As told by local writer Sarah Galvao
Barcelona is a foodies mecca: amazing tapas, Spanish world-famous chefs and lots of spots to discover within the city. Everyone visiting Barcelona is looking for a place to have a fantastic, unforgettable dinner experience. But, just after the perfect meal, where should you head? Easy, our guest blogger Sarah Galvao has got you covered:
Toast at a cocktail bar
Newly open Servicio Continuo (Avenida Diagonal, 353) has a New Yorker approach, exactly what Barcelona feels lacking: an art-déco atmosphere, fantastic drinks, tapas with a creative twist, and—most important—a late service until 3:00am. Because it is really difficult to find an open place in Barcelona during the after hours.
If you are looking for something more traditional, where the walls would tell amazing stories if they could talk, Boadas (Carrer Tallers, 1) is your old style bar. Ernst Hemingway used to have cocktails there while drinking in Barcelona. The location is very centric and iconic, near the popular Las Ramblas. Cocktails are life-time classics, like Manhattan or Negroni. Atmosphere is no-frills and true vintage and the place still keeps its old traditional charm.
Get lost in the old town
Barcelona’s old town can be a tourist trap sometimes, but there are some areas which a night walk can be charming and pleasant. The Born district has a very lovely area between Plaza Santa Maria del Pi and Ciutadella Park. It is full of bars and restaurants but also, narrow, quiet alleys with hidden and astonishing places. You can imagine you are walking in 18th century Barcelona, until you find a small club and start to dance like it’s 1999.
Enjoy a terraza time
Despite its amazing skyline, Barcelona was also missing good rooftops. It seems now the city had a wake up call and lots of them are finally popping up. Newly opened The Serras Hotel (Passeig de Colón, 9) is located in front of the Old Port and has fantastic views. Their Sky Lounge is called ¨El Sueño de Picasso¨ for a good reason. Open until 2:00 am, you will find music and people looking for fun under the moonlight.
Another new rooftop with lovely views is located at Hotel Alma (Carrer de Mallorca, 271), next to the Gaudiesque Passeig de Gracia. This boutique-design hotel has an open space located at the 7th floor, which is open until 01:00 am. Cocktails are made by the hyper-creative Paradiso Bar crew. Just as a quick reference, Paradiso Bar, which own spot is located in Born, is one of the hottest cocktail bars in Barcelona lately – its bartender was elected as the best one in Spain in 2014. Their cocktail presentation is a performance by itself, so…don´t miss it!
Watch the locals having fun (and join them)
If you want to stay away from Barcelona’s Old Town and explore where true locals are having fun, head north to Gracia neighbourhood. Besides having several bars and small clubs, this area is full of little squares, where locals get together to meet, drink and talk. A real effort must be done to find a pretentious place around – Gracia’s atmosphere is really down-to-earth. Young Barcelonians are very open, so it is easy to know people, have a conversation and get more insider tips on how to get the most of local Barcelona.