There is certainly no shortage of late-night places in Barcelona, but Bar Marsella in the Raval neighborhood is definitely at the top of our list of places you just have to visit!
Bar Marsella has been in business since 1820 and is said to be Barcelona’s very first bar. Everyone from Picasso to Hemingway is known to have been a regular at some point in this establishment’s long history, used to be frequented by artists like Dalí and Gaudí. Even Woody Allen chose to shoot a scene from the famous movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona right here in bar Marsella! So, if you are looking to experience the authentic side of the city and soak up some history this is the place for you!
While the grime on the chandeliers thickens, the floor tiles become even tattier and the cobwebs in every corner spread further, Bar Marsella’s appeal only seems to grow. Perhaps because the bar’s mix of local Bohemians and tourists that enjoy drinking in the sense of history as much as the venue’s famous absinthe.
Bar Marsella gets its ambience from its house drink: absinthe. Your absinthe glass will come with a lump of sugar, a fork and a little bottle of mineral water. Hold the sugar on the fork, over your glass, and drip the water onto the sugar so that it dissolves into the absinthe, which turns yellow.
Its location is in the neighborhood of Raval, on a corner where working girls still practice the profession that gave the neighborhood its red-light reputation only adds to the seedy allure, once called the Barrio Chino (Chinatown); more lately renamed the Raval.
Bar Marsella with its underground style the bar is cash only, so make sure to pass by the cash-point on your way there! Best after midnight as it gets going late. Having a manager that does not allow under any circumstance singing and they say the bar has not been cleaned since its been open. Walking into bar Marsella is like going into a time machine, bringing you back almost 200 years… since it has not changed much at all since it opened.
We love Barcelona. We love Catalonia. We want you to fall in love with it too!