Bars where you can travel back in time
As we have already mentioned in Historic restaurants and In the hidden jewels of the Raval, Barcelona is full of bars and restaurants that seem frozen in time. Here are some suggestions in case you feel like getting away from the present and landing in the past, even if it's just for a short time.
It has stood on La Rambla by the legendary Canaletes fountain since 1930. Stepping inside, you'll feel like you've travelled back in time to the 1930s and arrived on a Rambla not governed by opening times but open 24 hours a day. It's said that when the Spanish Civil War broke out the owners were forced to close at night… but they couldn't, because nobody knew where the keys were. An easy mistake anybody could make.
Address: Rambla de Canaletes 133
How to get there: Plaça Catalunya (FGC), Catalunya (L1, L3)
Located on the Paral·lel, Barcelona's Broadway, the spirit of this former modernista patisserie and confectioner's, founded in 1912, remains intact both inside and out. You can see this on the iron and glass frontage as well as the interior, where the old shop counter is now used as the bar. Every decorative element retains the late-19th-century modernista atmosphere and may even make you feel as if you're in the Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec.
Address: Sant Pau, 128.
How to get there: Paral·lel (L2, L3)
Founded in 1902 by Flaminio Mezzalama, the manager of the Martini & Rosso brand in Spain. The Grill Room was decorated by the modernista artist Ricard Capmany, and frequented by many of the local residents who came here to sample the red vermouth, the most securely guarded treasure of the house which is one of the jewels of the Gothic Quarter. It now has a dining room so if you get hungry while having your vermouth you can also have a meal.
Adress: Escudellers, 8
How to get there: Liceu (L3)
The old umbrella and fan shop, Gallés, was founded in 1902, but demolished in 1967. The owner moved all the decorative elements to another establishment near the Plaça Sant Jaume. The modernista spirit of the former shop served as inspiration for the décor of his new bar which opened in 1968. If you step inside, you'll see that the ceiling, the lamp, wall light and even the cash register conceal decades of history behind a special charm. Don't miss the bar… it's the jewel in the crown.
Adress: Pas de l'Ensenyança, 2.
How to get there: Liceu (L3), Jaume I (L4)
Café de l'Òpera
It opened in 1929 halfway along the Rambla and took advantage of the fame and beauty of the former chocolatiers La Mallorquina, one of the most elegant places in the city at the time and the meeting place for Barcelona's aristocracy and high society. The café was restored by the architect Antoni Moragas and is one of the city's listed heritage buildings. Clients such as King Alfonso XIII, as well as famous politicians, painters and artists are said to have sat at its tables.
Adress: Rambla, 74
How to get there: Liceu (L3)
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