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Secret Bars And Clandestine Restaurants: Exploring Barcelona's Hidden Nightlife

Each year, Barcelona attracts thousands of visitors keen to soak up a bit of sunshine, culture and plenty of cheap drinks. But beyond the usual tourist haunts, the Catalonian capital conceals a wealth of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

If you have a little time on your hands – and are willing to do a little digging – bust out of your Airbnb and get ready to explore the city like a local. Here's our pick of the best of hidden Barcelona by night.

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Antic Teatre (Photo: Flickr)

The invisible theatre

First stop: El Born. Not far from the Palau de la Música Catalana you'll find the El Antic Teatre. The least known but certainly not the least interesting theatre the capital has to offer, you'll have to keep your eye out for this one. 

Situated down a pretty inconspicuous side-street, there's nothing more than a discreet sign to direct you towards this cultural wonder. 

Once you make it through the tiny entrance and dingy stairwell, you'll be greeted by an exceptional indoor terrace. The ideal place to let the hours slip away, the joint transforms into a creative hub of theatre, music, dance and performance art.

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Antic Teatre (Photo: Flickr)

The hidden watering hole

Next up: El Barrio Gótico. Despite being one of the most frequented parts of town, Barcelona's Gothic Quarter still has a few secrets to share. And in true Barca style, most of these mysteries are hidden in plain daylight – which is precisely the case for the Pipa Jazz Club.

Situated between the packed-out tourist-ridden restaurants and selfie sticks of the Plaça Reial, you can grab some downtime by sliding into this smoky speakeasy. Somewhat anonymous behind three flights of dark stairs, the traditional pipe club offers a more laidback spot for thirsty travellers.

Settle down into a comfy armchair, a whisky in hand, and let live jazz or swing music whisk you away into the wee hours of the morning.

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Pipa Club (Photo: Lorna Parker)

Secret snacks

If all this underground exploring is working up an appetite, it's probably time to head towards Chi-Ton Souvenirs.

Found in the Eixample district, what appears to be a kitsch tourist shop full of flamenco dresses and various knickknacks actually hides one of the city's best hidden eateries.

Behind the shop, you'll find a modern fusion restaurant serving up chic cuisine, a well-stocked bar of cocktails and live show cooking.

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Chin-Ton

The hole in the wall

For those of you still wanting more, the last stop in your journey has to include Barcelona's most colourful district El Raval. Harbouring the city's edgiest bar scene, the quarter is home to El Armario, literally translated as 'the wardrobe'.

While you might hear about this legendary nightspot during your stay, actually tracking down the bar is a different game altogether.

To get there, you'll have to climb through a hole in the wall and through the owners' wardrobe. If you make it through the Lewis Carroll-inspired adventure, you'll find a quirky little bar filled to the brim with strange decor – and not a tourist in sight.

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Quartier du Raval (Photo: Flickr)

But these spots are just the surface of Barcelona's vast universe of secrets. The most important thing to remember is to keep your eyes wide open. And as long as you're willing to get lost along the way, who knows what else you might find.

So what are you waiting for? Head to Barcelona and live like a local with Airbnb.

Airbnb and Konbini have teamed up to show you Tokyo, Los Angeles and Barcelona as you've never seen them before.