Romans, architecture, magic fountains: come and explore Barcelona with us

The prize-winning video of one of Gaudí's most famous Barcelona houses, the Casa Batlló

Touch wood, the oppressive summer heat is over in Barcelona and now it's just nice and warm — perfect for a stroll on our social programme ! This week we have:

  • Tuesday 28th | Although in Roman times Barcelona was far less important than Tarragona, 100km down the coast, the Romans left behind the remains of the city of Barcino that they founded in 15 BC: the Roman Temple and the traces of the Roman walls on top of which the city's medieval walls were largely built are among the things you'll see on our walk this afternoon (16.00).
  • Wednesday 29th | 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).
  • Thursday 30th | 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 31st | 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 | Spanish League, Barça vs Huesca (Sunday, kick-off 18.30). Excuse our sniggering at what a ridiculous mismatch that would appear to be.

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.

Your social programme in Barcelona this week

The transformation of Via Laietana

Come with us on our social programme this week and discover quite a lot about Barcelona's fascinating history.

  • Tuesday 14th | Although in Roman times Barcelona was far less important than Tarragona, 100km down the coast, the Romans left behind the remains of the city of Barcino that they founded in 15 BC: the Roman Temple and the traces of the Roman walls on top of which the city's medieval walls were largely built are among the things you'll see on our walk this afternoon (16.00).
  • Wednesday 15th | 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 16th | It's hard to believe, but Via Laietana (just along the road from IH Barcelona) is little more than 100 years old. Driven through the heart of the old city between 1908 and 1913 (in the video, above), it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 17th | 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)?

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

Also this week | Spanish League, Barça vs Valencia (Sunday, kick-off 20.45).

Our social programme this week in Barcelona

The fascinating Boqueria market. Come with us and see, Thursday

Come well wrapped on our social programme this week, won't you? It's surprising cold for Barcelona, with temperatures this week between about 4º and 14º C (40º-57º F), says the forecast, with rain Monday and Friday. Yes, 4º is cold, for the people of Barcelona 😉 !

  • Tuesday 24th | Come with us today to explore the popular district of Gracia [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 buildings, the Casa Viçens (16.00).
  • Wednesday 25th | 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 26th | Come with us this afternoon to visit two of Barcelona's food markets: Santa Catalina, which is under 10 minutes away the school, and then across the Barrio Gótico to the Ramblas and the Boqueria, the more famous of the two. Both are great places to go for lunch. Bring your camera (16.00)!
  • Friday 27th | We have a different "theme" each week at our Friday Club language exchange. This week, we've got a Selfie Festival, which sounds like fun! In the bar/on the terrace, 19.20-21.00.

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

Also this week | Copa, Barça vs Real Sociedad (Thursday, kick-off 21.15).

Cold but sunny: Barcelona at its most lovely

The prize-winning video of one of Gaudí's most famous Barcelona houses, the Casa Batlló

It's just a little bit cold (for us!) but sunny (for everyone!) in Barcelona now — among the loveliest times of the year to explore the city. Come with us and see on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 8th | 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 9th | Our trip this afternoon takes us down to the Plaza España to see the 1000 years of art in the amazing collection at the MNAC, the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña. Nice views of Barcelona when you get up there (16.00)!
  • Thursday 10th| 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 11th | 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 | The outstanding World Press Photo exhibition opens on Thursday at the CCCB. On until December 11, it's open 11.00 to 20.00 but closed on Mondays.