We landed in Barcelona quite late. By the time we’d checked into our Airbnb, the sun was long gone, and we were feeling pretty knackered, so decided just to have a chilled night in. It was about 9 o’clock, so we did what we usually do on our first night in a new city: we went online to find some unique activities for the next few days.
I don’t know how much you guys use Airbnb, but before this trip we’d only really used it a handful of times. In 2016 Airbnb started offering ‘experiences’, where you’re able to book tours, lessons and much more, in countries all over the world. The hosts or guides are normal, local people, who are passionate about their city and culture, and want to show you how they do things.
Although we use it to check reviews, we wouldn’t normally book from TripAdvisor and other popular websites, as many people book through them, meaning their excursions are likely to be really busy with everyone going to the same place. We decided to give Airbnb experiences a go, and had a look at what was going on in Barcelona.
The top experience was the Secret Jazz Club:
“Enjoy top quality jazz in a beautiful intimate setting. We will be celebrating the incredible quality of musicians in the Barcelona Jazz Scene and you’ll be able to enjoy delicious drinks and the modern tapas that are served at the venue”
There were only two time-slots available: 10pm that evening, or the same time the following day.
We were exhausted, and both voted to go the next day, so we booked ourselves 2 spots for €16 each (£14). Within a few minutes, we got a reply from the host, explaining that the event was, unfortunately, cancelled for the next night. There would be a huge strike happening the next day, which meant the musicians would struggle to get into town, with public transport almost completely locked down. He said that the one tonight was still going ahead, and if we wanted to go to that one instead, he would just switch the ticket dates.
We looked at each other, then at the time, and then at the map. It started in half an hour, and Google Maps said we were almost exactly 30 mins from the secret location. We looked at each other again, both waiting for the other one to make a decision, until I finally just said “why not?”.
Best decision we made that trip.
Although it’s a Secret Jazz Club, what’s unique about this event is that it happens at different venues across the city. This particular concert was at a popular restaurant bar, Guzzo Club, in the fashionable El Born neighbourhood.
Upon arrival, we were guided through a dimly lit restaurant packed with people sat down eating, or up at the bar ordering cocktails. The decor was colourful and quirky, the ambience relaxed and funky. We reached the back of the restaurant, which opened out into another room with a bar in it, and a seating area reserved for anyone attending the concert.
We took a seat, ordered some drinks, and eagerly waited for the band to start. Within minutes, 7 musicians sat down on the stage next to us, and began warming up and tuning their instruments. Bass, guitar, percussion, saxophone, clarinet, vocals and a dancer. The whole shebang.
They introduced themselves and began playing. The music was beautiful.
It was, however, completely different to what I was expecting. It wasn’t typical New Orleans style jazz, and had more of a Latin vibe, with Flamenco dancing and traditional Spanish vocals. A good portion of the show was impromptu jam sessions and solos, which were mesmerising.
The shortest 90 minutes went by, and the show came to a close. We didn’t want it to end, but left on a high, boogying all the way home.
The first night of our EuroTrip did not disappoint and certainly set the standards pretty high for the rest of our time in Barcelona.
PS: Photos courtesy of Agustina Arán, from Guzzo Club. Thank you!
Heading to Barcelona anytime soon and itching to see the Secret Jazz Club perform? Or thinking about trying your first Airbnb experience?
We have a discount code for you, right here!
Even if you’re not a fan of Jazz, but fancy a night out with the locals, it’s definitely worth checking out the other events and concerts hosted by Guzzo Club.