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Bar Marsella

Listed under Bars in Barcelona, Spain.

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Photo by flickr user danielle_blue
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Bar Marsella is a suspicious-looking little joint on a corner down Carrer de Sant Pau. The windows are covered, and even the door is difficult to find. Once you’re in, you’ll find walls lined with dusty bottles and old pictures, and a whole menagerie of students, tourists and artistic types all partaking in the bar’s speciality - absinthe. Order some at the bar, and the waiters will bring the drink, a sugar lump, a spoon and a bottle of water to your table. The alcohol is strong enough to melt your eyes (more or less), so soften the blow by melting the sugar into your drink – it’s easier if you dip it in the absinthe before you try and light it. Add as much water as you want (or need) to. Bar Marsella has been open since 1820, and according to local legend has provided its greenish delights to Gaudi, Miro, Hemingway and Picasso. Alcohol isn’t usually so cultural, so get mixing and soak up the atmosphere.

Written by  Eleanor Dean.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

I found a suggestion for Bar Marsella in a Barcelona Travel Book.

My sister and I thought it would be something different.

And since it was a little difficult to find, that maybe it wouldn't be so touristy. We were so excited that we actually found the place, although the walk there, through a small alley at night, was a bit scary. It was a small bar, but filled with some much history. I sat down and ordered their famous absinthe, and imagined Dali sitting in the same seat, visualizing his next artistic work. My sister and I did not drink the whole thing, we were a little afraid of the consequences, and didn't want to get lost going home. But it was definitely great to try. If you go there, you have to at least try it. The atmosphere was very welcoming, it wasn't too crowed. And the people we met there were from different places in Europe, so it was great to mingle with everyone. It was a great taste of Barcelona.

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