Art, architecture and Poble Nou on this week's social programme

Detail, Modernista building in the Eixample district: come along with us and see, Thursday | Photo: Tom Walton

The art and the architecture (not to mention the street art!) are just a couple of the things that make Barcelona such a distinctive place. Come with us and explore on our social programme this week.

  • Tuesday 20th | Today's trip takes us into the barrio of Poble Nou, which is home to the iconic Torre Agbar, 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 21st | Our trip this afternoon takes us down to the Plaza España to see the 1000 years of art in the outstanding collection at the MNAC, the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña (16.00).
  • Thursday 22nd | Come with us for a stroll this afternoon to see something of the Ruta del Modernismo. We can't and won't (promise!) take you to see all the 116 Modernista buildings officially included in the Route, but you'll get at least a taste of Barcelona's magnificent architecture (16.00).
  • Friday 23rd | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our very popular Friday Club language exchange — the last one for two weeks as we take a break for Easter (19.00-21.00).

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

The Romans, the flea market, the architecture, the football: Barcelona has it all


Come with us to Montjuïc on Thursday for some wonderful views of the city | Photo: Tom Walton

Wednesday's football is probably the big event in Barcelona this week, but we have plenty of other goodies for you on our social programme this week, too.

  • Tuesday 13th | Although in Roman times Barcelona was far less important than Tarragona, 100km down the coast, the Romans left behind the remains of the city of Barcino that they founded in 15 BC: the Roman Temple and the traces of the Roman walls on top of which the city's medieval walls were largely built are among the things you'll see on our walk this afternoon (16.00).
  • Wednesday 14th | Our trip today takes us down to Glòries, (that's the Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, to give it its full, official name), which is home to the singular Torre Agbar, a huge shopping centre and the Encants, possibly the only flea market in the world with a designer roof (which, in true Barcelona fashion, leaked the first time it rained!). There's also the new Design Musuem down there too. It's an area that's been transformed in the last 25 years — and still being transformed, with the Plaça, once a massive roundabout, now a massive roadworks, but supposed eventually to become a large park) (16.00).
  • Thursday 15th | The 1992 Olympics changed large parts of Barcelona — among them the mountain of Montjuïc [ Wikipedia ], which overlooks the city and which is where we're going this afternoon. Bring your camera or phone along: the views [ Flickr | Instagram ] are fantastic (16.00) !
  • Friday 16th | Our Friday Club language exchange is one of the most popular events on our social program. Why not join us on the terrace and in the bar after class this evening (19.00-21.00)?

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

Also this week | Champions, Barça vs Chelsea (Wednesday, kick-off 20.45).Spanish League, Barça vs Athletic Bilbao (Sunday, kick-off 16.15).

It's almost Spring: come and see Barcelona at its loveliest


If you go down to the park today… Mammoth! Run! | Photo: Tom Walton

It's been cold and wet in here but the forecast is good for the rest of the week. You wouldn't actually say it's Spring yet but come with us on our social programme this week and, if the sun's out, see Barcelona at its most lovely.

  • Tuesday 6th | Come for a stroll around the Raval, the district on the right of the Ramblas as you head down towards the port. One of the best places in Barcelona to go to find street art (see photo, above), it was a rather seedy red light district but is now home to the CCCB and the MACBA and Fernando Botero's fat cat, and (in keeping with its past) to the protagonists of many of Barcelona's novelas negras (16.00).
  • Wednesday 7th | 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).
  • Thursday 8th | Take a walk with us this afternoon along the Moll de la Fusta [see photos], which takes us from the wonderful Catalan History museum, across the old port past the Maremagnum shopping and leisure centre to the statue of Columbus and the bottom of the Ramblas (16.00).
  • Friday 9th | 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 | The big one, the Catalunya Super Cup Final, Barça vs Espanyol (Wednesday, kick-off 18:45). OK, yes, that's only the big one for Espanyol 😉 !

Come and explore three of Barcelona's unique barrios with us this week

Casa Amatller, Casa Batllo

The Casa Amatller (left) and the Casa Batlló (right) | Photo: Tom Walton

It's cold but sunny here in Barcelona so bring a warm coat when you come with us to explore the city on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 27th | 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).
  • Wednesday 28th | 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).
  • Thursday 1st| We have a stroll round the Barrio Gótico today, taking you to see some of the hidden corners you might otherwise miss. Come with us and explore (and see also these other hidden corners of Barcelona, in other barrios).
  • Friday 2nd | You've got to start your Barcelona weekend somewhere. Why not start it with us at our Friday Club language exchange, where you can practise all the languages you know? 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 | Spanish League, Barça vs Atlético Madrid (Sunday, kick-off 16.15), a game that would surely seal things if Barça, as Atlético are currently second but 7 points behind.

In Barcelona this week (apart from the football…!)

Video: The construction of the Vía Laietana

We've got nice triplet of different Barcelona districts for you on our social programme this week. And then there's the football…

  • Tuesday 20th | Come with us today to explore the bohemian district of Gracia [general information | map]: interesting history, lovely architecture, great bars (and, in August, a great festa major)! We'll also be seeing one of the less well-known Gaudí works, the Casa Viçens (16.00).
  • Wednesday 21st | Transformed for the 1929 Universal Exhibition, the Plaza España is within walking distance of so much: the Las Arenas shopping mall in the former bullring (great view from the top!); Miró's Dona i Ocell (no sniggering!); the outstanding art collection at the MNAC (housed in the Palacio Nacional, built for the Exhibition); the former factory, now art museum of the CaixaForum and lots more besides. We won't actually be going into the latter, but you might want to, afterwards (16.00).
  • Thursday 22nd | 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 23rd | Come get yourself some extra Spanish practice at our Friday Club language exchange (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 | On Tuesday in the Champions League, last 16 first leg, Chelsea vs Barça (kick-off 20.45, in London, that is). And at home on Saturday in the Spanish League, Barça vs Girona (kick-off 20.45).

For the Chelsea game, you'll want a bar with a big screen, for which the excellent TimeOut (content in Catalan) has some suggestions.