Written by Tom Ferris
Ahhh Barcelona, Freddie sang about it, fans cheer it and stags love it. Fortunately for me I have to check it out for StagWeb on a regular basis so once again with my passport and camera to hand I went in search of the very best of this amazing city and as ever it didn’t disappoint.
On arrival I headed to the far end of the airport for the RENFE train, I always head into the city by train when travelling alone, as it’s not only easier on the wallet (€4.40) but also takes you right to the heart of the city. For stag groups I’d advise our private airport transfers, they’ll drop you to your accommodation and take away any hassle of finding taxis or the train. If you do get a taxi from the airport it will be around €30.
When taking the underground Metro buy a travelcard, at €10 for 10 journeys it’s great value and you can share tickets. Taxis are relatively inexpensive compared to back home and no journey should cost you more than €10.
I thought for once I’d be sensible and head straight to my apartment and get checked in, the apartment was clean, cool and everything I’d need for a weekend base. Sadly though the best laid plans and all that, I’d end up only spending 30 minutes more in my apartment for reasons that will become clear!
At this point things started to speed up so stay with me as we flash through the next few hours;
Barcelona Bars – Heads, losers and talking ‘Bollocks’
Travel Bar – Prime location in the Gothic Quarter, started off gently and I had a drink with Jamie, my guide for the weekend and one of our local contacts who came with me on an inspection of some of our Barcelona activities.
Flaherty’s – The huge screens all around meant I could have a couple of drinks (just to be sociable) while I watched United take the kind of treatment I used to enjoy watching them dish out. Another quick one to drown my sorrows. But this is a great bar for sports fans (when you’re not losing).
Dusk – Yes, at this point it does appear I was mostly drinking but I deemed it important research, it’s tough work and someone’s got to do it. And I’m glad I did because Dusk is awesome! The first thing is the striking sign above the door which is made out of dozens of freaky looking dolls’ heads. Next thing you notice is that the ceiling is decorated with women’s shoes. Still, no time to consider the limping ladies that must have presumably donated before hobbling home in just one Gucci, I was warming up nicely to my cause. Onward to more research.
Chupitos – Now pay attention chaps because this one is important. Over the bar you’ll find a menu with 500 different shots starting at just €2 a piece! I was just about to order my first when the barman handed me a marshmallow on a stick and then casually set the bar alight! We toasted our marshmallows in the flames, dipped them in a shot then banged back the shot in one. Loving the scale of the menu I picked a couple more shots at random with a little help from the barman. All thoughts of United long gone I asked for his favourite shot, this was possibly a mistake as I think I lost my taste buds for the next half hour.
Bollocks – No, that isn’t in response to my lack of taste, it’s actually the name of a brilliant stag friendly bar where myself and Jamie took on all comers at table football, we nearly won a game at one point. But not to lose face Jamie showed me the bar’s own arm wrestling table! Yes, now here was something I really could lose at and lose I did! On the plus side beers are just €2.50.
If you’re on a stag do in Chupitos order the groom a “Monica Lewinsky” I won’t ruin the surprise but this really is superb and particularly good for any groom who talks too much. And I would definitely recommend a guided bar crawl, it is so much better than trying to find bars at random as Barca has some incredible bars that are a must for any stag do.
Port Olimpic is part of the legacy left from the 1994 Olympics (I think Freddie Mercury did a song about that… in fact I think I started singing it with the cabbie who was a fellow football fan and top bloke) which is a fantastically vibrant area full of great bars, well when in Rome… Or Barcelona…
Most of the clubs double as restaurants by day but at night lead out onto the beach where you can enjoy the (still warm) sand and buy beers from the infamous mobile beer sellers. It’s also the site of the cities main casino where United’s luck rubbed off and I said goodbye to €20 before cutting my losses and decided to get back to researching the clubs instead.
The clubs are a meeting point for Barcelona’s bright young things and at times it was like being on a shoot for FHM magazine with some quite devastatingly beautiful women. Luckily I had already arranged guestlist nightclub entry which meant I could take in the best of the action. Yes, truly dedicated I stuck with the research.
In fact myself and Jamie carried on researching until 5.30am. By this point I was fluent in Spanish (in my own head) and we had a really interesting conversation with a taxi driver about attaching shoes to ceilings or United or arm wrestling or ‘Bollocks’, I wasn’t quite sure and have decided I really should learn Spanish.
Taxis are much cheaper than back in the UK but always ask the price before getting in the cab. Kebabs in Barcelona are every bit as good as those you’ll find back home but with a little added kick.
Activities – Life in the last lane
The next morning I was picked up by Jamie, a great guy and one of our local contacts who came with me on an inspection of some of our Barcelona activities. I put my sore head to one side and headed straight to the track on what is without doubt one of the best go karting tracks in Europe, so good in fact that the Barcelona players have made a few visits.
Having potentially sat in their seats I was keen to see a little more of one of Europe’s greatest teams which required a trip to the Nou Camp. The stadium tour is superb but it’s the sheer scale of the place which really took my breath away. And they are making it even bigger with a proposed capacity of 115,000!!! If you’re a football fan then a visit to Camp Nou really is a must.
A whistle stop tour of the harbour area beckoned as I gave all our water based options the once over. Barcelona is an activity playground just waiting for adventurous or sport loving stags. And now that we’ve added Bubble Football to our list of Barcelona activities the world really is your lobster.
Accommodation – Back to work
At this point duty called and I had to go visit more of our accommodation choices, not all bad as people in Barcelona are always great fun to deal with and it’s great to see so much superb accommodation ready for stag lads wanting to head to Barcelona.
Eventually the night time beckoned so it was back to Barca’s bars and clubs and some of the fine lap dancing venues. But there are somethings a gentleman shouldn’t reveal. Not in this blog anyway so if you want more details you’ll just have to contact me in person (firstname.lastname@example.org).
However be assured, Barcelona is epic! The activities are amazing, the beer is budget friendly and the people are fantastic. As for the bars, well they are quite literally the dogs bollocks!