Barcelona has been the scene of great stories, and although many are real, hundreds of them happen in the minds of writers who have chosen Barcelona to set their novels. Postwar experiences, family dramas, medieval stories or police investigations taking place in the streets of Barcelona. Do you want to find out more about it?
Today we move between the pages of these novels to know a little more about the literary Barcelona
The Shadow of the Wind
One of the stories to best discover the most enigmatic corners of Barcelona. Felip Neri Square, Santa Ana Street, Arc del Teatre or the “Quatre Gats” restaurant are just some of the settings where Daniel Sempere tries to discover the story of Julian Carax, the author of “The Shadow of the Wind”.
If you want to follow the footsteps of Sempere, you can join any of the routes that are organized to visit the most emblematic places where the novel is set.
Cathedral of the Sea
It’s been 10 years since Ildefonso Falcones publish this global bestseller that has celebrated its 10h anniversary with the publication of the second part of the novel and that soon will be released on the small screen with the most ambitious Spanish TV series in recent years.
The story, which is located in Barcelona in the fourteenth century, explains the construction of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar in the Born, and the changes of the city over the years through the eyes of young Arnau Estanyol.
The time of the doves
Natalia, also known as “Colometa”, is the visible face of this novel that portrays a postwar Barcelona where many women are resigned to the life that has been assigned for them. A story full of contradictory feelings that begins in the Plaça del Diamant, a square in Gràcia district that today pays tribute to the novel with a statue dedicated to its main character. Translated into over 30 languages, it is considered to be the most important work of Rodoreda and one of the most representative novels of the Catalan literature.
Inspector Salgado Trilogy
We move nowto the XXI century to enter fully in the trilogy of Toni Hill crime novels made of three works; “The summer of the dead toys”,” The Good Suicides” and “The Hiroshima Lovers”. The main character of all this stories is inspector Salgado, an Argentine who lives in Barcelona trying to solve different criminal cases that happen in the city. Some of the places mentioned in this novel are the Barcelona metro, airport or city squares during 15M social protests in 2011.
The City of Marvels
Eduardo Mendoza’s novel tells the story of Barcelona’s evolution between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when he city hosted two events which modernized city; the Universal Exhibition of 1888 in the Ciutadella and the International Exhibition of 1929. The Moll de la Fusta, the Eixample district or the three smokestacks of Poble Sec are other settings for the story of Onofre Bouvila, the main character.
These are just some of the stories that happen in the literary Barcelona, but not all of them. Have you read any novel set in Barcelona or any other city? We’d love to hear about it!
If you are visiting Barcelona and you want to learn more about Spanish architecture but don’t have enough time, Poble Espanyol is the solution that you’re looking for. An architectural museum where you can visit the most characteristic atmosphere of Spain without leaving our city. Do you want to discover it? Follow us and you won’t get lost!
The architectural museum of Barcelona is composed by 117 buildings in real size and nearly 50,000 square meters and was created for the International Exhibition of 1929. Although in the beginning the idea was that Poble Espanyol was open only during this international event, the great reception that it had, it became one of the most popular tourist attractions.
Walking through its streets, it is easy to imagine that you are in many places miles awayfrom Barcelona; Castilla squares, white and cozy streets of Andalusia and the Renaissance Town Hall Vallderobres (Aragon). Don’t look for the most famous buildings of the Spanish geography because you won’t find it, however you will find the most tipycal buildings and architectural styles in Spanish cities and towns.
The buildings and streets are completed with three contemporary art spaces; Fran Daurel Museum, where you can enjoy works of the best representatives of Spanish art like Picasso, Miró and Dalí, the Guinovart Space dedicated to abstract art of the painter and sculptor Josep Guinovart and the sculpture garden with an impressive viewpoint from where you can enjoy Barcelona’s skyline.
The craftsmanship is still alive inside the walls
Probably when you travel to a city you find shopping streets which are very similar and offer the same brands and stores. Poble Espanyol offers a more original alternative: across its streets you will discover more than 30 artisans working by hand to offer unique and quality pieces.
Inside the walls of Poble Espanyol you can also find restaurants if you want to recharge your batteries or refresh with a drink.
Poble Espanyol doesn’t close at night
If you woke up late and want to stay up until sunset, you should know that, especially in the Summer, Poble Espanyol doesn’t close its doors at night. Inside the enclosure there are two nightclubs; La Terrrazza, a club located in a typical Majorcan manor house, and Input, a Baroque palace that hosts sessions of electronic music and techno. Moreover in its Major square has hosted concerts by famous artists like Pet Shop Boys, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan or Jamiroquai.
On Summer evenings you can also enjoy the outdoor Mecal shortfilm Festival, the Blues nights and the outdoor cinema with karaoke Sing along with films like Mamma Mia, Dirty Dancing or Grease.
The Poble Espanyol entry costs 10.40 for adults (5.60 from 20 hours) but it doesn’t include tickets to the clubs, shows or concerts.
Now that you know everything about Poble Espanyol prepare your trip through Spain without leaving Barcelona! Here’s the map in case you want to prepare your own route.
In August the summer heat doesn’t leave Barcelona, so there’s nothing better than to take a dip. The beach is one of the major attractions of our city, but if you don’t feel comfortable with the sand, you have alternatives to spend the day in a relaxed atmosphere to cool yourself off. Today we’re going to revisit the best city pools’ routes for all tastes and all ages.
Torre de les aigües: the beach of the Eixample district
A large tower stands in the center of this beautiful pool in the middle of the modernist Eixample district. Moreover, instead of the usual grass, you’ll find a very comfortable fine sand to sunbathe like if you were on the beach. The pool has an acceptable size having in mind that is placed in the middle of the city and the entrance is very affordable: it costs only 1.55 euros. Besides, for 8.90 euros you have a credit for 10 tickets.
Picornell pool: feel olympic
Picornell swimming pools are located at Montjuïc park, famous for being one of the most memorable scenarios of the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games, and also for being the stage where the video for the suggestive song “Slow” by Kylie Minogue was filmed. The admission ticket costs 11.85 euros for adults, but you’ll also have access to the gym and the spa zones. Moreover, if you practice nudism, there are special schedules to practice it in the indoor pool.
Creueta del Coll Park: the Summer pond
This large pond, located in Gracia district, is transformed into a swimming pool during the summer to let you cool yourself off during the hot summer days. The pond is a part of the park which shares the same name. It wasopened in 1976, and it’s open from the sunrise until sunset.. Although
it’s not a traditional pool, it also offers you all kind of services, such as showers, umbrellas and a sickroom for any emergency. How much costs the entry? Just 2.25 euros!
Atlètic- Barceloneta Swimming Club: with a view to the Mediterranean
If you want to enjoy a swimming pool and a beach day, Atlètic-Barceloneta Swimming Club is your best choice. Birthplace of the Barcelona water polo team, has enviable views ofthe Mediterranean Sea that you can enjoy even if you’re not a member of the club for just 12.90 euros.
Forum Baths: the sea pool
In the surroundings of Twentytú Hostel you can find this saltwater pool that, although it’s close to the sea and has an access by stairs built with cement. It’s a very quiet place, perfect to go with children because it provides facilities like showers, bathrooms and closets, and also a surveillance chair provided by the Red Cross.
Esportiu Llobregat Park: Cool design
It’s one of the most modern swimming pools in Barcelona and was designed by the renowned Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza Vieira. The pool is a part of the sports complex with the same name located in Cornellà, a town that is located just over 20 minutes from Barcelona by train. The admission fee is 5.20 euros and you can spend all day there (from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm).
We’re sure that suddenly you feel the urge to take a bath, so choose the pool that you prefer and jump in to it right in!
The streets of Barcelona’s Gràcia District are completing the details of their preparations to fill of colour and fantasy one of the most emblematic neighbourhoods of the city. The normal life of this district is transformed for over a week to receive the thousands of visitors that are attracted to this show for the sight. Today we give you the keys to make the most of the smallest district of Barcelona and its festival.
The first notice of Gràcia festivities appears in a newspaper dating from 1850 where there is already talk of how neighbors decorated their streets -even when the neighborhood wasn’t part of the city of Barcelona- for the arrival of the festivities. A tradition that endures until today, and it’s not surprising, because each year brings more curious people desirous of living the festivity as a neighbour more. Although this is a difficult task, if you’re not a regular at the Gràcia festivities, don’t worry about that because we’ll give the keys to survive the most colourful festivities in Barcelona:
Don’t stay only at the most famous streets
We know you’ll want to go see the streets that everybody is talking about, as Verdi or Travessia de Sant Antoni, but is better don’t go with the flow and forget to follow the crowds. There are 20 streets waiting, included two new this year and any of them can be a winner!
Don’t forget to look up
Although less known, there is also a balconies and entrances competition, where about thirty communities are involved in decorating their own homes.
Join the popular food and forget the fast food
We also recommend that you take a cold beer and a tapa in one of the many bars there to regain strength.
Makest the most the other shows!
Although the decorated streets are the main attraction of Gràcia festivities, you shouldn’t forget that there are many more activities that you can enjoy. Concerts, dances, plays, the fair… and of course, the famous “Colla de Diables de Gràcia”, a large group of people of all ages are dressed as a devil to provide a show of fire, music and unmatched dance.
You’ll soon realize that you’ll be queuing for everything; to go to the bathroom, to order food, to access the streets, and even, to leave them. Heat will be another one of your companions during the day, so prepare a survival kit with a fan and water because we are sure that you will need it.
Download the Festes de Gràcia app
If you don’t want to lose any of Gràcia festivities, we suggest you to that download the mobile app which is now for Android and iOS and in wich you’ll find all the events and services available. In addition, there are also spots where QR codes are placed and let you know the daily Schedule of each place.
We give you a preview of what you’ll find this year between the streets of Gràcia to whet your appetite; masquerades, the Catalan rumba or the Jules Verne’s universe are just some of the themes that await you between 15th and 20th August.
See you in the streets!
Pokémon Go also lives in Barcelona streets, where Charmander, Bulbasaur or Squirtle await you in many corners of the city. If you want to discover all about the local Pokémon keep reading.
More than a week ago the phenomenon of augmented reality arrived to Spain, although the most anxious had the game even some days before. Barcelona was beginning to flood small pocket monsters that have revolutionized people of all ages. Now Pokefans daily meet at many spots around the city to hunt those Pokémon which they have not caught yet, why not, share tips and tricks to get more and more creatures.
In addition, it seems that Pokémon have adapted very well to the Barcelona environment, and you can find Pokémon adapted to water, such as Tentacool octopus or rock Onix near the Port Olímpic, and to the ground as Pidgeot, something similar to a dove who is having a bad day, and it lives in several city parks.
Gyms and PokeStops
If you’re a Pokefan you must know that you can only find PokeStops when you go out to hunt. However, more advanced users explain that Ingress -the first game of the creators of Pokémon Go- has locations that match most of the time with Pokémon Go stops.
Anyway, we can assure you where there are the most important gyms in Barcelona where you can train your Pokémon. Specifically, you have to get close to places as emblematic as Sagrada Família, Arc de Triomf FC Barcelona Miniestadi and Agbar Tower, very near to Twentytú Hostel.
The favourite places to hunt Pokémon in Barcelona
Although Pokémon can be found anywhere in Barcelona, the favourite places by hunters and Pokémon experts are located in the largest parks, especially at Ciutadella Park, and the beaches around Barcelona’s coastline.
The city center is another preferred place by these little monsters to hide. Gothic, Ramblas and Via Laietana are just a few examples.
The madness Pokémon lands even in the City Council
A few days ago the authorities announced that they had to stop two Japanese tourists from chasing Pokémon inside Rovira tunnel, a place not enabled for pedestrians. In addition, a German tourist climbed on Monday the façade of Ars Hotel, one of the tallest buildings in Barcelona, to record a video while he was searching Pokémon until the police asked him to quit his adventure.
Now fanaticism also comes to politics. Last Friday an Eeve, something like a kind of fox, appeared and revolutionized the city council, as the deputies started tweeting about the intruder. Even a deputy of Partido Popular compared the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, to Team Rocket, a criminal gang from the popular animated series.
Barcelona, a pioneer in augmented reality
Although Pokémon Go has been a revolution, it’s not the first augmented reality game that exists. The Barcelona studio Novarama pioneered with the creation of a game called Invizimals in 2014 for Play Station that, although with less success, was a hit worldwide.
Now that you know everything about Pokémon hunting in Barcelona we can only say good luck in your search and… Gotta catch ’em all!
Today we dig into one of the most bohemian neighbourhoods of Barcelona to unveil what it is that every day brings thousands of visitors to this unique area of the city. In Born you won’t need any streets maps because from the first minute you will want to to get lost across its streets waiting to find which is the next surprise around the corner.
Born is one of those neighbourhoods that have history carved on the streets, but that also dares with the latest trends in more than 500 shops and restaurants. A place that blends art and antiquity equally and that captivates tourists, but also locals, thanks to its many attractions.
But perhaps it’s less known than the Gothic, especially because its location is a bit further from the center of the city, it’s the perfect place if you want to learn about the most cosmopolitan Barcelona and take the chance to immerse, without even realizing, in living history of the city.
The Born name comes from the word tournament because the area hosted medieval tournaments of the city, popular festivities and processions between the thirteenth and seventeenth century. In addition, many of its streets still retain the name of the trades that were developed centuries ago in its narrow streets; merchants, sailors, artisans and other professionals who came and went around the world to do business in this waterfront.
Although now it’s part of the most cosmopolitan Barcelona, the Born still retains much of its charm, the same that has attracted many artists and design lovers to establish here their shops, stores or museums. It’s something like the Barcelona’s Montmartre where we can also find dozens of unique tourist attractions.
Some of the must-see spots on Born are the church of Santa Maria del Mar, one of the most spectacular examples of Catalan Gothic, modernist Palau de la Música or Born Centre of Culture and Memory, an archaeological site of the century XVIII which is already ranked as the third most visited tourist attraction in Barcelona. In addition, the neighbourhood has important art centers such as the Museum of Pablo Picasso and Barbier-Mueller Museum, the only museum of pre-Columbian art in Europe.
But not everything is culture because leisure is another of the strengths of this neighborhood bordering the Mediterranean. Roads candles, illuminated signs and colored flags invite visitors to come to find tiny restaurants with wide gastronomic offer, bars with live music or clubs for all tastes.
Born is the ideal place to spend a full day without having to leave the same neighbourhood. Open your mind and get ready to experience the most authentic Barcelona throughout the centuries.
In summer several spaces of Barcelona are transformed in Summer outdoor Cinemas, outdoor places where over two months will happen dozens of love stories, horror, musical or action adventures. Parks, castles, beaches… any place is good to enjoy the magic of cinema but we bring you only the best.
See a film in a pit of a former military fortress of the seventeenth century is possible since it opened in 2002 everyone as known as “Cinema a la Fresca”. But it’s not only a good place to watch movies under the stars but also projected shorts film, they offer an ecopicnic so you can dine and live music while the public expects the movie to start. There is a free bus leaves from España square and that leaves you just 100 meters from the Montjuïc’s castle. The tickets worth 6 euros and usually end quickly, so try to buy them in advance.
Poble Espanyol: short film and music
If when you go to the cinema you never know which film see, on Mecal Air, summer cinema in Poble Espanyol, they offer a bit of everything; horror, humor, entertainment, love … every Friday or Saturday session dedicated to a different genre films. For 3.5 with flyer.
In addition, the guys at Sing-along also come to this architectural museum with his show. A mixture of film and karaoke with actors who will guide the dance for the most forgetful. Titles as Dirty Dancing, Grease or Moulin Rouge in the main square for 12 euros.
What better place to enjoy a movie that the beaches of our city. On the beach of Sant Sebastià (Barceloneta) you don’t only see movies but have live music and a short film before the film starts. Not for lovers of the most commercial cinema made in America, because they always project cinema d’auteur or independent films.
In addition, this year the cinema has the novelty that is also transferred to other nearby cities to Barcelona, specifically, El Prat, Badalona and Mataró.
Gandules: 7 Deadly Sins
Although we have to wait until August, Gandules 2016 is presented as one of the most alternative cinema festivals this summer in Barcelona. Gandules means hammocks in Catalan and is where you will see the movies if you arrive with enough time because the entrance is free and limited capacity. The 7 deadly sins are the protagonists of this cycle run by the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona (CCCB).
The Summer has started and that means that the Beach Bars season is open in Barcelona; sun, good food, music and Mediterranean breeze. What more could you ask for? The correct answer is the best selection of Beach Bars to make the most of the summer. Let’s go for it!
Under the luxurious W Hotel, also known as Vela Hotel, you’ll find this Beach Bar under the same name that’s part of Tragaluz Hostelry Group. A simple but safe menu to enjoy the views, which are as delightful as its food. Usually it’s very crowded so we recommend you book if you don’t want to wait.
Don’t expect any cool decoration or original or exotic food in this emblematic Bar at Barcelona’s coastline, but it serves its purpose; a relaxed atmosphere with the best selection of fish dishes, especially from the southern Spain. Quite reasonable price to be next to the sea.
Via Moana means “Blue Sea” in Rapa Nui, the native language of the enigmatic Easter Island, and it’s the name of this Beach Bar that preserves the mystery of this island in its decoration. Dishes for all tastes and tropical cocktails to enjoy a sunset at the Bogatell beach.
In the last beach of Barcelona to the North, we find this cozy Beach Bar with a Chillout atmosphere to relax and leave the worries behind. The kitchen is ruled by Jordi Samper, one of the disciples of the worldwide famous chef Ferran Adrià, who offers a simple but delicious menu: burgers, salads, sandwiches and tapas. Do not miss the champagne cocktails when it’s very hot.
La Guingueta is the beach version of Xiringuito de l’Escribà, a restaurant located a few meters across the beach. The Michelin Star chef Carles Abellan and Joan Escribà, descendant of the popular family of pastry chefs, have joined forces in this project to provide simple but top quality cuisine. If you resist heat well, finish your tasting taking one of the irresistible ice creams of the Masterchef Jordi Roca, member of Celler de Can Roca, one of the best Restaurants in the world.
The guys of Surf House Barcelona choose the authentic California lifestyle at its Beach Bar in Mar Bella. At their huge surfboards tables you can enjoy refreshing smoothies and an interesting mix of American and Mediterranean food. Pay attention to its activities schedule if you are someone who just can’t be laying on the towel.
In the outskirts of Gràcia district we find this urban Beach Bar which you can enjoy at any time of year. An oasis in the middle of the city that offers dishes to taste with time and unhurried.
Although the Beach Bars in Barcelona are synonymous of sun and relax, don’t forget that after sunset the party doesn’t stop so don’t forget to check the night parties’ schedule!
If you’re you always show off that you can speak a second language, but in the moment of truth you can’t find the words, language exchange is the best way to practice your conversation in a second language.
Replace grammar books for a drink, dinner or coffee, and choose from the selection that we have prepared of the best places to practice language exchange in Barcelona:
Surely it might not be useful to get you a polished English accent, but this bar feels like an authentic British pub. Usually there are people who wants to have fun, so it’s also a good place to make new friends.
Language Exchange is organized every Monday at 8:30 am, but if you improve your level you can sign up in the Quiz Games by teams that are hosted every Thursday night.
When you arrive to this pub near Diagonal Avenue you won’t find a disgusting welcoming… on the contrary: free nachos and shots, and friendly waiters who introduce you to the other participants. As soon as you get there they deliver you a tag where you have to write your name, your mother tongue and the language that you want to practice to facilitate the language exchange.
This linguistic activity takes place every Tuesday at 8:30 am. We also recommend their live concerts on Thursday night.
If you like Oriental languages you should know that it’s possible to learn Chinese and Japanese in Barcelona and, also, for free! Every Wednesday at 9 pm a group of students and language teachers, called Mundiñol, practice Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and even Catalan in this bar.
Kitty is the organizer of the English- Spanish exchange every Thursday between 8 pm and 10 pm that is organized in “Las Empas”, an Argentinian restaurant in the neighborhood of Gracia. Although there are times set for each language, probably, as it night goes by and you drink more Belgian beers, you have more desire to speak your new language.
To finish the workweek, we enter the Estació de França, not too crowded by travelers but a must for anyone who wants to know the most stately Barcelona. In the bar located at the right of the spacious hall every Friday at 8 pm a group meets to practice their speaking. If the night goes well and you want to continue the party, you can keep on learning in a nightclub or pub in the area, certainly at that time you will have lost your embarrassment.
The café-bookstore Babelia has clients of all nationalities thanks to its extensive multilingual library and, therefore, it’s not unusual to find a native seeking people to exchange languages on its board ads. Post your ad or search on of your interest and start practicing a new language! In this case, there is no place or fixed schedule so you are the only ones who have to agree on the appointment.
Barcelona once again becomes the capital of the design from 2 to 12 June at the hands of the BCD (Barcelona Centre de Disseny), the Centre for the promotion and revitalization of design founded over 40 years ago. For the eleventh year Barcelona Design Week will be the meeting point for professional designers, entrepreneurs and design lovers who wants to attend.
More than 70 activities distributed over eleven days and open to the city with workshops, talks, tours and exhibitions, where, in addition to soak up ideas, you can do networking with people and companies from all over the world.
Design is the future: learn about future trends
One of the highlights of this year is the second edition of the Design is the future. For three days it will be a debate of design innovation, as an expression of what awaits us in the near future. 15 national and international speakers will make workshops, talks and presentations about projects that are succeeding in the world, never-seen ideas and experimental design. If you want to know how the design will change the future of society, note down in your agenda June 6th, 7th and 8th.
In addition, remember that the Barcelona Design Week assesses all aspects of the design and applies them to everyday things of life. Along these lines stands out the Design in Tech Report 2016, where will be explained the increasingly close relationship between design, technology and business, and the Design4food; an open debate about the role of design in the field of nutrition, taking advantage of the haute cuisine trend.
Work Design Week: network design cities
This year’s novelty is the Work Design Week, a network of nine cities that will join Barcelona to promote the work and collaboration of designers. The selected cities are New York, San Francisco, Melbourne, Mexico City, Helsinki, Eindhoven, Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul, places that also have their own Design Week.
A sample of the beginning of this cooperation is the presence of a fortnight of Catalan brands in the New York Design Week and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair last week. The latter is a very important event at international level where they tend to go 30,000 people each year.
The Barcelona Design Week opens next Thursday June 2nd at Design Hub Barcelona, the design museum in the city which is located very close to Twentytú Hostel Barcelona, where you will be received by a DJ, a cold beer and a variety of Foodtrucks to tempt the palate. In addition, the Design Week opens its doors with the exhibition “Interfaces”, a commemorative exhibition of Simon, an electronics’ company which was founded over 100 years ago in a small family workshop in Olot.
Don’t forget that Twentytú Hostel bet on the young and innovative talent of BAU University Center of Design in Barcelona, with whom we often collaborate with several contests and initiatives to strengthen the design in our city.