BARCELONA, SPAIN. No travel article about Barcelona would be complete without a description of its nightlife and food, which are both quite a treat. Some friends suggested we go to Opium Mar club near the pier, in a neighborhood known as La Barceloneta. When I stepped out of the taxi, I looked to my left to see a line of club entrances along the beach, with stairs leading down below. The only way these nightclubs could be closer to the beach would be if they were built on the sand itself.

At 20 euros for entrance and a single drink, Opium Mar is not cheap, but loud music, bright lights, many bars and dedicated lounge areas make this club completely worth it. I highly recommend Opium Mar if you’re looking for a great night out and a chance to dance the night away. The inside felt like a Halloween celebration, with orange lights and white strobe lights pummeling the otherwise black interior.

The next night we decided to go to the top floor of Hotel W Barcelona, located on the beach. I had seen this hotel from all of Barcelona, and it sparked curiosity in me. On the top floor a deep red light illuminates what appears at first to be a private area, but it is actually free to go up there, where visitors will find a nicely sized club with a great view of the beach and city below. Hotel W Barcelona is a bit less packed and lower-energy than Opium, and going to the top floor will certainly make for a fun story, but do not wear sneakers. The top floor only permits those wearing grey, brown or black dress shoes. I learned this lesson the hard way, when I had to run back to my place to change shoes.

Lastly, a walk along Las Ramblas (pictured above) is necessary. This is the bustling area of Barcelona near the beach with bars, clubs, tapas, street performers and more. My one regret is that I did not make it to the famous IceBarcelona, a bar where the interior and furniture is made of ice. The first ice bar on the beach in the entire world, this hotspot appears inspired by Disney’s Frozen. The website suggests you make reservations in advance, especially if you have a group of five or more people. Entrance is 15 euros, and staff will supply you with a drink, jacket and gloves. Well worth it if you want to party looking like this for a night.

As for the food in Barcelona, I was impressed. Many of Barcelona’s restaurants cater to tourists from all over the world. The service is far better than I have found anywhere else in Spain, there are far more English speakers and the food is not strictly Spanish. In fact, you can find just about any type of food you want, from Mexican to Italian to Chinese. Of course, you can still easily find tapas bars if you’re looking for Spanish cuisine.

Barcelona view

Barcelona view

For a unique eating experience, I suggest paying a euro to take the lift to the top of Las Arenas Shopping Mall. Eating with a view beats just about anything, and the restaurants on the mall roof serve everything from tapas to sushi. If you save your ticket from taking the lift up, you can use it to receive a one euro discount from your meal.

Barcelona is a dream come true for the dedicated partier, a city so nice it could only be founded by Hercules himself. Nowhere in Spain have I found a city with more overall appeal. Rich in history, art, and young people looking for the night of their lives, Barcelona is one of the most exciting cities you can visit.