The Best Bars in Girona, Spain

Enjoy an appetizer with your vermouth aperitivo
Enjoy an appetizer with your vermouth aperitivo | © l_martinez / Alamy
Photo of Priyankaa Joshi
26 August 2021

There’s more to Catalonia than just Barcelona – this small city of medieval streets, museums and galleries also offers bustling nightlife with jazz clubs and speakeasies. Here’s our guide.

Despite being a small medieval city in northern Catalonia, Girona – often described as Barcelona’s little sister – has a surprisingly varied and vibrant nightlife scene. The narrow, winding streets of the historic Barri Vell (old town) are brimming with bars of all kinds, from traditional taverns and vermuterías to dimly-lit jazz clubs and chic cocktail bars. You’ll also find an abundance of excellent haunts on Rambla de la Llibertat and in the majestic square, Plaça de la Independència.

La Malabarista Vermuteria

Bar, Cocktails, $$$
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As you might be able to tell from the name, the speciality here is the Catalan classic, vermouth. Come 8pm, the narrow bar, complete with vintage soda syphons and marble countertops, is heaving with groups of friends catching up over tumblers of chilled, herby liqueur or ice-cold draught beer. Order a vermut de la casa and graze on thick-cut crisps and olives while you sip. It’s the perfect spot for an aperitivo before heading deeper into the old town for dinner.

Nykteri's Cocktail Bar

Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, $$$
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Nykteri's Cocktail Bar- We offer Private events, Masterclasses & Cocktail Food pairing experiences
Nykteri's Cocktail Bar | Courtesy of Nykteri's Cocktail Bar

Halfway up a cobbled street in the old town is Nykteri’s, one of Girona’s most intimate drinking spots. With sleek leather chairs, candlelit tables and darkened corners, it’s the place to go for a late-night drink. The sophisticated drinks list features classic cocktails and signature creations that change with the seasons. If you’re not sure what to go for, master mixologist Mariona Vilanova or one of her team will provide recommendations based on your preferences. Feeling adventurous? Order the Yuzu whisky sour.

Sunset Jazz Club

Music Venue
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Live music in Sunset Jazz Club. Girona, Catalonia (Spain, Europe)
© Oriol Clavera / Alamy

You don’t have to be a jazz fan to go to Sunset Jazz Club, but it certainly helps. This cosy, speakeasy-style joint, with red velvet armchairs and photographs of jazz legends adorning the walls, is one of the city’s most vibrant and popular venues for a night out. The well-stocked bar has an impressive selection of spirits and cocktails – try the gin and cava cocktail, or a classic G&T served over piles of ice in a fishbowl glass. Check their website for details of live acts, which usually play at weekends.

La Simfonia

Restaurant, Wine, $$$
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This stylish hangout, tucked away in Plaça de l’Oli, is for wine and cheese aficionados. It offers a carefully curated selection of reasonably priced, local wines, accompanied by seasonal sharing plates and cheese boards. Grab a table on the low-lit terrace looking onto the square and soak up the atmosphere of the bustling old town. If you need some guidance, the friendly staff will be happy to talk you through the options. Don’t miss the dessert wine – the Ranci Clivelles del Priorat is beautifully sweet and silky.

El Doll

Restaurant, Beer, $$$
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Fancy pulling your own pint? At this offbeat cervecería, that’s exactly what you do. Buy a swipe-card at the bar and pour yourself drinks all night long from the silver beer taps dotted around the small space. You can choose from a good selection of local craft beers such as Moska de Girona or stick to classic brews like San Miguel and Mahou. If you’re feeling peckish, they do great tapas that’s carefully selected to complement the beers on offer.

La Terra

Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Fusion
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La Terra cafe-restaurant in Ballesteries street, Girona, Catalonia, Spain, Europe.
© agefotostock / Alamy

This old-school cafe on the banks of the Onyar River, with its colourful mosaic floors, bright blue walls and vintage bric-a-brac, has a cosy, rustic feel. Locals gather at this popular haunt throughout the day for the affordable but well-mixed drinks, laid-back vibe and unpretentious food menu of salads, burgers and quiches. Secure a table at the back and enjoy postcard-pretty views of the famous pastel-painted houses hanging over the water, while sipping on a cocktail or craft beer.

Cua de Gall

Cocktail Bar, Cocktails
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Sours, fizzes, martinis, margaritas – they’re all on offer at this tiny cocktail bar. With dim lighting, lively music and board games, you’ll easily spend the whole evening in Cua de Gall. The cocktails are exquisite and inexpensive – try the Walking Dead (a punchy, rum-based cocktail) or a dirty martini. If you need some food to soak up the alcohol, their pulled pork sandwiches and nachos are top-notch. Turn up early or book ahead to be sure of a table.

CONTEXT GastroLlibreria

Cafe, European, $$$
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A bistro, bar and bookshop all in one, this stylish spot in the Jewish quarter is a favourite among hip locals, and it’s not hard to see why. Along with a friendly and inviting atmosphere, cosy lighting and bursting bookshelves, there is an excellent selection of drinks and tapas. Relax on the sunny terrace with a glass of local vino and a good book, or stop by on the weekend when the space hosts all manner of arty events, from music recitals to poetry readings.

Lapsus Cafè

Bar, Cafe, Spanish, $$$
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Tapas and beer in a restarant at Place de la Indepencia, Girona, Spain
© Travelstock44 / Alamy

Perfectly located on the corner of Plaça de la Independència, Girona’s most popular square, this cheery, no-frills bar is a long-standing Girona institution. When the sun is out, the bustling terrace is a superb place to while away the hours and people watch over a caña (small draught beer) or two. With cheap drinks and a lively atmosphere, it’s also a great spot to start a night out before bar-hopping through the labyrinthine streets of the old town.

These recommendations were updated on August 26, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Priyankaa Joshi

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