Travelling to Barcelona then Den Haag

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Beau_Dega, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. D_Beau_Dega

    D_Beau_Dega Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey I have a trip coming up will be in Barcelona for 4 days then Den Haag for one, any suggestions on bars or clubs to check out? Will be staying down by the Marina. On business looking for some pleasure on the side.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. midlifebear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,908
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nevada, Buenos Aires, and Barçelona
    Regarding Barçelona: As a straight male, if you speak and understand conversational Spanish you should have no problem finding clubs to hang in. If you don't speak Castellano (spanish), or you just know a few words and phrases, you'll most likely end up hanging in the obvious "English Pubs" and tourist venues that cater to English speakers which have become more and more common in Barrí Gotic, El Borne, and near the marina. You'll still probably enjoy yourself, but you'll pay a lot more for the same beverage refreshments and food. There are a couple of dance clubs that can be hot for straight men, but they have time restrictions (straights from 10:00 to 1:00, gays from 1:00 until 7:00) or one night is gay night and another night is straight night. Mostly generic European techno pop. Nothing like hanging out with a bunch of loud Brits blowing chunks all over each other at 4:00 AM.

    If you were gay, I could recommend quite a few venues (bars, dance clubs, saunas, restaurants, clothing stores) where it's much easier to socialize with limited ability to speak the local language.
     
  3. D_Beau_Dega

    D_Beau_Dega Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey MidlifeBear
    Thanks for your insight, I have a reasonable command of French, having grown up in Canada, less so Spanish but got buy in Argentina a couple of years ago. Would much prefer to hang in a local club, I can get the drunk American,Brit,etc blowing chunks at home, I want to try and scratch the surface of the local culture. I am not uptight about the type of club. I am just looking for some fun times with laid back people.
     
  4. midlifebear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,908
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nevada, Buenos Aires, and Barçelona
    First, by all means take every advantage to advertise that you are from Canada. You'll be amazed at how well you will be received by the locals. (I'm from the USA, trust me. Admitting I'm from 'Mericuh is a bit dangerous these days when traveling abroad. For those fellow 'Mericuhns who want to argue with me on this point, don't bother. Write your Senators and Congressmen/women.) As long as you're not the typical 18-26 year-old horny English-speaking tourist acting like an American college student on spring break in México then you should have no problem. I'm deadly serious.

    Barçelona is my adopted home. It is very laid back. Get on the Metro Yellow line at one of the stations in the Marina district and follow the connections to Plaça Catalunya. From there you can walk cautiously down La Rambla (AKA Las Ramblas) and wander about the narrow labyrinth of streets in the Barrí Gotic, the oldest part of the city. At the moment, actual names of several tapas bars where locals and visitors mix evade me. There is one called "Shweppes" that attracts a younger eclectic crowd -- but still mixed ages and sexual preference -- which is a good place to start. Exact coordinates are currently not available in my addled head. I'm still reeling from having to navigate back and forth from my home in Palermo to tony expensive new hotels built three minutes ago along Puerto Madero here in Buenos Aires where old friends are currently staying for a week. Hence, my ability to recall precise street addresses in BCN, except for my haunts in l'exiample and la Grácia is somewhat impaired.

    However, by working your way diagonally from the top of La Ramble through the Barrí Gotic you'll find several places where the vibe will be attractive. Just walk in to one of them, order a caña (glass of beer on tap) and relax. Many (not all) barmen and mozos speak enough English that your attempt to communicate in Spanish will immediately engender good will. They are usually happy to direct you to other clubs nearby you may be interested in.

    Barçelona is a city designed for walking. The Metro closes about 11:30 to 12:30 depending where you are in the city. You can easily pub/tapas bar crawl through the west end of Barrí Gotic to the Marina in a couple of hours. It's only a two or three kilometer (OK, maybe four) walk from Plaça Catalunya to the Marina depending upon what route you take. The Marina, however, can be a pain to negotiate at night because taxi boys (hustlers) ply their trade along the main traffic route separating the Marina from the rest of the city. There are also many prostitutes, mostly from Senegal, trolling the same area. So keep 20 Euros handy to bail you out if you need to quickly and safely get back to your hotel via taxi.

    On a more salacious note, there are two English-language magazines (your hotel should at least have old copies if not the newest ones) targeted at the English expats living in and around BCN. They contain classified advertisements for heterosexual sex clubs. Ironically, if you decide to explore them you'll most likely run into only Germans and Brits and a few randy Dutch who regard Spain as a place where they can do things they would not otherwise do in their own countries. I find this rather odd, because in my experience I've found London, Amsterdam, and Berlin to be sexually open cities where any and all fetishes are well tolerated. Regardless, you should have no problem getting your knob waxed if that is one of the items on your travel agenda.

    On a non-sexual note, since your time in BCN will be short, I seriously recommend you go to Plaça Catalunya and buy the 25-Euro (it may be more or even less) Turistica Bus ticket good for two consecutive days from 8:00 to 22:00 hours. When friends from Canada and the USA come to visit I drag them on these buses and in one day they get a quick and thorough orientation of how the city is organized as well as an inexpensive way to pick and choose among the many famous sights they want to visit. Granted, it is very touristy, but so is BCN in general. We're used to hoards from around the world hurtling down the crowded streets in open-air double-decker tourist buses. It is the least expensive and most convenient way to see the entire city. Again, a ticket is good for two consecutive days. You just get off at the architectural wonder, museum or famous city park you want to see. When you're satisfied that you've seen enough of one famous spot another bus shows up (about every 20 to 30 minutes) to whisk you off to the next cultural wonder. Yes, it is a bit tacky, but even the locals use the Bus Turistica/Turistica Bus to sight see the city. You buy tickets and start at Plaça Catalunya. The routes are divided into a blue line and a red line. The ticket is good for both. Both lines eventually weave through the Marina district. So, once you've had enough hurtling from place to place you can get off reasonably close to your hotel in the Marina district the first day. If you wish to continue for a second day, just get out your ticket, go back to your Bus Turistica bus stop near the Marina and climb on the first one that comes by. After all, the ticket is good for two days and includes a coupon book full of discounts for entrance fees to La Sagrada Familia, PicassoMuseum, various landmark restaurants, -- a bunch of stuff -- that will almost save you the original cost of the bus ticket. The Bus Turistica is also notorious as a means of picking up others of the opposite sex who are also traveling alone.

    As for gay bars, the most famous are La Metro (not el Metro), The Bear Factory, Chaps, Dietrich’s, Tatú (one of my personal favorites) and G. All of them are in the l’exiample or damn near close by. Gay guides are available for free at the city's tourist kiosk next to Plaça Catalunya.

    Regardless of sexual orientation, you'll quickly discover that the residents of BCN are frank and open regarding everything related to sex. Even straight dance clubs have adopted the policy of handing everyone who enters a couple of free condoms when they pay their entrance fee. Gay clubs have been doing this for decades. Don't be surprised to find dark or darkened seating areas in the large dance clubs where men and women have hooked up to get their rocks off. It's all very civilized (for pre-Christian Rome)! LMAO!

    Happy travels and beware of pickpockets! :wall:
     
  5. D_Beau_Dega

    D_Beau_Dega Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    WOW thanks for the detailed selection of places to visit.
    I may need to extend my trip!!!
     
  6. ruperty

    ruperty Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    373
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    i can't quite be as helpful as midlifebear, but being one of those Brits blowing chunks at 4.00 a.m. i know a little bit. If you want a cheap place where you can hang around with outgoing people who are mostly speaking English, then there's a travellers bar just off La Ramblas towards Banys Nous (one of the many side streets) - it's a very lively place and is full of people looking for someone to talk to and have a good time. Another decent and more formal club is right next to the marina in a shopping mall. If you head to the very top floor, the club's on the roof. It's an good club but you're unlikely to start chatting to someone else who's Canadian, US or Brit.

    Beware of the prositutes on La Ramblas at night, there are hundreds of them and they're a pain in the ass. They'll follow your for miles.

    I can't actually remember the other clubs we went to, it was a little blurry. Like I said, not too useful, but you never know.
     
  7. D_Beau_Dega

    D_Beau_Dega Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Ruperty
    Thanks for the advice. I will checkout the places you suggested.
    I am staying down by the Marina.
    Boned up and looking for some hot times.
     
  8. jimmyq

    jimmyq New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
Draft saved Draft deleted