Drink in colorful history along with your coffee

Old cafés have a relaxing atmosphere with a touch of magic. They are places to sit down and have a steaming coffee, look out the window, plan everything you have left to see in the city, dwell in your memories… Many of these cafés also have an amazing past of literary meetings, conversations among artists and politicians, napkins where a masterpiece may have started, and more. Several century-old cafés in Spain with thousands of stories to tell await travelers.

Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona

What’s so special about this café where Picasso chose to exhibit his first drawings? At the end of the 19th century, it was a symbol of the bohemian and modernist Barcelona, which was inspired by the Parisian cabaret Le Chat Noir. More recently it was chosen by Woody Allen as the setting for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Café Gijón in Madrid

Opened on 15 May 1888, this café had two parts: one to serve coffee to customers arriving in carriages and another for the carriages. As fate would have it, Café Gijon ended up becoming a meeting point in different eras for important people such as Pérez Galdós, Valle-Inclán, Gerardo Diego, García Lorca, Dalí, Buñuel, Sorolla, Cela, and even the famous spy Mata-Hari.

Café Comercial in Madrid

Said to be the oldest café in Madrid, it opened its doors in 1887 and its walls have heard the conversations of Machado, Jardiel Poncela, Berlanga and many more. Today, in addition to the essential coffee, you can also enjoy traditional dishes from Madrid for lunch and dinner.

Dindurra in Gijón

Founded in 1898, Dindurra was one of Asturias’s most important cafés and a magnet for artistic and political gatherings. Over the years, it was refurbished in the Art Deco style, survived a war, then closed its doors, reopening again in 2014.

Café Novelty in Salamanca

Founded in 1905, this café has served banquets to historical figures such as King Alfonso XIII, given birth to Spain’s National Radio, and was the meeting place for literary figures such as Torrente Ballester, Carmen Martín Gaite, and Unamuno. Today, it’s still a great place to stop, sit on the terrace, and try one of its famous ice creams.

Café Iruña in Bilbao

The first things you notice in this café, opened in 1903, are the tiles and the beautiful Mudéjar decor. In fact, in 1980 it was declared a “Unique Monument” and received the “Best Café in Spain” award from the Café Crème Guide to the Cafés of Europe.

Café Iruña in Pamplona

In 1888, Pamplona was illuminated by the first establishment with electric lights in the city: Café Iruña. This café is said to be where Ernest Hemingway began writing his books Fiesta, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea. While drinking your coffee, you can imagine being Hemingway yourself, putting immortal tales down on paper.

Gather all the details you need at Visit Spain website.

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