Come and explore Barcelona with us on our social programme

The eyes of the Hotel Onha

Via Laietana: The eyes of the Hotel Onha | Photo: Tom Walton

Barcelona is about to go crazy (crazier than usual, that is) over the football (details below). But, between times, come along with us on our social programme and discover the rest of the city…

  • Tuesday 3rd | Come with us today to explore the bohemian district of Gracia [general information | 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 works, the Casa Viçens (16.00).
  • Wednesday 4th | 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 5th | It's hard to believe, but Via Laietana is little more than 100 years old. Driven through the heart of the old city between 1908 and 1913, as you can see in the video above, it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets — and just a two-minute walk away from IH. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 6th | Start 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.

Also this week | Champions Quarter Final first leg, Barça vs Roma (Wednesday, kick-off 20.45); Liga, Barça vs Leganés (Saturday, kick-off 20.45). Tickets for the Roma game are still available (starting at €89, or €820 if you want a VIP ticket; do people seriously pay those kind of prices?).

Come to the Sagrada Familia with us!

Sagrada Famiia

Sagrada Familia | Photo: Tom Walton

We've a nice contrast for you on our social programme this week: the medieval church of Santa María del Mar (Tuesday) vs Gaudí's Sagrada Familia (Thursday). Come along with us and see!

  • Tuesday 27th | 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 28th | 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 and — if you're a fan — a selfie coming out of the Hotel Oriente is on your to-do list (16.00).
  • Thursday 29th | 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 30th | National holiday in Spain, school closed

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

Note also that, with this being Easter, the school will be closed from Friday 30th to Monday 2nd (inclusive) and this week will be open only 09.00 to 16.00. Friday Club will back on April 6th.

Art, architecture and Poble Nou on this week's social programme

Detail, Modernista building in the Eixample district: come along with us and see, Thursday | Photo: Tom Walton

The art and the architecture (not to mention the street art!) are just a couple of the things that make Barcelona such a distinctive place. Come with us and explore on our social programme this week.

  • Tuesday 20th | 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 21st | 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 22nd | 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).
  • Friday 23rd | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our very popular Friday Club language exchange — the last one for two weeks as we take a break for Easter (19.00-21.00).

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

The Romans, the flea market, the architecture, the football: Barcelona has it all


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

Wednesday's football is probably the big event in Barcelona this week, but we have plenty of other goodies for you on our social programme this week, too.

  • Tuesday 13th | 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 14th | Our trip today takes us down to Glòries, (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, now a massive roadworks, but supposed eventually to become a large park) (16.00).
  • Thursday 15th | The 1992 Olympics changed large parts of Barcelona — among them the mountain of Montjuïc [ Wikipedia ], 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) !
  • Friday 16th | 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 | Champions, Barça vs Chelsea (Wednesday, kick-off 20.45).Spanish League, Barça vs Athletic Bilbao (Sunday, kick-off 16.15).

It's almost Spring: come and see Barcelona at its loveliest


If you go down to the park today… Mammoth! Run! | Photo: Tom Walton

It's been cold and wet in here but the forecast is good for the rest of the week. You wouldn't actually say it's Spring yet but come with us on our social programme this week and, if the sun's out, see Barcelona at its most lovely.

  • Tuesday 6th | Come 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 (see photo, above), it was a rather seedy red light district but is now home to the CCCB and the MACBA 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 7th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to visit the lovely Parque de la Ciudadela (photo, above) built on the site of the fortress built to dominate the city after the siege of 1714, which was demolished in 1868 and then became the site — in 1888 — of Barcelona's first Universal Exposition. If you're interested in architecture, and the history of Barcelona, there are some fascinating things to see on today's trip (16.00).
  • Thursday 8th | 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 9th | 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 | The big one, the Catalunya Super Cup Final, Barça vs Espanyol (Wednesday, kick-off 18:45). OK, yes, that's only the big one for Espanyol 😉 !