Silent Drinking in Barcelona

Some of the strangest bars I have ever been to are in Barcelona.

When walking through the Gothic Quarter or Raval in the early hours of the morning it is not uncommon to hear faint music playing through shop fronts or to see groups of people spilling out of what seem to be holes in the wall. Tell tail signs of illegal bars.

These illegal bars are continuously popping up and then mysteriously, and just as quickly, disappearing (there one day gone the next). They can be operating for weeks or months and will often close down once their popularity has reached a point at which unwanted attention is drawn to the premises.

The bars are mostly found in old shop fronts or ground level apartments that have been temporarily converted. They often have multiple doors as to keep the noise from carrying out onto the streets.  In order to find these bars you have to know someone who knows of them or you have to spot the signs. You have to knock or ring a bell to enter and somebody will come and lead you through to the bar.

The bars may consist of a full built bar with cash registers, proper refrigeration and a DJ, however, more often than not, the bar is in and old living room with an old ice cream freezer as a fridge and the barman’s wallet as the cash register. Some play very soft music and only allow you to whisper. In one such bar you had to enter through a wardrobe and through somebody’s living room, in which the bar was located. Each illegal bar has its own style and always provides for an interesting night!

Illegal Bar

Illegal Bar


~ by danielbcn on September 23, 2008.

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