clubs: razzmatazz

Get rowdy. Get lost. Get home in a taxi.

If you have no problem with those things above, Razzmatazz is probably the best club in Barcelona.

I think I read somewhere that it has a capacity of 72 million people, but I’m pretty sure its more like 74 million give or take the odd half milly. Okay so its not that big, but it is big. Barcelona’s answer to Fabric, apart from here all the pill heads are in one room.

I think every room is Electronic music of some kind apart from the main room in the front, here they play all the songs you hate to love Kings of Leon, MGMT, et al. Sometimes in the main room they have decent live concerts like The Foals, but most of the time its just shit Italian musicians singing about girls named Gloria and pepperoni. This is also the room where you can expect to lose half your crew.

Otherwise head up to ‘The Loft’. Here you can find some serious electronic action and maybe some casual endorphin releasing. Boys Noize, Crookers, MSTRKRFT, and Tiga have all graced the loft’s decks in the past months.

Then there is ‘Lolita’ a room that usually has banging DJ’s and a few people at the front dancing like they haven’t got a choice, sometimes I’m one of those people.

I don’t really frequent the other two rooms, so I’ll just pretend they don’t exist.

This place will cost you 15 of your finest euros for entry and make sure you don’t throw that receipt away. That piece of paper is a drink right there and I recommend taking a vodka redbull, you’ll need the energy.

I think you can get a ticket during the day from FNAC in Plaza Catalunya for 12 euros if the pennies are tight.

stuff: mercado del encants

Hands up?

Hands down. This is Barcelona’s best flea market. No dispute. If you are looking for a bag with a broken zip or vintage Penthouse magazines for your grandfather, look no further.

I usually start off with some churros or buñuelos de something or other, covered in sugar. Don’t forget the sugar. You will need the carbs. These treats can be picked up from the churros hut at the back of the market. And are very much worth it.

Then move yourself into the central market area, by all means browse and barter, but conserve some energy. Perhaps the sun is beating down on your neck? Why not buy a cap? Perhaps it is raining? Why not buy an umbrella. Make your way back towards the entrance, towards the holy grail. Two euro man.

Two euro man is a good man. A fair man.

Search through his mounds of clothes, his piles of bags, spend every last drop of energy looking for a special bargain. If you can only find one shoe, he will locate its partner. Everything is two euros, three pieces for five euros. He is a good man, a fair man. I have to thank my sister and her friend for forcing me to go through this the first time, it has now become a weekly must.

Leave the market tired and dizzy, questioning whether you really needed to buy those three suitcases that will surely fall apart as soon as you put anything inside them. But don’t question too much.

clubs: apollo

Nasty Mondays

Apollo nightclub sits nestled behind the actual Apollo theatre. The nearest Metro is Parra.lel and plenty of buses stop around the neighbourhood. Don’t let the abundance of prostitutes and crack-heads stumbling around the area put you off, there are a few nice little bars around for some pre-disco drinks. Then around 1am-ish you will to head in. Sometimes the queue can be a bit long off, but at least that means there are people inside.

If you read the original charcelona blog, you may well remember me talking about a band called The Fuck, well this is the club I was at when I saw them, spitting on each other. Even though that review was a bit of a scathing one, this place is actually fun.

Go on Monday. That’s the best night, you might meet people who say the best night is on Tuesday, but they are wrong. On Monday there is a pair of DJ’s playing all through the night and they like to have a laugh. They’re decked out with some weird shit, lightsabers and I’m pretty sure I remember a plastic Zebra.

Expect to see plenty of girls whose heads are shoved so far up their own arses that they have shit stains on their necks. It doesn’t matter much anyway, the music is so loud that you can’t exactly make conversation. It’s very much an alternative vibe, you will see a vast amount of tattoos, and people pierced up to the nines. As well as all them vice magazine wannabes. There are nice people too, I promise.

Shit goes down until about half five in the am. Then its off to the beach to watch the sunrise.

restaurants: la paradetta

If you like seafood, well done.

If you like fresh seafood then you will like ‘La Paradeta’, that shit is about as fresh as dipping your head in the ocean and biting a fish.

Once you get past the queue and through the door the fun starts. In front of you is all this raw seafood, everything from calamares all the way up to crabs and tuna steak, all clearly priced. Pick out what you want and they will weigh it up in front of you, then send it to the kitchen. Now you can go choose your drinks, pay for your food and sit down.

They will call your number on a loud speaker and I think you go and fetch it or they bring it to you, usually you’ve drank enough wine by this point not to tell the difference anyway.

Some of the food comes out bread-crumbed and fried, some comes out grilled, but its all how you imagine, ain’t no deep fried lobster here. So don’t bother making a dick out of yourselves and trying to ask how something is cooked using sign language.

Now everytime I’ve gone to get my stomach filled, I’ve rolled in there with a crew of at least ten and we haven’t paid over 15 euros each. I would recommend going with less people though, because the table wait for sixteen people is long off.

Drinks wise just get that seven euro bottle of white wine, that will do no problems, I bought a beer once and everyone looked at me like I had a swastika tattooed on my arm or somethings.

bars: cosmo

The first time I went to this dank little bar called Cosmo they didn’t have a sign with their name on it, all they had was a black paint job. Even though they now have a sign and a couple more bottles on their shelves, they are pretty much still the same place. Their bar still looks like its made out of cardboard. Three euro mojitos, simply put, you cannot deny yourself.

Marco and I stumbled upon this little gem one night, back before we could understand each others Spanish. A little bit of rum based cocktailing quickly established that having a language in common is not always necessary for having fun. We caught a bus home swaying and pointing at things making abstract sounds.

The staff are all Indian or something like that, so you know they speak English better than they speak Spanish anyway. They serve the drinks in plastic cups, so you can have a mojito on the move if you are in a bit of a hurry or if you are a bit of an alcoholic…

The clientele is pretty mixed, plenty of Americans, plenty of hot European girls. Plenty of dickheads.

Its located on Nou de la Rambla, a street which will lead you into seedy Raval. The street also houses a couple of other bars worth a visit, but lets not try and remember names.

Following the street all the way away from the centre, will take you into Poble Nou, and pretty much to the front door of the Apollo Club.

restaurants: morryssoms

When this restaurant is shut it looks a bit like a closed down newsagents or something, but when its open it doesn’t. You won’t find any dusty copies of Smash Hits up in this bitch, just good food.

Its always busy. Everytime I have ever walked past I have never seen any free tables outside, never. Okay so there is only like 4 or 5 tables outside, but still that is good isn’t it?

I only ever went once to this restaurant, but out of all the tapas I tried in the city, this place was my favourite. It feels geniune, most of the people in there are Spanish and the Sangria comes in a cool clay jug.

Its located in Verdaguer, which is just below Gracia on a map. This means after dinner you can walk up and go and drink in one of Gracia’s lovely plazas. Also its within walking distance to Sagrada Familia, which is good to see at night, it’s about a ten minute walk.

Food wise. That shit is fresh and tasty. Even if they might forget the odd plate, they won’t make you wait around for ages. We ordered some green pepper things that I had never seen before. If you are looking for fried calamares, like the little ones, they are called pulpos de something or other, calamares in these joint means big fucking tasty breaded ones. I was definitely full. Get some patatas bravas aswell.

Play footsy with the person opposite you, even if its your dad. He’ll understand.

Basic Spanish is a must. They might have menus translated not so well into English, but their waiters won’t understand anything you are saying. On second thought he didn’t understand any of my Spanish either, maybe he was just deaf.

We were three and paid like around 15 Euros a head with a jug of sange. Then we all hugged after our food had digested.

neighborhoods: raval

You know how everyone thinks its cool to live in the grimiest neighbourhood in town? Barcelona’s version has to be El Raval. Back in the day, all the sailors used to come here and fornicate with prostitutes, then it was known as ‘Barrio Chino’ (Chinatown). Whilst the whores remain, the sailors have gone and been replaced with the cool kids.

If you want to find a corner store selling beer at 4am, your best chances are in El Raval. If you want to get robbed, your best chances are in El Raval. If you want to have a memorable night, your best chances are in El Raval.

Raval is home to MACBA, a Modern Art Musuem, but most people just go there to skate or to watch people skate.

‘Carrer Nou de la Rambla’ runs from ‘La Rambla’ to Paral.lel, a street that is home to a few cool bars. My favorite is Cosmo, they will mix you a mojito for 3 euros. Then you also have Pepino’s, which is home to all your standard Vice Magazine wannabes, which also means hot girls.

Rambla del Raval has a couple of chilled bars with terraces where you can grab yourself a (fairly) cheap beer and sit outside.

You also have ‘Carrer de la Riera Baixa’ and ‘Carrer dels Tallers’. Here you can find yourself some heavily overpriced vintage and retro clothes. Beyond the high prices, generally the people running the shops are easy to talk to and won’t hassle you to buy, buy, buy.