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.
Barcelona is located between the sea and the mountains, and although beaches are one of the most appealing attractions to visitors, there are many activities that you can do to enjoy the mountain. Trekking is the best way to discover the natural surroundings of Barcelona on foot; spectacular places a few kilometers from the city where you can discover the flora and fauna of our city and stay in touch with nature. Get comfortable shoes, pick some fresh water and prepare to discover the green Barcelona. Let’s start the route!
Paseo de las Aguas
If you want to see the city from a different perspective this is your route. A flat terrain but with unforgettable views, El Paseo de las Aguas starts at the foot of Tibidabo Mountain, particularly in the Pla de les Maduixeres, and continues to the Mirador del Xiprers in the town of Esplugues de Llobregat. Along the way you will see all of Barcelona from a height and enjoy different viewpoints. Therefore it is ideal if you want to shoot perfect pictures of Barcelona’s skyline. The road is 18 kilometers fully enabled since 2008 when it opened a bridge to cross the Vallvidrera road.
How to get there: By Tramvia Blau or by bus 111. Get off at Tibidabo stop.
If you don’t want to move away of Barcelona, Collserola is the route you must choose because it’s the natural border of the city from the West and, also, you have easy access to go there. This green lung of the city gives you many options to choose Barcelona trekking routes, so you can investigate among its many trails. 8 km full of contrasts because, besides nature, you will encounter charming uninhabited houses and small residential areas of new construction.
How to get there: By metro Line 11 Torre Baró / Vallbona or by trainBarcelona / Torre Baró
El Turó de l’Home
50 kilometers away from Barcelona you’ll find the highest point of the Montseny, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and with a road full of contrasts, where predominate beeches. To access you must park in the parking Passavents and follow the signalized route. It has a distance of 9 kilometers and a vertical drop of 551 meters.
How to get there: by car.
Route of Sant Jeroni
It’s the most common way to reach the summit of the imposing rock massif of Montserrat. Just 50 kilometers North West from Barcelona you can start this gentle hike which boasts stunning views of many points of Catalonia. Choose from the 800 steps to climb from the monastery or the Ermites: a way that, even though it’s more complicated, it has some spectacular landscapes. Before travelling the 12 kilometers of the trail don’t forget to visit the Moreneta, the patron saint of Catalonia, in the monastery, and ask her a wish.
How to get there: R5 train, get off at the stop Monistrol de Montserrat
If you feel like having more you can ask for more information to associations like the Hikers Centre of Catalonia where every week there are excursions to discover the natural surroundings of Barcelona.
A few steps from Twentytú Hostel you can find the Encants market, a space full of life and with over 700 years of history, where you can buy anything you look for; new and old items, second-hand clothes or unique relics just besides the new remodeled Plaça de las Glòries.
The Encants market, also called Fira de Bellcaire, is a market that has its origins in the thirteenth century, when two medieval markets located in different sites of the city where unified. Since 1200, the date of the first mentions about the Encants, the commercial spot has changed its location until in 2013 moved permanently to its current location, an area of over 15,000 square metres between Caspe and Castillejos streets.
The name of the Encants has its origins in the Middle Ages when it hosted public auctions which in Latin is called “En Quantum”, expression that derives in the name “Encants”. At that time, these auctions were used mainly to sell the assets of the deceased in order to pay their possible debts and leave the remaining money to his family.
Buy, sale and auction
The Encants market is one of the oldest in Europe and also one of the busiest. Every week it is visited by 100,000 people around the world who seek, bargain and, often, find the best prices on books, furniture, clothing, antiques and any object you may be looking for. 500 traders open their stalls to offer from handicrafts to CDs, but also secondhand clothes or the latest technology. The movement of the Encants rests some days of the week, so remember it is open only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to 8 pm.
In addition, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 am to 9 am it is time for action; Encants auction. A place where only the highest bidder will be the winner if you play your cards right; stocks of different shops, empty rooms and even flats. Even if auctioning is not your forte, you can visit this unique spectacle because it’s the only market in Europe where to practice this kind of sale.
The new Encants
With the last renovation in 2013, the new Encants offers a wide range of restaurants, parking for 300 vehicles, and even fitting rooms. In this way the Encants maintains its spirit of a traditional market with all the comforts of a modern shopping center. A spectacular deck of 24 meters in height, formed by mirrors, reflects the unstoppable market activity and also protects visitors in rainy days.
We recommend you get up early if you want to get the best bargains and to not give up if you don’t find what you were looking for at the first attempt. Ask merchants of the stalls because we assure you that somewhere in the Encants you’ll find what you’re looking for.
When good weather arrives, the desire to enjoy Barcelona comes too. However, sometimes our leisure plans are not in accordance with our economy. For this reason, today we bring you the best plans to enjo Barcelona for free without spending any money.
1. Free entry buildings
In Barcelona we can enjoy an envied architecture around the world and most of them have free entrance. In Top 3 are Santa Eulalia’s Cathedral, Santa Maria del Mar’s Cathedral in Born neighbourhood or the astonishing Basilica of Sagrat Cor on the top of Tibidabo mountain. Although the modernist buildings often have paid entry, there are small free spaces like Pedrera’s café, Hospital de Sant Pau or many of the buildings that you can find walking around Eixample streets.
Barcelona has a wide variety of cultural offerings, among which you can find museums of history, art, science or music and, also, archaeological sites with great historical value. Many museums have free admission during the first Sunday of each month, or even every Sunday after 3 pm. Come to discover Picasso museum in Raval district, the National Museum of Catalan Art in Montjuic or the recent deposit of Born Market that has medieval and modern ruins of the city and where you can access for free.
3. Outdoor shows
Barcelona is an open city and there is no better way to know that blending with its people and their traditions, for this reason, you should know its leisure offer at street level. Enjoy the spectacular building human towers of Castellers, Sardanes, the Catalan traditional dance, or with Montjuic’s Magic Fountain , a show of colour and music at the feet of Montjuic mountain.
Close to Twentytú Hostel you can find Encants Market in Poblenou district, an spectacular space that is one of the oldest markets in the continent with auctions and open to the public every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. In addition, food markets like Boqueria or Santa Caterina are an amazing spectacle for your senses that you definitely shouldn’t miss.
5. Barcelona’s rhythm
It’s not a secret that Barcelona is the place to be for music lovers. Therefore, it offers visitors free spaces where you can enjoy good music and dance to it. If you like Swing music, visit our friends BCNswing (http://bcnswing.org/swing/) who offer genuine 20s free dance meetings. If you want to see impossible tap dances we recommend that you go on Sunday Afternoon to Ciutadella Park. Or, if you prefer salsa, remember that Seven dance school offers free initiation classes that you have to book on its website.
The best music Festivals like Primavera Sound or Sónar organize opening concerts which are for free. This June you can see Fabtoy Slim if you take part in the draw to win of one of the 7,000 free tickets, or enjoy the legendary British band Suede at Parc del Forum for free too. Also, don’t forget that great Barcelona festivities like Mercè, Festes de Gràcia or Festes de Sants offers concerts in the streets of Barcelona for free.
Green areas in Barcelona are not really big but all of them have a unique charm. The enigmatic labyrinth of Horta, the Ciutadella Park with its modernist design, the elegant gardens of Palau Robert … all strategically placed to enjoy a small oasis in the middle of the city.
To get an overview of Barcelona you don’t have to go far, even from within the city there are free open spaces with amazing panoramic views. From Tibidabo Mountain or the Bunkers of Carmel, from the sea on the cable car or the Eclipse bar of the Hotel W, from parks like Turó del Putxet gardens or from the epicenter of the city on the terraces of Barceló Rabal Hotel or CCCB (Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona).
All year long, but especially when Summer is close, hundreds of free events are organized in Barcelona. During the next months you can enjoy a picnic at Somorrostro beach to meet and exchange languages, the full moon party on Mar Bella beach or meetings to practice yoga in the parks of the city. Many of these events are organized by CouchSurfing or Meetup, so don’t miss their calendar!
10. Enjoy the Barcelona Wifi
Barcelona has 590 free Wifi points in public equipment and connection points at the street. This is the list so that you can always be online.
Sant Jordi is one of the most celebrated festivities in Barcelona; culture, tradition and romanticism. It all started with a legend where a courageous prince kills a dragon and its blood becomes a rose that the prince gives to his beloved princess. Because of this beautiful legend, every April 23rd Catalans give roses and books to their relatives, friends and couples. Unfortunately, not everyone has resources to enjoy the book’s day, for this reason doesn’t lack solidarity initiatives to help the least favoured. If you be part of this don’t miss our post.
Fundación Ires gives the dragon an opportunity to explain its version of the legend in a rose-tale because they think that everybody deserves a second chance . Earnings will go to the initiative “Fils Project: invisible childhood” that helps children and families who face violence situations.
If you want to help them save the dragon, you can go to Passeig de Gràcia, 6, and offer yourself as a volunteer to help selling roses. Remember that Twentytú collaborates with the organization and on Sant Jordi’s day we will give a rose to all girls and ladies staying at Twentytú guests Don’t forget yours!
Fundació Comtal, a nonprofit organization, transforms Sant Jordi roses in opportunities for the underprivileged: all profits earned with flowers sales will be going to its users: children, people at risk of social exclusion, immigrants… The roses will be submitted with an explanation of this campaign and a bookmark made by the Fundation’s children with great enthusiasm.
If you want contribute to this initiative you can make your order in advance at email@example.com or at their stand that will be opposite Mercat de Santa Caterina, near La Catedral. Also, you can work as volunteer the Sant Jordi’s day and experience this special day first-hand.
The campaign goal is that all the boys and girls can smile at Sant Jordi’s Day. To that end, the private Catalan television (8TV) and Danone (a nutritioncompany) collect new books for kids and you can help them.. If you bring a new book or one in good condition to Danone restaurant in Diagonal Avenue, they offer you a free yogurt or a frozen yogurt with the topping that you choose.
Since 1998 partners and volunteers bring a rose to the elderly that live alone. More than 150.000 senior citizens suffer loneliness in Catalonia in a society that too often has no time for them. For this reason, Amics de la gent gran organize the delivery of roses on Sant Jordi’s Day for these people that spend most of their time on their own.
You can make your own contribution to this campaign in many ways: as a volunteer, buying a solidarity rose that is used to finance the organization or doing your economic contribution for activities of the elderly. Anyway, you offer company for those who need it most.
Codespa is a NGO that fights against the poverty in the world and 5 years ago they collect books to finance its cooperative projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa. You can donate all kind of new or second-hand books that will be sold at their stand on Rambla Catalunya.
The benefits will be going to vulnerable groups in different countries: single mothers, children and young people from underdeveloped areas, farmers of rural areas…You can donate a book that will be transformed into resources for those who have less.
You can contribute to solidarity at Sant Jordi’s Day and help many with a small gesture. Become an ambassador of these iniatives and tell your friends and family.
¡Happy Sant Jordi to everybody!
Barcelona City Council has recently passed a law that allows live music in bars and restaurants all over the city, as long as they play it on a determined schedule and in soundproofed rooms to avoid disturbing neighbours. So, now it’s time to enjoy the best jazz in town! Here’s a list of the best jazz clubs in Barcelona.
Harlem Jazz Club: The magic of jazz
It is probably the most emblematic jazz club in Barcelona. Since the beginnings its owners have been committed to live music, usually jazz, but sometimes they feature swing, funk, soul or bossanova, among others Those who have been fortunate enough to visit Harlem explain that this club offers a truly magical feel that only a real jazz club could ever have.. It gets crowded so don’t expect to have a seat unless you are there early. Good music, delicious cocktails and enviable atmosphere in the heart of the city.
Jamboree: for both tourists and locals
It’s a must for jazz fans. In the middle of Plaza Real, it is a place with character since 1960. Every Monday you have a date with the innovation at Jam sessions and concerts on Tuesdays and Sundays. If you want, after concerts you can stay on the disco, a really popular spot for tourists and locals to dance in its two rooms – pop-rock and hip-hop. Jamboree has put Barcelona on the route map of several tours of international jazz artists.
Little Italy: Italian food with Jazz.
If what you want is to have a meal while you’re listening to good jazz, Little Italy is the place to be. Instead of New York, this Little Italy is in Barcelona’s old town, where you can enjoy a wide variety of Mediterranean gastronomy with an Italian touch in a vintage atmosphere. Live jazz music creates a perfect atmosphere while the audience has dinner every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 9.30 pm.
Milano cocktail: come back to the 40’s
We stay in Italy to discover a cocktail bar with the authentic 40’s style: red couches, elegant uniformed waiters and, as could not be otherwise, live jazz every night with double session at 8.30 pm. You delight with some food or drink their own cocktails in a relaxing ambience. If you still have the strength, the DJ plays soul, funk, Latin music or jazz until 3 a.m.
JazzSí Club: the future of Jazz in Barcelona
This is the club run by Tallers de músics, a music school located in the city outskirts. Music students are the ones that organize their live jazz sessions every Wednesday with generous serving of imagination and innovation. There, musicians can test their abilities and play for an audience for the first time. A different experience far from listening to experienced professionals but with a rare and unique extra: the real improvisation. The prices are for students too: only 4 euros with drink included.
Jazzman: not in the city guides
It’s an intimate space where to experience jazz closely, especially due to the reduced size of the place. This is the charm of Jazzman, where you can hang out with veteran artists and new jazz talents every Monday night. The rest of the week you can listen to jazz music too, but not live. This is the kind of place that you don’t find in the city guides, so take our advice and enjoy this cozy jazz club.