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.

Join us on our Barcelona social programme this week

Via Laietana: it sounds Roman but is in fact only just over 100 years old

Tuesday is a holiday so the first event on our social programme is on Monday this week. There's no class on Tuesday but you can expect the shops to be open with Christmas just a fortnight away!

  • Monday 7th | 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).
  • Tuesday 8th | National holiday in Spain
  • Wednesday 9th | 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 Caixa Forum… and lots more besides (16.00).
  • Thursday 10th | It's hard to believe, but Via Laietana (in the video above) is little more than 100 years old. Driven through the old city between 1908 and 1913, it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 11th | 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 Deportivo de La Coruña (Saturday, kick-off 16.00).

Last chance | The outstanding World Press Photo exhibition closes at the CCCB on Sunday (also closed today, Monday). Definitely a must-see.

Barcelona's festa major starts this week

SPOT MAC Festival. Mercè 2015 from Barcelona Cultura on Vimeo.

The Mercè, Barcelona's festa major, begins on Friday, with a huge number of events across the city.

  • Wednesday 16th | First laid out in 1791, the Laberinto de Horta is one of the most romantic of the hidden corners of Barcelona (as well as being one of the settings for Tom Tykwer's 2006 film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer). Come along and see it with us (16.00).
  • Thursday 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 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).
  • Friday 18th | Come with us to see the inaugural parade of the Mercè this evening (note the later start time, 18.30).

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor) at the times given above.

Don't miss it | The correfoc (literally the "firerun"), at which dragons and devils parade the streets spraying everyone with sparks, Sunday, starting in the Placa Sant Jaume at 20.00. Full programme of events.

Also this week | Champions, Roma vs Barça (Wednesday in Rome, kick-off 20.45); Spanish League, Barça vs Levante (Sunday, kick-off 20.30).