Ready for the music? Check out three of Barcelona’s nicest live music venues!

Now we have heard about summer festivals, activities and outdoor venues that you mustn’t miss out on – but little has been said about what to do when the days get shorter.

Let’s be realistic – autumn has finally settled in, even though the occasional sunny day deceives us into thinking that summer is not over yet. But we have to face the facts – the days are getting shorter, and we have to find an alternative to those endless summer nights under the moonlight.

So I challenge you to venture on new paths – come along and discover another face of the local culture of Barcelona:  live music in amazing venues.

Here goes my Top 3 that cater to all different tastes and budgets:

1) The classic – El Liceu

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Rebuilt nearly from scratch and still stunning – the beautiful opera house of Barcelona, known by the locals as “El Liceu”.

Situated on the famous Ramblas, the opera house known as “Gran Teatre del Liceu” was founded by the local bourgeoisie in 1847 and this is where you can still find them sipping their cava during intermission.

Famous Art Nouveau architect Antoni Gaudí himself frequently visited the opera house and purportedly got inspired by the stage scenery of the opera "Hänsel and Gretel" for the design of the porter houses at the entrance of Park Güell (think of the ginger-bread house of the evil witch and you'll know what I mean).

Famous Art Nouveau architect Antoni Gaudí himself frequently visited the opera house and purportedly got inspired by the stage scenery of the opera “Hänsel and Gretel” for the design of the porter houses at the entrance of Park Güell (think of the ginger-bread house of the evil witch and you’ll know what I mean).

The beautiful building burned down almost entirely in the 1990s (the circumstances were never completely clarified and many urban legends surround the incident; the insurance paid in the end for the restoration) and houses now a state-of-the-art opera stage that attracts local and international stars of the opera and classical music scene alike. The season 2013-14 counts with performances of world stars such as Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Florez and Jordi Savall (who lives in the surroundings of Barcelona), as well as co-productions with world-famous opera houses like Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna) and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (London). Check out the season’s program here. Tickets can be purchased on the Liceu’s website or directly at the box office on las Ramblas. Be warned, however – depending on the oeuvre and performers, tickets may well be in the pricey range. Mingling with the local bourgeoisie doesn’t come for free.  😉

2) The artsy alternative – Live blues at the MEAM


Contemporary art paired up with great music and a unique setting – Live blues at the MEAM. Don’t miss out on it!

Only about 20 steps away from the famous Picasso Museum, a hidden gem awaits you: The MEAM, short for European Museum of Modern Art, houses an incredible collection of Contemporary Figurative Art. In fact, it is so contemporary, there is no piece of art exhibited that is older than the 21st century itself! Its beautifully restored 18th century palace does not only provide a magnificent backdrop for the hyperrealistic art, but also turns into a concert hall once a week, when it becomes a popular venue for Barcelona’s blues lovers. Every Friday night, for only 11€, you can visit the museum’s art collection AND enjoy a live blues concert at 6pm, performed by different local and international artists in one of its stunning neoclassical halls. You can find the current program (until December 2013) here. Tickets can be purchased online or at the museum itself. By the way, they also offer swing and classical music concerts…

3) The real thing – Jazzsíclub


Don’t be deceived by the unassuming facade – behind this very door the wonderful world of improvisation starts and won’t let you off the hook. Trust me, you will want to repeat!

Now this is one of THE places for live music in the city. Linked closely to Taller dels Musics, a mythical music school in Barcelona that is very much rooted in the local community and is known for its social involvement, Jazzsíclub has been delighting the locals with excellent live music for more than 20 years now. Situated on the edge of Raval, the bar offers an intimate atmosphere and great musicians all in one. You can listen to different musical styles every night, ranging from Jazz improvisation on Wednesdays or Latin rhythms on Thursday to Flamenco music and dancing on Fridays (to name just a few of them). The entrance fee varies from day to day but does not exceed 9€ per person and often includes the first drink in the bar (by the way, they also offer some snacks). Their website is now available in English and offers more information on exact starting times and entrance fees. My advice is take the purple subway line to Sant Antoni and then walk 2 minutes to the venue. Make sure to arrive on time, as the place tends to get crowded and the space is limited. By the way, don’t be put off by the not so fancy surroundings – an authentic musical revelation and a taste of true local atmosphere will be your reward!

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