Barcelona Bar Hopping – Guest Post
Visiting Barcelona you’ll not be short of bars to visit. In tourist traps like Las Ramblas you’ll have smiling staff trying to entice you into their establishment with promises of great service and great prices. But in many cases these will be expensive and lacking the local charm that Catalan culture has to offer.
So where do locals in Barcelona like to hang out for a drink? Before my recent trip to Barcelona I asked my friend Daniel, a UK native who found himself living in the Catalan capital for three years, about the bars he liked to spend his time in, so I could spend some time there myself.
You should definitely check out these bars in the city:
A bar once frequented by the artistic likes of Picasso, Dali, Hemmingway and local-legend Gaudi is bound to be a cool and interesting place to spend some time. Bar Marsella, does not disappoint, it oozes bohemian and artistic charm and you can feel it is a long-standing venue for creative shenanigans.
Open since 1820 it is arguably the oldest bar in the city and is known locally as ‘the absinthe bar’ for the really obvious fact that is sells really good absinthe! So, the drink on offer is as strong as the artistic atmosphere – buy some of the bars strong absinthe and see it open up your mind (bear in mind that the stuff is so strong it is now banned in France – its country of origin).
Today it is popular with students and old bohemians looking for an air of nostalgia. It’s a great place to hang out and have a drink.
This hidden gem sits down a narrow street near Palau de la Musica. I was told to head here because the ‘garden is amazing’ and the tip-off was correct – on a warm summer’s evening there are few nicer places to sit and have a drink.
The patio bar is a vibrant but relaxed place to hang-out and the bar prices are incredibly reasonable compared to more touristic bars in the city. With a cafe, and a schedule of art and theatre events it is a place that celebrates creativity and this vibe is apparent throughout.
Step out of the Barcelona hustle and enjoy one of their great mojitos in these chilled-out surroundings.
You won’t get a ‘rum deal’ at this former bodega nestled away on the warren of streets and squares in the bohemian barrio of Gracia. If you are a rum drinker this is the place for you as it has 20 different brands of rum (I asked because their seemed to be a lot). There’s also a nice smell of the mint they are crushing for their mojitos – which are well worth testing.
It has a lovely old-world feel, it starting up in 1886, and it full of massive barrels and antique fittings. The rum is not the places only Cuba-link as it is the bar obviously celebrates the connections between Catalonia and Cuba – the large photo of a half-naked Che Guevara is a dead give-away.
This places gets packed and offers a vibrant drinking venue with a real sense of local history – oh and really good rum!
Finally my Barcelona insider pointed me in the direction of two quirky gems to top off the selection:
If you’re looking for a real music-lovers venue check out this place named after the brilliant song by garage-rock legends The Sonics. It’s a popular hangout for people on their way to the Apollo nightclub and the music is always good. It is a real homage to rock n roll and have decent priced drinks.
Jazz musician Charles Mingus was a bit of a rarity at the time – a black musician who dared to play a white man’s instrument. This bar named after him is also a little different to the other bars in the Gothic Quarter, them being mostly aimed at tourists. It has a chilled vibe and great beer on tap.
Author: James Thornhill, Founder and Editor of The National Student
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