Barcelona is a vibrant city full of bars and restaurants, an ideal place for those who want to make their social life more interesting. Not only is there a huge selection of constantly changing bars, but the Spanish culture of being out on the streets and sitting in cafeterias makes this city one of the most socially dynamic places in the world.
As a 20-something, the choice of bars for going out on the weekends seems limitless. You may not want those student bars anymore once you get to the other side of the “big 30”, so where can you go when you are looking for a crowd that is closer to 40 than 18, and how do you find something fresh and interesting, instead of a bar where they play Julio Iglesias?
One of the best 30+ clubs and restaurants in Barcelona is Ocaña, located Gothic quarter’s Placa Reial. The club has 3 floors and various areas, and it offers a very modern, stylish, relaxed and hip atmosphere. Popular but not too crowded, it is a good choice for proper going out. No Julio Iglesias songs there, that is guaranteed!
A good area when in search of a more “mature” crowd for going out is the Eixample neighborhood around Passeig de Gràcia. The bars here are often targeted at professionals who work or live nearby, so the crowd tends to be different than the crowd in El Born or Gràcia. The style in Eixample is mostly rather elegant, modern and sleek, although you will find all sorts of bars here. Be prepared to pay a little bit more than in the touristic quarters of Barcelona – this is not a bohemian party area like Gràcia, Born or Raval. Carrer d’Enric Granados and the streets crossing Passeig de Gràcia are all good for socialising in tapas bars and restaurants. They are also a good choice if you want to mix with locals.
If you want something more conservative, you should definitely head to Sant Gervasi, the mostly residential and fairly posh area next to Gràcia. The streets Tuset and Santaló (the area near Travessera de Gràcia) are good not only for doing bar rounds but also for actual dancing, as there are some bigger clubs.
As a final recommendation, try high-end hotels. Many have good bars that attract a more mature clientele than the small bars offering “2 for 3 EUR beers”. W hotel, for example, has an amazing rooftop bar with views over the city, as does the slightly more humble Hotel Condes on Passeig de Gràcia.