Avesta A twist to the green fairy

Unconventional and pleasantly surprising, Avesta is a secret find that you won’t wanna miss out on. Tucked down one of Barcelona’s narrow dark alleys in the Barrio Gotico, lies a bar that stands no more than six feet high—its low ceilings are lined with original wooden beams and the capacity is what one might compare to a can of sardines. This hole in the wall may be small, but their drinks pick up the slack. Milk and absinthe. Oh yes, milk and absinthe is their signature drink. Although a fully stocked bar, you’d have to be a fool, or just very lactose intolerant, to miss out on this one-of-a-kind concoction. Their ten-euro jugs of absinthe mixed with flavored milk serve about ten shots. Some of their most popular flavors include chocolate, strawberry, banana, coffee, and mint. For an extra kick, the bartenders hand you cinnamon to sprinkle on top at your own discretion. Although they suggest it as shots, the combination is so damn tasty that almost everyone sips on it and before you know it, another jug is being ordered. If milk and absinthe seems wrong, you don’t want to be right.

KER Club Welcome to the big league

Whispers of a new party spot had been circulating for a while until a riotous opening bash shredded any semblance of underground cred. Nevertheless, while it may be no secret, KER is still hands-down (or should that be hands in air) one of the most exhilarating clubs in the city.

Those in control of the sound streams are at the top of the game. Let’s name drop the likes of Seth Troxler and Levon Vincent, alongside electro royalty in the shapes of Laurent Garnier and DJ Harvey. Music-wise, you get the picture already, but what about the bricks and mortar? Taking their cues from the iconic Spanish interior designer, Javier Regas, it’s a pretty sleek affair that pulls off the trick of being both intense and intimate.

That’s not to say there aren’t a couple blots on their scoresheet. The old ‘buy a bottle and be a VIP for the night’ policy is just not what we call a party. And the marauding official photographer doesn’t do anything for the vibe either. Needless to say, you won’t notice such nuisances when the dancefloor starts to throb.

Nevermind Grunge never really died

Early-90’s American-rock nostalgia is the brick-and-mortar of Nevermind, a bar whose name pays unabashed homage to music legacy Kurt Cobain’s groundbreaking grunge album.

Located just blocks from the city’s most grating, touristy quarters, Nevermind manages to attract plenty of natives, ensuring that your evening will exceed the otherwise-encroaching sensation that your life has come to nothing but slogging booze with Aussies and Brits on holiday. Instead, enjoy the sweet relief of the bar’s specialty mojitos while the barkeep happily fires-up absinthe shots for incautious drinkers.

To call Nevermind’s atmosphere friendly is an understatement: Any scene comprised of surfers, skaters, snowboarders and other stereotypically-chill outdoor enthusiasts guarantees welcoming company and fast (at least for the night) friends. With graffiti-style murals propping up the walls, all-spectrum ambient lighting and happy and relaxed bar flies everywhere you look, Nevermind is the place to begin and end your evening.

Pilé 43 Mojito time

This cosy bar tucked away in the heart of Barrio Gotico has plenty of character for a small place. The cocktails are a highlight, with extraordinary Mojitos that keep you coming back for more. The venue is more of a lounge than a club, with a varied retro music policy and a relaxed atmosphere that makes it a favourite amongst the locals. During the day they serve up fruit and veg shakes and a selection of sandwiches.

Boulevard Culture Club Rumble in la Rambla

Opened in 2009, Boulevard is an upgraded version of the former Fellini club. New interiors and—most importantly—a new Funktion One sound system makes Boulevard one of the best clubs in town for minimal techno and house styles which are played on the main floor by local talent like Andre Buljat or Negro (with the occasional guest appearance by international names like Josh Wink or D’Julz).

On the second floor urban styles like hip hop, funk and electro are featured, which makes sure that Boulevard is attended by a healthy mixture of clientele. The third floor, upstairs, features pop music.

The White Bar Multi-flavored monochromatics

The elegant White Bar Restaurant is attached to the Chic & Basic Hotel.

The restaurant’s all white interior provides a blank canvas to become colored with ambiance by the ceiling lamp in the middle of the dining area, which casts mute tones to bright magentas, creating a spectacular range of atmosphere.

The kitchen offers creative Mediterranean cuisine. Specialties include the delicately delicious “Rape con Compota de Tomate” (monkfish fish with tomato compote).

On weekend nights the White Bar is one of the Born district’s hot spot for the chic and beautiful. DJs spin soul, hip-hop and lounge rhythms.

Kentucky Dingy thrills

If you intend to visit Kentucky, then be sure to be polite with the bouncer, who also happens to be the venue’s owner. Give the wrong impression, and you might find yourself missing out on one of Barcelona’s best nightlife destinations. Open late and guaranteed to get messy, Kentucky may be ramshackle, but therein lies its charm. The dingy, aged bar and furnishings look spectacular when lit up by the multi-colored rope lights that hang from here, there and everywhere.

The bar staff are friendly and professional, and the jukebox is one of the best in Barcelona. Throw in the wildly eclectic, lively crowd found there on most nights, and you have all you need for some spirited partying.

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