In Girona people go out, and they go out a lot. While the opportunities for partying used to be limited to a handful of places on designated days like student Thursdays or the obligatory Fridays and Saturdays, the range of venues has expanded enough to offer a host of alternatives to choose from, no matter what the day of the week. So, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t need any excuse for a celebration, here’s a tour of some of the best bars, pubs and clubs for living it up in Girona. After all, the city has a reputation and we all have to play our part to uphold it.
Its name might suggest a simple café that, thanks to its location, is the perfect port of call to take a breather from the stresses of daily life, but it’s much more than that. Its evident warmth, together with the festive spirit of its clientele, also makes it the starting point for great nights out. You can get decent beer at reasonable prices and use the good vibes to charge your energy for the kind of party sessions that only the daylight interrupts. El Cafè is the setting for many legendary war stories that are passed on with enthusiasm to every newcomer adopted by the Barri Vell.
A perfect case of how appearances can be misleading: a good restaurant, lavishly decorated, with an air of sophistication and one of the best interior patios in the old city, but it’s also the ideal place to enjoy a drink and immerse yourself in the requisite ambience for a top-notch nocturnal itinerary. Serving a multitude of purposes is its main attraction: you can take along all kinds of companions, enjoy a good drink and have a relaxed chat, but at the same time it makes you feel like keeping the party going. It also meets the tough challenge of being appropriate for people of all ages, without anybody feeling out of place.
Let's be honest, in these parts not many Irish pubs actually look anything like real Irish pubs. This is one of the few that succeeds in transporting you to a beer paradise, located, just as it should be, right on La Rambla. In addition to its wide selection of brews, it manages to conjure an atmosphere of late-night shenanigans thanks to a distribution of tables and stools that makes you feel like you're in the midst of a bacchanal of ale flagons. Endowed with ambivalence, when it's not full you feel like the typical bohemian patron, evoking your fictional heroes; when it's packed, it makes you feel like an essential member of a large community of boozers.
If the idea is giving it your all with a touch of style, there’s no doubt that one of the must-go destinations is this shrine to ’80s music and the beautiful people who’ve been reinventing themselves for years, which is located in the heart of the Jewish quarter. As one single space with no different ambient zones, it’s ideal for meeting people directly and is much like a traditional pub in that it has its own community. A significant contributing factor to its appeal is that it knows how to transform itself according to the situation: in the afternoon it allows you to chill with a fine wine or cocktail, while at night it turns into one big dance floor where you can leap around with zeal. It also has rumba bands.
A fixture that’s survived in Girona since 1983? Yes, it’s Cu-cut, an authentic classic of the city’s nightlife that’s managed to keep going thanks to its loyalty to a fundamental principle: it’s down to all of us to get the party going. As well as knowing how to bring together a diverse range of ages, it meets all the requirements of a no-frills venue, delivering great nights with a solid selection of music and a festive atmosphere that never seems to end. Being half-hidden lends it a somewhat subversive air but not to excess: in fact, one of its great attractions is the feeling you can drop in for a beer at any time of the day.
For a long time, a major discussion point among the Girona night crowd was how hard it was to find venues in the city playing good music. The topic has been laid to rest definitively with the arrival of Yeah!, an absolutely unmissable nightspot for fans of bars with character, which make you want to party until infinity. Its design, as austere as it is effective, together with the good vibes generated by the owners, make you feel at home, so much so that its only drawback is you wish you could actually live there. Looking at the rest of the clubbers, you know they feel exactly the same. It also offers an extensive programme of live gigs.
Girona has long been labelled ‘posh’ because of its purchasing power and a certain pervading atmosphere in some places. But this isn’t at odds with the attractiveness of its clubs and the excuse they provide to make the most of the night until the very end. The Lux is now a lifestyle more than a brand — because it lets you get up close and personal to the cutting edge of music and style, yes, but with scrupulous respect for the essence of a good club: DJs, drinks and dancing till you drop. It's aimed at a faithful young crowd with an appetite for some serious partying. That's why this is one of the essential (final) destinations in the city.
This veteran venue has gone through various phases, it’s tried to introduce different ambiences and has even suffered something of an identity crisis. But Platea will always be Platea: the synthesis of the inequalities of a Girona night out, and also its innumerable virtues. It has the privilege of being one of the most beautiful places in the city and is, because of its status as a temple where life is lived without limits, an inexhaustible source of memorable anecdotes. Above all, you go to Platea to lose all sense of time, to dance beyond your capabilities, and to have the night of your life. It’s created marriages, separations and stories that can’t be passed from father to son. As we all know, what happens in Platea stays in Platea.