Barrio Humedo

Barrio Húmedo

Barrio Húmedo is the nickname given to an old part of the city of León, Spain, that is concentrated within the largely intact Roman city walls. The translation is usually rendered as the wet district, a reference both to the large number of bars and clubs packed into a relatively small area and to the copious quantities of alcohol consumed inside them. The area is centered around the square called Plaza de San Martín, from where an intricate network of streets spreads out towards the newer parts of León. There are approximately between 100 and 150 bars and clubs within Barrio Húmedo.

The district is famous throughout Spain for both its density and intensity of bars and clubs and because of León's reputation for free tapas bars (a snack served with each drink purchased at the tapas bars). A common practice for lots of people who visit Barrio Húmedo is to go to them, while others limit themselves to the clubs. Tapas bars tend to offer a specialty and become very famous by what kind of tapas they serve. Thus some people refer to the tapas bars by the tapas they offer instead of by their real names. The most common practice of the people who goes to the tapas bars of León (as in the rest of Spain) is to pub crawl (have one drink and then move on to the next bar).

Tapas are mostly served from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. At around 10:30 p.m., people sometimes start to have dinner in the restaurants that are often located inside the same tapas bars. The tapas restaurants tend to specialize in traditional Leonese cuisine and there's a number of quite prestigious and famous ones. For those who do not wish to eat a full dinner but want something more than a tapa, the answer is to order a ración (a large tapa). They are intended to be shared by between 2 and 3 people and are an excellent way to sample a variety of traditional dishes.

Around midnight, tapas are withdrawn and many people start partying around Barrio Húmedo. There are bars and clubs for all tastes, from all kinds of rock and heavy metal bars to glamourous clubs to Irish-style pubs.

In 2004, the by the time Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schröder, was partying at a bar in Barrio Húmedo called La Abaceria with the current Prime Minister of Spain and León native José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Since then, such bar is sometimes referred to as the Schröder Bar by some people.


  • Symington, Andy "Northern Spain" (Footprint Travel Guide Series) ISBN 1-904777-48-1

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