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Ibiza Virgins' Guide: Pacha

The iconic twin cherries.

Today, Pacha Group is a globally recognised clubbing brand whose network spreads from North America to Asia. It all started in Spain, however. Just across the water on the mainland in a town called Sitges, entrepreneurial hippy Ricardo Urgell opened his first Pacha in 1967.

Soon he expanded, spreading to nearby locations of coastal Catalonia and the Costa Brava including Barcelona.

Pacha's story on Ibiza starts in 1973 - and that's when things really took off. Not just for Pacha, but for Ibiza too. Pacha's arrival here was the catalyst for the world-leading scene we have today. It was the first and the rest followed. Ricardo Urgell's influence cannot be overstated.

Humble beginnings - Pacha started life as a converted farmhouse

Pacha Ibiza has undergone many transformations down the years. We've lost count of the number of times the DJ booth has moved positions! It started off as a humble finca and gradually grew up and outwards. This evolution might explain its kooky features, various levels and labyrinthine layout - we're still discovering new parts every year.

Despite the upgrades, Pacha has always retained its decadent nature and Balearic charm. Flower Power, the hippy party that channels the free love movements of the '60s, is still a staple of its programme. Even under new ownership, that legacy remains undiluted.

Back in the day, the likes of Kate Moss, Jade Jagger and Naomi Campbell could be found dancing here carefree.

Celebrities and models tend to stay behind the velvet rope in the VIP area nowadays, but Pacha is still a magnet for the rich and famous. If you broke it in half, it'd have glam written through it. The clientele make an effort. It's a place to be seen, as much as it is to go and party.

In spite of the glitz and glamour, Pacha's pedigree for putting on top tier parties has never been questioned.

This is where David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia started their Ibiza journeys. Defected held residency here for many years. In the modern era, it counts Marco Carola, Solomun and Claptone in its current class. You won't find a more decorated alumni.

Quick facts

Number of rooms: One Main Room, but a warren of side rooms and hidden crevices that call out for exploration. Pacha is asymmetrical with a character entirely its own.
Can you find the rooftop? The garden? The Funky Room? Pachacha? Ricardo's office?

Capacity: 3,000

Famous for: Being Ibiza's original super-club, Flower Power, VIP clubbing, an amazing sound system, its modern high-tech refit, its "glitterati" possibly the most beautiful crowd on the island, being the flagship of Pacha Group's global empire of clubs and hospitality venues

Vibe: Sophisticated clubbing with a whole lot of sex appeal

Go if: You want to make a scene in that hot number you picked up in the boutique

Trivia: The song 1973 by James Blunt, a long-term island resident, was written in Pacha's honour!

How to get there

Pacha sits on the outskirts of Ibiza Town, on the road to Talamanca.

It's a leisurely stroll from the Port of Ibiza and even closer to Ibiza Marina and Marina Botafoc. The walk from the centre can be done between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on your speed. On a warm summer's evening, passing the moored yachts and taking in the sights and sounds of the port, can be a nice way to arrive. Alternatively, a taxi will set you back around €10.

Taxi from/to San Antonio will cost approx. €30 and from/to Playa d'en Bossa approx. €16. Taxis drop off in the road opposite the traffic lights and pick up in the layby outside the exit.

Nearby parking is limited. It can be difficult finding a spot that doesn't involve a walk, but if you don't mind then the free car park at IKEA is in walking distance.

Budget-conscious clubbers should catch the disco bus, which stops directly outside the club.

The line-up

Pacha has all bases covered when it comes to its weekly line-up, no matter if you seek high-energy EDM or hypnotic Deep House. Its sound system is regularly touted as the most fine-tuned on the island, so regardless of your taste, you'll really appreciate the music on any night.

It might sound paradoxical, but Pacha counts two of the biggest underground DJs on the planet amongst its ranks in Marco Carola and Solomun. Their designated nights, Friday's Music On and Sunday's +1, can get fiercely busy. Take that under advisement.

One good all-rounder is Pacha's Saturday night, hosted by the mysterious Claptone and his masked ball The Masquerade. Always super popular but with a soundtrack that won't alienate anybody, you get to experience Pacha in full flow and playing to its strengths.

There's also soft Rock and retro Pop (the aforementioned Flower Power), where audience participation is encouraged. Go on, dress up and wear some daisies in your hair! Another Pacha staple, Pure Pacha, blurs the lines between EDM and vocal House, featuring largely music you will be familiar with.

Then there's also normally the presence of international stars of Reggaeton, such as J Balvin.

Expect to pay from €40 to €70 for most parties, and €10 to €20 extra for the most popular nights in peak season: Music On, Solomun +1 and Pacha Latino Gang. However, it is possible to find midweek tickets for €35 and under in early and late season.

Ticket prices are tiered, so when one allocation runs out, the next allocation will be slightly more expensive. It's always beneficial to buy early.

For the finer details, find our party guide here.

Food & drink

Drinks prices in Pacha for 2023 are: from €21 for a standard spirit and mixer (more for premium spirits), €14 for a bottle of beer, €16 for a Coronita, from €11 for a shot and €12 for a can of water.

When opened, burgers are served from the bar on the far right of the roof terrace if you come-up from the stairs at the back of the club (far left if you come from the stairs from The Funky Room or Main Room mezzanine, or first bar on right if coming up from the garden).

That's if you just want a quick bite on the go.

Pacha also has its own on-site restaurant, El Restaurante, which is one of the best on the island. Anybody dining here automatically gets complimentary admission to the club afterwards - no need to buy a ticket.

All you need to do is ensure that the minimum spend per head is reached. Price wise you should budget between €90 and €120 per person, which is reasonable for the quality on offer.

Once you have finished your meal and settled the bill, simply get up and wander into the club. It really is a great experience. Read the review from our last visit.

Dress code

Officially, Pacha has much the same dress code policy as most of the other clubs. That means shorts, trainers and sunglasses are welcomed for general admission. That said, Pacha is the one club where people do tend to make that bit more of an effort to dress up. It's got a glam reputation and attracts a glitzy and affluent crowd who dress to impress.

If you've packed high-heels and a sparkly dress, Pacha is probably the club you'd fit in most wearing them to.

The dress code is stricter in the VIP zones - that's private tables and the area directly behind the DJ booth. If you have a reservation or invite here, then gents must arrive wearing long trousers which can include jeans.

Take it from somebody who has been denied access for dressing inappropriately (and more than once!), this rule is very much enforced.

DJ set times

These are always displayed on the wall at the bar, above the stairs that head down to the main dancefloor and also on the way to the toilets.

For the underground parties, Music On and Solomun +1, you can always count on the superstar hosts to close the night, typically starting between 03:00 and 03:30. In the latter's case, part of the format is that Solomun normally goes back-to-back with his guest for the last few hours.

For the commercial parties, such as Pure Pacha, The Masquerade and Pacha Latino Gang, the headliner often starts and finishes earlier, playing the middle set of the night. That can be any time between 02:00 and 04:30.

These are just rough guidelines, not an exact science. To be sure to catch your favourites, it's always worth arriving before 02:00 and planning on staying until the death.

Increasingly, DJs confirm their set times on their social media channels on the day of the party. It's also the place they're likely to broadcast travel delays and changes to the programme.

Cloakroom / ATM

You can find Pacha's cloakroom by walking into the main entrance of the club, taking an immediate left up a short flight of steps and then the cloakroom hatch is at the top of them on the left. It's always good practice to take a photo of your ticket stub on your phone as insurance. They are small and do have a habit of going missing.

There is an ATM located at the entrance to the toilets on the left hand side of the club as you face the DJ booth/VIP area. There is a second ATM in the corridor between the Main Room and the garden at the rear of the club. Both charge a fee for cash withdrawals.

All bars accept contactless or chip and pin payment.

Pacha's Opening and Closing parties

In the not-too-distant past, Pacha stayed open at weekends all year round. That's not been the case for several years now, although Pacha does tend to get the ball rolling nice and early and has become the last super-club to close in recent times.

You can expect a big Grand Opening Party in April/May, which for the last few editions has been presided over by Solomun playing all night long. Then Pacha continues with a series of pre-season parties before its weekly residencies begin.

It has become a tradition that the final date in the Solomun +1 calendar is also Pacha's de facto closing party and it also tends to be the very last party of the summer season.

Taking place on the Sunday before Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) starts in October, this is the last hoorah, not just for Pacha, but for the entire music industry on the island.

And yes, believe us, we make that one count.

This article is part of our Ibiza Virgins' Guides, packed full of information on how to get the most out of your stay on Ibiza. Check them out.

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