One of the best things I did while in Spain was to go on a pub crawl with other people who were in hostels or travelers. Now, I don’t speak a lick of Spanish, so this was good versus walking blindly into some bar/club and not knowing anyone or what anyone is saying.
It really is one of the best ways to get a social and cultural experience if you don’t know the language too well. And there are always hot girls there getting drunk, so that’s always a good time. Even if you do know the language, just the camaraderie you can build with fellow travelers is pretty great, especially in the age of Global Citizens.
While many of the bars will obviously take a cut and you may be steered into these types of establishments….big deal. It makes everything much easier. Some advantages:
- Drinks are fairly cheap versus buying them on your own
- You are there with other travelers, so there are others with a common bond
- Language barrier is not really a problem
- The pub crawl guide can show you the ins/outs and also recommend other venues for both day and night life.
- You meet a lot of people
- They are generally safe, at least in my experience (they have a reputation to uphold).
In Madrid, we went on the MADride pubcrawl, which was great. Hector, our guide was really cool and accomodating.
In Barcelona, we did the Barcelona Bar Crawl, which was a MUCH larger group. They had several hosts, mostly from England I guess. It was a good experience as well, large group but everyone kind of got lost.
How to find pubcrawls
The best way I found pubcrawls was doing a search online. Many have facebook pages and photos. Sometimes people hand out flyers in the high-traffic tourist areas as well to gather people, but this is more random than not.
You meet at a pre-determined time, pay a small fee (like 10-15 euros) and then you follow the group to like 4-5 bars and a nightclub with no waiting, cover, etc. Its great, a little chaotic. The first bar is more chill and to get your buzz on, as the night progresses you make more friends and then go from there.
Many hostels also are affiliated with pub crawls, so they have fliers in the lobby, etc.