Following on from the BarWhiz guide to Europe, here’s a look at what the Spanish have to offer, from beers in the city to cocktails on a Mediterranean island. This guide is brought to you by Polly Allen, a travel writer on Spain with easyJet Holidays.
Madrid, being the capital city of Spain, has some of its best-loved bars, so choose your district wisely. La Latina has a student/hippy vibe, especially in bars such as Barrio Alto, whilst Huertas is popular with tourists but will generally cost more. The most famous place for cocktails is on the iconic main street, Gran Via, and is called Museo Chicote. Film stars and writers have been here, so why not follow in their footsteps?
Seville’s Cerveceria Internacional is a haven for beer lovers, and a beer is una cerveza. Choices on tap include Leffe and Guinness, or you can enjoy a Spanish cider (Escanciador). If you’re going for bottled beer then there’s everything from Chinese (Tsingtao) to Czech (Budejovicky).
Barcelona is full of cool places to visit, but its rooftop bars must surely be worth a mention. The Zinc Bar, on the roof of the Hotel Villa Emilia, has free Wi-Fi, an amazing terrace with large sofas, and a tempting wine list as well as mojitos to die for. Alternatively, the Hotel Pulitzer Bar is a good choice for those who can afford to splash the cash on elegant €12 cocktails.
Hotel Pulitzer Bar
Majorca is an ever-popular nightlife destination for good reason: in Magaluf alone there are over 100 bars, many of which have a theme. The BCM Sports Bar is a good place to start thanks to its range of shots, beers and cocktails next to a giant TV screen for watching those sporting events, followed by a stay at the nearby Marina Barracuda Hotel, which has a cool BCM-themed entertainment area. If you’re more into classic drinking then don’t miss Ginbo in Palma, which has more than 100 different types of gin – just don’t try them all at once.
Ibiza’s Raco Verd, in San Jose, has been running for fifty years and doesn’t fail to impress, even today. Enjoy cleansing and refreshing juices such as the SOS by day and then upgrade to tapas and wine as the night falls, accompanied by the sounds of acoustic guitar performances. If you want something a bit livelier then try La Cava, which is a chic night spot in Ibiza Town with amazing decor.
Menorca’s many watering holes include Mambo, with its signature Mojito proving a favourite with tourists, and Jazzbah, which is a trendy bar and club that is perfect for catching up with friends over a few drinks in the chill out room or listening to DJs playing live sets.
Fuerteventura is home to Agua, based in Corralejo, which comes highly recommended by tourists and locals. Expect to pay no more than €5 per cocktail and enjoy light tapas-style snacks with your drink – free of charge. The hot cocktails are certainly worth sampling.
Gran Canaria has plenty of cheap bars, but blogger Victoria (known as the Cunning Canary) advises you to go upmarket if you want recognisable branded drinks. Try the bar of the Soultrain Jazz Club in Las Palmas for excellent music and live jamming sessions as you enjoy a glass of something cool.
Lanzarote’s hotspots include La Esquina, which has half an hour of free Wi-Fi for everyone who buys a drink, and the bars around the Rubicon Marina such as Global House and Afrodite Little Italy, which has a wide range of wine.
Best of the Rest
Marbella is a more expensive place to visit in Spain, thanks to its glitzy nightlife and gorgeous beaches which the cast of the hit reality TV show The Only Way is Essex have popularized. Bars to try out include The Champagne Room (for the obvious tipple) and The Library, which has over 250 types of alcohol.
Valencia’s Montaditos Gratis will appeal to those of you needing to save your Euros. Small beers come with a small tapas selection and start from just €1,30, which is very wallet-friendly. At that price you can afford to be a bit more adventurous with your choice of drinks.
San Sebastian, in the north of Spain, has bars to suit all budgets, many of which either contain a version of tapas known as pintxos or huge bocadillos (baguettes) to accompany your drinks. Juantxo Bar is a bit of a student favourite thanks to its cheap food and beer, and look out for its special caipirinhas.
Now you’ve seen the line-up, the hardest part is choosing which resort to visit first…
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