The scent of fresh tapas, a soft ocean breeze, the sultry strums of Spanish guitar and clinking of wine glasses filling the cobblestone streets at dusk: it’s hard not to fall in love in Barcelona. The city exudes an undeniable air of romance. So if you’re here with your S.O., don’t skimp on the opportunity for a truly perfect date—a night on the town exploring Barcelona’s burgeoning bar scene will score you some serious points. Whether you’re in the mood for swanky cocktails, trendy mixology, or a flight of local wines, there’s a hole in the wall here calling your name. To help narrow it down (and hopefully inspire the romantic in you), we’ve singled out some of the all-time best bars in Barcelona for a date night.
Craft Cocktails: Collage Bar
Tucked away down a small alley is the unassuming Collage Bar (Carrer dels Consellers 4, t: 931793785, open Sunday–Thursday, 11AM–2:30AM; Friday–Saturday, 11AM–3AM): a sexy, dimly-lit watering hole that makes for the perfect spot to sip a whimsical craft cocktail in El Born. Each concoction on the small but intricate menu is elaborately described and flawlessly made, and if you can manage to snag a seat in the coveted upstairs lounge area, you’ll have a birds-eye view of the mixing process. If you’re interested in learning more about their impressive drinks, the bar also regularly hosts cocktail mixing classes–a fun and playful way to mix it up for date night.
Wine Tasting: La Vinateria del Call
According to legend, La Vinateria del Call (Carrer de Sant Domènec del Call 9, t: 933026092, open daily, 7:30PM–midnight) is the oldest wine bar in Barcelona—and upon entering, the bar does give off a time-has-stood-still-here vibe. Located on a narrow street in the old Jewish neighborhood of the Gothic Quarter, this local haunt also serves delectable tapas, which make it an excellent option for a dinner date, as well. Load up on croquetas and cheese plates to pair with the extensive wine menu.
Vermouth: Bodega 1900
Vermouth may sound stuffy to some, but it’s become a serious trend in Barcelona. The aromatic drink is typically ordered on a Sunday morning prior to the large, traditional afternoon meal, but those in the know are up for it any time, any place. The Sant Antoni neighborhood has a plethora of options for vermouth-tasting, but one of the best is Bodega 1900 (Carrer de Tamarit, 91, t: 933252659, open Tuesday–Saturday, 1PM–10:30PM)—a trendy vermouth bar run by Ferran and Albert Adrià (known for their famous restaurant El Bulli).
Antiques and Absinthe: Bar Marsella
The 200-year old Bar Marsella (Carrer de Sant Pau 65, t: 934427263, open daily, 6PM–2:30AM) is, according to most sources, the actual oldest in Barcelona, and has the cigarette-tinged ceiling, ornate chandeliers, and decades-old bottles to prove it. It’s a late-night staple, located in a somewhat seedy neighborhood, that hasn’t changed much (if at all) since about 1820. But locals, students, tourists, and bohemian romantics alike are all here for one thing: the absinthe. Be sure to order a glass of the herbal green drink—but for your own sakes, drink slowly. This potent stuff is no joke.
Looking for more ideas for a night out in Barcelona? Grab a copy of Moon Barcelona Walks.