Come to the Festa Major de Gracia with us this week

Street decorations at the Festa Major de Gracia

Street decorations at the Festa Major de Gràcia | Photo: Tom Walton

With Wednesday being a holiday (school closed, no class!) we have two events for you on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 14th | 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 (16.00).
  • Wednesday 15th | National holiday in Spain,
  • Thursday 16th | Come with us this afternoon for a stroll round the barrio of Gracia, where the Festa Major is on. The street decorations are pretty amazing (and most of it made from recycled materials) (16.00).
  • Friday 17th | 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 17th | 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 | The Festa Major de Gracia (August 15-21) is probably the best of the summer barrio festivals (programme, Facebook, Instagram) but note also the Festa Major de Sants (August 18-26).

Depressingly, the football is back with us. On Wednesday, we have the Joan Gamper Trophy game, Barça vs Boca Juniors (kick-off 18.15), with the Spanish League starting this weekend, with Barça vs Alavés (Saturday, kick-off 22.15).

Disappearing fishermen, Picasso and magic fountains on this week's social programme in Barcelona

Fountains of Montjuic

The magic fountains of Montjuic | Photo: Tom Walton

We've got a bit of not quite everything on our social programme for you this week. Barcelona is such an amazing collage of things to see!

  • Tuesday 24th | 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 Both are now long gone and have been replaced by a lot of noisy tourists, but the district still retains a peculiar, original flavour (16.00).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 25th | 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 26th | Note the change from the usual time today: this evening we're going to the spectacular light and sound show of the Magic Fountains of Montjuic (20.00).
  • Friday 27th | 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.

On this week's social programme in Barcelona

Market stall

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

Here's what we have for you on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 17th | 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 18th | 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 (photo, above) (16.00).
  • Thursday 19th | 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. Incidentally, both are great places to go for lunch. Bring your camera (16.00)!
  • Friday 20th | 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.

Two of Barcelona's most interesting barrios: Poblenou and the Raval


Poblenou: new and old, side by side | Photo: Tom Walton

Note that we don't have an event on Thursday on our social programme this week (so that we can take you to the Fiestas del Raval).

  • Tuesday 10th | Today's trip takes us into the barrio of Poble Nou, which is home to the iconic Torre Agbar (just visible, top left, in our photograph), the nightclub Razzmatazz and some of Barcelona's best street art. But come along with us and discover a whole lot more about one of the city's most interesting, most genuine barrios (16.00).
  • Wednesday 11th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to visit the lovely Parque de la Ciudadela (photo, above) built 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).
  • Friday 13th | It's summer and that means it's fiesta time! This week we have the Fiestas del Raval (see full programme, .pdf file), not so well known as the Festa Major de Gràcia (August) but lots of fun. The Raval itself is the once rather seedy area off to the right as you head down the Ramblas, once home to the protagonists of many of Barcelona's novelas negras (16.00), now a barrio you might hang out in its many bars and restaurants. We're meeting at 18.00, join us then!
  • Also Friday 13th | Don't fancy a fiesta in the Raval? Then join us in the bar/on the terrace for a fiesta of our own — the Friday ClubCome get yourself some extra practice for your Spanish (19.00-21.00).

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

Walking Barcelona on our social programme

Street Art Barrio Gotico Barcelona

Street art, Barrio Gótico | Photo: Tom Walton

It's warm in Barcelona so you might want to bring comfortable shoes and perhaps some water on our social programme this week… It's nice that there are some many amazing things within easy walking distance.

  • Tuesday 3rd | 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 4th | We have a stroll this afternoon taking you to see some of the hidden corners of Barcelona you might otherwise miss. Come with us and explore (and see also these other hidden places, in other barrios) (16.00).
  • Thursday 5th | 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).
  • Friday 6th | 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) at the times given above.

Also this week | Now that the World Cup is over 😉 , you could try the wonderful things on at the Grec Festival and the open air cinema at the Sala Montjuic is real nice.

We highly recommend the official Barcelona Turisme for full details of what's on in Barcelona this month.