It's no coincidence that Barcelona has been typecast as a party crazed city, where the cava and sangria flow endlessly and are quite often, much cheaper than water. No matter which neighborhood you're in there is a plethora of rustic bars, trendy clubs and classy cocktail venues to frequent on a nightly basis.
Once the sun starts to set earlier, the city adapts itself accordingly with most of the token outdoor Barcelona terraces closing up shop and paving way for the cozier more 'winter' oriented bars; of which there are quite a few.
In Ciutat Vella, one of the best places to spend the evening is in the Gotico neighborhood. This is one of the easiest places to jump from bar to bar, all within a few block radius and if you're in the mood for warm, homey hangouts during the colder months, there are several authentic, lively and hip places to check out.
Kick off the night at Ginger Bar. Nestled in Plaza Sant Jus, a short walk up from the Jaume Metro Line (yellow line). This is a classy wine and cocktail bar, with leather chairs, wooden tables and dim lighting. Don't be fooled by the disco ball hanging in the center: the bar only turns into a 'disco' on Thursday evenings and a very tame, low key 'disco' at that. Ginger is divided into three stories with two separate bars, one at the front and one by the back door, (which gives way onto the Plaza). Their cocktails are one-of-a-kind, and although Ginger's tapas menu is small, the food is high quality and delicious. A few key plates to try are their tuna tartar and duck.
If you're in the mood for live music in what used to be one of the oldest convents in Barcelona, El Paraigua, behind Plaza Sant Jaume is always a great choice. The stone arches of the wine cellars provide for an excellent acoustic sound, thus making this an ideal venue for live jazz, blues, funk and even reggae groups and solo artists. Even when there's not live music the plush couches surrounded by the brick walls and stoned archways, makes this an inviting yet classy place to spend the evening, especially during the winter.
Just a stone's throw from Plaza Sant Jaume and around the corner from Plaza Reial, Cafe Royale is the place to see and be seen. Be sure to trade in your sandals for heels, and flip-flops for loafers, as this is where Barcelona's beautiful people spend their time. Cafe Royale serves some of the most innovative cocktails and feature well-known dj's on a nightly basis. If it's a Friday or Saturday night be sure to get there early as this small bar and dance club fills up quickly.