A Guide to Bars & Booze in Barcelona

I’ve written about how I didn’t step foot inside the Sagrada Familia, and I’ve talked about how my travel style is about doing things and not just seeing things. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that while in Barcelona I got a good dose of the city’s night scene.

Barcelona_Bar3

I discovered that locals embrace the work hard, play hard mantra and that there’s something going on every single night of the week. So, what does that mean for you and me as visitors? No matter if you’re interested in a lux or a low cost Barcelona holiday, there are places to fit every price range and taste. Whether you’re visiting with friends in a relaxed music venue or partying the night away, Barcelona has a place to suit. Pack your most stylish clothes and get ready for an awesome experience at some of the best bars Barcelona has to offer.

Princesa 23

Barcelona_Bar5

If you’re anything like me, it would be a good idea to have a meal before you set off to explore the local bars and sample the wonderful Spanish cocktails. You may even like to start off with some tasty tapas before diving into the traditional lasagna at this restaurant. And if you stay here long enough then you’ll be able to take advantage of late-night drinks deals.

Shoko

If you’ve been to Barcelona at any point during the last few years then you’ve probably heard about this chic evening place. It was refurbished recently to a generally positive critical response. Some people have been impressed by the Mediterranean cuisine that is served, while others have had the pleasure of attending parties such as MTV Sound System and Club Tropicana.

Barcelona_Bar7

Club Catwalk

Step through the doors of this popular nightclub beside the Gran Casino and you will hear house music being played by DJs such as Bob Sinclair. And when you’ve had enough of the booming, pulsating music, you can head upstairs for some smooth Hip Hop and R&B.

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Harlem Jazz Club

Those of you with a love of fresh and funky jazz will definitely enjoy an evening at this uber-cool venue. You might even have the chance to see top performers such as Chino and the Big Tet showcase their incredible musical talents. The night will be rounded off with a magical music concoction created by local DJs.

Sala Apolo

This old theater, complete with viewing galleries and a great sound stage, has been used as the venue for sellout performances by bands including La Pegatina and Maria Rodes in recent times. After cheering on their favorite acts visitors are sometimes tempted to head to the adjacent La Space bar for techno and electro beats.

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Mac Arena Mar

You should include at least one visit to this beach hotspot as part of your time in Barcelona. Here you’ll be able to sample delicious seafood delights cooked up by skilled local cooks before getting your groove on to tunes played by Mobilee and Kompakt.

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Just because the sun goes down in Barcelona doesn’t mean that the city shuts down. If you want to do Barcelona like the locals, be prepared to see the sun rise. Many bars stay open until 3:00 am and clubs even later, which makes the night life in Barcelona not for the faint of heart.

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28 Comments
  • Mike
    January 9, 2013

    Can’t wait to try a few of these with Kim! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Leah Travels
      January 9, 2013

      I’m thinking y’all will like the club with the techno beats.

  • asixpackofstories
    January 9, 2013

    These are great photos! Makes us want to belly up to the bar!

    • Leah Travels
      January 9, 2013

      It doesn’t take much for y’all to want to belly up to a bar, does it? But thank you nonetheless. 🙂

  • @mrsoaroundworld
    January 10, 2013

    Oh my, wasn’t expecting this 🙂 so, how late were u? 3am? love the drinks pics. I love Gin & Tonics in BCN!!

    • Leah Travels
      January 10, 2013

      Oh, come now Mrs. O. That information stays in Spain.

  • Fiona
    January 10, 2013

    Visited barcelona in April last year – loved Harlem Jazz Club, would also add to that list a delicious cocktail bar called Milk: http://www.milkbarcelona.com/indexFlash.html and a n interesting clothes shop/bar called Soda: http://www.yelp.com/biz/soda-barcelona

    • Leah Travels
      January 10, 2013

      Clothes and booze combined? That could get dangerous for my credit card. I’ll be back in Barcelona in March. Perhaps I’ll stop by Soda.

  • Robert Schrader
    January 10, 2013

    To me, nightlife and drinking are the central attractions of Barcelona. Although the city’s coastal setting and a lot of its architecture are nice, what really sets it apart is its party scene. Nice post!

    • Leah Travels
      January 10, 2013

      Thanks, Robert. I look forward to returning to Barcelona in March so I’ll get another dose. I was shocked at how alive the city was even so late.

  • Scott - Quirky Travel Guy
    January 10, 2013

    Barcelona sounds like a big party city. I’d probably need to pace myself on the drinks because I’d want to visit as many places as possible. Bar crawl til 3 am!

    • Leah Travels
      January 10, 2013

      I’m with you, Scott. Pace is the key and a full stomach before starting. I’m getting a bit old for staying up until 3:00 am, but I’ll give it the old college try.

  • the lazy travelers
    January 10, 2013

    we’re not big liquor drinkers, but barcelona is the place to break out of our old beer/wine habits, hmm? ideally with a chaperone, as liquor may or may not make us sloppy.

    • Leah Travels
      January 10, 2013

      I’m not a huge fan of gin, but they make great gin and tonics in BCN. I’m not sure I’ll be able to drink them anywhere else. I’m pretty sure I could babysit you two for at least one night. You must experience Barcelona and liquor at night. 🙂

  • D.J. - The World of Deej
    January 11, 2013

    Definitely some great spots. Of course, the downside to this is if you need anything at 2pm in the afternoon you’re pretty much screwed.

    • Leah Travels
      January 11, 2013

      Ahhhh, yes, DJ…the famous siesta. If you’re staying out until 4 or 5 am then you might not be awake by 2 pm. Problem solved!

  • Katie
    January 11, 2013

    I’m going to have to come back to this list when I finally make it to Barca. Looks like good old fashioned fancy fun!

    • Leah Travels
      January 11, 2013

      Fancy fun, indeed. I have a couple more places I’m going to write about individually. Stay tuned for those.

  • Traveling Ted
    January 12, 2013

    When I was in Barcelona, I did not do much at night because I did not know where to go. Wish I had this guide back then.

    • Leah Travels
      January 14, 2013

      Sounds like a reason to go back, although I find it hard to believe that you couldn’t sniff out a cold beer.

  • Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter)
    January 15, 2013

    Great guide! I will definitely keep this list handy for the day when I return to Barcelona!

    • Leah Travels
      January 20, 2013

      You know how things change in regard to what’s cool and such. That just means that you’ve got to get there quickly before all these places go out of fashion. 🙂

  • The World Wanderer
    January 16, 2013

    Booking marking this for sure. Barcelona, here I come!

    • Leah Travels
      January 20, 2013

      Thanks, girl. Have a gin and tonic for me.

  • Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    January 16, 2013

    You had me at bars and booze.. might have to make our way back to Barcelona for a drink!

    • Leah Travels
      January 20, 2013

      You should have stalked us in BCN as well. There’s always March when I return.

  • Pola (@jettingaround)
    January 20, 2013

    Jazz Club? Oh, I’d like drinks there!! 🙂 I definitely didn’t hit too many bars when I was in Barca, next time this will come in handy. 🙂

    • Leah Travels
      January 22, 2013

      I thought of you the instance I wrote “jazz”. Funny how that happens.

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