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It's impossible to get bored in Barcelona: the best concerts, exhibitions and events related to art, culture and leisure await you, week after week. Here are some of the main ones. Don't miss anything this constantly moving city has to offer.
Barcelona's official monthly agenda which is full of great ideas for your free time. Download the pdf.
Discover 56 of Barcelona's best plans for 2017 and enjoy the city like Thomas did!
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There's one day every year when travellers and visitors to Barcelona feel like they're on another planet. This is a day when Barcelona is suffused with a different atmosphere and it seems that everybody heads to the streets. So if you're planning on coming to Barcelona and your visit coincides with 23rd April, you're in luck! You'll experience the city on what is arguably the Barcelonians' most cherished day.
Running fever has spread throughout the world at the speed of an Olympic runner. But where do the Barcelona locals train? What are the best routes for running and discovering the city? That's enough questions. Let's put on our running shoes and explore them for ourselves.
Do you want to feel like a true Barcelonian? Well, if you do, you can't miss out on going for a vermut. For years this aromatic, herby wine has been the favourite Sunday pre-lunch tipple with local families.
The best way to admire Barcelona in all its beauty is from high above the city. This is where Barcelona reveals itself in total splendour. Standing on a plain surrounded by ridges and low peaks, its unequalled geographical location conceals countless viewing spots, or miradors, that make it a treat for the most inquisitive eyes. Shall we take a look?
Barcelona has become on of Europe's favourite destinations for the lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual and intersexual community. As an open-minded and cosmopolitan metropolis, the city offers its visitors a whole host of attractions associated with diversity, freedom and tolerance. The LGTBI district, with its year-round offer of services, is a good example of this.
There are many Barcelonas, and the district of Sant Andreu is one of the clearest examples of this. Although outside the city centre, it is steeped in the essence of Catalonia: picturesque spots, history, centuries-old shops and futuristic amenities blend harmoniously. Come and visit and you'll feel like a genuine Barcelonian.
Passeig de Sant Joan doesn't just link two of the city's coolest neighbourhoods, it has recently become the go-to place for Barcelona locals. The stretch between Carrer València and Carrer Casp and the surrounding area has been newly laid out making it ideal for cyclists and pedestrians. It has become a hotspot with interesting bars and restaurants, delightful shops and places that will simply amaze you.
If you ask any Barcelona local to name the best Catalan invention of all time, nine out of ten will probably reply "el pa amb tomàquet!" (bread rubbed with tomato). More than a simple recipe, culinary technique or custom, the gesture of rubbing tomato on a piece of bread is a sign of Catalan identity.
If you want to discover Barcelona with alternative experiences, without spending a penny, keep on reading; you'll be interested in this. Every month there are free activities to get you off the sofa or out of your hotel room to explore the city. Here are just some of the things you can do all year round. But keep your eyes peeled because there's something you can do every day in Barcelona without being out of pocket.
Near Barcelona, you'll find a whole host of wine-tourism activities and ideas you can enjoy on your own, with your husband, wife, partner or friends including wine trails that will give you an insight into the tradition of wine and cava that is deeply rooted in extremely beautiful and diverse landscapes. The five Designations of Origin in the counties of Barcelona have a great deal to offer, from traditional wineries located inland to vineyards by the sea, paired with traditional cuisine and cutting-edge architecture.
Objects, clothes, accessories and nearly everything in life can also have a second life. This is the mission of second-hand markets. They have mushroomed throughout Europe bolstered by the growing popularity of vintage clothes and recycling. Barcelona wasn't going to be left behind, and every year new initiatives emerge that follow in the footsteps of these three classics.
When a family is in the middle of a trip, it's a bit like a parliamentary assembly. Sometimes it can be hard to reach a consensus and for everyone to agree on what to do on a particular day. The secret is to make the kids feel as if they are the important ones. Here are some ideas to reconcile your family politics and, above all, to learn and have fun as you've never done before.
The Eixample isn't just a modernista site; it's a neighbourhood with a rich and varied culinary offering. If there was one thing the moneyed-classes of the time knew how to do, it was to eat well. That's why, in addition to its artistic heritage, the Eixample maintains its culinary standards as one of the signs of its identity.
Once known as the "barri xino", the Raval was known for its disreputable atmosphere where alcohol, prostitution and lowlife walked hand in hand through its streets. This atmosphere is long gone and, for more than a decade now, the Raval has established itself as one of the city's coolest neighbourhoods and a focus of the city's entertainment and cultural scene.
It's a pleasure to have the city in the palm of your hand and to forget about the maps, leaflets, flyers and all the information you accumulate while travelling. Barcelona has loads of apps which help you enjoy the city at the click of a button and more than 600 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the city which you can use to stay connected.
Barcelona has its own distinct melody. It sounds of the sea, of terraces full of people, of the wind blowing down from the mountains, of crowds and the Mediterranean. But if you want to hear its most lingering melody, you won't find it in the streets… you'll have to step inside one of the thousands of bars that resound with the sound of guitars, drums, basses and as many instruments as there are groups in the city.
As we have already mentioned in Historic restaurants and In the hidden jewels of the Raval, Barcelona is full of bars and restaurants that seem frozen in time. Here are some suggestions in case you feel like getting away from the present and landing in the past, even if it’s just for a short time.
It's no coincidence that Poble-sec has been given different names and nicknames in recent years. It could be said that it is one of Barcelona's most laid-back neighbourhoods so it's no surprise that the city's hipster set are making a beeline to live here. This authentic Barcelona neighbourhood was known as "little Paris" in the 1940s when it was a hotbed of fun and its cabarets, theatres, concert halls and bars were at the height of their popularity.
If you start to hear fire crackers going off and see bonfires blazing on the night of 23rd June, don't worry; you're about to discover the most magical night of the year.
If anything defines Catalonia, it's its vineyards which not only shape its landscape but the very essence of its nature, traditions and historic legacy. Just a short distance from Barcelona, 30 minutes by road, you can immerse yourself in the counties of Alt Penedès, Anoia, Baix Llobregat, Baix Penedès and Garraf, which make up the Penedès region, which is famed around the world for its wines and cavas.
If you're thinking of heading to Barcelona for a break in September, there are five key dates on the calendar when the city opens its doors and celebrates its festivals in style. The Catalan capital dresses up for the occasion to pay tribute to the Mare de Déu de la Mercè, patron saint of Barcelona since 1687.
On Sunday in Barcelona most ticket-office staff seem to have part of the day off, so you won't have to buy tickets for most main museums. The only thing to remember is this rule only applies after 3pm or all day on the first Sunday in the month. That's right! You can enjoy the top museums without paying a penny… surely one of the best deals in town.
Making cocktails can be compared to symphony music because you have to be very precise if you want the mixture to attain the perfect harmony. You can't just mix for the sake of mixing; you have to mix with mathematical rigour and in-depth knowledge. If you want to visit some of the city's shrines to cocktails, keep on reading, sit at the bar and watch how the cocktail waiters in their uniforms perform magic in their laboratories.
The Barcelona moon bears witness to thousands of magical nights. Although, if you asked it about La Nit dels Museus (Museum Night), it would say that it casts its own peculiar spell, and has a special magnetism that is hard to explain, making it into a night that nobody, whatever their age, should miss.
In five short years, this curious invention, known as gin and tonic has conquered Barcelona's bars; so much so that bottles of gin fill their display cabinets and shelves. Their origins and blends are as varied as the combinations you'll find at the thousands of bars that specialise in serving them.
The city streets are an extension of the lives of its inhabitants; they are part of their homes, their way of sharing and living together in what is, in short, their home or everyone's home. If we walk through Barcelona, we'll see that every street has its own unique story to tell.
The verb "to sleep" is important in our everyday lives, but it is even more important when we're travelling as a family. After exploring the streets, rest is vital if you want to go back the following day with your batteries recharged to continue to discover everything a great city like Barcelona has to offer. That's why we suggest three different types of accommodation, and an example of each, which are perfect for you and your family to relax and have a rest.
In summer, in June and September, Barcelona's former villages host their neighbourhood festivals. They are the perfect excuse to visit the city and lose yourself in its districts that are dressed up to the nines. The Sants Festival keeps alive the spirit of a major festival that used to be held in honour of Saint Bartholomew, the patron saint of the former village of Sants.
If you're someone who enjoys savouring every trip to the full, this is unquestionably your time of year to visit Barcelona. Every year, with the first autumn rains, Catalonia undergoes a cultural and culinary transformation focusing on a food that is an intrinsic part of its identity: mushrooms.
When we travel, we want to connect with new destinations without having to disconnect from our familiar surroundings. Luckily for us, in the second decade of the 21st century, few of us leave home without our smartphone or tablet: travelling companions that mean we never feel truly alone. The problem is that we may not be able to find a network we can connect to… but this is something you won't have to worry about in Barcelona.
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