It’s a well-known fact that Barcelona is a city with a busy nightlife and there is plenty to do on any given day of the week. The city is filled with bars, some of which attract tourists and locals not only with great drinks, charming atmosphere but with a historic setting as well. Include these in your night out in Barcelona and explore the city’s history in the best way possible!
Carrer de Sant Pau, 65, 08001
Wallpapers peeling off, dusty chandelier hanging from the ceiling, mirrors covered in grime… No, it’s not a horror movie set, it’s the oldest bar in Barcelona – Bar Marsella. Still up and running, and certainly loved by locals and tourists. Located in El Raval neighbourhood, this bar goes perfectly with the atmosphere of the area. Bar Marsella has been open since 1820 and can definitely brag of once serving such icons as Picasso, Hemingway, Gaudí and Van Gogh. This 19th-century bar’s menu is very short – Marsella is mostly famous for its’ absinthe, a drink which is not that easy to find in other bars in Barcelona.
A bar that hasn’t changed for 200 years, a bar that served absinthe to Picasso and Hemingway, a bar that was a set for Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”… Bar Marsella is worth your visit.
Els Quatre Gats
Carrer de Montsió, 3, 08002
Also a set for Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, also a favorite of Picasso, also opened in the 19th century, yet a very different bar/restaurant – Els Quatre Gats (the Four Cats).
Located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, where narrow streets and old buildings add to the historic atmosphere. The idea for such a bohemian establishment was brought back from Paris by one of the four founders, who used to work in the famous cabaret Le Chat Noir.
Fans of Picasso will be excited to hear that the artist held his first exhibition in Els Quatre Gats as well as left his print designing the title page of the menu.
Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 33, 08001
The historic Casa Almirall bar is located in El Raval neighbourhood and is another well-preserved 19th-century establishment, serving absinthe and the popular here vermouth. The bar shows off Catalan Modernisme which can be seen in Gaudí’s style wooden doorway and marble décor. The addition of a second large room at the back is pretty much the only change that was done here since it had opened.
Go and grab a pre-lunch glass of vermouth with a skewered olive in it in a bar which bohemian atmosphere hasn’t changed much since 1860!
Carrer de Sant Pau, 128, 08001
As you can probably guess from the name, La Confitería used to be a confectionary shop. Cute little drawers, scales, glass cupboards remind of that as well as serve as decorations and add to the overall historic atmosphere of the bar. La Confitería was opened in 1912 in Poble Sec/Montjuïc. It has a Parisian feeling to it and still features the original modernist décor.
From the signature drink “American Beauty” served in a miniature bathtub and whiskey-based drinks served in jam jars to the back of the menu featuring the events of 1912, the bar doesn’t lack original details. Explore them while listening to some jazz in the background!
Sightseeing, walking around, trying out Catalan cuisine are the usual things to do. Spice it up a bit with a night out visiting the historic bars of Barcelona to truly see the beauty of the city and its’ culture!