I have never liked the cold, so the idea of spending social time inside of in ice bar while visiting Barcelona, Spain was not on the top of my must-see list. I much prefer the idea of shopping on Las Ramblas for hours and relaxing with tapas and a cold Sangria. But, there is something that intrigues me about the concept of an ice bar and my curiosity will not let it go.

Perched on the beach surrounded by the warm Mediterranean breeze, is Icebarcelona, a social scene inside of a chilly 25°F room.  For 15 euro (approx. $16 USD) I get admission, a coat and gloves and a coupon for a drink at the ice bar inside the icebar. When the doors open, it is like stepping into a giant refrigerator. The dress I am wearing is probably not a proper choice for this venue, but my instant chill is quickly replaced by other sensory input.

The walls are constructed out of large blocks of ice and enormous ice sculptures decorate the room that is barely bigger than an office lobby. A fur covered bench and the oversized ice chair are perfect spots for photos.

The dim blue and purple lights accent the club music playing in the background. The bartenders rotate every 15-minutes and serve up cocktails in glasses made of solid ice. The intimate setting is prime for meeting new friends from around the world. I have brief chats with the people standing around me and just enjoy the shared moment.

The Icebar in Barcelona opened in 2007 and remains a hot spot for locals and tourists. I truly underestimated this experience and I would recommend that it be a top item on your “must-see” list when you plan a visit. There is plenty of time between shopping on Las Ramblas and the tapas meals to stop by, even if you only spend a couple of days in the city.

A visit to the Icebarcelona is less than a half-hour commitment since you can likely only tolerate the temperatures for 15-20 minutes. For information about Barcelona or help with planning a visit to Spain, the Tourist Office of Spain out of Chicago is a terrific resource.

In the meantime, take a step inside Icebarcelona: