Barcelona has become Europe’s most popular short break destination thanks to its superb location on the Mediterranean, its vibrant street life, fascinating Gaudi architecture, superb cuisine and its world famous sexy football team. No wonder expectations are riding high for the 12th EuroGames taking place there from 24th – 27th July. Chris Amos escaped London’s bleak spring to find out how things are progressing for the most eagerly anticipated EuroGames yet.
For those who have been – and continue to go – the EuroGames has become the gay event of the summer. First held in 1992 in The Hague, Netherlands, the EuroGames has become more than a sporting event to include educational forums, culture and of course, parties. Such is the popularity many of the sports reached their quota of participants months ago. However, if you are looking for a holiday guaranteed to be filled with fit healthy gay eye-candy who like to party then visiting Barcelona for the Eurogames certainly fits the bill.
The popularity of the magnificent Catalan capital has grown over the years largely thanks to many budget airlines offering great deals into Barcelona airport all year round. Most visitors stay in accommodation near the famous shopping district Ramblas and in the labyrinth that is the Gothic Quarter just to the east. This is a fine base from where you can explore the city’s sights by day including Gaudi’s masterpiece, the unfinished Sagrada Família Cathedral, and Parc Güell in the north. In the evening there are plenty cafés and restaurants around the Ramblas but you might like to head down to the harbour to dine at Port Olímpic or in a traditional paella restaurant in the Barceloneta area.
If you are looking for a top hotel to stay there is no better place to go than the Axel Hotel located close to Ramblas and all the gay action. Axel Hotels are the first international hotel chain aimed at the gay community. The comfort and cool design makes the hotel cozy and cosmopolitan – its popularity is such that the Axel Hotel books out very quickly. On the top floor is a cocktail bar, pool, steam room and sauna which gets quite busy (and cruisy) in the early evening. All the gay bars are in walking distance, convenient when you pull and want to get home quickly!
For those that want to enjoy the Mediterranean sun and the warm temperatures of the city in the months of July and August, the city has more than 5 km of beaches in the urban area. Nearby Sitges, just 30 minutes by train, is a must-visit when you are in Barcelona. Aside from being uber-gay, the beaches and bars are well worth a visit. If you are looking to stay in Sitges there is a superb, good value gay mountain retreat called Masia Casanova. Built in 1842, once a beautiful wine farm today a luxurious guesthouse. The Masia has seven large suites – each one, charmingly different in its own quirky way. The superb location has been used to make two porn films, Bel Ami’s Flings 3 and Matchmaker from Cazzo studio.
Sports and sight-seeing aside, Barcelona is a superb party town. The club to go to at the moment is Dboy from Matinée Group. With two distinct spaces within the same club, Dboy offers a haven early on in the evening to enjoy some delicious cocktails against the rhythm of the best deep house, and then later, a full on circuit-club party with music from the Matinée all-star DJs and really hot dancers. The lighting is amazing and creates an audio-visual experience for the senses that makes this one of the most modern, stylish and innovative clubs in Europe.
Lastly be sure to get tickets to the Eurogames official closing night event, the Big Party. The open-air event kicks off at from midnight until the sunrise in the Park of the Forum. There you will find two different spaces of music, one of technohouse and another more retro; performances and the participation of the most important pubs of the LGTB community of Barcelona.