I like the sunshine. I love the heat. Therefore Barcelona’s summers are perfect for me however there does come a point when a girl can only take so much sunshine before overheating and bursting into flames.
Taking a regular dip in the sea every few minutes to cool off or lying under the shade of a beach umbrella is the two main tactics beach lovers in Barcelona take to fight heat stroke and sunburns but there is another well kept secret that is much more effective and well, much cooler in more ways the one… The Ice Bar Barcelona.
The absolutely coolest spot to be during the sweltering heat of summer is Ice Bar, a sleek lounge where the staff is sure to give you the cold shoulder and a warm smile. It’s conveniently located on the Barceloneta beach walk near Hotel Arts so when that tingling, burning feeling starts to tickle your toes or your throat is on fire you can ditch the sun and check into this ice-box of a bar to lower your body temperature and sip a refreshing cocktail.
Opened in 2007 the Ice Bar is the first and only of its kind in the Mediterranean. Totally fashioned out of ice blocks, big, and extra-big, the heavenly blue lit freezer hovers at -8 degrees Celsius. Now that’s extreme cold! However upon entering you are given anti-frostbiting gear that consists of a thermal coat, a fuzzy white trooper-style hat with ear flaps and mittens to match.
By the way, it’s advised to put on long pants if you are the frigid type and closed-toe shoes. You wouldn’t want a toe to fall off. Although it’s hard to think of piling all of this on when you feel like a walking heater however you’ll be thankful because everything and I mean everything is icy from the glasses they serve cocktails in to the chair you’ll plop your bum into (chairs and ottomans are lavishly covered in fur throws) and undoubtedly the bar itself.
If you find yourself getting a little too chilled, they have a terrace that overlooks the sea where you can sit to regain the feeling in your cheeks, if necessary.
The place wouldn’t be complete without ice sculptures that in this setting seem to be appropriate instead of wacky and tacky although the overall design does border on something between a 007movie and a Disney-esque fairytale.
The one and only time I visited I had shifting fantasies between playing a Russian Ursula Anders decked out in the finest fur and big rocky diamonds sipping Stolichnaya vodka or a modern day evil ice-princess hanging out with her evil maidens in her drawing room. It sounds bizarre but with one visit you’ll understand. It’s the Korova Milk Bar of Stanley Kubrik’s A Clockwork Orange but in ice!
Its appeal and design is novel therefore making it a great place to go with a group of friends for a thematic, chilled out afternoon but groups of 5 or more will need to reserve in advance because the place is a cool crowd hangout. If the group is 10 or more you’ll have to pay the 15 euro entrance fee up front, which is good for a 45 minute visit, the winter gear rental, and one cocktail.
They do offer regular discounts, which you can research on their blog or on their Facebook page. College kids, undergrad or grad student, you guys are in luck because Ice Bar always offer discounts to students on one special night of the week. And, if you want to freeze your fun memories in time you can purchase an ‘’I Love Ice Barcelona’’ T-shirt or your own pair of ice mugs to take home.
Monday through Sunday the Ice Bar also hosts a rotating calendar of top DJs that come to spin in the evenings heating up the outside terrace with tunes that range from electro and house to hip-hip and funk.
The only major downside to Ice Bar is its seasonal schedule opening up during Spring Break every year and closing at the end of September much in the same way the little chirinquitos (canteens) do on the beach. It does make sense since most locals prefer to head to the slopes for cold weather fun and the primary crowd Ice Bar caters to is primarily tourists. So if you are here during the winter or the fall, you are out of luck. No sub-zero cervezas for you, sad to say. But look on the bright side– it’s a great excuse to return.
Ice Bar Barcelona
Barceloneta Beach (far end of Calle Ramon Trias Fargas)
Hours: 12pm – 2:30am; Open from March/April (coincides with Spring Break) to end of September
To Reserve: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 93 224 1625
For more information on discounts and even calendar log onto www.icebcn.com or www.icebarcelona.blogspot.com