Can we all agree that there’s hardly anything better than vacation drinks?
You don’t have a car, there’s no need to get up early, and what face do you have to save anyway? All is forgiven in Barcelona. After all, you didn’t come here just for the history and culture did you?
Let’s put a few ice cubes in the glass.
Whether you’re looking for cocktail bars, dives, trendy spots, cheap stuff, places with a view, terraces, or anything else you’ll find them all in my guide on the best bars in Barcelona.
How to Go For Drinks in Barcelona
First off know that unlike home bars in Barcelona won’t get busy until about 11 pm.
Also, if you’re looking to use these bars as a springboard to some of Barcelona’s best clubs you should know that they likely won’t get crowded until about 2 am. Go to restaurants for dinner late and start as late as possible.
Most Spaniards drink una caña (a small glass of beer) or una mediana (a cheap bottle of beer). If you want the cheap draft beer you should ask for one of these, otherwise the barman might pour you a pint of the expensive stuff.
Here are some average prices to ensure you aren’t getting ripped off:
- A small glass of beer: €2.00 – €3.00.
- A glass of house wine: €2.50 – €3.50.
- Vermouth: €1.50 – €2.50.
- Cocktails and highballs: €7.00 (basic highball), €10.00 – €13.00 (signature, club).
If you need a taxi sign up for Spain’s car-sharing system Cabify. Not only is it about 20% cheaper than normal taxis but you’ll get €6.00 off your first trip using my link. Update 21/10/17: Cabify has suspended this offer while they plan a new first rider discount, but I still suggest signing up for the convenience without the discount.
And finally… do you have to tip in Barcelona bars?
The Best Bars in the Gothic Quarter
€ | Informal cocktail | Carrer de la Mercè 27 | Metro: Drassanes (L3) | Website
This bar is made for you if: you’re looking to sin at one of Barcelona’s cheap bars .
Try and imagine some combination of a Pedro Almodovar set, a doll house gone wrong, and the style of the wacky aunts in the 90’s sitcom The Nanny. Yes, Sor Rita is even more kitsch than all these things put together.
Leopard print carpets, blasphemous photos, Barbie and Ken dolls in sex positions, and shoes stapled to the ceiling. It’s the perfect location for a fun night among friends listening to the best Spanish and international trash music from the 80’s and 90’s.
Don’t forget to take a picture with the sexy nun.
Drink to get: rum and coke.
Hours: 19:30 – 03:00.
BAR LA PLATA
€€ | Informal tapas | Carrer de la Mercè 28 | Metro: Drassanes (L3) | Website
This bar is for you if: you want no-nonsense tapas and wine.
The very simple recipe for success of this bar is being comfortable in its own skin.
Dating back to 1945 this tiny bar hasn’t wavered a bit and offers the very same four delicious tapas: pintxos with sausage or anchovy, fried smelts, and a delicious tomato salad – all accompanied with a great wine.
There’s an almost countryside atmosphere here and the flavours are unmistakably traditional.
Even if it’s not the easiest bar to find a seat it’s worth passing by for an energizing snack or pint.
Drink to get: vermouth or red wine.
Hours: Mon to Sat from 19:30 – 03:00.
€€-€€€ | Coffee and cocktail | Plaza Reial 13-15 | Metro: Drassanes (L3) | Website
This bar is for you if: you want a bit of style without pushing it too much.
A beautiful spot found in the magical Plaza Reial with an old architecture base given a modern face-lift to create a style all to itself. Let’s call this the place of a thousand faces: a modern cafe, a tapas restaurant, a skillfully crafted cocktail bar, and a club with live music.
Whether you’re looking for a late-afternoon aperitif near La Rambla, a place to sit down and eat after a long day sightseeing, or a dance with your friends in an underground club there’ll be something for you here.
Drink to get: blueberry sangria, anything off the long gin list.
Hours: Mon-Thurs from 12:00 – 02:30, Fri 12:00 – 03:00, Sat 11:00 – 03:00, Sun 11:00 – 02:30.
The Best Bars in El Born
€€ | Beer terrace | Carrer de Verdaguer i Callís 12 | Metro: Urquinaona (L4) | Website
This bar is for you if: you like a bohemian terrace under trees.
One of the coolest bars in Barcelona is famous for its spacious patio that’s a hit with locals and tourists alike. You’ll find it just a few steps away from the Palau de la Musica in one of the Born’s characterstic tiny streets.
This is one of the best informal places to kick back and relax with a beer and fresh air. If you need to catch up with some work on the laptop the free Wi-Fi here makes this the classic place.
You’ll put back round after round under the shade-casting trees of the open terrace and observe other interesting ‘fauna’ that populate the bar: artists, young hipsters, and old locals from the neighbourhood.
Drink to try: a cheap quinto of beer (only 200ml, genius as it stays cold the whole time!).
Hours: Weekdays from 10:00 – 24:00, weekends from 17:00 until late.
€€-€€€ | Classic tapas | Carrer de Montcada 22 | Metro: Jaume I (L4) | Website
This bar is for you if: you want to stuff yourself in the real Spain.
Even if it finds itself in one of the most tourist-heavy streets in Barcelona, Xampanyet has managed to conserve an air of tradition without pretense – for this reason local after local has fallen in love with this tapas bar.
Here you’ll find locals and tourists alike jockeying for position at the bar to grab glasses of its semi-sweet sparkling white wine accompanied with classic Spanish tapas: Serrano ham, cheeses, anchovies, and Spanish tortillas.
Another rarity found here for the number of tourists is the friendliness of the staff.
Drink to try: the homemade xampanet sparkling wine.
Hours: 12:00 – 15:30, 19:00 – 23:00.
€€-€€€ | Cocktail/speakeasy | Carrer de Rera Palau 4 | Metro: Barceloneta (L4) | Website
This bar is for you if: you wanna feel like 007 sipping cocktails with the possibility of pastrami.
Tucked away behind prohibition curtains in an inconspicuous pastrami sandwich joint is one of the best cocktail bars in Barcelona. Just make sure you arrive with patience as you’ll probably have to wait to get in due to limited seating.
From cocktails served in glass pipes to dry ice to being smoked in front of your eyes the creativity of the sophisticated bar really shines through. And guess what? The pastrami and smoked meats are delicious!
Drink to try: long island iced tea in a teapot, pineapple mai tai.
Hours: Sun-Thurs 19:00 – 02:00, Fri-Sat-Sun 19:00 – 03:00.
The Best Bars in Raval
€€ | Old school speak easy | Carrer de Sant Pau 65 | Metro: Liceu (L3) | Website
This bar is for you if: if you want to black out gracefully like a 1920’s poet.
People say it’s the oldest bar in Barcelona and judging by the decor they’re probably right. The bar was founded in 1820 and was one of the places Hemingway went for drinks in Barcelona.
This is really just a dusty cowboy saloon from 1800’s. The bar is never immune from rumours of its closure for something a bit more wholesome, and yet it lives on! It is the Raval after all.
Here you’ll find a young, spirited crowd diving head first into traditional absinthe rituals: soaking a sugar cube and lighting it on fire above the glass. Careful! These drinks are really strong.
Drink to try: absinthe.
Hours: 22:00 – 3:00 (closed Sunday).
€€ | Informal cocktail | Carrer de la Cera 32 | Metro: San Antoni (L2) | Website
This bar is for you if: you’re a ginandtonicaholic.
If bars this small were even legal that’s news to me! This ocean-themed sardine can bar in the heart of the Raval is a great place to drink big glass gin and tonics made with the proprietor’s homemade gin.
In all you have over 20 types of gin with some pretty original ingredients like rose petals, rosemary, and peppercorns that really give the cocktails life. There’s a dedication to the drinks here that makes it one of the top bars in Barcelona for quality-price ratio.
This is a great cosy spot for couples – groups may want to avoid!
Drink to try: whatever gin and tonic suits you.
Hours: 20:30 – 3:00.
€€ | Stylish cocktail | Carrer de Joaquín Costa 4 | Metro: San Antoni (L2) | Website
This bar is for you if: you want to get sloppy for cheap and meet people.
Let yourself sink in to the super comfy couches at this bar, one of the most vivacious in all of Raval, for a great place to chat away the night sipping on reasonably priced drinks like a €2.50 spritz.
At 33/45 you won’t find any washed up locals here. The students (and yes, hipsters) are the ones that bring this bar alive. The bar is decorated with a contrast of recycled furniture and modern art.
Make sure you make your way to the back by the sandwich bar – they have a great aperitivo on Sundays.
Drink to try: spritz, beer, or gin and tonic.
Hours: weekdays 13:00 – 02:00, until 03:00 on weekends.
The Best Bars in BARCELONETA
€ | Post-beach drinks | Carrer de Sant Carles 34 | Metro: Barceloneta (L4) | Website
This bar is for you if: you want to get day-drunk and see impromptu Spanish guitar concerts.
Put a coin in the jukebox and get moving to the sounds of Rumba with a beer in hand and you’ll have found true happiness. At least that’s what Leo, the eccentric proprietor of this super kitsch bar dedicated to 1970’s flamenco star called Bambino, would have you believe.
This bar really gets hopping on Saturdays when hundreds of patrons drink in the street and chat the afternoon away. If you’re lucky you’ll find free flamenco guitar music.
This is the pre or after beach drink stop and one of the city’s great cheap bars.
Drink to try: beer or vermouth.
Hours: 12:00 to 21:30.
€€€ | Beachside snack | Carrer de Grau i Torras 59 | Metro: Barceloneta (L4) | Website
This bar is for you if: you want a reasonable priced beer and snack with a sea view.
If your dreaming is a couple countries off and you’re looking for Italy then come here for a gigantic glass of the summer’s most refreshing alcoholic beverage: the spritz.
The tables right along the beach make this a great bar with a view, and an optimal place to get some sun and even order a classic pizza, piadina, or panini. For those looking for something a bit more exotic the nachos with guacamole or the sangria are also great options.
Drink to try: spritz.
Hours: 10:00 – 00:00.
The Best Bars in GRACIA
VERMUTERIA DEL TANO
€-€€ | Vermuteria | Carrer de Joan Blanques 17 | Metro: Joanic (L4) | Website
This bar is for you if: you want to try a traditional bodega.
If there’s a Gracia bar where you absolutely have to have a homemade vermouth it’s this.
This veritable museum dedicated to Barcelona’s favourite drink is famous for it’s bar straight out of the 1950’s. The vintage ads, chalkboard menus, oak casks, and charismatic owner Tano really bring this place to life.
If your stomach starts rumbling you’ll be in good hands: the long list of jarred preserves here like stuffed olives, anchovies, and even octopus and squid are the ultimate accompaniment to your afternoon drink.
Drink to try: vermouth.
Hours: 09:00 – 21:00.
€€-€€€ | Classic tapas cafe | Carrer de Verdi 2 | Metro: Fontana (L3) | Website
This bar is for you if: you want to blend in like a local in a top bar.
Of all the places to have drinks in Barcelona, Bar Canigó is the one that just oozes relaxation and happiness. It’s beloved by locals for never giving in to passing trends and keeping it real over the years with its marble tables, old school columns, and scratched up mirrors.
Go for patatas bravas (fried potato chunks with spicy sauce) or boquerones (picked sardines).
Drink to try: beer or vermouth.
Hours: 10:00 – 02:00.
€€€ | Formal jazz | Santa Eulalia 21 Baixos | Metro: Verdaguer (L4/L5) | Website
This bar is for you if: you’ve dreamed of having a drink with Sherlock Holmes.
Semi-hidden in a tiny Gracia street is this bar that’s primarily a pipe smoking club – though you wouldn’t know it from the complete lack of smokers and the juicy live music offerings throughout the week.
The eccentric retro bar has a very British feel with its diffused light, jazz music, lonely corners, and long wooden bars populated by patrons telling hard-luck stories to bartenders.
This is a great place for couples and I have a friend who swears on it for dates.
Keep an eye out on the Pipa Club calendar for the many blues, swing, and jazz concerts.
Drink to try: a smokey scotch.
Hours: Thurs 09:30 – 02:00, Fri-Sun 10:00 – 03:00.
€€ | Outdoor tapas | Plaça del Sol 21 | Metro: Fontana (L3) | Website
This bar is for you if: you crave quality homemade food and great atmosphere.
You wouldn’t dream of spending an evening in Gracia without having a drink in one of it’s many picturesque squares and here we get you front row in the area’s biggest square: Plaça del Sol.
There’s no better place to grab a beer in the sun and snack on cheap, quality food. Try the quiches, croquettes, or even the chicken wings and you won’t be disappointed. Just make sure you sit outside.
Drink to try: Moritz local beer.
Hours: Thurs 11:00 – 02:00.
The Best Bars in Eixample
€€€ | Trendy cocktail | Passatge de la Concepció 12 | Metro: Diagonal (L3/L5) | Website
This bar is for you if: you want an elegant night to remember.
This refined and seductive bar near Casa Batllo brings a certain elegance that matches the streets outside on the luxurious Passeig de Gracia. Here you’ll pay quite a bit for the drinks but the quality found here is well worth it.
The low couches are filled with cool international people but the most spectacular part? The bathrooms!
Drink to try: Moscow mule, or any of their signature cocktails.
Hours: 17:00 – 02:00.
€€€ | High-end cocktail | Carrer d’Aribau 162-166 | Metro: Diagonal (L3/L5) | Website
This bar is for you if: your religion is cocktail drinking.
Professional barstaff, a dream bar for cocktail lovers, and an interesting selection of jazz music.
Not only is it one of the best cocktail bars in Barcelona but Dry Martini was voted one of the sixth best bar in the world by Drinks International. This is likely thanks to the legendary cocktail creations of its creative bartenders.
Just watch out for the flying glasses!
Drink to try: absolutely essential not to leave without trying a martini.
Hours: 13:00 – 02:30.
Get Custom Advice Talking to Me
These are only the best bars in Barcelona though my experience – if you’re looking for something a bit different that isn’t here then get at me in the comments below with your tastes and I’ll be sure to recommend something great.
Also, any comments you have about the blog would be greatly appreciated as I am always trying to improve this resource.