Easter and Manchester United in Barcelona

The Sagrada Familia from the Turó de la Rovira | Photo: Tom Walton

Easter, and we're enjoying spectacular sunshine here in Barcelona — without it yet being hot: perfect for one of the walks on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 16th | 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).
  • Wednesday 17th | 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 18th | Bring your walking shoes with you this afternoon and prepared for a walk up one of Barcelona's steepest streets. We're going to the top of the Turó de la Rovira (262m), where there were anti-aircraft guns during the Spanish Civil War (Barcelona was bombed in 1938). The view from the top (see photo, above) is spectacular (16.00).

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

Note that Friday is a national holiday and, from Thursday evening to Tuesday morning, school will be closed for Easter.

Also this week | In the return leg of the Champions Quarter Final, it's Barça vs Manchester United (Tuesday, kick-off 21.00), with Barça sitting comfortably on a 1-0 lead from the first leg.

The Guardian's wonderful Joy of Six column looks back at previous Barcelona v Manchester United clashes and Barcelona was of course the venue for one of United's greatest ever comebacks

At the weekend, in La Liga (which Barça have all but won, again"), there's also Barça vs Real Sociedad (Saturday, kick-off 20.45).

1000 years of art on this week's social programme

Fountains of Montjuic

The magic fountains of Montjuic | Photo: Tom Walton

A big one for art lovers on our social programme this week (see especially Wednesday). If you'd like a topping with just a hint of kitsch with that, come along on Thursday 😉 !

  • Tuesday 9th | 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).
  • Wednesday 10th | One for art-lovers this afternoon: our trip 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.  Nice view of Barcelona from there, too (16.00) !
  • Thursday 11th | 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 12th | text

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

Also this week | In the first leg of the Champions Quarter Final, it's Manchester United vs Barça (Wednesday, kick-off 21.00), with the return leg on April 16th (VIP tickets start at €1180 — we kid you not — if you really must go). "Is there any hope for Man Utd?" says the BBC. Frankly, not.

The excellent TimeOut Barcelona has a list of 15 bars with big screens that are likely to be packed and some "different" ways to watch the beautiful game (content in Catalan). You could just pop down to the bar on the corner, of course…

Exploring Barcelona on our social programme

Street art Juanjo Surace

Street art in Poble Sec by Juanjo Surace | Photo: Tom Walton

Bring comfortable walking shoes on our social programme this week and discover a lot about Barcelona!

  • Tuesday 5th | Come with us this afternoon to visit Poble Sec, the district between the Avenida del Paralelo and Montjuic. Once home to factories, of which little now remains, it's a barrio popular, not least because of its many bars (see the recommendations in TimeOut and on TripAdvisor). The Carrer Blai [Google Maps] is particularly popular if you want to ir de tapas. Nice street art, too (16.00)!
  • Wednesday 6th | 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 7th | We have a "Yincana" round the Casco Antiguo — a gymkhana round the Barrio Gótico, that is. Come along, it's a fun way to discover the old city (16.00).
  • Friday 8th | 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.

Also this week | In the first legs of the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, we have a "clásico" for you this week: Barça vs Real Madrid (Wednesday, kick-off 21.00). The second leg isn't until February 27th, and is immediately followed by Real Madrid vs Barça in the League. How much are 75 inch TV screens now… 😉 ?!

See also | For what else we have on in Barcelona in February, Barcelona Turisme (the official tourist board), had an excellent Barcelona events listing (.pdf document).

February includes MWC19 Barcelona (previously known as Mobile World Congress) (25th-28th), a snip at €799 (assuming you want the cheapest possible ticket, that is!).

Barcelona this week: football and a lot more too

The Sagrada Familia | Photo: Tom Walton

What's happening in Barcelona this week? Football and then more football (see below)! You want some actual culture to go with that? Here's what we have on our social programme this week!

  • Tuesday 23rd | 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 24th | 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 (16.00).
  • Thursday 25th | 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!). It now actually finally has a building licence, which it was lacked for the last 136 years. Spain is different! See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed. If you want to go inside, note that it costs a minimum €15 (and book online if you want to do that) but is definitely not something to be missed (16.00).
  • Friday 26th | Join us this evening for a special Halloween edition of our Friday Club language exchange (dressing up optional 😉 ) ! Yeah, we know it's not quite yet Halloween, but that won't stop us having a bit of fun on Friday! 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 | We have two big games this week in Barcelona. First, in the Champions, it's Barça vs Inter Milan (Wednesday, kick-off 21.00).; and then in the Spanish League we have, Barça vs Real Madrid (Sunday, kick-off 16.15).

Shoutout for Espanyol, Barcelona's "other" La Liga team, currently second, just a point behind Barça, but regrettably most unlikely to do a Leicester City on them.

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).