Photowalking Barcelona's Modernista architecture on this week's social programme

Stone and iron

Stone and iron: detail of a Modernista façade – come and see, Thursday | Photo: Tom Walton

Among the events on our social programme this week, our photowalking tour on Thursday will show you how much more there is to Barcelona than "only" Gaudí!

  • Tuesday 25th | 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 26th | Our trip today takes us down to Glorias, (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 large park) (16.00).
  • Thursday 27th | Bring your camera or phone with you this afternoon and join us for a photowalking tour looking at some of the curious details to be found on some of the wonderful Modernista façades of the houses in the Eixample district (16.00).
  • Friday 28th | Come and join us on the terrace/in the bar after class this afternoon for our 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 | Starting this Friday (28th) and running until August 2, we have the Saló Montjuic open air film festival. The summer in Barcelona wouldn't be the same without it!

Barcelona's amazing dancing eggs on this week's social programme

Dancing egg at the Museu Mares

Patio del Museu Marès | Photo: Tom Walton

Apart from what's on our social programme this week, this Sunday is Midsummer's Eve, Sant Joan, perhaps the craziest of Barcelona's many crazy parties. Don't miss it (actually, you won't be able to, even if you wanted to…) !

  • Tuesday 18th | 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. (especially if you get as far as the barrio of Sant Martí). Cool for the beach, too! 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 19th | 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. Especially interesting at this time of the year, both are also great places to go for lunch. Bring your camera (16.00) !
  • Thursday 20th | Come with us today to see some of the lovely patios of the Barrio Gótico and one of Barcelona's most curious traditions: l'ou com balla, aka the dancing egg, which is something you will only see during Corpus Christi (16.00).
  • Friday 21st | It's a long weekend, with Monday a holiday in Catalonia. Come and start it with us, and practise your Spanish, at this week's Friday Club! 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.

A thousand years of art and dance that goes back to the Aztecs and Incas


The Palacio Nacional, housing the MNAC's 1000 Years of Art | Photo: Tom Walton

If art is your thing, we've got a couple of trips on our social programme this week that you're going to love. If it's dance, rather than art, that makes you want to get up and bop, come along on Friday!

  • Tuesday 11th | 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 12th | 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 (photo, above) (16.00).
  • Thursday 13th | No event
  • Friday 14th | Do you know what Latin dance is? It includes things like salsa, mambo, merengue and rumba, and has evolved from complex origins that goes back to the Spanish conquest of Latin America, and beyond. Wikipedia has an entry about it if you want to find out more, though YouTube will be more enlightening for some practical examples. Or why not come along today and actually get some hands- (and feet!) -on practice. Dani has a fun Latin dance workshop for you (16.00)!
  • Friday 14th | Also on Friday, we have our Friday Club language exchange as usual so stick around after the dancing for some fun Spanish conversation practice. 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.

Barcelona beyond Gaudí on this week's social programme

Photo of statue

Statue commemorating Raquel Meller one of the stars of the Barcelona music hall scene in the 1920s and 1930s (see Tuesday, below) | Photo: Tom Walton

There's so much more to Barcelona than "just" the obvious Gaudí kind of places. Come and see some of them on our social programme this week!

  • Tuesday 4th | Come with us this afternoon to visit 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. Our walk will also take us down to the Avinguda del Paral·lel (so named because it lies parallel to the Equator). Inaugurated in 1894, and running down to the port from Plaça Espanya, it was once the centre of Barcelona nightlife, with theatres and cabarets and music halls (16.00).
  • Wednesday 5th | 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 6th | 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).
  • Friday 7th | 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.

Barcelona's best patatas bravas, wild boar, sieges and hospitals on this week's social programme

Hospital de Sant Pau

Entrance to the Hospital de Sant Pau | Photo: Tom Walton

Note that if you'd like to come with us on Thursday to see the wonderful Hospital de Sant Pau, the deadline to sign up is 16.00 on Tuesday.

  • Tuesday 28th | 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 29th | Our walk today takes us from the Arc de Triomf [Wikipedia], the main entrance to Barcelona's 1888 World Fair to the Parc de la Ciutadella, which takes its name from the citadel built after the siege of 1714 to dominate the city, and was then the location of the 1888 exhibition, of which a few surprising traces still remain (16.00).
  • Thursday 30th | Come with us this afternoon to see the amazing Modernista architecture of the Hospital de Sant Pau, built between 1901 and 1930. Just a couple of blocks up from the Sagrada Familia, it was designed by the architect Domènech i Montaner (1850-1923) to have the sort of pleasant surroundings that would aid its patients' recovery, with a series of tunnels hidden away below ground linking the different pavilions and providing the hospital with its services (entrance: €6.50; 16.00)
  • Friday 31st | Come get yourself some extra Spanish practice at our Friday Club language exchange. This week's theme, "Summer is Coming" (!!) (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 | There's the small matter of the Champions Final on Saturday, Liverpool vs Tottenham (in Madrid, kick-off 21.00). Who would have thought it, eh? The biggest game in Europe contested by two clubs that, according to the Guardian's The Knowledge, haven't won their domestic league for a combined total of 87 years, and neither Manchester City nor Barça (winners of 8 out of the last 11 Spanish League titles) got there, the latter dumped out unceremoniously by Liverpool!

And we also have the crazy Primavera Sound festival this weekend (May 30-June 1), which is one of the World's Top 50 Music Festivals, says  TimeOut.