Wild boar, patatas bravas, art and football: we have it all this week's social programme!

MNAC

The MNAC: an outstanding art collection | Photo: Tom Walton

Food, art, history and football… About all we're missing on our social programme this week would be a spot of Gaudí 😉 !

  • Tuesday 30th | 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 31st | 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. One for art lovers (16.00)!
  • Thursday 1st | It's a couple of years now since the 300th anniversary of the siege of Barcelona but the Barcelona 1714 route is still a historically fascinating one. The remains of the city blocks demolished to build the post-siege fortress now to be seen at the Born Centre Cultural are particularly curious. If you've been following what's happening in Catalonia, 1714 was one of the previous times we lost our independence (16.00)!
  • Friday 2nd | 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 | In the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final, we have Barça vs Valencia (Thursday, kick-off 21.30); and then in the League, we have the local derby Espanyol vs Barça (Sunday, kick-off 16.15), with Espanyol seeking a frankly unlikely revenge, having been dumped out of the Cup in the last round by their eternal rivals.

The Romans and Gaudí on this week's social programme


The Gaudí dragon on the gate of the Finca Güell | Photo: Tom Walton

You couldn't come to Barcelona and not go to the Park Güell, could you? Come with us on our social programme 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 | 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 (photo, above) on the gate of the Finca Güell, the summer home of Eusebi Güell, Gaudí's great patron (16.00).
  • Thursday 25th | Come with us the the Park Güell this afternoon, the lovely Gaudí park – especially gorgeous in the winter sunshine. Magnificent views of Barcelona from the top. NOTE that you need to reserve your place if you want to come — by 16.00 on Tuesday (entrance fee €7, meeting at 16.00).
  • Friday 26h | 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 | Copa del Rey, Quarter Final second leg, and with Barça actually 1-0 down (!!!), Barça vs Espanyol (Wednesday, kick-off 21.30); Spanish League, Barça vs Alavés (Sunday, kick-off 20.45).

Come with us and discover the history and architecture of Barcelona

Josep Llimona, Desconsuelo | Photo: Tom Walton

Desconsuelo, statue by Josep Llimona in the Parque de la Ciudadela | Photo: Tom Walton

It's Thursday on our social programme in Barcelona this week, if you want the really famous picture postcard stuff. Tuesday and Wednesday if you want to get off the beaten track a little — and Friday if you'd like some extra practice for your Spanish!

  • Tuesday 16th | 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 17th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to visit the lovely Parque de la Ciudadela. 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 (16.00).
  • Thursday 18th | 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 [see also this video on how Modernisme changed Barcelona] (16.00).
  • Friday 19th | 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.

Chocolate con churros on this week's social programme

The street art shutter (complete with dripping chocolate!) at one of Barcelona's most famous cafés: come along, Wednesday | Photo: Tom Walton

Tuesday give you Barcelona's architecture, Wednesday an opportunity to top up those Christmas calories, Thursday the chance to walk them all off… We have it all on our social programme this week 😉 !

  • 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 | One of Barcelona's great traditions (OK, that would possibly be other parts of Spain, too 😉 !): chocolate con churros for afternoon tea, for which we'll be heading over into the Barrio Gótico to one of our favourite granjas (cafés) on the Carrer Petrixol (now that is the Barcelona tradition!). Also traditionally consumed when you come out of the disco at about five in the morning. Price approx. €7 (disco not included!) . Yummy (16.00)!
  • Thursday 11th | 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 12th | Join us on the terrace/in the bar this evening for our first Friday Club of 2018. Friday Club is every week, apart from the holidays, and is a great way to get yourself some extra practice for your Spanish (19.00-21.00)!

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

Also this week | In the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, we have the second leg of the Barça vs Celta tie, with the score 1-1 after the first leg (Thursday, kick-off 21.30).

Barcelona for Christmas or New Year

Christmas in Barcelona

Barcelona at Christmas? It's a fun place to be!

For anyone who's coming to join us (or who is thinking of doing so!), here's an advance on what's on our social programme over Christmas and the New Year…

December 11-17

  • Tuesday 12th | A walk round the lovely barrio of the Born, about 10-15 walk away from the school.
  • Wednesday 13th | This trip will take us down to Glorias, to experience the newer side of Barcelona.
  • Thursday 14th | Come with this afternoon and discover the Palau Güell, one of the few Modernista buildings to be found outside the Eixample district (you might ask us to book tickets for you if you want to go inside the Palau).
    Remember to sign up for this trip before December 12.
  • Friday 15th | Come to our Friday Club language exchange at 19.00 at the school bar/terrace. It’s always fun!

December 18-24

  • Tuesday 19th | Poble Sec, the lovely district lying below Montjuic, is where we will take you this afternoon.
  • Wednesday 20th | Let’s visit some of Barcelona’s hidden gems, Christmas style!
  • Thursday 21st | The Fira de Santa Llúcia is where, traditionally, we buy our Christmas decorations in Barcelona
  • Friday 22nd | Get yourself some extra language practice on our Friday Club language exchange, at the bar/on the terrace, from 19.00 to 21.00.

December 25-31

  • Wednesday 27th | The city's "Gothic Jewels" — some of its lovely old city churches, including Santa Maria del Mar, the setting for the novel La catedral del Mar (Ildefonso Falcones)
  • Thursday 28th | Come with us this afternoon for a tour of some of Barcelona's amazing food markets.
  • Friday 29th | A trip to see the Sagrada Familia and the Christmas fair in the square outside (you might ask us to book tickets for you if you want to go inside, to save yourself the queues!)
    Remember to sign up for this trip before December 27.

January 1-7

  • Wednesday 3rd | A visit to the artisan fair on in the popular barrio of Gracia.
  • Thursday 4th | We will take you down the best known street in Barcelona, the Ramblas.
  • Friday 5th | Come with us to see the famous Cabalgata de Reyes on the Via Layetana. It's the Three Wise Men (to people in Spain, los Reyes — the Kings), not Father Christmas, that bring presents in Barcelona.

January 8-14

  • Tuesday 9th | The Manzana de la Discordia, a single block on the Passeig de Gràcia, one of Barcelona's main thoroughfares, is home to three of its most singular Modernista buildings (only one of them by Gaudí!)
  • Wednesday 10th | Barcelona traditions: Chocolate con churros. Approximate price 7€.
  • Thursday 11th | The port was one of the areas of Barcelona transformed for the 1992 Olympics. Come with us today for a stroll along the "Moll de la Fusta" [view photos]
  • Friday 12th | Come to our Friday Club language exchange at 19.00 at the school bar/terrace. It’s always fun!

January 15-21

  • Tuesday 16th | 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.
  • Wednesday 17th | Come and see the peaceful Parque de la Ciudadela and probably the nicest train station in Barcelona: the Estación de Francia.
  • Thursday 18th | 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!
  • Friday 19th | Come to our Friday Club language exchange at 19.00 at the school bar/terrace. It’s always fun!

Do come with us on the social programme no matter when you come — it's a great way to really get to know Barcelona, with the assistance of an expert guide, and gives you around six hours a week extra practice for your Spanish.