Barcelona's best bars

With a bar on nearly every corner, it can be hard to find a spot that suits your taste in drinks and ambience. We're here to help

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Robadors, 23

Robadors, 23

Welcome to the liveliest bar scene on the Mediterranean. Immerse yourself in Barcelona's inimitable style, sophistication and a cocktail or two, with Time Out's guide to the best places to drink in town, as picked by our team of experts.

Bar Calders

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

For all Pere Calders fans – God has heard your prayers. The cul-de-sac named after the writer has recently become home to one of the loveliest spots in Sant Antoni. They have books by the Catalan author, the draught beer flows freely and there’s a selection of tapas that sends shivers of pleasure through the district. Obviously, the best thing to try is the vermouth. They stock four brands, but if you want to try a Priorat, then you should go for the one from Falset. Incidentally, the outdoor terrace is one of the district’s best kept secrets: You’ll just keep coming back.

  1. 25, Parlament, 08015
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Tinta Roja

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

A smooth and mysterious bar, once a dairy farm, lent a Buenos Aires bordello/theatre/circus/cabaret vibe by plush red velvet sofas, smoochy niches and an ancient ticket booth. It's an atmospheric place to go for a late-ish drink, and there are tango classes on Wednesday nights.

  1. 17, Creu dels Molers, 08004
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23 Robadors

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Inside this stone-walled and smoke-filled lounge, Raval denizens dig the jazz jam on Wednesdays, the flamenco on Sundays and, in between times, DJs playing a genre-defying range of music (Joy Division and DJ Shadow on the same night). A manga-style mural on the back wall, by one of Barna's many graffiti artists, adds to the underground appeal. You'll need to ring the bell by the door to get in.

  1. 23, Robadors, 08001
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El Bar de l'Antic Teatre

It has that shabby look that is shared by all alternative cultural associations. If what you’re looking for is gorgeous waiters, David Guetta on the deck and Absolut with Red Bull at exorbitant prices, you’d better go to Opium Mar. L'Antic Teatre is an old, recycled space, but has one of the best indoor terraces you’ll ever see. An enormous courtyard with vegetation dotted around haphazardly, ideal for kicking back with a beer or two and waiting for the show to begin. Mourinho could not have been more right: it’s a great place for theatre.

  1. 12, Verdaguer i Callís, 08003
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Smoll

  • Critics choice

If this were a chart, Smoll would be number 1. There is nothing else like it in the city. A vintage matchbox that you might walk by and not even notice. It is a tiny bar decorated with retro lights, chairs and tables from the 1960s and 70s, a little aesthetic treasure that you can, if you want, take home with you. All the furniture -even the tableware- is for sale. If I ever win the Euromillions, I’ll go straight there and tell the barman with a smile: “I think I’ll have the whole bar”.

  1. 9, Comtessa de Sobradiel, 08002
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L'Entresòl

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

This is so fashionable that no-one knows about it yet. It’s the coolest bar in Gràcia because it has neat, contemporary design and good music, and because they mix gin & tonics that go down like holy water. The good-looking modern crowd (with the occasional celebrity) that drops in here is fast outgrowing the available space. The top seller in the bar is the gin & tonic with tea.

  1. 39, Planeta, 08012
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Absenta

Ahhh, Absinthe! The artificial paradise that produces monsters, and this chapel near the port is consecrated heart and liver to the worship of this beverage brewed by Lucifer himself. Dark, dusty, recycled and as disjointed as a bad trip –watch the personalised TV hanging from the ceiling, Argghh! This trippy fleapit offers psychonauts a choice of brands and variations. If you’re into the hard stuff, try the cannabis absinthe: two hammerblows for the price of one. Just the thing for hard times.

  1. 36, Sant Carles, 08003
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Marko
Marko

We will put this list to the test shortly! Oranje Explorers