by Rilee Taylor
Barcelonians are a sociable lot and love to get together with friends and family in crowded bars after work or on the weekends to enjoy a cerveza or cocktail or two. As a result, if you’re looking for the liveliest bar scene on the Mediterranean, you’re not likely to find a better place to bar hop than Barcelona. From modernista masterpieces to funky beachfront drinking holes, you’ll be spoilt for choice in this Spanish metropolis. A beautiful city with a friendly atmosphere, Barcelona offers a tipple for every taste, and you’ll find plenty of scenic locales to soak up the atmosphere in. Read on for a selection of the six best bars in Barcelona to have a drink next time you’re visiting.
While you might check out the bars located in Barcelona hotels, when you’re thinking of visiting this cosmopolitan city it can definitely pay to research some more “hole-in-the-wall” local establishments instead. For instance, if you love watching tango then you’ll appreciate Tinta Roja’s seductive stylings. Once a dairy farm, this quirkily decorated bar has a bordello/cabaret vibe with splashes of the theatre and circus. With plush red velvet sofas, an ancient ticket booth, erotic paintings and a screen showing contemporary dance from around the world, this bar is certainly anything but ordinary. The establishment regularly offers tango displays and lessons and features live entertainment in the form of trapeze artists or spoken-word poetry collectives.
A narrow little bar with a gritty, underground appeal, Robadors 23 offers jazz, Latin, flamenco and DJ nights in its smoky, stone-walled lounge. The inside of the bar has a manga-style mural on the back wall that was created by a graffiti artist, adding some extra artistic flair. Located on a still-dodgy street in the Raval area of Barcelona, this is a hidden little gem that has no sign on the outside advertising it and a bell that needs to be rung in order to get in. Interestingly, the word Robadors actually translates to “robbers”, which is pretty apt considering the less-than-savoury location!
Much older than it appears, Cafe de L’Opera opened in the 18th century as a tavern and then was refurbished in 1929 as a modernista cafe/bar. Having never been shut since, not even during the Civil War, this Barcelona mainstay on the Ramblas has been visited by the likes of Dalí and Buñuel as well as numerous other painters, writers, musos, designers and architects. Its chandeliered and mirrored ambience makes it a fun place for people-watching, and its old-world charm suits any time of day, from breakfast through to late-night aperitifs.
This alfresco bar is the perfect spot in Barcelona to watch amazing sunsets while downing reasonably priced cocktails or beers. It offers rustic eating plus cabaret or lounge music (anything from samba to funk) with its amazing view, and it is also a popular spot for picnics. While La Caseta del Migdia is a bit of a hidden gem, tucked away in the woods of Montjuic, the candlelit tables, hammocks strung from trees and quality food constantly draw a hip clientele.
If you feel like getting your Bond on next time you’re in Barcelona, then the Dry Martini Bar is the best place in town to ask for one “shaken, not stirred”. Somewhat of a shrine to that celebrated cocktail, this manly bar gives off a suitably decadent air to suit the city’s best martini makers. With deep green armchairs, antique bottles and rich wood panelling, this is an establishment to take your time in. It also has a romantic Mediterranean restaurant called Speakeasy tucked away in its back room, so you can have a great bite to eat with your cocktails.
Enjoy a unique experience and cool down in style at Barcelona’s first ice-bar. Located just steps from the beach, Ice Barcelona is the perfect party place for a group of friends beginning their night out, or an unusual date spot to try. Cold frogs will be relieved to know that they will be given a cozy winter coat and gloves to wear upon entry, so you can just sit back and chill out in comfort from you ice-sculpted seat.
About the Author: Rilee Taylor is a travel writer and blogger with a passion for international vacations, beach bars and good food and wine. She loves to check out hotels in Barcelona on Expedia and keeps up-to-date with the latest travel news by searching Expedia hotels and activities online that she can test on her next holiday.