The Catalan capital has a long history of attracting some of the most innovate artists and thinkers from Europe, from Pablo Picasso to Antoní Gaudí. Today the city continues to attract creatives from all disciplines, whether it’s for the many avant-garde museums and galleries or Barcelona’s buzzing atmosphere. Here are some of the best places to check out when you’re in search of inspiration in the city.
Open since 2014, the FAB Café is the first of its kind in Europe and one of only three worldwide. What is it, you ask? A FAB Café is somewhere you can grab a drink, chill or work, but it’s also a 3D printing lab where you can print your very own projects, and meet other printers to exchange ideas. Regular events are held for those who are new to the practice and are looking for some inspiration; they serve a pretty darn good cup of coffee, it has to be said.
FAB Café, Carrer de Bailèn, 11, Barcelona +34 936 67 41 65
Tinta Roja Espai d’Art
Located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Poble Sec, the Tinta Roja Espai d’Art is a multipurpose art space, bar and concert hall with a program of regular events. When you first walk into the space you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just a bar, but keep walking to the back and you’ll discover a cabaret-style stage and dance-floor. Everything from English language comedy to tango classes take place at the venue and it’s a friendly place to grab a drink on any day of the week.
Tinta Roja, Carrer de la Creu dels Molers, 17, Barcelona +34 934 43 32 43
El Quatre Gats
The Quatre Gats is famous in Barcelona for having been the favourite hang out of none other than Pablo Picasso. The artist spent his formative years in the Catalan capital and took to drinking at the Quatre Gats when he was not busy in his studio. He even designed the artwork for the restaurant’s menus, which unsurprisingly they have kept until this day. While today the Quatre Gats is a popular tourist spot located on the busy Plaça Reial, it has retained it’s old world charm and sitting outside in the quiet season you could almost feel transported back to the days of Picasso.
El Quatre Gats, Carrer de Montsió, 3, Barcelona +34 933 02 41 40
The Blueproject Café
Cafe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Healthy, $$$
The Blueproject Café
Not only is the Blueproject Café one of the city’s first exclusively raw vegetarian eateries, it’s also run by the trendy contemporary art gallery which gives it its name: the Blueproject Foundation. The café is an expression of the galleries ethos in the world of gastronomy, promoting organic ingredients, locally sourced and cooked with love, in a laid-back atmosphere. Treat yourself to a coffee or something to snack on after you’ve perused the exhibition at the gallery.
Blueproject café, Calle Princesa 57 bis, Barcelona +34 931 82 43 71
Half way between a contemporary art gallery and a trendy café, Galería Cosmo is one of the best places to hang out when you’re hungry for food as well as inspiration. As a gallery Cosmo exhibits mostly drawings and paintings by emerging artists, many of whom are from Barcelona or Spain. As a café, Cosmo serves a selection of salads, sandwiches and snacks as well as home-made cakes, fresh juices and hot drinks.
Galería Cosmo, Carrer d’Enric Granados, 3, Barcelona +34 931 05 79 92
Fundació Joan Miró Café
If you’re a fan of architecture then the café inside the Joan Miró Foundation is likely to become your new favourite spot for getting some daytime inspiration. Aside from the fascinating artwork by the Catalan artist which the foundation holds, the building itself is a work of art, designed by local architect Josep Lluís Sert upon request of Miró himself. Located on the ground floor, the café has both an inside space as well as an outdoor terrace on an interior courtyard, making it the perfect place to indulge in some blue sky thinking.
Joan Miró Foundation, Parc de Montjuïc, Barcelona +34 934 43 94 70
Bar, Spanish, Pub Grub, $$$
This is another legendary venue with a history of welcoming some of the city’s most famous artists, writers and other creative types. Known to many simply as ‘the absinthe bar’, the Bar Marsella is famous for serving the powerful anise-flavoured spirit (which earned the nickname ‘green fairy’ for its near magical effects on its drinker). Allegedly frequented by the likes of Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway, the bar appears to have remained unchanged since the last century.
Bar Marsella, Carrer de Sant Pau, 65, Barcelona +34 934 42 72 63