On the Ramblas in the footsteps of Jack Nicholson

Street entertainer on the Ramblas

On the Ramblas | Photo: Tom Walton

Barcelona is wonderful for its endless variety, something which we like to show you a little of on our social programme. This week:

  • Tuesday 2nd | 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 3rd | 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 (16.00).
  • Thursday 4th | It's not quite the magnificent event that the Feria de Abril de Sevilla is, but Barcelona also has its own Feria de Abril. Come along with us this afternoon and see for yourself (and note the late start time, 18.30).
  • Friday 5th | 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 | With just three games to play in the Spanish League, and Barça equal on points with Real Madrid, who still have a game in hand, this weekend it's Barça vs Villareal (Saturday, kick-off 18.30).

For more of what's on in Barcelona this month, we recommend the Barcelona Turisme guide (.pdf file).

Your social programme in Barcelona this week

Old Barcelona

Barcelona in the Born market | Photo: Tom Walton

Barcelona has a fascinating history; come and discover a little of it on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 25th | 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 pre-siege city of Barcelona in the old Born market (16.00).
  • Wednesday 26th | 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).
  • Thursday 27th | 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. Interesting, and not all of them by Gaudí (16.00)!
  • Friday 28th | It's a long weekend — Monday 1st is a holiday — and what better place to kick it off (as well as practise your Spanish) than 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 | Spanish League, Barça vs Osasuna (Wednesday, kick-off 19.30); Español vs Barça (Saturday, kick-off 20.45).

And at the CCCB, April 29 to June 5, there's the outstanding World Press Photo exhibition (closed on Mondays). One not to miss!

Barcelona at its best – and worst

Roses for Sant Jordi

Roses for Sant Jordi | Photo: Tom Walton

Barcelona (and Sant Jordi) in the spring sunshine: one of those times of the years when it's at its loveliest. Come and see on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 18th | Come with us today to explore the popular district of Gracia: 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 19th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to see some of Picasso's Barcelona: it includes some of the most picturesque of the streets of the Barrio Gótico (Petrixol, Avinyó…); places like the 4 Gats restaurant (a bohemian taberna in Picasso's time); the Estación de Francia (from where he first travelled to Paris at the age of 21); and the Carrer de Montcada, where the Picasso Museum now stands (16.00).
  • Thursday 20th | We have a stroll round the Barrio Gótico for you 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 21st | We have a special Sant Jordi edition of our Friday Club language exchange this week. 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 a kind of big week for Barça: on Wednesday in the Champions it's the return of the Barça vs Juventus Quarter Final (kick-off 20.45), with Barça down 3-0 after the first leg; and then on Sunday, in the Spanish League, it's Real Madrid vs Barça (kick-off 20.45), with Barça 3 points behind their arch rivals, who still have a game in hand. A double opportunity — because of the atavistic screaming that goes on and the absurd amount of importance attached to such things — to see Barcelona at its worst.

Sunday also happens to be Sant Jordi, when tradition has it that the girl gives her guy a book, and in return receives a rose. Barcelona at its best (though you'll have to pardon us for suggesting it's all become a bit commercialized).

Walking Barcelona on our social programme this week

The port of Barcelona from Montjuïc. The World Trade Centre is just visible left, the Hotel Vela, centre | Photo: Tom Walton

You'll want some comfortable walking shoes on our social programme this week — and your phone or camera!

  • Tuesday 28th | 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 29th | 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 30th | The 1992 Olympics changed large parts of Barcelona — among them the mountain of  MontjuïcWikipedia ], 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 31st | 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 35th edition of El Salón Internacional del Cómic de Barcelona (March 30-April 2) this week. Massively popular — don't leave it until the last minute to get your ticket.

Come for a stroll down the Ramblas with us

Ramblas

Come with us for a stroll down the Ramblas, Wednesday | Photo: Tom Walton

It's one of those crazy weeks in Barcelona when (because of the football) people either don't mention the subject or else just go completely bonkers. Not edifying. Meanwhile, on our social programme:

  • Tuesday 7th | Come with us today to explore the bohemian district of Gracia [map]: interesting history, lovely architecture, great bars (and, in August, a great festa major)! We'll also be pass by one of the less well-known Gaudí works, the Casa Viçens, though it's currently largely obscured by tarpaulins for restoration work (16.00).
  • Wednesday 8th | 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 (16.00).
  • Thursday 9th | 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 10th | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our 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 | Champions ), Barça vs PSG (Wednesday, kick-off 20.45; last 16, return leg), with Barça 0-4 down (!) after an embarrassing trashing in Paris and a mountain to climb: such a disadvantage has never before been overturned at this stage in the Champions history.

Get yourself to a bar with a large TV screen just in case the impossible occurs [content in Catalan]!