Ibiza, the party island

Find out how Ibiza became the world’s most famous party island, when’s the party season, which are the main clubs and how to get tickets.

April 30, 2020

Ibiza Playa

Photo by Sebastian Coman Travel on Unsplash

How did Ibiza become a party island?

Let’s get one thing straight, Ibiza did not become internationally known as a party Valhalla overnight. The island has a rich history with its increasing popularity dating back to the early 20th century when having a car was still considered a privilege, and fedoras were cool. From a historical perspective, Spain was still a dictatorship not too long ago, that was ruled by Francisco Franco. During this time (1936 to 1975), many creatives found refuge in Ibiza. Painters, writers, musicians, etc. all came to find their inspiration on the beautiful balearic island.

Fast forward to the 1960s, a whole new generation of people, most commonly known as the hippies, was attracted to Ibiza. At this time, Spain was still recovering from the blows it had received during the Spanish Civil War. During this period, Ibiza became a very isolated place. Therefore, when the first travelers arrived, they were welcomed with open arms. The pioneers were attracted to the island because of its tolerance, open-minded people and laid back approach that made it perfect for the “flower power” movement of that time.

In the 1970s, the word started to spread about the place and the opening of the first clubs drew the attention of even more tourists. From this point forward, the party scene was established. Although many people relate Ibiza to electronic music, raves, and pool parties, it actually has a history with many different genres. Wham! recorded their Tropicana video on Ibiza where the infamous 41st birthday party of Freddie Mercury took place. Musical history ranges from “Ibiza Bar”, by Pink Floyd in 1969, on side two of their third studio album ‘More’ to Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” to show Avicii he was cool back in 2015.

Nowadays, Ibiza is known for drawing the attention of over three million tourists annually. Most of these tourists are British, Spanish, or Italian. The most famous place in Ibiza is Ibiza Town (or Eivissa in Catalan). Some of the largest clubs, such as Pacha, are located not far from there. When visiting the town, you have amazing views of the sea with green hills making up the scenery behind you. Ibiza counts a total population of a bit over 145.000 people. You can imagine the number of tourists the locals come in contact with yearly.

When is the party season?

Let’s set another thing straight. Ibiza is famous for its parties, however, there is more to do on the island than that. It heavily depends on the period of the year you decide to plan your visit (more about the best ways to get to Ibiza later). From May until October, you can expect the Ibiza nightlife to be as vibrant as ever, with the streets being occupied by tourists looking for a place to get on the dance floor. Between October and April, you can go to the island with more casual vacation plans. Restaurants are open for business and people can enjoy the incredible nature this Spanish island has to offer. In these months, you can expect the Ibiza weather to be warm to mild so packing for colder evenings would be a good idea.

If you’ve ever been clubbing in a big city, you know that part of the routine is waking up and realizing that your bank account has been plundered by a slightly less conscious version of yourself. In Ibiza, this could mean a very expensive trip. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding prices at clubs, with some saying they have become “too focused on VIP”. However, getting well-informed before going can reduce your odds of getting one of these unpleasant surprises. Clubs on the island frequently require you to pay an entry fee. This fee can range anywhere from 20€ to 70€ and up. Drinks are only sometimes included and getting one at the bar will most likely set you back more than 10€.

Travel agencies offer very interesting packages for going to Ibiza. One week could cost you as little as 500€, it’s more about what you’re going to spend once you’re there. This is why we recommend you get your information before going, talk to your agency, trip organizers, or friends who have already been to find out what their experiences were with the place. If you plan all the essentials, you can arrive on the island without worries. This way you will have a better experience with the natural laid back vibe Ibiza creates, allowing visitors to really live in the moment for the duration of their holiday.

How to get your clubbing tickets in Ibiza?

The good thing about Ibiza is that you don’t need to worry about getting tickets to your favorite parties. They are basically sold every: On the beach, in the hotels and on the street. However, in order to get the best deals and make sure they are not sold out the best is to get them online on the Ibiza Spotlight website. They have a party calendar where you select your favorite events and conveniently purchase your tickets with a few mouse clicks.

Clubs in Ibiza

Before going to the many famous and mind-boggling clubs in Ibiza, you should know a couple of things. First of all, always bring your ID as it is likely you will be checked. It is also important to always check the dress code of each club, if the bouncers do not think your vibe resonates with that of the people inside, you will not be allowed enter. Taxis are the main mode of transport in Ibiza, these are often quite expensive for short rides so keep that in mind. A general rule is, if you get informed before going, you’ll most likely not experience any difficulties.

Ushuaïa Ibiza

Since its opening in 2011, Ushuaïa Ibiza has been one of the main attractions of the party island. With an awesome stage production and mega DJs Ushuaïa has established itself amongst the most popular venues. It’s actually a hotel with a gigantic pool which transforms itself into a mega day party with the biggest international headliners. The parties usually start around 15:00 to 17:00 and end at 23:00 to permit hotel guests their well deserved rest. On the other hand, this gives you the opportunity to see your favorite artists before midnight and use the mornings for exploring the island.

Insider tip: It’s not allowed to bring drinks into the venue, but if you have a hotel room you can take the drinking breaks on your balcony and save the 15€ to 20€ each drink at the bar.

Address: Ushuaïa, Carretera de Platja d’en Bossa 10, 07817 Sant Jordi de ses Salines

Amnesia Ibiza

Amnesia is located not far from Ibiza Town. It opened its doors back in 1976. Since then it has won multiple “Best Global Club” awards. The club has a capacity of up to 5.000 people and is divided into the “Main Room” and the “Terrace”. Both areas have a different lineup. The dress code at Amnesia is rather formal. For guys, it is advised to wear formal shoes as too casual sneakers often don’t resonate with the vibe of the club. Tickets sell for 20€ to 50€ and up and do not always include a drink. The club itself is a spectacular mix of light shows, confetti cannons, spectacular decorations, and ambiance. Amnesia Ibiza is generally known for its EDM live sets. Some well-known people who have previously gone partying there include Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Mick Jagger, Shakira, Leonardo di Caprio, and so on.

Address: Amnesia, Carretera Ibiza a San Antonio, Km 5, 07816 Ibiza

Pacha Ibiza

It wouldn’t be surprising if you’ve ever been to Pacha. There are versions of this venue all over the world. Pacha Ibiza, however, was inaugurated in 1973. It is actually part of Pacha Holdings, a Spanish holding company that mainly focuses on hospitality. That’s why you can also book a stay at the Pacha hotel when you’re visiting the island. Pacha is practically located in Ibiza Town. The club is known for its 1970s vibe. This can be seen by decorations inspired by flowers, love, and bright colored lights. Main music genres include house, techno, and reggaeton. Prices for tickets vary between 20€ and 50€. Be aware that you will be charged extra if you decide to buy your tickets at the club so it’s always better to buy them online.

Address: Pacha, Avenida 8 d’Agost, 07800 Ibiza

DC10 Ibiza

DC10 Ibiza is known as a true underground club. The club first opened doors in 1999. It is located in what used to be an airplane hangar and comes with a covered terrace. Don’t expect to find advertisements and posters about the club everywhere. They keep promotion to a minimum and they do that for one reason, to attract a crowd that really comes for the experience. Genres include techno and tech-house, among others. The events are cheaper compared to other top venues. Make sure to check before though, bigger events will still cost 50€. Generally, prices are lower though.

Address: DC10, Carretera las Salinas, km 1, 07818 Sant Josep de sa Talaia

Hï Ibiza

Hï Ibiza is sort of a new club in Ibiza. Sort of because it was formerly known as Space, which opened to business back in 1986. Eventually, Space closed in 2016 and was subsequently bought by the owners that turned it into Hï Ibiza. The club is known for bringing some of the most famous names in electronic music on stage. The venue features a fantastic sound system and has plenty of other gadgets to top it off. Since you’re getting that kind of entertainment, you pay extra. Tickets generally cost between 20€ and 50€ but go up to 60€ and more for certain events. This is a truly modernized club located at Playa d’en Bossa. The club is divided into two rooms, Theatre, and the Club. This is the type of club where you simply cannot have seen it all in one night.

Address: Hï Ibiza, Platja d’en Bossa, 07817 Sant Josep de sa Talaia

Swag Ibiza

Ibiza is the place to go if you’re into electronic music. However, for some time now, genres like hip-hop and R&B also have a more mainstream appeal. Swag offers partygoers an alternative with a wide variety of different styles of urban music. The club is located in the center of Playa d’en Bossa. The beauty of Swag is that, unlike most clubs in Ibiza, you can wear whatever you want. The dress code is, express your individuality. Swag is open seven days a week, meaning you can literally go dancing there every single day. Expect to pay 20€ and up for entrance with increased prices for events.

Address: Swag Ibiza, Carrer de la Murtra 5, 07817 Sant Josep de sa Talaia

How to get to Ibiza?

The most common way to go to Ibiza is by plane. Prices for flights to Ibiza heavily vary depending on the season, from where you’re flying, and (if applicable) the package you got. The airport is located about 7 km from Ibiza Town. A flight from Madrid to Ibiza is about 40 minutes. When you arrive at the airport, the easiest way to get to Ibiza Town is by getting a taxi. The trip will cost about 35€ and will take about 15 minutes until you arrive.

Another popular mode of transportation to Ibiza is using high-speed ferry connections. These depart from ports on the Spanish mainland such as Barcelona, Denia, and Valencia. The trip generally takes between two and three hours. Prices vary depending on the season, if you’re going by car or not, how many people you’re going with, etc. Make sure to check out the website of Balearia to plan your trip.

Join an organized group trip to Ibiza

Citylife is a Madrid-based company that organizes group trips for mainly young internationals around Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Their trips usually include transportation, accommodation and activities. With respect to Ibiza they offer a “meet us there” version where you take care of your plane tickets and meet up with the group at the hotel. Those trips are usually organized in June for the Ibiza opening parties and in September for the Ibiza closing parties. The trips have experienced guides so you don’t need to worry about things to do in Ibiza as all is taken care of but at the same time you have the freedom to follow your own plans. Check out the website of Citylife Madrid for dates and packs.

– Tristan

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