As Spain's second largest city, Barcelona has everything you could want from a city break with the added bonus of great beaches and gorgeous weather. When you’ve had your fill of finger-licking tapas and lazy beach siestas, there’s a party scene that’ll see you through to sunrise the next day.
You can get return flights to Barcelona El Prat airport for as little as £100 and flight time from the UK is around two hours. With plenty of budget airlines servicing the route, seeking out a bargain is not a problem.
What makes Barcelona ideal is that it’s a year-round destination in terms of weather. It’s generally advisable to avoid August, if possible, as this is when it’s the most touristy and crowded. June and September are the best times (in terms of temperature) to visit if you want to be able to enjoy the beaches.
As to be expected from a long-serving stag do destination, the accommodation is fairly varied from high-end and mid-range to budget. Hostel accommodation ranges from £8 to £15 per person a night, while budget hotels start from £40 a night. If you’re looking for something a bit more comfortable around the city centre area, you can expect prices from around £100 per night.
If you’re looking for some serious physical activity, then beach volleyball and a whole catalogue of watersports await you at the sea front. Or for something a little bit lazier organize a yatch charter to experience Barcelona the five-star way. Footie fans should get the football tour around Barcelona FC Stadium or, even better, go and see a match. Other standard stag activities such as go karting, paintballing and the must-do beer bike are all at your disposal in Barcelona.
Most restaurants open for dinner at 8pm at the earliest. So you can get ready, have your dinner and head straight for a night out on the tiles. To make your stay even more convenient, many of the clubbing areas are populated with a decent choice of cafes and restaurants. Buzzing touristy areas such as Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter are good for a range of Mediterranean, Italian and Spanish restaurants.
Barceloneta is popular restaurant area with locals, where you can try fish based dishes, such as Paella. While Plaça Catalunya has a good selection of restaurants serving excellent tapas. For budget eating you may choose ‘menu del dia’ in small bars on the Avinguda del Parallel for €9-€11 per person.
Drink & Party
Thanks to those midday siestas Barcelona is a town built for those who want to enjoy a thriving nightlife. Most bars stay open until 2am-3am and most clubs until 5am-6am. Barcelona's busiest boulevard, Las Ramblas has plenty of bars and clubs, such as the Boadas cocktail bar, the Kiosk La Cazalla, Sports Bar Rambles and Boulevard Club to name but a few.
The Gothic Quarter is home to some of the more authentic local venues, such as Milk Bar, Sugar and Nevermind, as well as a good selection of Irish and British pubs. For a more upmarket experience, head for Port Olimpic. Here a string of plush lounge bars, such as CDLC, Shoko and Sotavento attract a cosmopolitan crowd. Most places here close at 3am but, thankfully, Opium Mar and Catwalk keep going until 6am.
Finally, when you’re merry enough to lose all appreciation for fancy venues, Moll Mestral on the harbour offers a row of free entry bars and clubs. As you would imagine, Moll Mestral tends to attract a younger, less sophisticated clientele and is generally not for the faint-hearted.
You may have heard rumours about petty theft being a pretty major issue around Barcelona city. The plain truth is, people aren’t exaggerating when they say it's the pick pocketing capital of Europe, so keep your wits about you in crowded public places.