Hallowe’en is one of those cultural imports that hasn’t really taken root in Barcelona. Maybe it’s because there is already a well-established tradition, la castanyada, associated with this time of year, or maybe it’s because Catalans associate costume parties with Carnaval, in February. Either way, if you’re a foreigner whose favourite holiday is Hallowe’en, it can be a big letdown! However, there are some cool Hallowe’en events going on around the city, so if you’re dying to get dressed up and go out on the town, we’ve rounded up the best parties to attend. And November the 1st is a holiday, which means you can party the night away without worrying about having to get up for work the next morning!
One of our favourite Barcelona nights, Anti-Karaoke always features costumes and wild, theatrical performances so at Hallowe’en they really go above and beyond! You won’t get any traditional karaoke numbers here – instead expect punk, rock and old-school hiphop, all performed by people in costumes and broken up with burlesque performances, stripteases and stand-up. It’s 8€ and costumes are obligatory!
Sidecar, Plaça Reial 7, from 10pm until 2am
El Circo de los Muertos
If you really want a wild night, head for El Circo de los Muertos at This Side Up. Electronic music is the soundtrack for a club night peopled by monsters of the night! There will be circus acts, performances and a costume competition, as well as a free shot for anyone who turns up in costume. Entrance is 8€, and you can get your tickets here.
This Side Up, Avinguda Parallel 37, 11pm until 6am
This Hallowe’en party is guaranteed to be a fun one. Cultural association Freedonia is a Raval institution, and their Hallowe’en party this year has four DJs across two rooms playing a mixture of disco, house, acid, techno and 80s classics. Entry is 5€ which includes a beer and a roast chestnut if you arrive before 10pm, and costumes are very much encouraged!
Freedonia, Carrer Lleialtat 6, from 9.30pm until 3am
Barcelona Ghost Hunt
Go on a super creepy scavenger hunt through Barcelona’s haunted Gothic Quarter. Discover the sinister secrets of Barcelona, and join other restless souls wandering the darkened streets in the quest to uncover the city’s dark past. The Ghost Hunt starts and ends upstairs in The George Payne Irish Pub where you’ll hear terrifying tales, and be introduced to your challenge for the evening and most importantly be supplied with a bag packed full of goodies to get you through the night. You can team up with friends but if you’re heading along on your own, don’t worry – you’ll be put into teams!
George Payne bar, Plaça Urquinaona 5, from 7pm until 2.30am
Host your own castanyada
And if you don’t feel like getting dressed up and heading out on the town, why not do as the Catalans do and go for the gentler tradition of the castanyada? You can host your own – just invite over some friends, buy in some panallets from your local bakery, get a bottle of Moscatell from a bodega and roast some chestnuts and sweet potatoes for a traditional Catalan celebration.