What's on in September in Barcelona


The Palacio Nacional, housing the MNAC's 1000 Years of Art – one of the many things to see around the Plaza España | Photo: Tom Walton

The first week in September (such a lovely time of the year in Barcelona!). On our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 5th | 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 Both are now long gone and have been replaced by a lot of noisy tourists, but the district still retains a peculiar, original flavour (16.00).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 6th | 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 7th | 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. Why is next Monday a holiday? Come along and find out (16.00)!
  • Friday 8th | It's a long weekend (we're open tomorrow morning, but closed on Monday 11th) and what better place to kick it off (as well as practise your Spanish) than 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 | In the Spanish League, we have the local derby, Barça vs Espanyol (Saturday, kick-off 20.45). If any of you still do the pools, that would be a dead cert for a home win 😉 ! ¡ Hay que ser un poco friki para ser del Espanyol !

Coming up later this month | The Merçè (September 22-25) is Barcelona's Festa Major. Full details of what's on.

For more on what's on in Barcelona in September, see Barcelona Turisme's Agenda (.pdf document).

Barcelona's art and architecture on this week's social programme

Santa Maria del Mar

Santa Maria del Mar, the protagonist of a novel | Photo: Tom Walton

You couldn't come to Barcelona and only want to see the football, could you? For the amazing art and architecture, check out what we have on our social programme this week:

  • Tuesday 29th | Apart from Sagrada Familia (see Thursday), the city has a number of other lovely churches. Come with us today to see the Joyas del Gótico, the "Gothic jewels" of Barcelona — the Cathedral and the wonderful churches of Santa María del Pí and Santa María del Mar, the latter the subject of a book we always recommend, La Catedral del Mar (16.00).
  • Wednesday 30th | 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. Wonderful if art's your thing; possibly a bit dull if you're something of a philistine (16.00).
  • Thursday 31st | One you just must see: the best known Gaudí building in Barcelona, the still unfinished Sagrada Familia, though it's supposed to be completd in 2026 (see this video if you can't wait that long!). If you want to go inside, note that it costs a minimum €15 (and book online if you want to do that) but is definitely not something to be missed (16.00). See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed.
  • Friday 1st | 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.

Festa Major de Sants on this week's social programme

Dragon, Finca Güell

Raaaarrrrrrr ! | Photo: Tom Walton

The barrios of Sants, Pedralbes and the old city that Via Laietana cuts through — that's quite a contrast on our social programme this week

  • Tuesday 22nd | The Festa Major de Gràcia is over but it's now time for the Festa Major de Sants. Like Gràcia, it also has some pretty amazing street decorations and a great party atmosphere — and is another of the barrios of the city that are way less touristy and have a character of their own. More information on the Festa on the official website (in Catalan) or Wikipedia (in Spanish or Catalan). Come along with us and see for yourself (note that we meet at 18.00 today).
  • Wednesday 23rd | 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 24th | 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 25th | Come get yourself some extra Spanish practice 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.

Come with us to the Festa Major de Gracia, Friday

Festa Major de Gracia

Street decorations, Festa Major de Gracia | Tom Walton

With Tuesday being a holiday (school closed, no class), we've an event on Friday on our social programme, as well as our Friday Club.

  • Tuesday 15th | National holiday in Spain
  • Wednesday 16th | Today's trip takes us to the top of Montjuic to visit the fortress that overlooks Barcelona. From it, the city was bombarded on various occasions and it also enjoyed notoriety as a prison. Today, however, it's one of the best places to go to obtain magnificent views of Barcelona (entrance fee €5.00, 16.00).
  • Thursday 17th | Come along on our walk this afternoon, which will take you to some of the hidden places in the old city that you might otherwise miss (16.00)! See also other hidden corners of Barcelona in previous entries on this blog.
  • Friday 18th | Come with us this afternoon to see some of the amazing street decorations at the Festa Major de Gràcia (full programme, in Catalan), probably the best of Barcelona's barrio street festivals (16.00).
  • Also this Friday | 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 | Spanish Super Cup, second leg, Real Madrid vs Barça (Wednesday, kick-off 23.00 (!!), in Madrid); and then the La Liga starts on Sunday, with Barça vs Betis (kick-off 20.15).

The Born, Picasso and architecture on this week's social programme

Street art reproduction of Picasso painting

Street art by unknown artist, reproduction of Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon, Ciutat Vella; come with us and see, Wednesday — or view on Instagram | photo: Tom Walton

Bring your sunhat on our social programme this week — it's got real hot in Barcelona!

  • Tuesday 8th | 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 9th | 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 10th | 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 11th | 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 | The Joan Gamper Trophy game, Barça vs Chapecoense (Monday, kick-off 20.30) is your first chance to see Barça (now shamelessly Neymar-less) at home this season. You can trash that Neymar replica shirt now!