Exploring Barcelona on our social programme

Street art Juanjo Surace

Street art in Poble Sec by Juanjo Surace | Photo: Tom Walton

Bring comfortable walking shoes on our social programme this week and discover a lot about Barcelona!

  • Tuesday 5th | 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. Nice street art, too (16.00)!
  • Wednesday 6th | This afternoon's trip 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 7th | We have a "Yincana" round the Casco Antiguo — a gymkhana round the Barrio Gótico, that is. Come along, it's a fun way to discover the old city (16.00).
  • Friday 8th | 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.

Also this week | In the first legs of the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, we have a "clásico" for you this week: Barça vs Real Madrid (Wednesday, kick-off 21.00). The second leg isn't until February 27th, and is immediately followed by Real Madrid vs Barça in the League. How much are 75 inch TV screens now… 😉 ?!

See also | For what else we have on in Barcelona in February, Barcelona Turisme (the official tourist board), had an excellent Barcelona events listing (.pdf document).

February includes MWC19 Barcelona (previously known as Mobile World Congress) (25th-28th), a snip at €799 (assuming you want the cheapest possible ticket, that is!).

Christmas in Barcelona: food, churches and Kings

The Three Kings, bringing you presents in Barcelona, provided you've been good | Photo: Tom Walton

Exceptionally, with Tuesday a holiday, we've got something for you today (Monday) on our social programme this week:

  • Monday 31st | Come with us this afternoon to visit two of Barcelona's food markets: Santa Catalina, which is under 10 minutes away, and then across the Barrio Gótico to the Ramblas and the Boqueria [ video ], the more famous of the two. Especially interesting at this time of the year, both are also great places to go for lunch. Bring your camera (14.00)!
  • Tuesday 1st | Holiday
  • Wednesday 2nd | Apart from Sagrada Familia (see Thursday), the city has a number of other lovely churches. Come with us today to see the Joyas del Gótico, the "Gothic jewels" of Barcelona — the Cathedral and the wonderful churches of Santa María del Pí and Santa María del Mar, the latter the subject of a book we always recommend, La Catedral del Mar. Note that there's a €7 entrance fee to see the Nativity scene in the cathedral (16.00).
  • Thursday 3rd | Join us this afternoon on our trip down to the Plaza España to discover some of the traditions that come with a Spanish Christmas, when presents are traditionally brought not by Father Christmas on December 25th, but by the Three Kings on January 6th (watch out for the procession on the evening of the 5th, by the way).

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above. Note that, with school closing at 16.00 until January 7th (and at 14.00 on Monday 31st), there's no Friday Club this week.

See also The official tourist board has a great little guide to what's on in Barcelona in January, over at BarcelonaTurisme.com (large .pdf document)

Our social programme in Barcelona over Christmas

Nativity scene, Fira de Santa Llucia, Barcelona

Nativity scene, Fira de Santa Llúcia | Photo: Tom Walton

Join us on our social programme this week to see something of how Barcelona spends Christmas!

  • Monday 24th | We're going into Gracia this afternoon for look round the barrio and to see some of the Christmas stalls that are to be found. Need to do some last minute Christmas shopping 😉 ? Note that we're meeting at 14.00 today!
  • Tuesday 25th | Holiday
  • Wednesday 26th | Holiday
  • Thursday 27th | 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)!
  • Friday 28th | Come for a stroll with us this afternoon round a very Christmasy Barrio Gótico to see some of the hidden corners of the old city (16.00).

Join us downstairs at the front door, at the times given above.

Note that school is open only 09.00 to 16.00 this week (until 14.00 today, Monday) and closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and on Saturday.

There's therefore no Friday Club this week, obviously: it won't be back until January 11th.

Come and explore Barcelona on our social programme!

Market stall

Fruit stall, Santa Caterina market, Barcelona | Photo: Tom Walton

Getting out and about and exploring a city is always fun to do on your own, but come with us on our social programme and enjoy doing so with a knowledgeable guide. Here's where we 're going this week:

  • Tuesday 6th | 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 7th | 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 8th | Come with us this afternoon to visit two of Barcelona's food markets: Santa Catalina, which is under 10 minutes away, and then across the Barrio Gótico to the Ramblas and the Boqueria [ video ], the more famous of the two. Both are great places to go for lunch. Bring your camera (16.00)!
  • Friday 9th | 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 | In the Champions on Tuesday, it's Inter Milan vs Barça (kick-off 21.00) and then at the weekend in the Spanish League, Barça vs Betis (Sunday, kick-off 16.15).

On until December 21st, and this year in its 50th edition, we have the Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona.

For what else is on in Barcelona in the month of November, Barcelona Turisme — the official tourist board — have an excellent guide (.pdf file).

Barcelona this week: football and a lot more too

The Sagrada Familia | Photo: Tom Walton

What's happening in Barcelona this week? Football and then more football (see below)! You want some actual culture to go with that? Here's what we have on our social programme this week!

  • Tuesday 23rd | 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 24th | 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 25th | 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!). It now actually finally has a building licence, which it was lacked for the last 136 years. Spain is different! See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed. 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).
  • Friday 26th | Join us this evening for a special Halloween edition of our Friday Club language exchange (dressing up optional 😉 ) ! Yeah, we know it's not quite yet Halloween, but that won't stop us having a bit of fun on Friday! 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 | We have two big games this week in Barcelona. First, in the Champions, it's Barça vs Inter Milan (Wednesday, kick-off 21.00).; and then in the Spanish League we have, Barça vs Real Madrid (Sunday, kick-off 16.15).

Shoutout for Espanyol, Barcelona's "other" La Liga team, currently second, just a point behind Barça, but regrettably most unlikely to do a Leicester City on them.