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Nov 28, 2011 11:32 PM

Sports Bar or Tapas bar to watch Barfelona football match?

Hi ... I'm going to be in Barfelona for the mega match (real madrid / barfelona). Seeing as I can't afford the 900 EUR face value for the premium tickets ... could anyone kindly recommend a good bar with good food to watch the match?


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  1. There really aren't many sports bars in the American style, though there are plenty of "Irish pubs" that fill the same niche. I doubt any have good food.
    That mostly leaves you with small neighborhood bars, which is where most people will be. Which one to go to depends on where in the city you want to be at midnight when the game ends. There are hundreds of bars that serve good simple food but I can't think of any that stand out so much as to be worth traveling across town for. Some info on where you're staying might help people recommend neighborhood bars.
    You probably don't want to watch on or near Las Ramblas, though when Barça wins people will gather to celebrate at the top of Las Ramblas, just before Plaça Catalunya in case you want to join in.

    1. You're best bet is to just walk around your neighbourhood and see what places are looking lively. Football matches are almost always advertised on blackboards outside the bar and usually a few days in advance so you can do some scouting beforehand. In the case of El Clásico, it really shouldn't be very hard to find a bar.

      And why Barfelona? Barf? Would you happen to a Los Blancos fan?

      7 Replies
      1. re: SnackHappy

        Sorry I'm staying at the Hotel Pulitzer Between metro stops Universitat & Catalunya...

        Tongue in cheek spelling of Barfelona ... more of the proper pronounciation i suppose.

        we are 4 mid 30s ... not really fans of either team but looking to be in a fun friendly environment to watch the match.

          1. re: Hot Chocolate

            I don't think finding a fun & friendly place will be a problem. A typical neighborhood bar is sort of a combination of a diner and corner bar in American terms. It's where you go for coffee break, a light meal or snack or to spend an afternoon having a drink with a friend or bartender; nothing special and not a place for an anniversary dinner. I'm sure you know the drill: crowded restaurants or bars are usually that way because they're good. If you don't get any leads here just ask at your hotel; this is a pretty easy suggestion to make because every neighborhood has something.

            I've watched a handful of games in Barcelona over the last few years and it's always been a blast. In fact, the worst food I've had in Barcelona was during a December Clasico a few years ago, but it was also the most fun I've had - my wife and I, in our early 30's at the time, and two or three big passionate families, grandma's to 12 year olds, crowded around a TV in the back with everyone yelling and jumping up for every big play or call. It was well worth the mediocre food.

            As an alternative, one of the several the pintxos places would be a great place for a game if you find one with a TV. There would be a more varied selection of food at least. I think I remember a nice tv behind the bar at Sagardi in el Born but I could be confusing it with something else (think it's usually hidden, on the right side of the bar, near the kitchen entrance).

            Again, for your own sanity, avoid Las Ramblas or any "irish"/"brittish" pubs, they're more expensive than local places and, at best, have all the atmosphere of obnoxious college sports bars. Really bad places unless you're dying for a Fosters or Bud (that is one of the universal truths about bars in Europe, in my experience).

            1. re: caganer

              Normally I would always agree with anybody with Caganer as his nom de guerre, and normally I would avoid the Ramblas at all cost, but all Barça victories are celebrated on the Ramblas in the section near the entrance of the Boqueria market, if I remember correctly. Be prepared for a degree of hysteria and more.

              My BCNGotic landlady gave me these recs for where to watch the games:
              " have 2 options: Sport Bar in Rambla Caputxins 31 and La tapadera in Calle Finlandia 18 ( this is frequented by Culés, it is normally a night club but it changes with Barça games)"

              As you probably know already, Culès is the traditional nickname for Barça fans.

              1. re: Parigi

                It's further up Las Ramblas than the Boqueria. The center of the celebration will be the last big fountain, Font de Caneletes, in the Rambla before Plaça Catalunya. I did mention that in my first post here ("when Barça wins people will gather to celebrate at the top of Las Ramblas, just before Plaça Catalunya in case you want to join in.")

                Speaking from personal experience, it can get a little hairy (though not really dangerous) as these celebrations end and break up. When Barça clinched the Liga tiltle two years ago, El Corte Ingles paid the price with a few broken windows and the Mossos were out in full gear. This game is much more loaded with emotion than that game.

                The point is, speaking as someone of a similar age as the OP and has a fair amount of personal experience with this subject - I've watched big matches and celebrated with the young kids in Placa Catalunya and last May for the Champions League final at the Arc de Truimf and I've watched in bars and at Camp Nou. My wife and I plan trips around matches. I think it would probably be more fun for a group of 4 Americans to be in more low-key bar. Drunken and emotional 20 year old Culès can make a 35 year old feel really old fast. Old guys in quieter bars are more fun and have better stories.

                Tourist and locals have different interests and needs, I think especially so in this case. I'd avoid sports bars. Go to Caneletes though, it's always fun to see the flares and flags and general craziness.
                (whoops, I used my wife's computer for this and didn't see she was logged in instead of me. Sorry. Caganer)

                  1. re: caga tio

                    You say it, Tio. Hot Chocolate, where did you end up? I bet the ambiance was electric.