Bar Marsella: The oldest bar in Barcelona
It has been open since 1820 and counts Mirò, Gaudì, Hemingway, Dalì and Picasso among its customers
During the time I lived in Barcelona, I went to many clubs. To be completely honest, I have to say I have a lot more memories in clubs than in university.
Anyway... The Marsella Bar is undoubtedly one of my fondest memories. I think it is a beautiful place, as well as a historic relic. In fact, when you enter Marsella, you enter a piece of history.
A piece of history
The Marsella Bar is located in the Raval, in Calle Sant Pau 65 and is recognized for its unmistakable style: scruffy, a bit dilapidated, but welcoming and warm.
Singing is forbidden
The dominant colours are brown and orange, the furniture is reminiscent of bohemian and retro France. The ceilings are high, and the walls seem to be the original ones from 1820: shelves full of bottles whose labels are now illegible and covered with dust, mirrors yellowed by time, which bear the two rules of Marsella: 'Prohibido cantar' and 'Absenta'.
The Green Fairy costs about 5 euros per glass and is served with a lump of sugar and a little water. You will then have to pour the water on the sugar cube held suspended on the glass, to dissolve the sugar once in contact with the alcohol. Rest assured: absinthe diluted in sugared water is not very strong.
- Marsella probably does not accept credit cards: I believe you have to pay in cash when you are served. Years ago it was like this and looking online I understand that this habit is still in force.
- If you go during the week, it'll be less busy, and it is closed on Sundays.
- To get there, the green Metro (L3), Liceu stop, is convenient, you are on the Rambla. Take to Calle Sant Pau and go all the way. The Marsella is almost at the end.
- Warning: El Raval is notorious for not being one of the safest areas in Barcelona, so try not to drink too much Green Fairy.
In my opinion, it's a must for a tourist: it's fantastic. It's like entering another world. Have fun and... cheers!