The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) family is one of the largest and most diverse transcription factors in eukaryotes participating in many essential plant processes. We identified 141 bZIP proteins encoded by 89 genes from the Hordeum vulgare genome. HvbZIPs were classified into 11 groups based on their DNA-binding motif. Amino acid sequence alignment of the HvbZIPs basic-hinge regions revealed some highly conserved residues within each group. The leucine zipper heptads were analyzed predicting their dimerization properties. 34 conserved motifs were identified outside the bZIP domain. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that major diversification within the bZIP family predated the monocot/dicot divergence, although intra-species duplication and parallel evolution seems to be occurred afterward. Localization of HvbZIPs on the barley chromosomes revealed that different groups have been distributed on seven chromosomes of barley. Six types of intron pattern were detected within the basic-hinge regions. Most of the detected cis-elements in the promoter and UTR sequences were involved in seed development or abiotic stress response. Microarray data analysis revealed differential expression pattern of HvbZIPs in response to ABA treatment, drought, and cold stresses and during barley grain development and germination. This information would be helpful for functional characterization of bZIP transcription factors in barley.