to take your shirt off within a few minutes! Finally, for a girls' night out, Nenis is a lesbian party that brings together those who like to dance all night, to the hits of yesterday and today.

Want some more?

La Federica, located in the hipster neighbourhood of Poble Sec, has become a real institution thanks to its friendly and festive atmosphere. Take advantage of tasting pinchos (small tapas of Basque origin) while you’re in the area at one of the many restaurants of Carrer de Blai, you won't regret it!

Gay Pride and LGBTQ+ festivities in Barcelona

Gay pride of Barcelona

Every June, rainbow flags invade the Catalan capital for BCN Pride. For almost two weeks, the city is filled with festivities, concerts, cultural activities, sports events, parties and conferences celebrating diversity and activism.

The highlight of Barcelona's Gay Pride, the Pride March, brings 100,000 people together from all over Spain and beyond. Everyone is ready to face the blazing Catalan sun, make their voices heard, show their solidarity and dance to the rhythm of pop, disco and electro music. The Pride March ends with a giant open-air concert where Spanish and international artists electrify the crowd until late!

Circuit Festival

With 70,000 clubbers from all over the world, Circuit Festival Barcelona has become the biggest gay festival in Europe. Boasting one of the most cutting-edge line-ups in the European electro scene, internationally renowned DJs and guests follow one another on the different stages for 9 days of wild parties. The opening and closing parties, the pool parties and the Waterpark (with 14,000 revellers making it the biggest gay waterpark in the world) are the most popular events of the festival, so it's advisable to get a ticket as soon as possible.

FIRE!! (LGBT Film Festival)

Created in 1995, FIRE!! is the first LGBT film festival in Spain. Every June, the festival takes place for ten days at the French Institute of Barcelona, to show a selection of feature films, shorts and documentaries aimed at promoting diversity in the broadest sense. The program also features testimonies and roundtables addressing the issues of the LGBTQIA+ community in the film industry. Can't make it? All the films are also broadcast online, on the filmin platform.

Panteresports LGBTI+ sports tournament

Organised by the LGBTI+ sports association Panteres Grogues, the Panteresports multi-sports tournament invites the LGBT community to participate in a totally inclusive sports competition. Over the course of three days, participants can get their blood racing and hearts pumping trying their hand at a range of sports. From tennis to rugby, rowing to beach volleyball, everyone can take part in their favourite sport in a friendly atmosphere.

Want some more?

Located less than an hour by train from Barcelona, Sitges also has a number of gay festivities: the gay-friendly carnival in February (which attracts nearly 300,000 people), the gay pride parade in June which transforms the resort into an LGBTQ+ paradise, and Bear Week in September.

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