The best spots for a night to (mostly) remember.
Curated cocktails, gorgeous rooftops, secret speakeasies, and everything in between: Barcelona covers a lot of seriously impressive ground when it comes to watering holes. Sure, this beautiful Spanish city is known for its lengthy winemaking history. But it’s also a top city for cocktail lovers and craft beer aficionados, as well as anyone simply looking to sit down in a cool setting and enjoy a drink.
You’ll find most of Barcelona’s coolest bars around Las Ramblas, El Born, and The Gothic Quarter. But look a little deeper, and you’ll find unique bars hidden away down side streets and behind inconspicuous-looking stores. Read on for all of our favorite bars in Barcelona.
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Think “kid in a candy store” but the wine-filled version, and you’ll have a good overview of Bar Brutal. Here, the walls are lined with bottles of all eras, worlds, and colors. Bar Brutal features more than 300 different wines, all sourced from organic and biodynamic producers. Better yet, they’re all sold at reasonable prices. It’s also a great place to go if you’re looking for something a little more unique: you’ll find plenty of locally sourced wines here making good use of Spanish grapes. When you’re done drinking, it’s time to dig into Bar Brutal’s tapas menu. Large portions, quick service, and mouth-watering dishes make this spot perfect for all occasions.
Designed to look like an old-fashioned pharmacy and serving up a menu of almost exclusively its own cocktails, Dr. Stravinsky is a feast for all the senses. After you’ve taken in the rich red walls, the backlit bar of sparkling flasks, and the mastery going on in front of you, you’ll be treated to a one-of-a-kind drink mixed up according to your unique preferences. Follow the map in front of you to create a shortlist of flavors and leave the rest to the mixologists. This is a bar that books up quickly, so you’ll want to arrive early if coming with a larger group. But it’s worth taking the time out since Dr. Stravinsky’s unique final touches and relaxed atmosphere ensures it makes plenty of the “world’s best bars” list every year.
You’ll immediately step back in time when you enter Boadas, a speakeasy-style traditional cocktail bar with a carefully curated menu and an old-school vibe. Boadas is one of the oldest bars in the city and comes with a colorful history to match. It’s a top spot in the city if you’re a fan of cocktails, owned by a cocktail master who learned his skills at Hemmingway’s Floridita Bar in Havana. It’s also easy to access, just a few moments walk from busy La Rambla but tucked away in such a position that you’ll need to look twice to ensure you don’t miss it. Inside, there’s a good mix of locals and tourists, with walls coated in photographs of past guests as well as hand-written letters and eclectic artwork.
Ohla Chillout Terrace
Ohla Chillout Terrace sits on the top floor of the prestigious Ohla hotel and comes with a menu and clientele to match. Undoubtedly one of Barcelona’s best rooftop bars—especially if you’re looking for beautiful, central views over the city—Ohla Chillout Terrace is relaxed and spacious, a place designed for enjoying a chilled glass of wine as the sun sets. As it’s part of a five-star hotel, you can expect both good service and good amenities, with complimentary tapas served with each drink and a varied cocktail menu with plenty of non-alcoholic options, too. Visit during the daytime to make use of the glass-walled swimming pool or spend a few hours tanning on the white sun loungers. A backdrop of soft music and the glow of the city lights makes this one of Barcelona’s most romantic bars, for sure.
Clubhaus is a mixture of a bar, a restaurant, a (secret) club, and an art gallery. This large space covers a lot of ground—literally and metaphorically—and caters to the younger crowd with loud music and an equally loud menu. It’s easy to spend a whole evening exploring Clubhaus, making good use of the varied menu while bartenders go into rich detail about each ingredient used. The expansive, double-height space gives Clubhaus a relaxed appeal with two floors of activities and street-food-inspired tapas to enjoy with your drinks. Visit during the week for attentive service and a deeper understanding of what goes into each cocktail. Visit during the weekend for a more raucous setting with louder music and an enthusiastic crowd.
By day, Cecconi’s is a stylish Italian restaurant inside Barcelona’s Soho House, filled with hand-stuffed pasta and oversized bar stools. By the time the sun goes down, it comes with a whole other type of charm. You’ll still see those dangly chandeliers and oversized, jungle-esque plants, but you’ll admire them with a delicious cocktail in hand. As you might expect from a prestigious Italian restaurant, drinks here are concocted impressively and carefully, served up in elegant glassware and making good use of traditional, Northern Italian ingredients. Visit on Saturday or Sunday for the ever-popular Weekend Brunch complete with strong Bloody Mary. Or, come along for a weeknight dinner to soak up the stunning decor and enjoy your drinks at the bar with a side of seafood.
Paradiso doesn’t just offer drinks; it also teaches you how to make them. You can order your cocktails (or wine or beer) here with a side of mixologist class in an almost otherworldly setting with moody lighting and intriguing ingredients. Often called one of the best bars in the world, Paradiso serves up imaginative food and drink pairings (like the Pickle Fizz cocktail served with the Pastrami Bar dishes) in an industrial, dimly lit setting. You’ll spot elements of surprise from start to finish at Paradiso, like the Universo menu, which lights up in the dark, and the mini dry ice volcano, which explodes from a number of the drinks available to order. And then there’s the Supercool Martini, a drink that manages to grow its own iceberg in front of you.
The Pulitzer Terrace
The Pulitzer Terrace is part of the Pulitzer Hotel: a fashionable rooftop bar designed for lengthy, balmy evenings in the city with close friends. Spacious and welcoming, it attracts a large crowd every night and promises gorgeous rooftop views across Barcelona. The Pulitzer Terrace is based next to Plaza Catalunya, and its central location makes it a popular spot every night of the week. There’s live music during the weekdays and international DJs from Thursday to Sunday. It’s also a great spot for food, with artisan cheese boards, tapas, international dishes, and even its own BBQ. Word of warning: you can’t book a table at The Pulitzer Terrace, so it’s best to arrive early to get a good seat.
Turn up at Bobby’s Free, and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve got the wrong address. This speakeasy bar disguises itself as a barbershop, with a subtle facade and ever-changing password that you’ll have to navigate to enter. Prohibition-themed decor sets the scene for this mysterious spot, with an excellent G&T menu and a twenties vibe throughout. You won’t find anything conventional, and that extends to the glassware: you’re just as likely to receive your drink in a delicate china cup as you are in a miniature plant pot or an etched, metal tiki shaker.
Small but ever so friendly, Bar Mariatchi is the definition of unpretentious. Vibrant and colorful, you’ll spot its namesake mariachi theme as soon as you step inside, with multi-colored walls, music-inspired paintings, and joyful background sounds. Sure, it’s not somewhere you’d pick out for a fancy cocktail or two. But if you’re looking for a relaxed beer or glass of wine with friends, Bar Mariatchi is the perfect spot. Set in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, Bar Mariatchi’s cheap prices will put you in a good mood even if the cheerful atmosphere somehow doesn’t manage to. If you’re lucky, you might even get the chance to watch one of the spontaneous musical performances that occasionally spring up here.
Bar Marsella was Barcelona’s very first bar and opened up shop back in 1820. Over time, it’s welcomed thousands of guests ranging from Picasso to Hemingway and comes with a reputation to match. Don’t be fooled by its oversized chandeliers above: Bar Marsella isn’t fancy or polished; it comes with a more understated appeal, complete with faded posters on the walls and mismatching floor tiles. Instead, it’s a place that sticks to what it knows, right through to its unique absinthe that it originally sourced, secretly, from Paris. Based in El Raval, it’s fair to say that Bar Marsella has a vibrant past. But it’s one you’ll want to experience at least once during your time in Barcelona. Try the bar’s unique absinthe ritual if you’re feeling brave, complete with a sugar lump.