Two of Barcelona's most interesting barrios: Poblenou and the Raval

Poblenou

Poblenou: new and old, side by side | Photo: Tom Walton

Note that we don't have an event on Thursday on our social programme this week (so that we can take you to the Fiestas del Raval).

  • Tuesday 10th | Today's trip takes us into the barrio of Poble Nou, which is home to the iconic Torre Agbar (just visible, top left, in our photograph), the nightclub Razzmatazz and some of Barcelona's best street art. But come along with us and discover a whole lot more about one of the city's most interesting, most genuine barrios (16.00).
  • Wednesday 11th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to visit the lovely Parque de la Ciudadela (photo, above) built on the site of the fortress built to dominate the city after the siege of 1714, which was demolished in 1868 and then became the site — in 1888 — of Barcelona's first Universal Exposition. If you're interested in architecture, and the history of Barcelona, there are some fascinating things to see on today's trip (16.00).
  • Friday 13th | It's summer and that means it's fiesta time! This week we have the Fiestas del Raval (see full programme, .pdf file), not so well known as the Festa Major de Gràcia (August) but lots of fun. The Raval itself is the once rather seedy area off to the right as you head down the Ramblas, once home to the protagonists of many of Barcelona's novelas negras (16.00), now a barrio you might hang out in its many bars and restaurants. We're meeting at 18.00, join us then!
  • Also Friday 13th | Don't fancy a fiesta in the Raval? Then join us in the bar/on the terrace for a fiesta of our own — the Friday ClubCome get yourself some extra practice for your Spanish (19.00-21.00).

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Walking Barcelona on our social programme

Street Art Barrio Gotico Barcelona

Street art, Barrio Gótico | Photo: Tom Walton

It's warm in Barcelona so you might want to bring comfortable shoes and perhaps some water on our social programme this week… It's nice that there are some many amazing things within easy walking distance.

  • Tuesday 3rd | Join us today on our walk round the Barrio Gótico, the old part of the city of Barcelona. You could and will go on your own — but come with us and you'll discover some of the wonderful things to be found there (16.00).
  • Wednesday 4th | We have a stroll this afternoon taking you to see some of the hidden corners of Barcelona you might otherwise miss. Come with us and explore (and see also these other hidden places, in other barrios) (16.00).
  • Thursday 5th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to the Manzana de la Discordia, the block on Passeig de Gracia with three of Barcelona's best examples of Modernista architecture — the Casa Batlló (Gaudí); the Casa Amatller (Puig i Cadafalch); and the Casa Lleó i Morera (Domènech i Montaner); as well as to the Casa Milà (also by Gaudí), which is further up the street on the other side (16.00).
  • Friday 6th | Kick off the weekend — and practise your Spanish — at our Friday Club language exchange (in the bar/on the terrace, 19.00-21.00).

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor) at the times given above.

Also this week | Now that the World Cup is over 😉 , you could try the wonderful things on at the Grec Festival and the open air cinema at the Sala Montjuic is real nice.

We highly recommend the official Barcelona Turisme for full details of what's on in Barcelona this month.

The Born, the Grec, the Sala Montjuic: so much going on in Barcelona in the summer

Old Barcelona

Barcelona in the Born market | Photo: Tom Walton

There's always such a lot going on in the summer in Barcelona — and not just on our social programme!

  • Tuesday 26th | Join us on our walk today round the  popular barrio of El Born, full of cool bars and history, home to the lovely church of Santa Maria del Mar and the Estación de Francia, as well as the fascinating remains of the medieval city of Barcelona in the old Born Market (16.00).
  • Wednesday 27th | First laid out in 1791, the Laberinto de Horta is one of the most romantic of the hidden corners of Barcelona (as well as being one of the settings for Tom Tykwer's 2006 film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer). Come along and see it with us (16.00).
  • Thursday 28th | One you just must see: the best known Gaudí building in Barcelona, the still unfinished Sagrada Familia, though it's supposed to be finished in 2026 (see this video if you can't wait that long!). See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed. It's definitely not something to be missed so why not come with us today? Note that entrance is €15 and you need to book a place by 16.00 on Tuesday if you want to come with us (16.00).
  • Friday 29th | Join us this evening at our Friday Club language exchange. It's a great place to kick off the weekend — and to practise your Spanish !! In the bar/on the terrace, 19.00-21.00.

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | In the World Cup, the pointless group games are — thank goodness — coming to an end this week. We do have Spain vs Morocco (Monday, kick-off 20.00), with the Argentina vs Nigeria (Tuesday, kick-off 20.00) looking the best of the rest, because Messi and co. might be about to get dumped out. The real games don't start till Sunday.

If you'd rather avoid the football completely, we can highly recommend the open-air cinema of the Sala Montjuïc (June 29-August 3) is a cool place to be on hot summer nights.

You've also got all the many events of the Grec Festival (July -31) starting Sunday.

This week in Barcelona: Sant Joan

Fonts de Montjuic

The spectacular magic fountains of Montjuic | Photo: Tom Walton

This week in Barcelona we have Sant Joan (crazy!), lots of interesting things on our social programme and a small matter of a World Cup to get over-excited about!

  • Tuesday 19th | The barrio of Barceloneta was built on reclaimed land and dates back only to the 18th century but once housed Barcelona's fishermen and then, later, factories. Both are now long gone and have been replaced by a lot of noisy tourists, but the district still retains a peculiar, original flavour (16.00).
  • Wednesday 20th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to the Manzana de la Discordia, the block on Passeig de Gracia with three of Barcelona's best examples of Modernista architecture — the Casa Batlló (Gaudí); the Casa Amatller (Puig i Cadafalch); and the Casa Lleó i Morera (Domènech i Montaner); as well as to the Casa Milà (also by Gaudí), which is further up the street on the other side (16.00).
  • Thursday 21st | Note the change from the usual time today: this evening we're going to the spectacular light and sound show of the Magic Fountains of Montjuic (20.30).
  • Friday 22nd | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our very popular Friday Club language exchange (19.00-21.00).

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor) at the times given above.

Also this week | Saturday night is  Sant Joan (Mid-Summer's Eve), one of those times of the year Barcelona goes really, really crazy. The beach is probably the place to be!

In the World Cup we have, among a plethora of frankly pointless group stage games, Spain vs Iran (Wednesday, kick-off 20.00).

Patatas bravas, the Ramblas and Jack Nicholson on this week's social programme

Street entertainer on the Ramblas

On the Ramblas | Photo: Tom Walton

The World Cup kicks off this week but, as always, we're got lots of other things on our social programme! You didn't come to Barcelona only for the football, did you 😉 ?

  • Tuesday 12th | We have a trip up to the barrio of Sarrià [map] this afternoon. A separate town until it was incorporated into Barcelona in 1921, Sarrià still feels a little like a small town. Look out for wild boar, stop off at the posh bakers Foix de Sarrià (Plaça de Sarrià 12-13) if you're feeling peckish — or try the world's best ever patatas bravas at Bar Tomás (Major de Sarrià 49). Shame it's rather expensive to find a flat there (16.00) !
  • Wednesday 13th | Come with this afternoon down the Ramblas, to discover some of the amazing things on and just off it — including one of our favourite Barcelona dragons and the Palau Güell, one of the few Modernista buildings to be found outside the Eixample district. If you are an Antonioni fan, the Palau Güell is where Jack Nicholson meets Marie Schneider in The Passenger and — if you're a fan — a selfie coming out of the Hotel Oriente is on your to-do list (16.00).
  • Thursday 14th | It's hard to believe, but Via Laietana is little more than 100 years old. Driven through the heart of the old city between 1908 and 1913, as you can see in the video above, it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets — and just a two-minute walk away from IH. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 15th | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our very popular Friday Club language exchange (19.00-21.00).

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | World Cup, Spain vs Portugal (Friday, kick-off 21.00) plus rather a lot of other games, if football is your thing!

The excellent TimeOut Barcelona has a list of 15 bars with big screens that are likely to be packed and some "different" ways to watch the beautiful game (content in Catalan). You could just pop down to the bar on the corner, of course…

If loud music is more your thing, check out the Sonar Festival (June 14-16)!