When in Ibiza...
Located off Spain’s eastern coast, the picturesque island of Ibiza is known for its dynamic party culture, defined by an epic electronic music scene, ample places to imbibe in booze, and abundance of wild pool parties. All of which makes it an amazing destination to travel to — so long as you know how to stay smart while giving in to the good times.
Toward that end, I asked ”That Ibiza Guy,” whose job is to guide tourists around Ibiza and give recommendations (and who declined to share his real name because “That Ibiza Guy” is his brand, he explained), how to stay safe, cut costs, make friends and live it up on the island.
After all, real partiers know that planning is the best way to do indulgent fun right.
Pick Your Party Based on the Music
Ibiza Guy can’t emphasize this enough: “The island was founded on music, and it’s important to make the right music choices.” He’s seen many people go to certain clubs just because they were famous or someone else recommended them and not have a good time because they didn’t like the music. If you’re really into techno or house, for example, David Guetta may not do much for you.
Ibiza showcases all kinds of music, including techno, house, trance, EDM, hip-hop, Latin, Reggaeton and commercial (mainstream radio hits), Ibiza Guy explains. Most clubs play most kinds of music, but in 2018, you’re likely to hear commercial at Ushuaia and Pascha; commercial, trance and a bit of house at Hi Ibiza; house and techno at Amnesia; and techno on Tuesdays at Privilege.
Once you enter a club, listening to music will be the main activity for hours on end, so make sure the music gets you (and keeps you) pumped up.
Buy Tickets in Advance (But Not Far in Advance)
Tickets are always more expensive at the doors of the clubs, says Ibiza Guy. Other than that, it doesn’t really matter where you get them, whether it’s online or from someone selling them on the street. (Though you want to be careful about the latter; see next tip.)
He doesn’t recommend getting them online way in advance, though, because the price stays the same, tickets don’t tend to sell out, and sometimes events get canceled or rescheduled.
Beware of Scammers
The only thing you really need to watch out for with tickets is people on the beach selling fake ones. Most sellers are legitimate, Ibiza Guy says, but if a deal on tickets or a water activity seems too good to be true, there’s a high chance it is.
Legitimate options for purchasing tickets include Ibiza Spotlight and Essential Ibiza, plus any official club outlets and official club partner outlets.
Drink prices inside clubs tend to be absurd, says Ibiza Guy, with water often costing about 10 euros a bottle, beer costing 12-15 euros and mixed drinks costing 18-20 euros. And they don’t let you bring drinks in. So if you’re going to drink, it’s better to do it before you enter. (Or as the kids say, to pre-game.)
A couple notes: The drinking age in Ibiza is 18. And unlike some well-known party cities in the U.S., like Las Vegas and New Orleans, and countries like New Zealand and Belgium, you can’t drink on the streets here. So keep the boozing to your hotel room.
Ditch Your Purse
Dancing with a purse can get really annoying. If you have to carry some personal belongings, wear something with pockets. Or, if you must, Ibiza Guy suggests bringing a bag with a shoulder strap and hanging it across your body, not over your shoulder.
And don’t forget to bring a beach bag as well, for your daytime revelry.
Stay in Playa d’en Bossa or San Antonio
If you’re on a budget, it’s cheaper to stay in San Antonio, says Ibiza Guy. In this quaint town, you can bar-hop on the famous Sunset Strip, go to the pool party at the club Ocean Beach, and dance in the middle of nature at an abandoned zoo for the Zoo Project on Sundays. But there is a downside: You’ll have to take a cab or bus to the clubs.
If you want to be in the middle of the parties, go for Playa d’en Bossa, a popular resort that boasts the longest beach on the island. Here, you’ll be by the beach and near clubs like Bora Bora with parties in the daytime. And you can walk to some parties at night, including in party-central Ibiza Town.
Come in the Summer
Ibiza gets pretty dead between November and April, making it an ideal time to go if you want to beat the crowds. But if you want to experience the party life at its most rollicking, come between May and October instead.
Things are just getting warmed up in May; June, July and August are the busiest months; September may have an older crowd, since students will be gone; and in October everything is just starting to die down.
Practice Traffic Safety
If you want to explore the island, renting a scooter is a great way to get around, and many companies rent out the vehicles to tourists. (Beccia’s Scooter Alquiler and My Ibiza Scooter are among the most highly rated.)
But note that the police take traffic safety seriously, so don’t neglect your helmet. “One, it’s dangerous, two, it’s against the law, and three, you can get a fine,” says Ibiza Guy. And if you’re coming from the UK, remember that the Spanish drive on the right side of the road.
Talk to Locals
“Even if you’ve been to Ibiza before and you’re a veteran, the island is changing,” Ibiza Guy explains. “Events are moving, a lot of events are changing clubs. So just talk to people and be smart.”
A few good people to ask for activity and club recommendations include your hotel receptionist and Ibiza Guy himself, who you can reach on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and his website.
Talk to Everyone, for That Matter
Many friends you make in Ibiza will become lifelong friends, and you’ll rarely find a place where people are so open to forming friendships. So take advantage of that by talking to the person next to you in the club, the person behind you in line for tickets or really to any random person on the street.
Venture Outside the Clubs
Ibiza’s scenery makes it a sight to see in its own right, even without all the DJs. Ibiza Guy recommends checking out Formentera, a smaller island that’s only a half-hour boat ride away from Ibiza. The destination is full of relaxing sunbathers and more low-key bars and music venues.
Or wander around Ibiza Town and eat by the water at La Calma, a waterfront favorite serving some of the island’s freshest seafood.
Venture Off the Land
Another way to explore Ibiza is by boat. You can rent a motorboat, yacht or sailboat to glide over the Mediterranean, or meet new people by signing up for a boat party with dancing, drinks, food and water sports.
If you’re looking for parties, you can always find them in Ibiza, but you’ll also find much more. Stay open minded, and you’ll be surprised by all the beauty, fun and quirks the island has to offer.