This is one city where writers can find their kinfolk. There are literary festivals, specialty bookstores, and of course a good supply of Absinthe. If you’re looking for a place to eat, read or write then one of the establishments below may tempt out a rhapsody.
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One reason to visit Laie is to hang out at the all-day bar and cafe, which has an outside terrace in the summer months. This is one of Barcelona’s large and reputable independent bookshops with a fair selection of English-language titles. Service is smooth and friendly and you can access their free Wi-Fi. The atmosphere is studious, calm and just right if you’re looking for a place to write.
Address: Carrer de Pau Claris, 85
Babelia Books & Coffee
Babelia Books & Coffee is a gem of a bookstore. Pleasant service, adorable setting, great music. Make sure to try the Nutella croissant when you visit. Babelia Books & Coffee specialise in second-hand multilingual books. They are aiming to be a small space where you can come to enjoy the cultural life of Barcelona; it acts as a cafeteria, a library, an exhibition space, and a place to hold concerts, workshops or tasting. They have the following C.S. Lewis quote on their website, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
Address: Villarroel, 27
Related article: The best bookstores in Barcelona
Heliogàbal is a combined bar and performance space that opened in 1995.
It’s described by its owners as a “space for spreading culture”. Located in Gràcia there you will find poetry readings, books, magazines and much more. This is a small venue so make sure to arrive early if you’re there to see a performance and want to get a good spot. This bar is open daily from 9pm, check out the calendar of events if you’re keen to see more.
Address: Carrer de Ramon y Cajal, 80
Bar l’Astrolabi is located in Gràcia and has become well known as a literary and cultural venue. Three reasons you have to visit this bar are: 1.) it was founded by the novelist Jordi Cantavella, 2.) you’ll find Stella Artois on draft/tap at this bar, this is a rare treat in Barcelona and 3.) if you are so inclined and there is not an event on at the bar you can take the reigns and offer up a performance for the crowd. The owner, Cantavella, is an anarchist of sorts and approves of less order than is usually deemed necessary. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for information and updates.
Address: Carrer de Martínez de la Rosa, 14
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