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]!

This week in Barcelona: the good, the great and the ugly

GuateMao

Street art by @guate.mao in the Born | Photo: Tom Walton

We've got one of our favourite Barcelona barrios and one of its most fascinating artistic periods on our social programme this week. On this week as well, two Barça home games and our least favourite annual event.

  • Tuesday 28th | 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 medieval city of Barcelona in the old Born Market. Some cool street art, too, if you keep your eyes open (16.00)!
  • Wednesday 1st | Although the most noticeable manifestation of Catalan modernism was architecture (come with us tomorrow for that!), 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 €8).
  • Thursday 2nd | 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!). See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed. It's definitely not something to be missed so why not come with us today (entrance €15; 16.00)?
  • Friday 3rd | 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 | Spanish League, Barça vs Sporting (Wednesday, kick-off 19.30) and Barça vs Celta (Saturday, kick-off 20.45)

It's also the week of one of the major, annual embarrassments to Barcelona as a city: the Mobile World Congress (February 27th-March 2). Expect to see a lot of limos transporting filthy rich young men behaving badly from posh restaurants to exclusive discos and to find no room at any of Barcelona's many, unnecessary five-star hotels. Of minus zero benefit to your average Barcelona citizen.

Christmas in Barcelona on this week's social programme

Happy Christmas

Nativity scene beneath our Christmas tree in our new building on Ortigosa | Photo and figures: Tom Walton

We have a social programme for you as usual this week, though we'll be closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday for Christmas, with classes starting again on Tuesday 27th.

  • Tuesday 20th | 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 21st | One of our Christmas traditions in Barcelona is to buy (or make!) figures to create a Nativity scene at the Santa Llúcia Christmas fair, which has been held for the last 225 plus years [website]). Come along with us this afternoon to see (16.00).
  • Thursday 22nd | Bring your camera and comfortable shoes with you today and come with us for a stroll round one of Barcelona's food markets, fascinating at any time of the year, but perhaps especially so at Christmas (16.00).
  • Note that there's no Friday Club this week: it won't be back until January 13th.

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

Also this week | In the Copa, your last chance to see Barça at home this year: Barça vs Hércules (Wednesday, kick-off 20.00).

Tuesday and Thursday holidays? Yay! Spain is still different!

Castell dels Tres Dragons

The Castell dels Tres Dragons (Lluís Domènech i Montaner) is one of the places we'll be seeing Monday afternoon | Photo: Tom Walton

Tuesday and Thursday (!) are both fiestas this week — how crazy is that? Spain, as they say, is different! But if you're doing a Spanish course with us, we have a social programme for you as usual…

  • Monday 5th | 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)!
  • Tuesday 6th | Holiday (thanks to the Constitution)
  • Wednesday 7th | Our walk this afternoon takes us 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 8th | Holiday (thanks to the Immaculate Conception; which if you'll pardon our saying so, they might have put off until the Friday 😉 !)
  • Friday 9th | One for modern art lovers today, with a trip to the Fundació Vila Casas, which in fact has three contemporary art museums and two galleries for temporary exhibitions all of contemporary Catalan art (entrance €5, 16.00)
  • Also on Friday | 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)?

Vital Spanish vocabulary #1: hacer puente, literally "to make a bridge", i.e. to bridge the gap between the weekend and the holiday by taking the day in the middle off, thus avoiding Monday. When you get a week with Tuesday and Thursday holidays, that would be to hacer un viaducto. If people don't actually say that, it's 'cos they're too ashamed to admit to taking it 😉 !

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

Also this week | Champions, Barça vs Borussia Mönchengladbach, a bit of a nothing game, to be honest, as Barça are already through to the next round (Tuesday, kick-off 20.45).