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El Raval is the area to the west of La Rambla
It used to be a red light, dodgy area for immigrants.
Today, it has started to move up market on pockets but some streets still have a dark edgy seedy feel to them which give the bars and a night out here an atmospheric edge.
We went in the bars below-
-Dostrece (on carrer carme) - a dimly lit bar/restaurant with a lounge downstairs. we popped in here for a drink, just sitting at the bar. we popped back later for food (see restaurants section for info). theres a friendly resident black labrador, the staff are all abit funky with multiple tatoos and a glass of rose and a small draught moritz beer came to 6 euro.
-Bar Marsella on carrer de sant ramon is described in the LP as a old tatty atmospheric bar on the seediest street in barcelona. sadly the bar was closed in Jan13. the street did have an edge to it which made it more exciting.
-London bar - just round the corner from carrer de sant ramon, this sounds like an expat tourist hole but in fact is a cool little bar with heaps of character, looking like it hasnt changed in 50 years. Apparently Piccasso used to drink here. its a narrow bar with a larger section out the back. they had a live solo artist playing when we went. a pint and a half of estrella was just 3.75 euro, a bargain in a pricey city.
-casa almirall bar - a large busy bar with tables/chairs in the front section, and sofas and tables in a dimly lit section at the back, with a saloon bar entrance to the toilet. two small estrellas here were 5.50 euro.
-Boadas cocktail bar - apparently the citys oldest cocktail bar, just off the top end of the Rambla. in here it was very busy with tourists. the staff (old men) are dressed in dicky bows and a daquori is 6 euros (quite strong!). worth a visit but not amazing
Updated Jan 26, 2013
We found a smashing Irish pub called P. Flaherty. They do offers on drinks (pints and shorts), the pub has a great atmosphere, seating, and never gets that full you can't move.
We found a couple of bars on the same street as our hotel (again, two streets away) that sold lager by the litre, but even better than that; cocktails by the litre!!!
We found we could spend hours in these bars and pubs because of the relaxed atmosphere, friendly service, the other customers and the price!
You still get the buzz of a night out in Barcelona by going just off 'the main drag'.
The harbour area is a brilliant night out too. There are plenty of resturants to choose from with wide and varying menus. There are also plenty of bars to choose from. This area is higher priced than in the city.
Dress Code: Smart/casual. My rule of thumb is no trainers. But you are on holiday, so some places are not very strict.
Updated Feb 2, 2012
In the old fishing neighborhood, interesting decor, Bob Dylan blasting in the background, the Absenta Bar was a cool place to drop some properly prepared absinthe. Poured over a sugar cube in small glasses, lit afire, then matched equally with water, the green absinthe turns murky yellow, and then your head does a few turns.
Dress Code: Pretty casual place
Updated Oct 31, 2011
Address: Carrer Sant Carles 36, Barceloneta
Whenever I travel, one of the establishments that I visit is Hard Rock. I go there for a round or two of drinks to cap the night or to get myself a souvenir Hard Rock city shirt.
Capturing its description from the website:
"Boasting its own language, culture and government, Catalunya has a distinctive identity, with its capital, Barcelona, easily being one of the most vibrant, exciting and sophisticated cities in Europe. Elegant boulevards mark the course for leisurely walks, gothic art and architecture is in abundance and tapas cafes are rife with imaginative cooking.
"Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona completes the local ambience with our inspired, creative fare and glorious rock 'n' roll memorabilia on display in interesting combinations. So after a long day's promenade on Las Ramblas, "Ramble On" over to the Hard Rock for a rockin' good time!"
Updated May 19, 2011
Address: Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona Plaça de Catalunya
Phone: (34) 93 270 2305
So, my boyfriend was beginnin to have an urge for a taste of home and when we were approached by an irish guy inviting us to Mc carthy's bar, we decided to head there after some tapas. It's a pleasant wee place though the drinks are more expensive than you'd expect to pay in ireland, it's understandable though! It's very close to the barcelona cathedral and the staff are very friendly and keen to help you with any barcelona questions and are certainly up for a chat. It's a warm and welcoming kind of place and I'd recommend it -like a tourist office only friendlier and with alcohol!
Dress Code: Anything really, jeans & t shirt kind of place but you won't stand out in something more dressy either.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Via Laietana 44, 08003 Barcelona
Phone: 93 268 1003
Restaurant and elegant pub. At the entrance there are tables for non smokers. The first part consists in a pub with drinks, and further on you reach an especial hall where they serve meals and smoking is permitted.
All the staffs speak English.
Dress Code: informal
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Pau Claris 92
Phone: 93 3184252
Drinks after hours.
This club is very convenient if you have had dinner in one of the many restaurants in the area. Ask for the Baja Cocktail, or an especial drink only prepared in Blue Sunday.
Dress Code: nice is better
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Paseo Maritimo 34
Phone: 93 2259100
Nestled away in the alley-ways of El Born, La Fianna is a nice "hip" place to kick back strong drinks and engage in the popular past-time hobby of people watching. Another major plus with this place was that there was no annoying, unpretentious crowd to screw up the ambience.
Dress Code: No dress code
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Banys Vells, 15
Phone: +34 93 315 1810
It's a hidden gem in raval district,not discovered by tourists yet,despite being only 5minutes from the rambla.This is probably my favourite place to start a night out.The bar has a great atmosphere: retro wallpapers and famous jazz musician's black and white photos hanging on the walls.There is a small concert room which is packed with musicians during the jam sessions which take place almost every night from 10pm to 1am. You can chat, dance or simply gaze at them as they are improvising.Its all about enjoying the music and yourself! No entry fee!
Updated Apr 3, 2011
Address: 7 c/ botella,raval,barcelona
I don’t really think this is a night spot, we had a drink break here during the day but it called a bar so I categorized it here. It is very small place, almost like a kiosk bar where you can have very cheap local beer, I don’t remember how cheap it was, but probably as cheap as possible in Euro zone country :)
Written Jan 28, 2011
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