This week: the Romans, the Plaza España… and food!

Market stall

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

Do come with us in the afternoon on our social programme: it's a great way to get to know the city, and gives you lots of extra practice for your Spanish. This week:

  • Tuesday 23rd | 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 24th | 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 25th | 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. Bring your camera (16.00)!
  • Friday 26th | 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.

Also this week | Spanish Cup Final (in Madrid), Barça vs Alavés (Saturday, kick-off 21.30).

This week on our social programme: the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

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

You couldn't come to Barcelona and not visit the Sagrada Familia, could you? Come with us on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 16th | Today's trip takes us into the barrio of Poble Nou, which is home to the iconic Torre Agbar, 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 17th | Come with us today 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 18th | 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? Note that entrance is €15 and you need to book a place by 16.00 on Tuesday if you want to come with us (16.00).
  • Friday 19th | 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 Eibar (Sunday, kick-off 20.00), the last game of the season (with Barça and Real Madrid tied on points, though the latter have a game in hand still).

Thursday is International Museum Day, with many of Barcelona's museums open for free (expect long queues at the most popular of them). They will also be open on Saturday, 19.00 to 01.00, also free.

Great views of Barcelona on our social programme this week


Come with us to Montjuïc on Wednesday for some wonderful views of the city | Photo: Tom Walton

We take you to lots of places with interesting views of Barcelona on our social programme (for what's on this week, see below). The hill of Montjuïc (photo above) is one of the best — though the roof of the Casa Milà has a curious one, and from the top of Santa Maria del Mar and Santa Maria del Pí you get pretty good ones, too.

  • Tuesday 9th | 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 10th | The 1992 Olympics changed large parts of Barcelona — among them the mountain of  MontjuïcWikipedia ], which overlooks the city and which is where we're going this afternoon. Bring your camera or phone along: the views [ Flickr | Instagram ] are fantastic (16.00) !
  • Thursday 11th | Apart from Sagrada Familia (coming up next week!), the city has a number of other lovely churches. Come with us today to see the Joyas del Gótico, the "Gothic jewels" of Barcelona — the Cathedral and the wonderful churches of Santa María del Pí and Santa María del Mar, the latter the subject of a book we always recommend, La Catedral del Mar (16.00).
  • Friday 12th | 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.

On the Ramblas in the footsteps of Jack Nicholson

Street entertainer on the Ramblas

On the Ramblas | Photo: Tom Walton

Barcelona is wonderful for its endless variety, something which we like to show you a little of on our social programme. This week:

  • Tuesday 2nd | 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 3rd | Come with this afternoon down the Ramblas, to discover some of the amazing things on and just off it — including one of our favourite Barcelona dragons and the Palau Güell, one of the few Modernista buildings to be found outside the Eixample district. If you are an Antonioni fan, the Palau Güell is where Jack Nicholson meets Marie Schneider in The Passenger (16.00).
  • Thursday 4th | It's not quite the magnificent event that the Feria de Abril de Sevilla is, but Barcelona also has its own Feria de Abril. Come along with us this afternoon and see for yourself (and note the late start time, 18.30).
  • Friday 5th | 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 | With just three games to play in the Spanish League, and Barça equal on points with Real Madrid, who still have a game in hand, this weekend it's Barça vs Villareal (Saturday, kick-off 18.30).

For more of what's on in Barcelona this month, we recommend the Barcelona Turisme guide (.pdf file).

Your social programme in Barcelona this week

Old Barcelona

Barcelona in the Born market | Photo: Tom Walton

Barcelona has a fascinating history; come and discover a little of it on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 25th | 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 pre-siege city of Barcelona in the old Born market (16.00).
  • Wednesday 26th | 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).
  • Thursday 27th | 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 28th | It's a long weekend — Monday 1st is a holiday — and what better place to kick it off (as well as practise your Spanish) than 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 Osasuna (Wednesday, kick-off 19.30); Español vs Barça (Saturday, kick-off 20.45).

And at the CCCB, April 29 to June 5, there's the outstanding World Press Photo exhibition (closed on Mondays). One not to miss!