With over 15,000 bars scattered throughout Barcelona, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy your favourite tipple this summer.
From rooftops with stunning views to traditional Spanish bodegas, Spain’s second city is sure to have the perfect watering hole to match your mood.
With this in mind we scoured the city and came up with 10 must-visit bars to help you enjoy your summer.
Hidden within the walls of the old Hospital De Santa Creu, sits a little-known bar called El Jardí. A secluded terrace a stone’s throw from La Rambla, it’s a secret oasis in the heart of the city.
Located in a gothic courtyard, you can lounge with a cocktail beneath vaults and spires from days of old to the sounds of a choice chillout playlist.
Their drinks menu consists of classic cocktails such as Moscow Mule, Aperol Spritz, Caipirinha and Piña Colada, each costing between 8-9 euros. They also have a selection of wines and beers.
The food menu includes classic tapas dishes such as chistorra, calamares and Spanish omelette, with their bravas being particularly popular among regulars. They also have less common options such as tuna sashimi and tomato sashimi tacos.
With its well-kept garden and relaxed atmosphere, El Jardí is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life without leaving the centre.
El Jardí is at Carrer de l’Hospital, 56, 08001 Barcelona. Instagram: @eljardi_barcelona
Situated in the picturesque neighbourhood of El Born, Guzzo is one of the coolest cocktail bars in town. With its funky retro decor and urban art, it is a restaurant, bar, live music venue and club all rolled into one.
The music fits the bohemian surroundings with a mixture of bossa nova, jazz and blues, with live music and a DJ most nights. Watching live sets is free for diners and 10 euros if you’re only drinking.
They have also been known to host more unusual events such as designer sales, themed dinners and clothing swap-shops. And every month they collaborate with a different street artist to paint anew one of their interior walls.
The outdoor terrace is on a pedestrianised street opposite El Born Cultural Centre and is the perfect place to enjoy a cold one with friends.
Their food menu incorporates Mediterranean dishes such as lamb croquetas and beetroot gazpacho, as well as a few international influences like vegan ceviche and Mexica-style prawns. They pride themselves on using only the freshest local produce including sea food from La Barceloneta, and cheese and meat from the Pyrenees.
They offer a selection of eight house cocktails (10 euros each), a Spritz selection (6-8 euros each) and a variety of classic cocktails with varying prices. They also have a Spritz happy hour until 8pm.
Guzzo is at Plaza Comercial 10, Barcelona. www.guzzobcn.es
You’re standing at the counter of a traditional delicatessen. With a nod from the security guard, you open the fridge door and enter the hidden world of Paradiso, one of the most acclaimed cocktail bars in the world.
Adopting the style of a prohibition-era speakeasy, Paradiso was ranked number 1 in The World’s Fifty Best Bars 2022.
Brainchild of Italian-born Giacomo Giannotti and his partner Margarita Sader, Paradiso has taken the science of mixology to new heights. The menu is packed with elaborate signature cocktails, unparalleled in their creative ingenuity. Each year the menu is inspired by a new theme, with this year’s being human evolution.
Their cocktails are presented with a touch of the theatrical and the staff give a brief explanation of the inspiration behind them. One favourite, On Fire, is a cocktail inspired by the discovery of fire. It involves using a laser to induce a fire in a test tube, creating a vacuum which sucks up and smokes the Jerez wines.
And then there’s The Tesla, inspired by Tesla coils. This drink comes in a double-glazed glass containing a gas which generates an electric current when you touch it.
With such a range of innovative drinks, Paradiso has been much talked about in recent years. Demand for a table is high, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. They have recently introduced a virtual queue system to which you can register upon arrival and receive a message when your table is ready.
Paradiso is at c/Rera Palau 4 (El Born), Barcelona. www.paradiso.cat
Antic Teatre is more than just a bar, it’s an independent social and cultural centre. Located next to Palau De La Música, it sits in a building constructed in 1650 and is in the City of Barcelona’s Architectural and Historical Heritage Catalogue.
A patron of the arts and a space dedicated to supporting independent live performance, they have a packed timetable of shows throughout the year. Click here for more information about their programme.
The bar itself opens onto a charming patio with a large tree as centrepiece, from which hang quirky bird cages and fairy lights which illuminate the patio at dusk.
The menu is pretty limited compared to other bars on our list, consisting of standard beers, wines, nachos and cold sandwiches.
Despite this, its warm, vibrant atmosphere draws customers throughout the summer months. Relaxed, fun and back to basics, Antic doesn’t lean on gimmicks to attract the crowds. It’s simply a great outdoor place to enjoy drinks with friends.
The prices are cheap with a beer costing around 3 euros and a glass of wine between 3-4 euros. And as it tends to attract locals, it’s a good place to avoid the throngs of tourists in the city centre.
Antic Teatre is at Verdaguer i Callis 12, Barcelona. www.anticteatre.com
Barcelona has seen an explosion of cocktail bars in recent years each offering their own range of signature and classic drinks.
Bobby’s Free is one such bar with a particularly fun twist. You enter what seems to be a 1930s barber shop. After taking a seat on the barber’s stool the security guard asks you for the secret password. This is available on their Instagram account. Upon providing the mystery word, the wall in front of you suddenly opens and you are whisked away into the dimly lit underworld of Bobby’s Free cocktail bar.
The drinks menu is excellent. It has a permanent classics menu and a ‘Try Before You Die’ list which changes every month.
Best sellers include Passion Mule, their take on the classic Moscow Mule, a blend of vodka, passion fruit, lime, cinnamon syrup and ginger beer.
And the Hollywood: a mix of brandy, passion fruit, white cocoa and caramel. In keeping with the prohibition theme, it comes hidden in a mock popcorn tub topped with a mound of popcorn kernels and chocolate syrup.
They also create bespoke cocktails according to your preferences, in case you don’t fancy anything on the menu.
They have live music from Thursday to Sunday between 9.30pm-11pm, which never fails to get the crowd going.
Bobby’s Free is at Carrer de Pau Claris 85, Barcelona. www.bobbysfree.com
If you need a break from the tumult of the city centre, then Mirablau – situated in the tranquil surroundings of Mount Tibidabo – is the place to go.
20 minutes from Plaza Cataluña and with a view spanning the length and breadth of the city, Mirablau offers one of the most breathtaking vistas on our list. From El Forum in the north, to Montjuic and beyond to the south, you can sit and admire Barcelona’s best-known landmarks from the zen surroundings of one of the highest points in the city.
They offer a selection of 12 different gins and a variety of beers, wines, cocktails and soft drinks. They also have tapas and other Mediterranean dishes, which you can enjoy indoors or out on the terrace.
They have a club that starts at 11pm, catering for a broad age range and playing a variety of modern and old music.
The journey up to the bar is pretty fun, too. The well-known Tramvia Blau takes you past the modernist buildings that flank Avenida del Tibidabo. The vintage blue trams date back to 1901 and are a fun way to scale the steep climb to Mirablau.
You can also take a short ride in the funicular to the funfair at the top of the mountain.
Mirablau is at Plaza Doctor Andreu s/n, 08035 Barcelona. www.mirablaubcn.cat
As the name suggests our next bar specialises in beer. Voted best beer bar in Spain by Rate Beer Best, they have no fewer than 30 craft beers on tap from some of the best breweries in Europe and beyond.
With a daily-rotating list of porters, IPAs, lagers and stouts, there’s always something new to try.
Plasma screens display the full list of beer which is updated in real time, as and when they change.
The beer is complemented by a fairly comprehensive food menu including tapas, burgers, cold cuts, vegetarian options and desserts. Their spicey ‘Bravas Muy Bravas’ are a big hit among customers.
The bar has a rustic feel and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable, so feel free to ask for a recommendation if you’re not sure what to order.
BierCaB is at c/Muntaner 55, 08011 Barcelona. www.biercab.com
Bar Bodega Quimet
If you’re in search of a traditional taste of Spain, you could do a lot worse than paying a visit to Bar Bodega Quimet.
Founded in 1954 by Señor Quimet and passed down the family until it eventually changed hands in 2010, it is has long been a staple of the Gracia neighbourhood of Barcelona.
The traditional surroundings and wooden wine barrels speak of a time gone by and the walls adorned with newspaper cuttings tell of a long and proud history.
They have an extensive wine list as well as serving vermouth. They also have some delicious tapas dishes including patatas con mojo (potatoes with a sauce made from a mix of hot and sweet peppers) and battered cod with caramelised tomato.
Bar Bodega Quimet is at Calle d Vic 23, 08006 Barcelona.
Some bars are popular for their drinks, others for their food. Still others are popular for their excellent atmosphere and good vibes.
Ovella Negra, or The Black Sheep, a mediaeval tavern in the Raval quarter of Barcelona, fits squarely in the latter category.
Frequented mainly by a younger crowd and lacking the bells and whistles of other bars on our list, this is simply a bar with a great atmosphere and is always a fun place to visit with friends.
The beer comes by the litre and they have some bottles and a range of savoury snacks. You also get free popcorn when you order a drink.
While the drinks menu is somewhat limited, the old-world surroundings and party vibes of the groups of students and travellers enjoying a night out with friends, make this one of the most enjoyable bars in town.
Although they tend not to have live music, the playlist is jam packed with classic anthems past and present.
It also has table football and a pool table, something which is not always easy to come by in Barcelona.
Ovella Negra is at Carrer Sitges 5, Barcelona. www.ovellanegraramblas.com
Via Laietana is one of the busiest streets in Barcelona. But perched atop one of its rooftops is a sanctuary away from the teeming thoroughfare below.
Skybar, at Grand Central Hotel, is a serene refuge replete with cosy booth lounge chairs, conducive to socialising with friends and family while admiring the stunning view of the city.
Although many of the clientele are tourists staying at the hotel, it’s not unusual to find a few locals enjoying a tipple and taking in the panorama of an evening. Chillout music sets the vibe as people lounge, graze, drink and play in the infinity pool overlooking Barcelona’s rooftops.
The view covers the Catederal Del Mar, Torre Acbar, the treetops lining Arc de Triomf and a glimpse of the sea in the background.
They have a good selection of drinks, although they are on the pricey side with a cocktail costing around 16 euros.
They also have a selection of Spanish and French wines, cava and champagne, long drinks and a few different vodkas, rums and brandies.
It fills up quickly so you will likely need to reserve a table in advance. They have a DJ every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday between 8pm and 11pm and Sundays between 7pm and 10pm.
Skybar (Grand Central Hotel) is at Via Laietana 30, Barcelona. www.grandhotelcentral.com