By K.P. our resident food critic Paella is one of Spain’s national joys (as you probably know) and is hands down the one dish you HAVE to wrap your mouth…
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Best Bars In Central Barcelona (Born and Gothic Areas)
Barcelona’s bar scene is renowned for its cheap drinks, funky music and sexy occupants. But between the gems there are lots of lemons – particularly in the more touristy centre part of town. Here’s a shortlist of our favourite bars – for when you feel like tasting something other than wine – in the central Barcelona barrios of Born and Gothic, those ancient winding lanes that you’ll get lost in repeatedly during your time in the city.
Best Bars In Born
Born is the trendy part of town – far enough away from La Rambla to be less full of rip-offs and touts, but close enough to the action to be favoured by expats, tourists in the know, and locals who don’t mind an international vibe. Because of its cooler status, you might find prices to be a bit more expensive – think European city prices as opposed to what you might be used to elsewhere in Spain.
Cafe del Born (€€)
Located on Passeig del Born, this small bar is easily overlooked by tourists due to its dark and old appearance. Don’t let this fool you! This place pops and also offers their famous espresso martinis for 4 euros between 5-8pm each night. If ya can’t get a seat downstairs, climb yourselves up the windy staircase to the upstairs lounge. You won’t be sorry, it’s the best place to pregame in town.
El Paradiso (€€€€)
One of Barcelona’s ‘secret’ bars, this one is a must for your Instagram! You enter the establishment through a fridge (yah a fridge) and their cocktails are served in funky glasses, vases, tiki mugs (you get the picture). This place should be saved for a special occasion however, we wouldn’t recommend drinking here all night as the average cocktail will set you back close to 20 euros BUT they are the most aesthetically pleasing drinks in town!
A little hidden away in El Born you’ll find Collage, a cool and cosy bar filled with eclectic art, vintage furniture and a seasonally changing cocktail list that might not make any sense, but that will not leave even the snobbiest cocktail aficionados disappointed. Staffed by a team that often win local cocktail competitions, this bar is the place to try something unexpected – or to learn about the cocktail making craft with one of the boozy classes we host with their staff.
Club Haus (€€)
New kids on the block, Club Haus is a great place to mingle, drink & then disco your night away. They have a nicely priced (great) wine list, banging snacks (get the tacos), ping pong tables, pool tables, wicket art installations and a DJ and dance floor downstairs.
Bar Sauvage (€€)
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What can we say… this place effing rocks – it’s kind of impossible to have a bad night here. Cover charge is generally 5 bucks on the weekend, but far out it’s worth it. Great selection of drinks (your bill can add up here so best you arrive with a coating of sauce) and they always have a DJ spinning old school hip hop, r&b classic, disco tunes downstairs. They pop until the early am also so you can literally dance the night away.
Just out of Born, between the barrio and Barceloneta, you’ll find this Stokie favourite. Carabela has to have one of the best undisputed terraces in town as it has sunshine nearly ALL DAY LONG. They serve their drinks in fishbowl sized cups, everything is well priced and they have an exquisite taste in music. NOTE: they also have some of the tastiest mexican food in town (get the tacos, notice a theme here?) for you to munch on while you slam down your daiquiris.
Best Bars In Barcelona’s Gothic Area
Tasca el Corral (€)
Another hit with the Stokies over the years, Tasca el Corral (Leche Bar as we have come to call it) is a traditional Vermouth bar here in Barcelona. Cheap drinks (like super cheap), lots of space for you to fit all your mates (which can be challenging in Barcelona), their famous flaming chorizo on offer and lets not forget the star of this bar – Leche de Pantera aka Panther Milk. Don’t ask us what’s in it cause we can’t answer that, all we know is that this stuff gets you loose. Like really loose.
Address: Carrer d’en Rauric, 23, 08002 Barcelona
This tiny little pocket bar is located just off Plaza Reial & is a pregame hotspot for people with minimal pennies. Their happy hour runs until 11pm (yep we know) and the drinks average at about 4.5€. It’s only a short stumble over to Jamboree (one of our favourite clubs in town) for a boogie once you’ve polished off all the cocktails also. We recommend this.
The Bollocks (€)
Cool rock music, cheap beers and unlimited popcorn? What more can we say!?
A Barcelona classic. They are located in Plaza George Orwell (or as we refer to it, Plaza Tripi) and have terrace seating along with plenty of indoor seats for you and all your pals (we love it as we can cram all of the friends in here). They do cheap mixed drinks and huge tasty jugs of sangria if you swing that way. The burgers are also muy tasty if you fancy a munch while you are there!
Penny Banger (€€)
A late night favourite amongst many of us, Penny Banger has a great list of cocktails on offer for a pretty average price. They have super comfortable lounge seating and play epic music. One of our favourite places to sink the cockies.
Manchester Bar (€€)
Don’t let the name scare you off, English pub this is not. They have a huge selection of beers and ciders on tap all for a super reasonable price and play hip Indie music for you to bop along to all night.
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Probably one of the best places for you to end your night if you are done bar hopping in the Gothic quarter. They have DJ’s every night of the week with special live acts playing every now and then (pretty rare in Barcelona as live music licenses are few and far between). Cover is generally around 10€ per person but ya get a drink coupon in place which is not so bad in our opinion.
Of course, all of these bars are best served with a big dose of Barcelona Boat Party, sailing at various day and evening times all summer long (and part of spring and fall/autumn too). And if you want your bar hopping to be more of an experience, why not try our Barcelona Wine Tasting, or our Cocktail Classes?
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