Four Metal Bars You Have to Visit in Europe


Early last month, two of my friends tied the knot in Granada, Spain; this presented a great opportunity for a bunch of us friends to go on a multiple-city tour of Spain and Portugal. As with any good vacation trip, one of our priorities was to try and find as many heavy metal bars as we could (the groom is part of some kind of forum which points out where to find them in any city). During the day we visited ancient cathedrals, catacombs, bridges, and intricate palaces, but at night we sought out some of the best heavy metal themed watering holes Europe has to offer. These are the four metal bars you have to visit!

Bar Lemmy (Malaga, Spain)

According to my buddy, this bar was located in what used to be a store in an old shopping plaza, along with several other music-themed bars of different genres. After an evening filled with delicious tapas and sangria in Madrid, we took the subway to Malaga and found our way to said plaza at around 1AM:

On the ground level was a large Snaggletooth painted on the wall, seemingly indicating that we should enter nearby. So we opened the door to the left of the large painting and found ourselves in a not-so metal bar. Ten feet in we noticed our error, immediately turned around and exited — much to the chagrin of an employee who begged us to stay there. Somehow we missed the hidden door which was part of the painting (notice the opening mechanism under his left eye):

Upon entering I immediately noticed two things: 1) the Evil Dead movie art painted on the wall opposite of the bar and 2) LOTS of W.A.S.P. shirts. Apparently W.A.S.P. was in town that evening (November 3rd), and the bar was receiving an influx of concert goers.

Draught beers were served cold and cheap by a bartender with a Manowar vest, and the music was mainly hard rock and classic heavy metal like Scorpions and Megadeth. We met the lead vocalist of a local hard rock band who spoke some English (if you’re seeing this, hi Irene!) and played fuszball with some of the locals. For our first metal bar, I only took those few pictures; so I’m going to go ahead and include a few photos taken from their Facebook page:

It was our first full night in Spain, and so we were ready to call it a night around around 2:30 AM when it started to get really packed!

Fundo do Poço (Porto, Portugal)

Porto was probably our favorite out of all the cities we visited. It features stunning attractions and is full of incredibly nice people — but isn’t as packed with people as Madrid. After our typical daytime shopping, eating, and sight-seeing, it was time to move onto the real attraction: Fundo do Poço. Now this was a literal hidden gem, buried deep within the heart of a shopping mall accessed through a narrow hallway running between what you would consider many “normal” stores. This bar is tiny, as in I would venture to guess it could hold 20 people if it was packed; but more were loitering in the narrow hallway right outside the joint.

The above wall was lined with classic heavy metal LP sleeves such as Exodus, Bathory, and Sepultura. Fundo do Poço allows smoking so one can imagine how thick the atmosphere was (literally), and the entrance to the restroom was decorated thusly:

But the centerpiece of this cozy bar was a mural painted on the wall opposite of the album covers which included several popular heavy metal mascots:

(There’s mah boy.)

They served smallish draught beers for one euro a glass and we made friends with the Portugese-speaking bartender — whom I think we determined owned the place. At one point in the night, I shouted with joy because their music selection included a song by a band which I assumed I was the only person to recognize: “From Endless Chasms” by The Ominous Circle.


After spending about an hour here, the smoke became too much for our American lungs to handle and we called it a night.


WASP Bar (Lisbon, Portugal)

Lisbon had a gigantic, living, breathing nightlife thanks in part to it being host to ~80,000 people visiting for some kind of web conference. The alleys were packed with young people partying and drinking, bouncing from restaurant to bar and vice-versa. This is where we stumbled upon the WASP Bar:

This cozy drinking establishment was roughly the same size as Fundo do Poço but less packed. Their music selection was geared more towards the hard rock crowd, including music by Iron Maiden and of course W.A.S.P. Our group was split up and so after a few caipirinhas we decided it was time to leave and meet up with our friends. The next evening we would end up returning here for some more hard rock, after having dinner at a lovely restaurant featuring Fado (a traditional form of Portugese music). Apparently I got into trouble after loudly singing along to “Fear of the Dark” whilst it played overhead, judging from my friend’s advice:

I know you love to sing [Jimmy], but here’s the thing about your voice… it’s not good.

Here’s a better photo (taken from TripAdvisor) to give you an idea of the size of the bar:


Rainbow Bar (Granada, Spain)

The true gem of our trip was discovered on our last night in Granada, and it’s probably for the best. Because if we had discovered it sooner, we might have ended up spending all of our time here. I present to you the  mecca of heavy metal watering holes, The Rainbow Bar:

This was the largest of the bars we hit, and also the most fun. They had flat screen televisions mounted on opposite walls, showing music videos and concert footage of some of the most iconic heavy metal acts such as Slayer, Judas Priest, and of course Rainbow. Our bartender was an energetic young lady who would run from one end of the bar to the other and smash a wall-mounted cymbal every time a patron tipped her along with her drink sale. By 1AM we would overhear the smash of the cymbal roughly every four minutes, each time causing a raucous “yeah!” by all the thirsty metalheads at the bar. The walls were simply covered with framed posters, autographed pictures, vinyls, and painted murals.

So while the lovely lady behind the bar served libations, a man in a denim vest with a large Testament patch on the back ably worked the audio/video equipment. He alternated between audio and video, using the time alloted during a song being played overhead to queue up the next live video footage to be shown on the flat screens. Our group of friends more or less went nuts and started singing along with “Painkiller”, and undoubtedly scared away the girls in our party. But you know what, they could have tried to find a better bar… and they didn’t 🙂 The centerpiece of Rainbow Bar:

At around 2AM we decided (against our lesser judgement) to head back to the hotel because the next morning we would be driving up to Toledo. Our several city trip throughout Spain and Portugal included some jaw-dropping historical locations, as well as plenty of killer heavy metal bars. I’ll end this mini travel blog with a few talking points:

  1. Europeans like heavy metal more than Americans.
  2. Heavy metal is a universal language that brings together people of various ethnicities.
  3. Lord help you if you ever hear me sing.

Thanks for checking out my heavy metal travel blog!

(image via, via)

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  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    4. Americans are a real fucking pain in the ass when it comes to smoking.

  • Howard Dean

    Fuck yeah, Jimmy. This was an awesome read. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Portugal. Tapas and W.A.S.P. shirts?I Byahhhhh!!!


    • themaleshoegaze

      Had the good fortune to visit Porto in spring, one of the most beautiful towns I’ve been to (seriously, I expect greatness of Lisbon when I finally get there, but Porto definitely is competition.), just stopping short of taing a look at the local rent market. And I haven’t even had time to look at the Metal/HC/…-scenes, but from how I get the Iberian peninsula they know their shit pretty much everywhere in that regard.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    The best book ever written about Portugal is This Gulf of Fire: The Great Lisbon Earthquake, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason by Mark Molesky

    • BobLoblaw

      Wouldnt that be the best TWO books written about Portugal?

  • Dubby Fresh

    That’s cool and all, but did you go to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona? Did you see La Mezquita in Cordoba? Did you slay a poser with Toledo steel?

    • here was our trek: Madrid -> Porto -> Lisbon -> Seville -> Granada -> Toledo (with a few other stops between cities, like Evora and Ronda)

      there was a barber in Toledo, but apparently he wasn’t all that famous (/dadjoke)

  • Joaquin Stick

    The thing about metal-themed bars and such is that they usually play exactly the kind of metal I have no feelings about. Sweet that you found one playing Ominous Circle. Traveling>>>>

    • Dubby Fresh

      The Stick would prefer a dimly lit joint with neo-modernist furnishings, velvet drapes, and a light scent of lilac in the air while bearded men in plaid serve him IPAs and talk about that new Vattnet record.

      I reckon.

      • Joaquin Stick

        I’ve been looking for that place all my life.

        • Dubby Fresh

          My ideal bar is an arcade, preferably one without smoking (BECAUSE I HAVE ZERO INTEREST IN INHALING YOUR CANCER, BRUTALIST), because there’s no greater joy than kicking Joe’s butt at Soul Calibur!

          • Joaquin Stick

            Arcade bars are the best. I went to one last weekend, but it was the day after meeting Joe, so I did not get to have that very specific experience. I’m untouchable at skee-ball, I learned.

          • Dubby Fresh

            We have a pretty cool one here. My coworker and I almost beat Turtles in Time.

          • Howard Dean

            I went to a Dave & Buster’s once. Some dudes take Golden Tee Golf really seriously.

            My ideal bar is actually just a really great restaurant that happens to serve alcohol.

          • When I like to drink, I prefeerrrrrrrrrrr to beeee byyyyyyy myseeellllfffff. Alone.

          • Dubby Fresh

            I’ll drink with you, GL.

          • Ok!

          • Dubby Fresh

            Dave & Buster’s <<<<<

            That's the wrong kind of arcade because it attracts all the corporate chuds.

          • Howard Dean

            I’m a borderline corporate chud myself, so I can chameleon it for awhile when required. But the dudes who treat that shit like life or death are insufferable. That place sucked.

          • Dubby Fresh

            I’m the corporate chud’s less-stable half-sister, the academic research center recluse.

          • It’s a bar. You’re there to kill yourself. LET ME SMOKE IN PEACE.

          • Dubby Fresh


          • That no smoking indoors is so awesome. I remember going to Burger King in high school and half of the joint being a smoking zone. *barf*

          • proofread ya God damn idiot

          • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ


          • Howard Dean

            Yeah, always got a kick out of the smoking sections in restaurants. Like the smoke was going to abide by some invisible barrier supposedly dividing the space. The whole restaurant always smelled like shit. Rill glad for the ban on smoking indoors.

          • more beer

            1 Up across from the Summit Music Hall on Blake, huge amount of old school pinball machines and video games. That place is what you are looking for.

        • Akerskronks ov Steele

          ‘Puts on Fedora’ Now let me explain to you just why I think Panopticon’s attempt at bluegrass was laughable. (Edit, they’re bluegrass is fucking awesome but apparently for some people it wasnt?) Idk

      • Howard Dean

        Yikes. I think I’d rather drink 40’s with the hobo sitting on the sidewalk outside (who may or may not be the actual Chris Holmes from W.A.S.P.)

        • more beer

          We have a bar in Denver that serves 40’s, while the patrons are pretty ghetto, they have not quite achieved bum status.

  • tigeraid

    The Rainbow seems like going to Mecca. Real bucket-list shit for people that don’t live near it.

  • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ


    • ME GORAK™✓ᶜᵃᵛᵉᵐᵃⁿ


    • Is this sweater ok? I made it with my tears

  • Lord of Bork

    You forgot the metal bar in Nottingham that hides the bathroom behind a fake bookcase and has dildo vending machines. Yes, both of those are true things.

  • Nukenado

    I hate myself for not being into metal when I was still in China 🙁
    There’s some cool underground bars there.
    But again, those guys probably don’t want a minor in their bar, ha.

  • Óðinn
  • Count_Breznak

    Talks about Europe.
    Lists 4 bars in spain and portugal.

  • When you make your way to Tokyo, try Godz – they do requests of whatever obscure death/black you have in mind

  • João Nox

    In case any of you wanted to see the details of the mural from Fundo do Poço