5. An Oddball Day
Buy an English translation of An Olympic Death, a mystery masterpiece by Barcelona native Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, at FNAC in Plaça Catalunya. Then follow fictional private detective Pepe Carvalho to his favorite haunts: from Casa Leopoldo, an atmospheric fish restaurant in El Raval, to Boadas (Tallers 1; 93-318-95-92), a cocktail bar opened decades ago by a man who learned the art of the cocktail at Havana's famous Floridita. Finish the night as Carvalho might, watching strippers — and more — at the sordid Bagdad (60 euros cover) in the old Barrio Chino.