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Sober looking for NA options on trip to Barcelona, and Italy

We are a sober couple who enjoy NA beer wine and mocktails and will be on our honeymoon for 2 weeks in Barcelona Spain, and Varenna and Venice Italy. Our recent guide book on Barcelona from Rick steves says wine and beer without alcohol is readily available (a wonderful surprise!) And we we're wondering the quality of these options, and if Italy will also have options too. Previous posts here are outdated and the NA industry and awareness for sober options has grown here in the states and im hoping overseas as well.

From the travel videos I've seen, drinking seems to be very ingrained into food culture over there and I was initially nervous about having to constantly turn it down or explain but if alternatives are readily available that would be amazing. Does anyone have recent experience or knowledge on this?

Thanks in advanced

Posted by
1663 posts

In Spain, I’ve never had the non-alcoholic wine or beer. But you can certainly order a coke or mineral water and no one will care. There are definitely non drinkers in Spain so don’t feel bad.

Posted by
3 posts

We don't drink soda so I was really hoping for info on the NA beer and wine and mocktail selections to go beyond the stereotypical water and soda. Our palates enjoy more than that 😉

Posted by
6287 posts

The preeminent beer in Barcelona is the local Estrella Damm. They also make a 0.0% (NA) beer called Free Damm.

Posted by
401 posts

Hi Ib4643a

in Spain there are several NA beers. Usually it is called a "cerverza 0", or a "zero, zero". There are many to choose from. This is the offer from the Carrefour supermarkets. Even Heineken has a NA beer.

I've never seen a NA wine, but it seems that Freixenet is producing some NA cava.

You can get the typical "virgin" cocktails in most places.

In stead of soda, I like to have a Schwepps Tonic.

Posted by
5541 posts

You never have to explain if you turn down a beverage. Or anything else. A "no, thank you" suffices, or just order something else. A number of people on our tours chose not to drink (or couldn't,) and had no problem ordering other beverages.

I don't know about NA wine, but we did see NA beer in Italy this past year.

Posted by
696 posts

We were in Barcelona in October 2022 and mocktails were readily available. I enjoyed a non alcoholic sangria on a rooftop terrace overlooking the Cathedral. We are not beer drinkers so don't know about no alcohol beers.

Just ask for a drink "sin alcohol" (without alcohol) or say "no bebo el alcohol" (I don't drink alcohol).

Posted by
2963 posts

We were there in October and my husband only drinks non-alcoholic beer. He was fine. They had Heineken Zero.

Posted by
3237 posts

I don't know about non-alcoholic wine but NA beer is definitely available in Italy. The ones that I know of are Morreti Zero and Peroni Libera. If it is just the two of you traveling together, who is going to constantly offer you beverages with alcohol? You will go to a bar or a restaurant and order what you want and no one will try to push alcohol on you. As to Barcelona, "mocktails" are kind of in right now and if something is in, you can bet that you can find it in Barcelona. Terrat atop the Mandarin Oriental serves a delicious ginger alcohol-free drink. I'd bet that every high-end hotel bar in Barcelona these days offers a mocktail as one of their options. Last time I was in Barcelona, I went to a bar called Tandem, which specializes in asking you what you want or like to drink and creating a cocktail for you. After downing a couple of tequila drinks, my bff asked for a non-alcoholic drink and the bartender made her something marvelous that looked like a tequila sunrise. I think that they would be able to do something similar for you without having to start with the tequila drinks before going no-alcohol.

Posted by
6708 posts

This website will give you some suggestions for non-alcoholic wines in Europe. You can filter for France, Italy, or Spain to see what's available in those countries so you know what to look for, or ask for, when you are there.

Posted by
580 posts

My husband is a (regular) beer lover and often drinks NA beer in Spain because it actually tastes good. Just ask the waiter for selections, there are plenty of choices.

Posted by
893 posts

I don't drink alcohol either. I was in Spain in March 2022 and Italy in July 2017. All of the (small) grocery stores had good prices on approximately 33 to 50 ounce bottles of water. As I remember, In Italy in stores when you see multiple big bottles of water wrapped in plastic as if in a mulp-pack, you are actually supposed to partly rip the plastic away and buy just one or however many bottles. Proof would be lack of bar code on the plastic and barcodes on the bottles. That is what the other customers were doing, that is what the staff expect. The bottles are meant for individual sale and the plastic is just to help staff carry the bottles. This only seems weird to us non-local residents. I didn't go to any restaurants but I am quite sure that you can ask for water. I am unsure how the restaurants operate. If asking for water, you might want teach yourself the italian and Spanish words for carbonated or non-carbonated water (you might have to look up with or without gas, natural versus gas, or and so on). If the staff bring you bottled water, just pay and act like you knew they would bring you bottled water and act like you think getting served bottle water in a restaurant is totally normal.

Posted by
23 posts

We learned the term zero zero while ordering NA beer in Spain ten years ago and it became our drink of choice especially with tapas. Most restaurants and probably bars have NA draught beer as good or better than regular beer. Often served in a nice logo beer glass so some may question is this really NA like we did. Bonus is that you won’t feel sluggish after lunch! I’m guessing Italy must have a good selection of NA beer too as Heineken O.O is a sponsor of Formula 1 Grand Prix racing there. Have not tried non alcoholic wine eating out.

Posted by
80 posts

We just got back from Italy, and I noticed NA beer and mocktails on many menus. I did not try any of them, but they are widely available!

Posted by
2223 posts

As mentioned above mocktails are having a moment in many cities in Europe -
here's a France24 story on 'sober curious' trends in Berlin, for example:

Search online and you'll find a lot more examples of creative drinks that are alcohol free or low --
we often mention tinto de verano here, which is like a red wine spritzer, quite light.

Posted by
3 posts

We just returned and I want to update this thread for anyone else who may want to know what our experiences ended up being. Main update for tldr; THERE WERE SO MANY AMAZING OPTIONS
Barcelona especially had a variety of options, from NA wines and na tanqueray (if that's your thing) at the wine store near us (and it's the best NA wine I've ever tried brand called Natureo) to every place we went to and asked had a NA beer (or two!) And they were delicious. FreDamn was most often found in two types, but toaster lager was my favorite. Estrella the popular Spanish beer was also NA and we even found a cider (though frankly that was just carbonated apple juice)
And we went to a 7 course meal at Prodigi where they made us some delicious non alcoholic cocktails to go with our meal.

Italy was a little different. We only saw one or two types of NA beer in Varenna or Venice and it was usually Moretti. While good not much variety and while most places had it there were a few that didn't have options. The nicer meals made more amazing cocktails. And one place in Venice had a server rudely enquire why we didn't drink the house limoncello shot put in front of us after the meal. (Mind you we told a different server at the beginning of the meal no thank you to the prosecco they also gave us complimentary with no issues or questions and we were polite as were they) Just be prepared for that in Venice at some of the restaurants maybe.

Overall super easy and delicious ways to drink NA our trip. Plus all the yummy espresso 😁 thanks to everyone in this thread for answering too.

Posted by
29679 posts

I appreciate the feedback - so glad!