So you've saved your pennies, booked the flights, bought some amazing outfits; you even have another week's holiday at home after you come back, to recuperate. Everything is perfect.
But are you REALLY prepared for this clubbing experience of a lifetime? Read this page, it won't take long, and it will save you time, money and help you avoid hassle too.
NB: You must be 18 years old to enter the clubs in Ibiza.
When to go? - Read this bit carefully!
The typical Ibiza tourist season runs from the beginning of May until the end of October. During this time all of the bars and restaurants are open as is Pacha.
The clubbing season starts at the end of May and continues until the start of October. The clubs close one by one during the last week of September and the first week of October and then it's back to just Pacha and smaller venues again.
The clubbing season kicks off with the IMS International Music Summit which takes place in Ibiza town. Right after that, the clubs all start to open one after another: first Sankeys, then Es Paradis and Ushuaïa. Space opens on the last Sunday of May and is by many still regarded as the most important opening party. One week after that Privilege opens and on the same weekend also Amnesia kicks into gear. The popular nights like Cream and Cocoon normally start mid-June. The closing parties start at the beginning of September and continue until the first week of October.
See our club listings for more info.
WHEN TO COME: There are excellent parties around New Year's Eve, Easter, in May and October, and many, many all through June, July and particularly September.
If the big clubs are shut, other bar-club locations like KM5, Underground, Guarana, Bubbles and Grial offer music and dancing till the early hours.
With regards to August: There are too many people here on holiday, the prices for drinks and club entrance tickets are at their highest, it can be extremely hot, and it is difficult to find a taxi or a hire car. The competition for space on the beaches is fierce. However rampaging club nights and alternative events are easy to find. The larger venues in particular are a sight to behold with awe.
Not here in high summer? Check the forum devoted to cool season partying
Where to go?
Everyone has a first time here on the island, and just where can you go? In our clubbing guide you'll find descriptions of all the big (and smaller) clubs, the most famous bars and all the parties of the island. Apart of that, here are a few more tips:
- First of all, see our clubber's guides to all the major resorts: Ibiza Town, San Antonio, Playa den Bossa, Santa Eulalia.
- You can also check out our clubbing forums - don't be afraid to ask any question you like - there are many regular visitors who will be happy to help.
- Ask around in the centre of the resort, be it Ibiza in one of the bars at the harbour, or in San Antonio in the West-End or 'Sunset Strip'.
- Look out for posters advertising forthcoming nights and pick up one of the free clubbing guides they hand out at the airport or in the resorts.
- Of course you could always access our party calendar with your PDA or iPhone! Check out our club listings to see who is spinning where.
Where to stay
- Pacha is in Ibiza Town, near the harbour. Space, Sankeys and Ushuaïa are all in Playa d'en Bossa. Es Paradis and Eden are in San Antonio. Amnesia and Privilege are situated on the main road between Ibiza Town and San Antonio, near San Rafael. Have a look at our nightlife guides to each major resort to find out which one is for you.
- Remember that Ibiza is a popular family destination too, so if you are coming just for the clubbing, find out in advance what your hotel is like, and where it is situated. Not all families are going to enjoy chilling in the pool with you and your 10 newfound mates at 09.00 in the morning with techno blaring out of the ghetto-blaster!
- It is illegal to sleep on the beach! The police patrol regularly, and not kindly disposed to backpackers kipping on the sand....you have been warned.
- Strangely enough, not all of Spotlight is devoted to larging it. Half of our team (the serious half that is) runs the incredibly useful Hotel Guide, where we negotiate directly with the hotels to bring you the lowest internet prices you can find for over 100 hotels, apartments and villas which can be booked easily and securely online. You'll also love the fact that you can easily check availability and price with no obligation - as often as you like! So there really is no excuse for not coming now...
You can buy your entrance tickets online through us, so there'll be no more last minute panic about where and when to buy them. All Spotlight online tickets give you guestlist entry, so you can jump the queues (vital for the popular parties) and mean you can budget for your holiday more easily by buying in advance. It's also pretty cool too!
Within reason, the clubs will not refuse patrons with tickets. The hip, less hip and the sloppy are allowed to mingle without fear of contamination between stratas of sophistication. It's hard to attract attention with an outfit. Feel free to try.
It is possible for hot, well dressed girls and boys to gain entry without paying. Act like you own the place. Tag on to people holding record bags. That cat in the big tall hat can get you in too.
None of the VIP lounges allow entry with shorts - so if you are hobnobbing it with the Jet-Set, dress up!
Avoiding the Queue
All clubs open at 24.00 (Space sometimes opens earlier) and continue through until 06.00 (officially). As you may imagine no one wants to be the first to arrive, but everyone wants to be there at the very latest by 03.00. 2 + 2 = massive queues to get in the club between 01.30 and 03.00, especially in August.
The easiest (and coolest) way to get into the clubs is to buy advance tickets online.
This means you enter the club via a separate Guestlist entrance which means little or no queuing! It is still recommended to get to the club soon after it opens.
Sometimes this can not be helped - there are certain parties which are SO popular that queueing is inevitable. Just come prepared.
Which queues are the longest?
- All queues in August
- The Opening of Space, Amnesia and Privilege
- Popular nights at Eden and Es Paradis these two discos are in the middle of San Antonio, and are a favourite with the many clubbers staying there.
- Pacha is very, very popular in the high season. Get there early!
- So are we Love Space, Cocoon and Cream
- Any special parties, such as the Radio 1 weekend or Space Birthday.
Drink and Drugs
The technical side:
- The legal age-limit to buy alcohol is now 18, tobacco is 16
- Officially you have to be 18 to get into the clubs.
- It is illegal to drink alcohol walking on the streets.
- Possession of drugs:
The situation in Spain is a confused one. Although in 1992 a law has strictly regulated the use of drugs in public places (no smoking spliffs on the beach), it is not considered a crime, and therefore there can be no jail sentences. In Spain personal possession of any drug is not a criminal offence. However, The line between 'personal' and 'dealing' is a very thin one. Be sensible.
- Needless to say it is not only very stupid, but also ILLEGAL TO DRINK AND DRIVE. The penalties are severe, and the accidents in summer are horrendous!
For more no-nonsense advice on drugs, sex and survival abroad visit TheSite.org
Wait for it.....are you sitting comfortably.....Tickets for the big famous parties (Cream, Cocoon, We Love Space etc.) range from 40 € to 80 € depending on party and disco. (Although the smaller clubs and discos in the town centres cost considerably less).
But then again, this is Ibiza, and you would pay as much at home for a concert ticket: and I can promise you, these are nights that you will never forget. Put into perspective, it doesn't seem that expensive after all!
A Vodka Lemon will cost you up to 15 € in a club, or 10 € in Ibiza Town or one of the pre-club bars. A beer (or water) will cost you up to 12 € in a club and 6-8 € elsewhere. As you can see it quickly adds up.
The Spanish currency is the Euro €. Check on today's exchange rates
- Spanish measures are generous to say the least, it is very easy to underestimate those vodkas.
- Drinks are pricey: if you would like to have a drink before going out, many bars have happy-hours where drinks are a lot cheaper. Don't try and smuggle drinks into the clubs, you will probably be thrown out and banned.
- Traffic controls by the police are becoming increasingly popular, testing not only for alcohol but also for drug usage whilst driving.
There is a disco bus which takes you to almost all of the discos on the island; taxis here are fair and relatively cheap, especially if there are more than 2 of you.
The legal limit for driving has sunk to 0.25 mg/l of alcohol in your breath, or 0.5 g/l in your blood. This is equivalent to 2 cans of beer, or 2 glasses of wine.
- Random drug controls and searches are also becoming more popular in the larger towns and resorts. BE SENSIBLE AND BE CAREFUL. There are many foreigners in jail in Spain due to drug related offences
- If you are imprisoned, you have the right to contact your Consul, although they will probably not be able to get you out of jail.
How to get here
Obviously the best way is to hire a car, but there are bus services and taxis. Remember, the island is only 45 km long and 25 km wide. So no journey takes more than an hour:
There are regular bus services between all major towns and resorts.
Taxis are a very convenient way around Ibiza. All of them carry a taximeter. It is very difficult to find a taxi at 06.00 in the morning in July and August, so you might be better off relying on the Disco Bus.
Taxi fares, expect to pay approx:
Ibiza - San Antonio: 25 €
Ibiza - Airport: 15 €
Santa Eulalia - Airport: 30 €
See the island map to orientate yourself
Health and Safety
See our holiday infos section for health and safety tips
There are many internet cafés located in each resort.
Basically, we hope that you have the time of your life. But be careful and you will enjoy it even more....
Ibiza Spotlight does not condone drug use of any sort. We do hope to offer practical advice to anyone going to Ibiza.