Spain: Quirky Barcelona Bars

Barcelona is a city filled with tons of hidden gems. There are hundreds of places for you to explore down the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter, Raval, and even the quieter neighbourhoods like Eixample, so here are some of my favourite spots that didn’t fit the criteria for my list of cheapest drinks.

Bún Bò

This colourfully decorated bar serves cheap drinksand does a big, delicious bowl of Pho for 9€!! What could be better??
Mojitos and a couple other cocktails are just 3.50€ (some of the cheapest in Barcelona!), a small beer costs 2€, and for any of you veteran South East Asia backpackers feeling nostalgic, you can get a bottle of Tiger, Asahi, or Cobra for 3.25€. There are two locations; one in the trendy neighbourhood of Raval, and one by the Cathedral. If you’re looking for a patio, the Cathedral location has more seating.

Raval Location
Closest Metro Station: Liceu (L3) / Sant Antoni (L2)
Carrer dels Àngels, 6, 08001 Barcelona

Cathedral Location
Closest Metro Station: Jaume (L4)
Address: Calle Sagristans, 3, 08002, Barcelona

A sign outside a restaurant advertises $3.50 cocktails. Colourful lanterns hang from the ceiling inside.
Bun Bo

First Bar

Fun cocktails, live music, and walls covered in post-it notes with messages from visitors passed, all make this a unique spot in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. It’s not very big, so prepare to be sardined in with your fellow patrons, especially on weekends. Lively bartenders whip up cocktails that range from 4-9€, and Estrella is on tap at 2.50€ for a 30cl glass. Try your luck with a little bar game for a “free” drink by dropping a 1 or 2€ coin through a vase of water and landing it in the shot glass at the bottom. I say “free” because you obviously don’t get your coin back…
The bar is too small and crowded to suit a large group, so I’d suggest coming here with one or two friends, enjoying one or two drinks, and listening to one or two songs before moving on.

Closest Metro Station: Liceu (L3)
Address: Carrer d’en Rauric 9, 08002 Barcelona

Colourful post it notes are layered on the walls. "Be a Columbus to whole new continents within you, opening new channels not of trade, but of thought" is centred.
Leaving our mark: “Be a Columbus to whole new continents within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought”

Dow Jones

The coolest part about this bar is that the drink prices fluctuate based on demand! Just like the stock market, get it?! Fosters and Amstel are usually cheapest, hovering around 4 or 5€ for a pint, but if you wait until the “stock market” crashes, you’ll get better prices! You can also enjoy live sports or play a game of pool with a Budweiser in hand. Dow Jones is perfect for any home-sick Americans out there. You’ll almost always find a bunch of rowdy English speakers at the bar, but the back room is usually a little quieter and the pool table is rarely spoken for!

Closest Metro Station: Girona (L4)/Diagonal (L5)
Carrer del Bruc, 97, 08009 Barcelona

A tv screen lists various beer prices in red and green font - mimicking the stock exchange.
The “stock exchange”

Travel Bar

Tucked away on the corner of a charming side street in the Gothic Quarter, Travel Bar is the spot to go if you’re a trivia nerd. They host an awesome Quiz Night every Wednesday at 9pm, and the winning team takes home a free bottle of Jägermeister! This is by far the best pub quiz in the city; entry is free, the host is fun, the questions aren’t impossibly obscure, and who doesn’t love winning free booze?
Travel Bar is a cool (but very English) hangout even if you’re not into quizzes, and they have a good Happy Hour special for 4€ cocktails between 4 and 7pm. Pints cost 3€ all day.
*Protip: don’t bother with The Philharmonic’s Thursday Night Pub Quiz. It has 3€ entry, stupid questions, and no prize for the winners.

Closest Metro: Liceu (L3)
AddressCalle Boqueria 27, 08002 Barcelona

The entrance to a restaurant features chalk boards with menu items and drink specials.
About to go win a quiz!


If you fancy yourself something of a pool shark, this is the place for you! If you don’t, and you actually suck at pool (like I do), that’s cool too! With 6 tables and relatively affordable drinks, Retruc is a prime location to crush your friends in a game, or try to acquire some skill if you have no idea what you’re doing. The tables are coin operated and each game is 1.50€, but here’s an exclusive pro tip: one table is secretly broken and works with just 0.50€! I won’t disclose which table however, just to keep the mystery alive. Don’t mention it to the bartenders and ruin it for us all. As for the drinks, I won’t lie, the prices aren’t overly competitive. Half a litre of San Miguel will run you 4.50€, but they have poooool!!

Closest Metro Station: Espanya (L1/L3)
Address: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 399, 08015 Barcelona

A view from the corner of a pool table
Ready to play!

Let me know if I’ve missed out on any cool places that you’ve discovered in this amazing city!

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