Come and see the Park Güell in the spring sunshine

Entrance to the Park Guell, Barcelona

Entrance to the Park Güell, Barcelona | Photo: Irene Ucha

It's that time of the year when Barcelona is at it's loveliest. Come and see on our social programme this week.

Note that if you're coming with us to the Park Güell on Thursday, you need to book your place before 16.00 on Tuesday.

  • Tuesday 21st | 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 22nd | 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, by the way. Bring your camera (16.00)!
  • Thursday 23rd | Come with us the the Park Güell this afternoon, the lovely Gaudí park – especially gorgeous in the spring sunshine. Magnificent views of Barcelona from the top. Don't forget to book your place in Reception, entrance fee €7 (16.00).
  • Friday 24th | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today 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.

Barcelona: a city of contrasts (and wild boar)

Quick!!!! Where's my spear?

Running wild in Barcelona | Photo: Tom Walton

One of the things we love about Barcelona is the contrast between its different districts. Come and see what we mean on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 21st | 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 22nd | 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. Not a trip for philistines (16.00) 😉 !
  • Thursday 23rd | We have a stroll round the Barrio Gótico 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 24th | Come get yourself some extra Spanish practice 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 Spanish League, Barça, embarrassed by PSG in the Champions last week, are away to Atlético Madrid on Sunday, kick-off 16.15).

Barcelona, the old and the new, and the Modernista bit in the middle

Torre Agbar

The Torre Agbar, one of Barcelona's most distinctive landmarks | Photo: Tom Walton

On our social programme this week, we've got old Barcelona for you (Tuesday) and the new, post-Olympics city (Wednesday) — with the fabulous Modernista one, from the late-19th/early 20th century, thrown in as well (Thursday).

  • Tuesday 14th | 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 15th | Our trip today takes us down to Glorias, (that's the Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, to give it its full, official name), which is home to the singular Torre Agbar, a huge shopping centre and the Encants, possibly the only flea market in the world with a designer roof (which, in true Barcelona fashion, leaked the first time it rained!). There's also the new Design Musuem down there too. It's an area that's been transformed  in the last 25 years — and still being transformed, with the Plaça, once a massive roundabout, to become a large park) (16.00).
  • Thursday 16th | 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 17th | We have a special St Valentine's Day Friday Club for you this week, three days late of course, but hey, love is for ever, right 😉 ? 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 | Champions, last-16 tie, PSG vs Barça (Tuesday, kick-off 20.45); Spanish League, Barça vs Leganes (Sunday, kick-off 20.45).

For the PSG game, you'll want a bar with a big screen (content in Catalan).

Barcelona this week: Flower Power and the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia: come with us and see, Thursday | Photo: Tom Walton

Our social programme this week. Note that if you want to come with us to the Sagrada Familia on Thursday, you need to book your place by Tuesday at the latest.

  • Tuesday 17th | 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. Come and explore with us (16.00).
  • Wednesday 18th | 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 tavern 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 19th | 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 20th | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our very popular Friday Club language exchange. This week, we have a Flower Power Party for you. Peace and love, brothers (19.00-21.00)!

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

Art and football: isn't that what Barcelona is all about?

MNAC

The MNAC: an outstanding art collection | Photo: Tom Walton

Our social programme for you this week:

  • Tuesday 13th | Come with us for a stroll around the Raval, the district on the right of the Ramblas as you head down towards the port. One of the best places in Barcelona to go to find street art, it was once a rather seedy red light district but is now home to the CCCB and the MACBA (not to be confused with the MNAC, where we're going tomorrow) and Fernando Botero's fat cat, and (in keeping with its past) to the protagonists of many of Barcelona's novelas negras (16.00).
  • Wednesday 14th | 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. Possibly one for art-lovers only, but if that's you, outstanding (16.00).
  • Thursday 15th | 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 16th | It's the last Friday Club of 2016 today so, though it's just ever so slightly early, we have our Friday Club Christmas Party this evening. 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 Spanish League we have the local derby, Barça vs Espanyol, a huge grudge match for the latter but one Barça will expect to win without breaking sweat (Sunday, kick-off 20.45).