Come with us and see some of Barcelona's wonderful architecture

The Passenger: Marie Schneider and Jack Nicholson meet in the Palau Güell, then visit the Pedrera, back in 1975

Comes with us on our social programme this week and discover how much more there is to Barcelona's amazing architecture than "just" Gaudí!

  • Tuesday 11th | 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, in the video above); 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 12th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to visit the lovely Parque de la Ciudadela, which lies 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 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).
  • Friday 14th | We have a special "Hawaii" Friday Club for you this week. 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 | In the Champions, it's the last game of the group stages, with Barça vs Tottenham(Tuesday, kick-off 21.00). Barça have won the group with something to spare while Tottenham must win this one to qualify. Tickets start at €69 (or €440 for a VIP ticket! Does anyone actually pay that to watch football?)

Art and architecture and Barcelona's best bravas on this week's social programme


The MNAC: an outstanding art collection | Photo: Tom Walton

It's one of those crazy weeks when Spain still thinks it's a good idea to have a holiday on a Thursday so there's no class and no event on our social programme then — but we do have two events for you on Friday.

  • Tuesday 4th | 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 5th | 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 6th | National holiday in Spain for the Día de la Constitución
  • Friday 7th | 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. It's Antoni Gaudí that got all the fame and credit for it, but we'll also be telling you about Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner (with an honourable mention for Enric Sagnier (16.00).
  • Friday 7th | Come and join us on the terrace/in the bar after class this afternoon 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.

Note that Saturday is also a holiday (Spain is still different!), this time for the Immaculate Conception, so school will be closed then, too.

Also this week | In the Copa del Rey, it's the return leg of the Barça vs Cultural Leonesa tie (Wednesday, kick-off 21.30, with Barça 1-0 after the first leg); while on Saturday in the Spanish League we have the local derby, Español vs Barça (Saturday, kick-off 20.45).

Come with us to the Park Güell this week

Visiting the Park Güell | Photo: Barbara KrólikowskaCome

We've a visit to the Park Guëll on our social programme this week: note that if you want to come, you need to sign up for it by Monday 16.00.

  • Tuesday 27th | 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 28th | It's hard to believe that, before the 1992 Olympics, you could take a book to the Park Güell – Barcelona's lovely Gaudí park – and enjoy it in peace and quiet, with barely a tourist in sight! It's still lovely so come along with us this afternoon and enjoy,  apart from anything else, the magnificent views of Barcelona from the top. Don't forget to book your place in Reception, entrance fee €7.50 (16.00).
  • Thursday 29th | It's a couple of years now since the 300th anniversary of the siege of Barcelona but the Barcelona 1714 route is still a historically fascinating one. The remains of the city blocks demolished to build the post-siege fortress now to be seen at the Born Centre Cultural are particularly interesting. Come along if you're interested in the history of the city (16.00).
  • Friday 30th | This week we've got a special "Selfie" edition of our Friday Club language exchange. Come along: Friday Club is always fun (in the bar/on the terrace, 19.00 to 21.00)

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

Also this week | This week there are two games for Barça (according to today's The Guardian the first sports team to average £10m a year in wages, or €11.3m — and that's before any bonuses — if the pittance you make is in Euros): on Wednesday in the Champions they are away to PSV Eindhoven (kick-off 21.00); and on Sunday in the Spanish League it's Barça vs Villareal (Sunday, kick-off 18.30).

If football is your thing, The Guardian is quite interesting on what's going on in La Liga, with Sid Lowe a knowledgeable columnist on the subject.

Barcelona barrios old and new on this week's social programme


Plaça de les Glòries, with (l-r) the Encants, very ugly Design Musuem and Torre Agbar all visible | Photo: Tom Walton

We've some nice contrasts for you on our social programme this week, between barrios old and new. Come with us and explore…

  • Tuesday 20th | 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 21st | Our trip today takes us down to Glorias, (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, to become a large park) (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 | 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 | In the Spanish League, we have Barça (who lead) way to Atlético Madrid (who are joint second, just a point behind). Find yourself a bar (Saturday, kick-off 20.45)!

Chocolate con churros on this week's social programme

The street art shutter (complete with dripping chocolate!) at one of Barcelona's most famous cafés: come along, Wednesday | Photo: Tom Walton

Funnily enough, we happened to know visitors to Barcelona who found chocolate con churros way, way more interesting than the Sagrada Familia! We have both for you on our social programme this week 😉 !

  • Tuesday 13th | Come with us this afternoon to visit Poble Sec, the district between the Avenida del Paralelo and Montjuic. Once home to factories, of which little now remains, it's a barrio popular, not least because of its many bars (see the recommendations in TimeOut and on TripAdvisor). The Carrer Blai [Google Maps] is particularly popular if you want to ir de tapas (16.00).
  • Wednesday 14th | One of Barcelona's great traditions (OK, that would possibly be other parts of Spain, too 😉 !): chocolate con churros for afternoon tea, for which we'll be heading over into the Barrio Gótico to one of our favourite granjas (cafés) on the Carrer Petrixol (now that is the Barcelona tradition!). Also traditionally consumed when you come out of the disco at about five in the morning. Price €8 (disco not included!) . Yummy (16.00)!
  • Thursday 15th | 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!). If you want to go inside, note that it costs a minimum €15 (and book online if you want to do that) but is definitely not something to be missed (16.00). See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed (16.00).
  • Friday 16th | 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.

Footnote: The excellent TimeOut Barcelona recently had a feature on some of Barcelona's best known granjas, if you like chocolate con churros.