It won’t take long for you to realise that Barcelona is the perfect place for social eating, drinking or learning Spanish.
Its myriad sun-blessed squares provide a great location to hook up with friends to work in a group. However, if you need to concentrate or have a tight deadline to meet, you’ll find a cosy corner in a cute café without much trouble.
Barcelona’s bar culture is part of the fabric of the city, and you’ll find traditional bars serving coffee and tapas all day as well as more modern establishments offering imaginative snacks, designer coffee and craft beers. We’ve put together a list of seven of our favourite places to meet, study and socialise.
This writer’s number one spot for a solo coffee, mid-morning meeting, informal dinner or craft beer, Caravelle is an Australian owned gastropub, packed at the weekend due to their sought-after brunch menu, but less so during the evenings.
Located in the hip city-centre area of north Raval, it’s a recommendable location to start to get to know the city if your Spanish is still in its infancy and you want to be understood by the international waiting team. Head here alone or with a couple of classmates, and don’t miss the beers that are made at their microbrewery next door.
You need to get to know Gràcia if you want to get to know Barcelona’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. Made up of bustling squares connected by narrow lanes, the district was a separate town to Barcelona until the beginning of the 20th century. It retains a proud local character.
Sabio Infante is a modern bar which occupies an unusually large space in one of its busier thoroughfares, and has been decorated with impeccable taste. Their take on brunch is their speciality, which they combine with live musical offerings at the weekend. There are plenty of talking points inside, from the kids’ fairground carriage to the kitsch 70s decoration. A younger group of students would love this, and you’re guaranteed to be hanging around locals with whom you may be able to practice your latest expressions.
Satan’s Coffee Corner
Students with high standards when it comes to their beans will have found their match at Satan’s Coffee Corner. The bar in the Gothic Quarter may be the more popular of their two establishments, but you’ll find that their hotel café, which forms part of Casa Bonay, is perfect for a late morning or mid-afternoon study session. Aside from the top-class barista service, there is plenty of light, a decent internet connection and a progressive selection of sandwiches, salads and pastries.
Many parks in the city have a café, but the exterior terrace of Pinhan Café combines all the elements to make it the ideal place to meet to study Spanish in Barcelona. Nestled in the charming Turó Park in the affluent Sarrià-Sant Gervasi neighbourhood, and well out of the way of the tourist route, Pinhan Café is loved by locals who come back time and again for its tranquil setting and original Turkish brunch menu. Open from 10 in the morning to sundown, it can get quite busy at the weekend, but during the week you won’t have any trouble finding a table for you and your group. Parks in Barcelona have free wifi, so if you need to look anything up then you’re covered.
If you are keen to graze on healthy snacks as you study, Sopa is the place for you. More a canteen than a café, Sopa’s ample space in Poblenou attract a combination of tech startup workers and young parents for vegan, vegetarian and macrobiotic food and drink. The location is perfect to see the progressive city planning the Barcelona has envisioned for the next few years, as the surrounding area is largely car-free, the streets painted in bright primary colours, with plenty of space to hang out on a pleasant day. Tables are easily combined to accommodate larger groups, and it’s especially quiet at the weekend, when the adjacent offices are closed.
Disseny Hub Barcelona Cafeteria/Restaurant
Barcelona’s ultra-modern [email protected] district is the result of a lengthy and ambitious process of renovation that has completely transformed the area around Glories. In the centre of the bold and shiny new developments is the design museum, an expansive multi-storied building that the locals have dubbed ‘the stapler’. Within the edifice is an airy and well-lit café, very rarely busy and open from mid-morning til the early evening, with the exception of Monday morning. The coffee is great and there are some high-end sandwiches and snacks on offer too. This café is ideal for studying alone or in a group, especially if you want to combine your studies with a bit of background in modern design.
Of course, here at Expanish Barcelona, we’re proud to be able to cater for our students during the school hours. From 9.30 am to 6.30 pm, our café staff are on hand to serve you coffee and snacks at the bar. ¡Bienvenidos!