BARS IN BARCELONA
As with any other aspect of nightlife in Barcelona, bars are abundant all over the city, and range from Spanish, to Brazilian, to Irish and American, and basically any other country imaginable!
You never have to look too far to find outdoor cafés, wine bars, cocktails bars (referred to as coctelerias), beer halls, xampanyerias (the common Catalan cava/sparkling wine bars), and best of all the beach bars during the hot summer months. Most of the establishments usually open (or at least become busy) from around 10 PM, and normally stay open until 2.30 – 3.00 am, but if the party is loud enough, they may stay open!
Along the beaches of Barcelona, you will find a few chiringuitos (beach bars), that are great places to spend summer evenings after work, or even watch some football after a long day on the beach. Due to their close location to the sea, these chiringuitos mostly serve seafood, but most of them have changed their menus to include pasta, sandwiches, and the popular summer drink called Orchata (a milky drink made from Tiger nuts). There are around 7 chiringuitos in Barcelona beach, each offering their own unique experience.
Just as in any other city, there are of course cheaper and more expensive areas to go drink.
If you´re on a budget, or simply just looking for more value-for-money, you might want to stick to Raval or Poble-Sec areas. Most bars in these areas usually have drink specials, and the atmosphere is very warm, although it does get very boisterous quite early, and you should be careful of your belongings, especially while moving from one bar to another. The main area to focus on, is the Plaza de Raval, which is a big square with many different bars. You know you´ve found this place when you see the giant stone cat in the middle of the square!
If money is no issue, head up-town towards Passeig de Gracia and Eixample, where the atmosphere is a little bit more up-market, and of course more expensive. Many hotels also open their roof-top bars to non-guests, especially in the summer when the open air atmosphere is a good way to start your weekend. Many of these bars also offer drinks specials and happy hours, although changes to the law in 2010 prohibit bars from actually advertising “happy hour” etc outside the bar, so you would have to go hunting for them and see which you like most. You may also like to see Plaza Real, which is on the Rambla. It´s quite touristic, but there are some nicer, more up-market type places to drink there.
For those who like shots, make sure you visit “Chupito” bars. They usually have list of around 100+ different shots, whos names are written on the wall of the bar. The shots are usually around 2 Euro each and it´s quite an experience to spend an evening at one of these bars. They do serve normal drinks as well, although normally the variety will be limited