This week in Barcelona: dancing eggs and the Sonar Festival

Dancing egg at the Museu Mares

Patio del Museu Marès | Photo: Tom Walton

It's suddenly got really hot in Barcelona: all the more reason to come with us to some of the cool places we have on the social programme this week!

  • Tuesday 13th | 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 14th | 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 15th | 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.
  • Friday 16th | Kick off 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 | It's the 24th edition of the Sónar Festival this week (June 15 to 17), which TimeOut reckons is one the world's top 50 music festivals.

Art and architecture on this week's social programme in Barcelona

Picasso

Pablo…? | Photo: Tom Walton

Yay! There's no football for a few merciful weeks! A chance to catch up on seeing some of Barcelona's wonderful art and architecture, a small taste of which we have on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 6th | 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 7th | Our walk this afternoon 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 8th | 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) !
  • 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 football is (thank goodness!) over for the summer but it is Design Week here in Barcelona (June 6-14th, full programme).

For more on what's on in Barcelona in June, the official Barcelona Turisme site has a good guide.

Street art, dragons and the outstanding WPP this week

Street art in the Raval

Street art in the Raval by @sofliso | Photo: @sirkirbymuxloe

Barcelona is a city of contrasts. Come with us on our social programme this week and see what we mean: can the Raval (Tuesday) and Pedralbes (Wednesday) really be part of the same city?

  • Tuesday 30th | 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 (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 31st | Our trip this afternoon takes us to the lovely gardens of the Palacio Real de Pedralbes, which was home to the Spanish monarchy 1919-1931 whenever they visited the city, and also takes in the remarkable Gaudí dragon on the gate of the Finca Güell, the summer home of Eusebi Güell, Gaudí's great patron (16.00).
  • Thursday 1st | It's hard to believe, but Via Laietana (just along the road from IH Barcelona) is little more than 100 years old. Driven through the heart of the old city between 1908 and 1913 (in the video, above), it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 2nd | 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.

Last chance this week | The outstanding World Press Photo exhibition, on at the CCCB, closes June 5th. Don't miss it!

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.