Modernista art and architecture on this week's social programme

Lamp, Casa Amatller

Modernista lamp, Casa Amatller | Photo: Tom Walton

We've got art, architecture and partytime for you on our social programme this week. All that's really missing is live music (try the Grec Festival for that) and the football, which is taking a few short weeks off! If you're interested in art, we particularly recommend the visit on Wednesday.

  • 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); 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 | Although the most noticeable manifestation of Catalan modernism was architecture (that would be what you saw if you came with us yesterday!), there was also a flowering of painting and sculpture and decorative arts like ironwork and ceramic tiles. Come along with us this afternoon to the Museo del Modernismo de Barcelona and find out more (16.00, entrance €10).
  • Thursday 13th | Lots of Barcelona's barrios and districts have their own Festa Major (basically an excuse to party 😉 !), with the Festa Major de Gracia (third week in August), the Festa Major de Sants (last week in August) and the Mercé being the biggest and best. But come along today to see that of one of our favourite barrios, the Raval (and note that we'll be meeting at 18.00 this evening).
  • Friday 14th | 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.

July in Barcelona: come with us to get to know the city

Moll de la Fusta

The Moll de la Fusta | Photo: Viateur, Pixabay

July and it's hot here in Barcelona — but not yet that hot so there's still plenty to enjoy on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 4th | 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 5th | Come with us today to visit the lovely Parque de la Ciudadela, which stands where once there was a fortress to keep the city subdued. We'll also be going to the Eiffel Tower-inspired Estación de Francia. If you're interested in architecture, and the history of Barcelona, there are some fascinating things to see on today's trip. If it's sunny, a real nice walk (16.00).
  • Thursday 6th | 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 7th | 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 | In Pamplona, it's the crazy San Fermines (you know, the running of the bulls), which you can watch live on Spanish television or on the RTVE website, from Friday, every morning at 08.00. Bonkers!

There's the Tour de France as well, of course, which you can also watch on RTVE.es if you want some extra practice for your Spanish.

More of what's on in Barcelona this month in the Tourist Board's Agenda for the month (.pdf file). If theatre and music are more your thing, check out the Grec Festival.

This Friday: Sant Joan, Barcelona at its craziest

Sagrada Famiia

Sagrada Familia | Photo: Tom Walton

You are coming to Barcelona to learn Spanish, aren't you? And to see the city, too, right? The former in class, the latter on our social programme every week. If you want to party as well, that would be this Friday night!

  • 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 | 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.
  • Friday 23rd | Tonight is Sant Joan — one of those nights when Barcelona just goes crazy (this time with fireworks). Why not kick it off at our Friday Club language exchange (in the bar/on the terrace, 19.00-21.00). Bona retvella, as we say here in Catalonia!

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

This week in Barcelona: dancing eggs and the Sonar Festival

Dancing egg at the Museu Mares

Patio del Museu Marès | Photo: Tom Walton

It's suddenly got really hot in Barcelona: all the more reason to come with us to some of the cool places we have on the social programme this week!

  • Tuesday 13th | 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 14th | 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 15th | Come with us today to see some of the lovely patios of the Barrio Gótico and one of Barcelona's most curious traditions: l'ou com balla, aka the dancing egg, which is something you will only see during Corpus Christi.
  • Friday 16th | 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), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | It's the 24th edition of the Sónar Festival this week (June 15 to 17), which TimeOut reckons is one the world's top 50 music festivals.

Street art, dragons and the outstanding WPP this week

Street art in the Raval

Street art in the Raval by @sofliso | Photo: @sirkirbymuxloe

Barcelona is a city of contrasts. Come with us on our social programme this week and see what we mean: can the Raval (Tuesday) and Pedralbes (Wednesday) really be part of the same city?

  • Tuesday 30th | 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 (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 31st | Our trip this afternoon takes us to the lovely gardens of the Palacio Real de Pedralbes, which was home to the Spanish monarchy 1919-1931 whenever they visited the city, and also takes in the remarkable Gaudí dragon on the gate of the Finca Güell, the summer home of Eusebi Güell, Gaudí's great patron (16.00).
  • Thursday 1st | It's hard to believe, but Via Laietana (just along the road from IH Barcelona) is little more than 100 years old. Driven through the heart of the old city between 1908 and 1913 (in the video, above), it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 2nd | 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.

Last chance this week | The outstanding World Press Photo exhibition, on at the CCCB, closes June 5th. Don't miss it!