Something about Barcelona’s twisted gothic buildings and narrow damp streets keep luring me back to this avant garde Spanish city. Each time I’ve visited it’s been different, from underground gay clubs with sexual activities that could make your nan go blind to drinking burning absinthe in a rotten old bar that Salvador Dali used to drink in. Even though I have had repeated journeys, I still feel that there are many places left undiscovered. For now, here are the bars that have stolen a piece of my empty heart.
On a night out, all you need is Bollocks. Its tatty, scribbled exterior attracted me in an instant. Here, I feel like I’m home away from home as it has a dive bar quality that all my favourite London bars possess. Classic rock tunes are blaring out the speakers whilst motorbikes and dirty boots hang from the ceiling. Besides their fast food menu of burgers and patatas bravas, they hand out free popcorn all night. Even though my Spanish is shit, I want this bar to be my local. A clear favourite out of all the Barcelona rock bars.
Carrer Ample, 46, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
The cluster of broken skateboards that line the walls confirms that I am in fact in the skate bar of Barcelona. A half-pipe is spotlighted prominently at the back with a soundtrack of 90s metal to board to. Health and safety must be out the window here but the crowd of young grunge kids in DCs seem to know what they’re doing. This bar has a twin but I am listing the address for the better one. You’re welcome.
Escudellers Blancs Nº3 Bajos – 08002, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
This petite place can be found in an empty space of the Gothic Quarter but well worth the find. 1€ drinks have me coming back time and time again. The music is mainly indie rock and makes it hard to enjoy a bevy when everyone sings along to Oasis but there are some right treasures on their playlist too. It feels a little more youthful and student-esque by the clientele but still worth a cosy drink before moving on to somewhere bigger.
Carrer de Milans, 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Often it’s worth dipping your tongue into the historical culture whilst abroad so I head to the big tourist hive, Bar Marsella. It is famous for having customers like Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso fly through its doors. But if anyone flew through them now, it would be ripped off its hinges. The bar seems untouched since the ‘20s with paint peeling from the walls and dusty, cobwebbed lights. It almost looked like it was going to fall down at any moment. Despite this, many flock here to try their signature drink – absinthe. Need I say more?
Carrer de Sant Pau, 65, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
London Bar is more like a London pub. With quite a few English people inside, it makes you feel completely at ease with ordering in your own language. Similarly to Marsella, the bar is known for Piccasso, Dali AND Hemmingway being locals at this bar. What makes it unique is there is live music and the fact that I meet more cockneys than I had in London. Maybe this is where they’re all hiding.
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 34, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
This bar is a big attraction for girls with its animal print interior and pictures of sliver screen actresses plastered on the multicoloured walls. Sipping my €3 rioja, my eyes can’t stop darting around to consume the amount of detail they’ve taken to decorate the place. It’s chilled during the weekday but can get pretty rammed on the weekend with a “one in, one out” policy. With the climate and the space, I’d recommend visiting at a more quieter time.
Carrer de la Mercè, 27, 08002 Barcelona, Spain