Best bars in Barcelona: El Born, El Raval and Barrio Gótico

Best bars in Barcelona: El Born, El Raval and Barrio Gótico

Some students say that after a few drinks they start speak better Spanish. In order for you to try out this theory for yourself, we made a selection of the best bars in Barcelona.

Between our teachers and school staff, we really tried and visit all 7400 bars in Barcelona, but somewhere halfway our mission impossible we lost count and just made a selection of what we think will be interesting for you.

Today, the 7 best bars in the Old Town barrios: El Born, El Raval and Barrio Gótico.

Other posts in our Best Bars in Barcelona series:
Eixample & Gracia
Barceloneta, Poblenou &Vila Olympica
Poble Sec, Les Corts & Montjuïc

More bars? Check out the best rooftop bars in Barcelona

El Born Barrio: Offers culture and traditional buildings close to Barcelona centre. The area is close to the beach, and has good night life, restaurants and bars. Here are our recommendations for the best bars in this area:

7Collage Cocktail Bar: Aloha, get ready for some Hawaiian inspiration! The bar is well-known for their eccentric cocktail preperations and stylish decoration. If you forget your Hawaiian shirt at home, don’t worry you will be able to buy directly one at the bar in order to plung into the vibes of Honolulu. The address to your Hawaiian destination in Barcelona is  Carrer dels Consellers 4. The bar is open from 7pm – 3am daily.

6Cal Brut: If you are looking for a night out alone or relaxing evening with your friends, Cal Brut is the right address. It is a small but comfortable and has an alternative undergrond touch. The bar is authentic and definitly worth a visit if you want to relax and enjoy a beer with great tapas. The bar is located in Calle Princesa 42 and open from Monday till Saturday from 7pm until 1am.


cal brut

El Raval Neighbourhood: Controversial area in Barcelona, probably more suitable for seasoned travellers. Raval is an interesting and exciting area in Barcelona however it also has its darker and seedy side that you ought to be aware of. It is certainly not the safest or the cleanest area in Barcelona but it does have a special personality and character all of its own that makes this area a compelling visit. Here are our favorite bars for this area:

5Bar Marsella: The bar has been existing since 1820 and it is the oldest bar in town and is specialised in absinthe. The custom of drinking absinthe gradually became so popular in bars, bistros, cafés, and cabarets that, by the 1860s, the hour of 5 pm was called “the green hour”. Absinthe was favoured by all social classes, from the wealthy bourgeoisie, to poor artists and ordinary working-class people. According to rumors Picasso, Dali and Gaudí were also big fans of the high alcohol and came Bar Marsella to get inspired to work. Walking inside the bar, itt seems like they never changed anything on the interior design. Also the fact that it has signs from the Franco regimes, which show the repression of the Catalan language makes it even more interesting; it’s like travelling in time. You find the classical bar in town in Carrer de Sant Pau 65 and it is open from 10pm until 3pm.

4Tahiti Bar: Red leather couches, dim light, a jukebox and Tiki inspired furniture turn the bar into an oldy but goldy. Tahiti’s mission is to bring the quality of Barcelona tiki back to the ’40s and ’50s, and to be a departure from the ’70s tiki bars found in the city. The fire and cocktail mixing shows underline the bar’s delicious tropical cocktails and they are serving classic drink recipes from Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s—an area where other Barcelona tiki bars fall down. You find the Tiki bar in Joaquin Costa 39 and it’s open every day from 7pm till 3am.

Gothic Quarter – Barri Gòtic Quarter: The “old city” in the heart of Barcelona and the “original” Barcelona where the city all started. This area is characterized by winding cobbled ancient streets, wonderfully picturesque architecture, top quality restaurants and cafes full of atmosphere. Here are our favorite bars for this area:

3Els 4 Gats: Dazzling in its design, Els Quatre Gats is an unmiss- able stop for those interested in Modernista archi- tecture and indeed the art of the period, being the former regular meeting place of Picasso and other artistic luminaries. Nowadays, it chiefly caters to tourists, and is no crucible for Catalan gastronomy – nor is it cheap. There is, however, a more reason- ably priced and generously portioned set lunch, and when it’s all over you can buy the T-shirt. To appre- ciate the building without forking out for dinner, visit its café. It’s open daily from 12am till 1am and you find it in the street Montsió 3.


2Ocaña: This space is the namesake of José Perez Ocaña, paintor, activist and defender of freedom, who was one of the main players of ‘la Movida’, the great counterculture movement during the Transición following Franco’s death in the 1970s. Ocaña is a bar and restaurant with prime outdoor seating, and its own cocktail bar, La Apotheke. The décor and ambience have been treated with care, with respect for the original structure of the building and with  pieces of furniture from all over the world. Check it out in Plaça Reial, 13-15. Get inspired by the ambiente. It’s open from 1pm until 3.30pm daily and let the spectacles inspire you.

1Sor Rita: If Mario Vaquerizo lived in Barcelona, this would be his favourite bar: a place that has find in the ‘kitsch’ style, its reason to exist, that seems to be a part of an Almodóvar movie, one of the hard ones. You find this colorful and inspiring spot in Mercè 27.





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