The Born, the Grec, the Sala Montjuic: so much going on in Barcelona in the summer

Old Barcelona

Barcelona in the Born market | Photo: Tom Walton

There's always such a lot going on in the summer in Barcelona — and not just on our social programme!

  • Tuesday 26th | 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 27th | 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 28th | 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 29th | 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 | In the World Cup, the pointless group games are — thank goodness — coming to an end this week. We do have Spain vs Morocco (Monday, kick-off 20.00), with the Argentina vs Nigeria (Tuesday, kick-off 20.00) looking the best of the rest, because Messi and co. might be about to get dumped out. The real games don't start till Sunday.

If you'd rather avoid the football completely, we can highly recommend the open-air cinema of the Sala Montjuïc (June 29-August 3) is a cool place to be on hot summer nights.

You've also got all the many events of the Grec Festival (July -31) starting Sunday.

This week in Barcelona: Sant Joan

Fonts de Montjuic

The spectacular magic fountains of Montjuic | Photo: Tom Walton

This week in Barcelona we have Sant Joan (crazy!), lots of interesting things on our social programme and a small matter of a World Cup to get over-excited about!

  • Tuesday 19th | 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, later, 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 (16.00).
  • Wednesday 20th | 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 21st | 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 (20.30).
  • Friday 22nd | 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) at the times given above.

Also this week | Saturday night is  Sant Joan (Mid-Summer's Eve), one of those times of the year Barcelona goes really, really crazy. The beach is probably the place to be!

In the World Cup we have, among a plethora of frankly pointless group stage games, Spain vs Iran (Wednesday, kick-off 20.00).

Patatas bravas, the Ramblas and Jack Nicholson on this week's social programme

Street entertainer on the Ramblas

On the Ramblas | Photo: Tom Walton

The World Cup kicks off this week but, as always, we're got lots of other things on our social programme! You didn't come to Barcelona only for the football, did you 😉 ?

  • Tuesday 12th | 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 13th | 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 14th | 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 15th | 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 | World Cup, Spain vs Portugal (Friday, kick-off 21.00) plus rather a lot of other games, if football is your thing!

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…

If loud music is more your thing, check out the Sonar Festival (June 14-16)!

Barcelona: so much fascinating history

Montjuic

Montjuic: overlooking Barcelona | Photo: Tom Walton

It's perhaps the city's 2,000 plus years of history that makes Barcelona such a fascinating place. Come and discover more on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 5th | 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 6th | 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) !
  • Thursday 7th | 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 8th | 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.

Dancing eggs, romance and street art on this week's social programme

Dancing egg

Dancing egg… | Photo: Tom Walton

We've got a bit of everything for you on our social programme this week. Because it's only four days a year, we particularly recommend the walk on Thursday…

  • Tuesday 29th | 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, 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 30th | 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 31st | It's Corpus Christi and, Thursday to Sunday, there are dancing eggs in some of Barcelona's loveliest fountains. Cute!
  • Friday 1st | 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 | If you want something a bit wilder the eggs dancing in fountains, the Primavera Sound Festival (Wednesday to Sunday) might be more your cup of tea 😉 !