It’s always thirsty weather on the Costa Tropical, which is why there is usually a pub or a bar of some kind within twenty paces of wherever you happen to be standing at any given moment.
Bars in Spain are not the same as bars in the rest of Europe. Broadly speaking there are two types of bars here: tapas bars and late pubs. The former usually sell food, and give free tapas (snacks) with drinks.
Foreigners are often shocked to see young children in Spanish bars late at night. But this is quite normal in Spain, where the distinction between day and night isn’t as important as it is in other countries, and where bars have traditionally been places where families meet up and neighbours socialize. Spanish pubs – especially in small towns – function almost as community centres. What foreigners also tend to forget is that Spaniards never sleep! Well, apart from taking a little siesta in the afternoon, while all the visiting Englishmen (not to mention mad dogs) are out in the hot midday sun getting burned to a crisp.
Late bars don’t open until around 10pm, and only begin to fill up with people at midnight, closing at three or four in the morning (many people then go on to night-clubs). Very few Spaniards go out before midnight during the summer months, and it is not unusual to see bleary-eyed revellers rolling out of all-night clubs into the bright morning sunshine.
Most bars in the south of Spain give a free tapa – a food snack – with every drink ordered. This can be anything from a slice of bread and cheese or jamon (bacon), to a small burger with french fries. Many bars offer a selection of tapas – typically up to five items – with a different tapa served with each successive drink ordered. Many Spaniards visit tapas bars instead of having dinner. Eating in this fashion is called picar (or el mordiscar) in Spanish. Basically it means eating a number of small snacks (between drinks!) instead of having one large meal. As the weather on the Costa Tropical is warm almost year-round, it is usually possible to eat and drink outside in the open air.
In general, the prices of alcoholic drinks in Spain are lower than in most other European countries. In view of the fact that drinks are usually served with a free tapa, going out for a drink in Spain represents very good value for your money.
Buying alcoholic drinks in shops and supermarkets is also substantially cheaper in Spain than in most other countries. Wine, in particular, is very cheap, with prices starting at less than 1 euro for a bottle.
Pubs in Granada city
As mentioned above, there are thousands of pubs and bars in the Granada and Costa Tropical area, and obviously we cannot list them all here. Instead, we have focused on pubs that are well-known or distinctive in some way – in other words, pubs with character, or which are likely to be of interest to foreigners for one reason or another. Most of the bars listed here are “international”, which is generally taken to mean that staff speak or at least understand English, and the music is not confined to Eurovision-style Spanish pop songs.
We should mention that pubs spring up and disappear like mushrooms in the south of Spain, so we apologise in advance if any of the bars recommended here no longer exist by the time you go to look for them. We have listed only bars that have been around for at least several years, so hopefully they’ll still be in existence by the time you visit them. However, if you discover any of the information here – or, indeed, on any page of this website – to be inaccurate or obsolete, please let us know by email and we will make whatever updates may be necessary. This website is updated regularly.