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.

Barcelona's history and architecture on this week's social programme

Josep Llimona, Desconsuelo | Photo: Tom Walton

Desconsuelo, statue by Josep Llimona in the Parque de la Ciudadela | Photo: Tom Walton

Note that there's a national holiday in Catalonia on Tuesday so (exceptionally) we have something for you on Monday on our social programme this week:

  • Monday 10th | Come with us today to explore the popular district of Gracia [information & map]: interesting history, lovely architecture, great bars (and, in August, a really great festa major)! We'll also be seeing one of the less well-known Gaudí works, the Casa Viçens, now open to the public if you want to go inside (in which case book yourself a ticket online, min €16) (16.00).
  • Tuesday 11th | National holiday in Catalonia for the Diada, which commemorates the fall of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714 and the loss of Catalan independence. School will be closed.
  • 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 | 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 but is definitely not something to be missed. Book your ticket online if you want to do that. See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed (16.00).
  • 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.

What's on in Barcelona in September

Image from our Instagram feed | Our annex on the left, Enric Sagnier's La Caixa building at the end of the street, Via Laietana (and see Thurs., below) just beyond that

 

September is a really great time to visit Barcelona: it's still summery but just not so ridiculously hot. On our social programme for you this week:

  • Tuesday 4th | 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. On the subject of tourism and what it's done to Barcelona, see also this article in The Guardian last week (16.00).
  • Wednesday 5th | One for art lovers, 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 | 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 7th | 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 month | The official Barcelona Turisme website has a great guide to what's on in September in Barcelona, which of course includes Barcelona's festa major, La Mercè (September 21-24).

Don't miss it | At the CaixaForum until September 16, there's a fascinating exhibition on, Faraón, Rey de Egpipto. If you're interested in Ancient Egypt, you'll love this one!

Architecture and the Festa Major de Sants on this week's social programme


El Quadrat d'Or (1990) por manuelhuerga

The wonderful video shows you what the Quadrat d'Or looked like in 1900 (with no cars!), at the time Barcelona's Eixample district was just acquiring its amazing Modernista architecture. Come along with us on our social program Tuesday to see it for yourself…

  • Tuesday 21st | 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).
  • Wednesday 22nd | The Sant Antoni Market dates back to 1882, the work of the architect Antoni Rovira i Trias, and has just reopened after extensive restoration work. This article in El Periódico gives you a taste of the kind of stall you'll find there. Note also the second hand book fair that is held every Sunday. If you want to know more, try Wikipedia or the market's official website — or why not just come along with us (16.00)?
  • Thursday 23rd | The Festa Major de Gràcia is over but it's now time for the Festa Major de Sants. Like Gràcia, it also has some pretty amazing street decorations and a great party atmosphere — and is another of the barrios of the city that are way less touristy and have a character of their own. More information on the Festa on barcelona.cat (in Catalan) or on Wikipedia (in Spanish or Catalan). Come along with us and see for yourself (note that we meet at 18.00 today).
  • Friday 24th | 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.