The good thing about Barcelona nightlife is there is variety and wide range of clubs for all tastes. While lots of the clubs vote for rather strict dress code and admission rules City Hall is one of those clubs that promote individuality and encourages people to express themselves and wear what they want. Before being a night club it was an old theatre and still City Hall maintains the theatres structure and decorative elements that enrich the room. It is more a dance club rather than a pulling joint. Of course there is always the possibility to get to know someone interesting but it´s the music and quirky atmosphere that makes City Hall successful.
The disco is perfectly situated by Plaza Cataluña, the main square in Barcelona and its very centre. After walking down a small dark corridor the club opens in front of you and you hit the dance floor straight away. The owners claim the club to have 350 sqm and the dance floor although not excessively big can fit 300 clubbers. Overlooking the dance floor there is the main bar with 2 counters and a VIP area.
The second floor overlooks the whole club and it is about half the size of the main floor and has one smaller bar. I really like the small outside patio which is open in the summer. It’s a great little area with one bar and plenty of crazy clubbers taking rest from the mayhem inside. The decoration of the patio is a fusion of colonial style and design furniture. Walls painted with graffiti and covered with climbing plants provide quite a modern and fresh look.
The DJ on the main dance floor is positioned on what was once the theatre´s stage where the actors used to perform, so they are highly visible to everyone. The stage also has a huge screen playing quirky movies, short films and strange imagery. There are a few disco balls hanging from the ceiling and a huge chandelier which I presume is from the days when City Hall was a theatre.
Finally there is a velvet drape which separates the main dance floor from the outside patio area. The lightning is pretty standard with red strobes, and white lighting reflecting off the disco balls. The clientele is extremely varied as are the events which take place. There is a real mix of cultures, races and colours in City Hall and I personally think this is very positive as I am anti clone and not a fan of clubs which dictate how one has to dress or look in order to enter. So you could be chatting to a local trendy, then a tourist from Japan and a bohemian hippy all within one night.
The week ends are always packed but there never seems to be huge queues so I guess the security don’t want their clients be waiting in the street. This could also help to reduce noise as residents who live on the street are known to complain about noise coming from nightclubs.
The music policy is not regimented and as varied as its clientele but is centred around underground dance music. Breakbeat, Deep house and Electro are the main sounds on Tuesday night while Wednesday hosts the famous Pigs and Diamonds night where electro house is the main dish served with a splash of deep house.
The week end hosts numerous local and international DJs all spinning underground house, electro and anything that is not commercial. As this is not one of the upscale clubs in Barcelona the bar prices are cheaper than your average club in Barcelona. Beers go for 5 euros and a long drink 8 euros which is not bad for Barcelona. Everyone seems to be well behaved and the security staff are polite, respectful and non discriminating. It´s very easy to get in free or with a discount as there are many promoters hanging by the club handing out flyers which allow free entrance usually before 2 A.M.
So overall City Hall is first and foremost 100% a dark and somewhat dirty dance club and not your traditional glitzy pulling club. Saying that, the clientele is very responsive and it´s very easy to get talking to people. The music is 100% underground dance and vary from night to night. It’s a refreshing club and I fully support the ideology which the owners and promoters are trying to get across to its public. Clubbing is about trying new things, playing music other clubs don’t dare play, pushing the boundaries, being innovative and trying to create a unique atmosphere and for me City Hall is one of the few clubs in Barcelona that achieves these goals.
Address: Rambla de Catalunya, 2-4 08007
How to get there: by metro Placa Cataluña stop (Red Line L1 and Green Line L3), FF.CC Ferrocariles Catalanes (local trains);
By bus Nº 4, 14, 41, 55
Webpage: http://www.ottozutz.com (Otto Zutz group owns various club in Barcelona and City Hall is one of them)
Phone: (0034) 932 380 722