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, just to recuperate. Everything is perfect. But are you REALLY prepared for this clubbing experience of a lifetime? Read this page before touchdown on the White Isle, just to make sure. It won't take long, plus it will save you time, money, and it'll help you avoid any unwanted hassle. Bonus.
Please note, you must be 18 years old to enter the clubs in Ibiza, and you will be asked for ID on the door.
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, the majority of bars, restaurants and clubs are open, so it's the ideal time to visit.
Historically, the clubbing season starts at the end of May and continues until the middle of October, although each year, the season gets longer and longer, with venues staying open for longer than ever. Regardless, these are rough dates for you to follow: the club nights close one by one, starting from the last week of September and continuing until around the second week of October. After that, it's just the smaller veues, plus Pacha and Sankeys that remain open.
The clubbing season kicks off with the IMS International Music Summit that takes place between Playa d'en Bossa and Ibiza Town at the end of May. Right after that, the clubs all start to open one after another. Sankeys and Pacha will each have a summer opening, while the rest of the big clubs - Ushuaïa, Amnesia, Privilege, DC-10 - will all open their doors in the following weeks. If you already have a favourite party, then keep your eyes peeled for their separate opening party dates - without stating the obvious, they'll come after the club itself's big opening.
See our party calendar for more info.
While summer is always the busiest, there are excellent parties all throughout the year. Book yourselves a cheap flight and head over for New Year's Eve, Easter, or at the beginning of May and end of October. While most of the big clubs may be shut, they open for special occasions. Plus there'll be a lot going on at the island's bar and beach clubs like KM5, Blue Marlin, BEACHOUSE and Dunes.
If the only time you can get off work is in August, bear in mind that this is the island's busiest month, so 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. Plus, the competition for space on the beaches is fierce. However, if it's rampaging in clubs your looking for, you're sure to find it. As well as tons of events dotted about all over the island. Just be ready to fight to get to them.
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 with so much choice, it can be a little overhwhelming working out where to go. But not to worry, we've got y'all covered. 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. Aside from that, the points below should help you out too.
Before you book anything, check out our guides to all the major resorts: Ibiza Town, San Antonio, Playa den Bossa, Santa Eulalia, that way you'll be able to get a better idea of where you'd like to base yourself. You can also check out our clubbing forums, which are full of tips and information from fellow Ibiza lovers and virgins. Don't be afraid to ask any question you like - there are many regular visitors who will be happy to help.
When planning nights out, you'll be bombarded with options, so make the most of asking the experts. Talk to people staying in the same place, listen to the PRs' advice, look for posters advertising forthcoming nights and of course, keep an eye on our party calendar - your go-to guide for everything that's happening at every club, every night of the week. You can search our website for party nights and DJs, so if you already have a favourite, it's easy to locate exactly when and where they're playing. Try to be a little organised because chances are, once you get here, you'll be pretty pre-occupied soaking up all that Balearic sun.
Where to stay
If you're basing where you stay on its proximity to big clubs, then it's worth remembering that Pacha is in Ibiza Town, near the harbour; Sankeys, Ushuaïa, DC-10 and the club that will replace Space, are all in Playa d'en Bossa; Es Paradis and Eden are in San Antonio, and 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 is the best fit 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 best mates at 09.00 in the morning with techno blaring out the speakers! It's also worth knowing that it's illegal to sleep on the beach. So if you head down to the beach to catch an early sunrise post-clubbing, try your best not to fall asleep. The police patrol regularly, and they're not kindly disposed to backpackers kipping on the sand...you have been warned.
It's worth pointing out that Spotlight isn't entirely devoted just 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. There really is no excuse for not coming...
You can buy your club 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 budget for your holiday more easily by buying in advance. You can thank us later.
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, but do feel free to try. We're big fans of those who try to embrace the free-spirited nature of dressing on Ibiza from decades past, where an 'anything goes' policy was the only rule.
Having said that, 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 and continue through the night until 06.30 (officially). As you can imagine no one wants to be the first to arrive, but everyone wants to be there at the very latest by 03.00. Quite often, there are massive queues to get in the club between 01.30 and 03.00, especially in August.
The easiest way to get into the clubs is to buy advance tickets online, naturally. And all Spotlight online tickets give you guaranteed entry (vital for the popular parties).
Sometimes you'll find that you'll have to queue, but often this can not be helped - there are certain parties which are so popular that queueing is inevitable. Just come prepared and see it as an opportunity to save up all your energy for the dance-fest later.
Which queues are the longest?
All queues in August, popular nights at Amnesia; Pacha is very, very popular in high season. Just make sure you get there early enough and then it shouldn't be a problem.
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. In regards to the 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. Always consume carefully.
Okay, are you sitting comfortably...tickets for the most famous parties (Cream, Cocoon, FMIF etc.) range from 40€ to 80€ depending on the party (although the smaller clubs and discos in the town centres cost considerably less). But then again, this is Ibiza, and in all likelihood, you would pay as much at home for a concert ticket. Plus we promise, these are nights you will never forget, so when you put it into perspective, it doesn't seem so expensive after all, eh?
A vodka lemon will cost around 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, so be wise with your drinking and don't go out without a budget.
The Spanish currency is the Euro €. Check on today's exchange rates from oanda.com
Spanish measures are generous to say the least, so it's very easy to underestimate those vodkas. As we've mentioned, drinks can be pricey, so if you're looking to have a drink before you go out, hunt out one of the many bars with happy hours, where drinks are a lot cheaper and you're guaranteed to get good deals. Don't try and smuggle drinks into the clubs, because all that will result in is them being found, and you being thrown out.
Traffic controls and searches by the police in larger towns and resorts are becoming increasingly more common, and they test for alcohol as well as drug usage while driving. The legal limit for driving has been reduced to 0.25mg/l of alcohol in your breath, or 0.5g/l in your blood. This is equivalent to two cans of beer or two glasses of wine. BE SENSIBLE AND BE CAREFUL - if you're going to drive especially, the safest bet is to not touch alcohol or drugs at all. Without trying to be scaremongers, 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
We have created a handy guide to public transport - disco buses in particular - right HERE. Have a read for the cheapest way of getting from A to B on the island. All your other questions should be answered below.
Obviously the best way is to hire a car, but there are bus services and taxis. Remember, the island is only 45km long and 25km wide, so no journey takes more than an hour.
A regular bus service runs between all the major towns and resorts, all throughout the year. Although the frequency is higher in the summer months.
Taxis can be a convenient way to get around Ibiza, and it's not too expensive if there's a few of you travelling - ask the people you're queueing with where they're going and you could potentially half your fare if you share. All taxis carry a taximeter. It is very difficult to find a taxi at 06.00 in the morning in July and August, so in this case you might be better off relying on the good old faithful disco bus.
For an idea of taxi fares expect to pay approximately 25€ from Ibiza Town to San Antonio, 15€ from Ibiza Town to the airport and around 30€ from Santa Eulalia to the airport. For taxis from San Antonio to Playa d'en Bossa, you're looking at around 35€.
Do yourselves a favour and get acquainted with the disco bus timetables. It costs 3€ to get from one side of the island to the other - and quite often drops you right outside the club - and in peak season, buses run every half an hour, all night. For more details see below.
Health and Safety
See our holiday information section for health and safety tips.
We want you to have the time of your life, but remember to be careful. That way you'll 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.
The above information is correct to the best of our knowledge, but may be subject to change.
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