How to Pre-Game for Cheap in Barcelona

Maybe you just found an irresistible flight for a weekend trip to sunny Barcelona, booked it, then remembered the cost of accommodation, food, and sight-seeing. Maybe you’ve just moved here, and finding more than a few hours a week of work has been harder than you expected. Maybe you’re just a generally frugal person and like to find the cheapest price for everything no matter what.

Whatever your situation, I got you homie.

I made a list of the cheapest bars in Barcelona, but I know you like to pre-game, so here are my tips for how to do that on the cheap too.
Buy your booze from Grocery Stores, Supermeercats, or pick up some Sewer Beers on the street for optimal savings.

Grocery Stores
The cheapest place to pick up your pre-game dranks. Look for Condis, Dia%, Mercadona, Carrefour, and Lidl. Beer will cost almost the same across the board, but keep in mind that if you’re picking up snacks too, Carrefour is generally the most expensive, and Lidl the cheapest. A 330ml can of Estrella will be about 0.60€ no matter where you go, but sometimes you can find beer on special.
I once found 500ml tall cans on for 0.50€ at the Carrefour. Yah. Best believe I stocked up. Grocery stores offer a ton of other, nicer, beer brands too, and if you want to get hella thrifty, Dia% sell its own brand for 0.44€. I wouldn’t exactly recommend it, though.

As for Liquor, if you’re looking for brands like Jameson, Absolut, Barcardi, or Jose Cuevo, expect to pay between 12 and 20€ for a 750ml bottle. If you don’t care and just want the cheapest booze around, I respect you, and am happy you tell you that there are lesser known brands for 5€. John Cor Whisky or Knebep Vodka, anyone?

Wine in Barcelona can be found for as little as 0.62€ for a bottle at Lidl, but I suggest you treat yourself to the 2-3€ bottle so you can actually drink it.

Supermercats (or, meercats, if you will)
This is probably the most convenient place to pick up your booze. You can find at least two supermeercats on every block in the centre of Barcelona. I don’t know how their businesses even survive because they’re so abundant.  Avoid anything on La Rambla, the main streets of Barceloneta, or any other highly populated tourist area. Here, A 330ml Estrella will cost you 1.25€, and the same can near Plaza España is only about 0.65€. Of course, if you’re staying/living near a tourist area, you won’t want to make a metro trip to save 60 cents, but least get off La Rambla and find a supermeercat down one of the less popular side streets.
Wine and Liquor prices are similar to the grocery stores, but tend to be slightly more expensive.

**Supermercats are open all night, but they can’t legally sell alcohol after 23:00.
Which brings me to the sewer beers…

Sewer Beers
Sounds appealing, right? You can easily find these being sold by random guys on the street, which is illegal (an issue for them, not for you). To keep the cans cold and hidden from police, they are wrapped in plastic bags and kept down below the grates. Hovering above Barcelona’s sewer system. Yummmm.
They’ll also offer to sell you drugs. Drugs are bad, kids. Never do them.
…but if you do, don’t buy from these guys. Find a more trusted source. The “coffee shops” are a much wiser choice.

You judge now, but when it’s late, the shops are closed, you’re on your way to a club, and wanting one more cheap drink before facing 12€ cocktails… you’ll change your mind. Don’t pay more than 1€ per can. If you buy a bunch you can usually haggle them down and get one or two for free!

Happy Partying!

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