The beautiful game in Barcelona

by Sally.Davies

I’m not really one for the beautiful game, but I understand quite a few of you are, and even I have to admit that the buzz surrounding a Barça match at times like this (when, they tell me, Barça are on track to win something called the Champion’s League and something else called La Liga) is quite infectious.

Traditionally, every victory is celebrated at the Font de Canaletes – an easily missed iron fountain at the top of La Rambla. Easily missed other than after a Barça triumph, when the 50,000 people surrounding it are something of a giveaway. Last year, after the team completed its hat-trick (historic, I am reliably informed) of tournament wins, the police erected several metal fences around the fountain. The crowd came, sniggered, and tossed the barriers aside. In fact seeing how far you could toss a barrier became the principal form of entertainment for the rest of the evening. Extra points were awarded for landing one on top of a bus shelter.

Anyway, should you wish to soak up some of this heady atmosphere, here are a couple of suggestions of bars in which you can catch the game:

In the Born, the cosy Black Horse (C/Allada-Vermell 16, 93 268 33 38) feels like an actual, proper, pub, not a theme bar, and has TVs in every room.

In contrast, the Barraval (C/Hospital 104, Raval, 93 329 82 77) goes for a stark Manhattan look, but cedes its video projection screen over to the footy when the occasion demands it.

Nearby, Big J’s Burger (C/Carme 74, 93 443 80 67) is the nearest thing Barcelona has to a diner, and has a huge screen. On match nights you’ll need to reserve a table.

Probably the most central (and correspondingly packed) is Flaherty’s Irish Bar (Plaça Joaquim Xirau, 93 412 62 63), just off La Rambla. It’s got fish & chips, shamrock leaves a-plenty, and more TV screens than a Curry’s showroom.

See here for more expert information on Barcelona.