Festivales: Música y Sol en Barcelona

Festivales: Música y Sol en Barcelona

Los mejores festivales

La primavera en Barcelona es sinónimo de movimiento, música y diversión. Los días se hacen cada vez más largos, el ambiente veraniego ya puede sentirse al pasear por las calles, las terrazas se colman y empiezan a aparecer los chiringuitos de playa.

Para el que decide pasar unas vacaciones en la Ciudad Condal durante la primavera, la selecta temporada de festivales musicales es sin duda una incitación a la diversión y al disfrute. Se trata de una temporada vibrante e intensa que se extiende hacia el verano y que dota a esta ciudad de un fuerte encanto, sobre todo para un público joven, hambriento de música, baile y encuentros con los amigos.

Si al alquilar un apartamento en Barcelona deseas vivir una interesante y divertida experiencia musical llena de sol y de excelentes representaciones, dale un vistazo a esta increíble cartelera de festivales que abren sus puertas en cuanto el sol comienza a brillar en la bellísima ciudad de Barcelona:

 

Primavera Sound

Fecha: Del 31 de mayo al 4 de junio

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Festival Primavera Sound - Ambiente exterior

Festival Primavera Sound 2017_día

Este festival llega a su 17° edición y con ello, va reafirmando su prestigio internacional, con un cartel de artistas internacionales de primer nivel, ecléctico y para todos los gustos. Este año hay casi doscientos artistas reconocidos que desde noviembre han confirmado su asistencia. Los dos emplazamientos principales serán los tradicionales: el Parc del Fórum presentando el grueso de la programación y en el barrio de El Raval se presentarán los conciertos gratuitos. Cabe recalcar que este festival siempre presenta una interesante mezcla de artistas emergentes y otros ya sólidamente arraigados en el cariño popular en distintas corrientes musicales: música electrónica, punk, guitarras, artistas nacionales e internacionales…sin duda, un festival a agendar si queremos experimentar una descarga de música y aprendizaje artístico.

 

Sónar 2017

Fecha: 15-16-17 de Junio

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Festival Sonar de día - Barcelona

Festival Sonar Noche - Barcelona

Este festival es sin duda alguna uno de los más reputados de la península ibérica y es un sello distintivo de la primavera en Barcelona, además de que el sello “Sonar” se precia de ser uno de los más aclamados como escaparate de la música electrónica. Con estos referentes, el festival Sonar en Barcelona se precia de presentar un cartel con lo mejor del universo musical en este género y no sólo eso, sino que se presenta también como un lugar creativo y de performance artística interactiva que va más allá de la música. Las presentaciones se realizan en dos ubicaciones: en la Fira Montjuïc de día (conciertos y showcases), así como el Sónar+D, un congreso internacional de la industria creativa, y por la noche, en Fira Gran Via de L’Hospitalet, sitio en que se realizan las mayores presentaciones musicales. DJ Shadow, Anderson .Paak, Arca y Soulwax están entre los artistas que se presentarán este año… ¿te interesa potenciar tu propia creatividad asistiendo a este magno evento?

 

Cruïlla

Fecha: 7, 8 y 9 de julio

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cruilla-festivales-barcelona

Este festival musical (que se realiza ya entrando el verano) muestra que en el panorama musical barcelonés no sólo existe música electrónica. Este es el espacio ideal para presentaciones de los géneros pop y rock, con un cartel que cada año se supera a sí mismo presentando nombres reconocidos a escala global. Con artistas en diversos idiomas y de géneros diversos, la música se da cita en el Parc del Fòrum durante un fin de semana de locura en que se puede vivir a tope una descarga de energía, arte y baile. Con nombres como Jamiroquai, The Luimineers y Los Fabulosos Cadillacs el viernes 7 de junio y los Pet Shop Boys, The Prodigy y Residente el sábado 8, sin duda la diversión estará asegurada, en un festival que celebra el arte, la música y la entrada del verano en una ciudad que, como Barcelona, abre sus puertas a todas manifestaciones artísticas con una sonrisa.

BBF – Barceló(na) Beach Festival

Fecha: Sábado 15 de julio

Line Up aquí 

Festivales Barcelona Beach Festival

Si estás buscando un festival de música electrónica que ponga en escena a los mejores DJ’s del momento, ésta es tu mejor alternativa. Además (y tal y como su nombre lo indica) este festival se lleva a cabo en la playa. Los vídeos de ediciones anteriores te llevará a ver cómo este festival realmente presenta lo mejor de la música electrónica y las figuras mundiales del EDM en un escenario paradisiaco con miles de asistentes que se divierten juntos en un entorno de convivencia agradable y placentera.

Para no romper con una tradición de nombres de reputación mundial, en el 2017 el cartel está integrado por:

  • Jordi Vèliz
  • Axwell Λ Ingrosso
  • Martin Garrix
  • Hardwell
  • Kitten
  • JP Candela
  • Lost Frenquencies
  • Kygo
  • Armin van Buuren
  • Entre muchos otros…

A pesar de que el BBF se desarrolla en la playa, por razones de seguridad el acceso al mar no está permitido, lo que se controla con la instalación de vallas y personal de seguridad a lo largo de la playa.  El evento se desarrolla sobre la arena, por lo que se recomienda usar calzado adecuado — aunque al final de la noche seguro acabes descalzo — para poder disfrutar plenamente del baile y el ambiente acelerado del festival.

Todos estos festivales presentan un sistema de compra de tickets por adelantado y un riguroso método de admisión entrada en mano, con pulseras y control de entradas y salidas (a pesar de que en la mayoría hay libertad para entrar y salir, disfrutando de múltiples conciertos), que permiten divertirse en un entorno de seguridad y tranquilidad. Algunos de ellos donan una proporción de las entradas adquiridas a causas benéficas y en otros casos, ofrecen conciertos gratuitos.

Las opciones son diversas y las ideas, múltiples y divertidas. Lo único que hace falta es elegir uno (o varios) de estos festivales y conseguir un alojamiento adecuado como los apartamentos vacacionales en Barcelona, para disfrutar a plenitud de la música, el sol, la playa y la cultura que Barcelona tiene para ofrecer.

Barcelona in 3 days – Travel Guide

If you are lucky enough to have 3 whole days in one of the finest cities in the world, you don’t want to miss out on any of the best bits. With our “Barcelona in 3 days” article, we’ve compiled some suggestions for how to spend 72 hours in the capital of Catalonia to help you make the most of your stay.

Our suggested route for day 1 is as follows:

Day 1: La Sagrada Família, Gothic Quarter, and El Born

Start your sightseeing extravaganza with a visit to La Sagrada Família where you can marvel at Antoni Gaudí’s most impressive piece of work. In our previous article ´What to do in Barcelona in 1 Day , we suggested looking at it from the outside only, but if you have the time, it’s well worth a visit inside. A structure as impressive as this deserves at least 2-3 hours of your time so put aside a morning or an afternoon.

After that, go to Plaça Catalunya and Barcelona’s most famous street, La Rambla, where a gentle amble will take you past street artists, one of Europe’s best food markets – La Boqueria – and Gran Teatre del Liceu. Close to the theatre (Carrer d’en Quintana, 5) you’ll find one of Spain’s oldest restaurants, Can Culleretes. It dates back to 1786 and is a great spot for sampling some local delicacies.

LA Rambla de Barcelona

Next, head to the district of El Born where we recommend visiting the Picasso museum. Admission to the collection and Mythologies exhibition will cost 11 Euros. Alternatively step further back in time for your cultural fix at Mercat del Born .

In February 2002, while the former market was being transformed into a public library, medieval artefacts were unearthed in excellent condition. These artefacts tracked the urban development of the Barrio de la Ribera from the 14th century until it was destroyed in 1714 at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, a fascinating slice of the region’s history.

El Born Barcelona

Day 2 – Gaudí Day

Begin your second day in Barcelona in Park Güell where a standard adult entry ticket will only set you back 8€ . Originally designed as a residential building, this dreamlike park was constructed for Gaudí´s wealthy patron Eusebi Güell at the start of the 20th century. Park Güell is now a public space and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors to the park will enjoy Gaudí’s signature style throughout the park as well as spectacular views of the city. Don’t miss the Gaudí House museum and the famous mosaic-covered lizard.

PARK GÜELL

From Park Güell, make your way to one of Barcelona’s hippest restaurants, El Nacional . This restaurant on Passeig de Gràcia boasts four specialised bars and four dining areas serving typical dishes from across Spain and can seat nearly 800 diners. It began as a theatre café in 1870 and is housed in a beautifully renovated industrial modernist era factory building.

After lunch, we recommend you continue your Modernist trail up Passeig de Gràcia to Gaudí’s stunning Casa Batlló. It’s hard to believe that this was once a dull apartment block before Gaudí transformed it into one of Barcelona’s most impressive buildings complete with ornate balconies, attic space and eye-catching ceramic façade. Entry for adults costs 22€ and it’s worth every cent for those who appreciate Modernist architecture.

Your next and final stop on day 2’s Modernist route is Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera. The construction of this UNESCO World Heritage Site took place from 1906 to 1912 and it features impressive patios, the Pedrera Apartment and an enchanting roof terrace. Tickets to this spectacular structure cost around 22€ for adults.

Day 3 – Montjuïc

Having explored the city’s Gothic features, marvelled at the Modernist buildings and sampled the local delicacies, we suggest heading to Montjuïc for your last day in Barcelona, beginning with a visit to Las Arenas shopping mall. Built in 1900 in the Neomudéjar style typical of 19th century Spain, it was bullfighting ring until 1977. Take in its distinctive red brick façade before heading inside for a spot of shopping or something to eat. More restaurants can be found on the roof terrace which also has amazing 360 degree views of Barcelona and Montjuïc.

Not far away lies Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village). Poble Espanyol, built in 1929, houses over 100 buildings displaying architecture from across Spain’s distinctive regions and is a wonderful example of an open-air architectural museum. As well as allowing visitors to admire Spain’s diverse architecture and influences, the village has a wonderful variety of eateries, cafes and beautiful craft shops to ensure you don’t leave hungry or empty handed! Tickets cost 12€ for adults.

POBLE ESPANYOL

Next make your way to Montjuïc Castle which sits 170m above sea level on the top of Montjuïc hill. Getting here is super easy. If you’ve over-indulged on patatas bravas you may want to walk up the winding paths and admire the city views as you climb, while those wishing to make a more serene entrance can take the cable car up the hillside. Montjuïc Castle is a military fortress dating back to 1640 and has played a key role in Catalan historical events and is brilliant for exploring and savoring the beautiful cityscape. Adult entry is 5€.

Finally, end your third day on a magical, musical high with the light and water show at La Font Màgica de Montjuïc. This enchanting event attracts over 2.5 million visitors every year and is free to view with no booking required. Simply turn up and get carried away! Designed by Carles Buïgas, the fountains give the impression of cascading water from the top of the hill at the Palau Nacional Building, down to Plaça Espanya at the bottom.

Barcelona in 3 days

So, there you have it – an action-packed itinerary for 3 days in Barcelona. We hope you enjoy your stay!

What to do in Barcelona in one day

So, you´re stopping off in one of the best cities in the world and have a mere 24 hours to savor the sights, sounds and tastes of Catalonia´s capital. Fear not, we´ve compiled some suggestions for what to do in Barcelona in one day to ensure you don´t miss out on any of the best bits.

Barcelona´s public transport network is efficient and super easy to navigate. If you (and your travelling companion) and planning to take several journeys either by bus or metro throughout your brief stay, we recommend buying a T10 travel card from any metro station. A T10 for zone one comes in at just under 10 Euro and one ticket can be used by multiple people on both the metro and buses for 10 journeys around the city. However, if you´re planning to get around mainly on foot as per our recommended route, a single journey will only set you back €2.15 so this could be your best option.

Our ´What to do in Barcelona in one day´ route starts off at La Sagrada Família where you can marvel Antoni Gaudí’s most impressive piece of work. This spectacular building is easily accessible by metro or bus and is well worth a visit. If you are pressed for time, you could simply admire the cathedral from outside, but for those keen to enter, we strongly recommend buying tickets online in advance to avoid the lengthy queues http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets/.

Sagrada-Familia_Antoni-Gaudi_dezeen_936_0

After that, hop on the metro (L5) until the stop Diagonal. From here, head down one of the city’s most emblematic streets, Passeig de Gràcia, where you’ll find some of Barcelona’s best examples of modernist buildings. This grand street, akin to an open-air architectural museum, will take you past some of Gaudi´s best known works, including La Pedrera, La Casa Amatller or Casa Batlló until you reach Plaça Catalunya.

Passeig de Gràcia

Plaça Catalunya backs onto Barcelona´s most famous street, La Rambla, famed for its lively atmosphere, street performers, resident artists, cafes, bars and restaurants. A gentle stroll down La Rambla will take you past some of Barcelona´s most iconic buildings and structures, such as the beautiful market La Boqueria and el Gran Teatre del Liceu. La Boqueria is an explosion of colour and smells and is an absolute must for any foodies. Simply peruse the food stalls and soak up the atmosphere or pull up a chair at one of the bars and order yourself a coffee or some Cava and tapas.

Slightly further down La Rambla is the El Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona´s opera house), which was founded in 1847. Once you reach El Teatre del Liceu, turn left down the street Carrer de la Palla until you reach the Cathedral square. Barcelona´s beautiful cathedral is as impressive from the inside as it is the outside so make sure you step in and admire its Gothic and Baroque features from up close! Next, make your way into the adjoining cloister. This secluded area is a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of the Gothic quarter´s streets and is dedicated to the city´s co-patron saint, Saint Eulàlia of Barcelona who lost her life during the Roman era after refusing to dismiss Jesus as the son of God. In her honour, the cloister still keeps 13 white geese (Eulàlia´s age at the time of her death).

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Next up on our ´What to do in Barcelona in 1 day´ tour, we suggest you walk down Via Laietana until you reach the street Jaume I. Once on Jaume I, turn left to behold Plaça Sant Jaume and the old Roman walls that once encompassed the city formerly known as Barcino. From here, get back on Via Laietana until you reach the charming Carrer de l’Argentería, which will take you down to the beautiful church of Santa María del Mar (made famous throughout the world thanks to Ildefonso Falcones´ novel Cathedral of the Sea).

Santa Maria del Mar

After a busy morning, you´ll be in need of some lunchtime sustenance and when in Barcelona that can only mean one thing; Paella! Right by Santa Maria del Mal you´ll find Passeig del Born which is home to La Vinya del Senyor which serves up a mouthwateringly delicious paella. Here you´ll also find several delightful tapas spots.

After you´ve filled your boots, walk off the post-lunchtime slump in Barcelona´s old fishing quarter, La Barceloneta. Head to the street Palau de Mar and then make your way down Passeig de Joan Borbó until you reach the city beach of Sant Sebastià. You´ll also notice lots of restaurants along the way. Our particular favourite is La Mar Salada where they serve up on of the best paellas in Barcelona.

La Barceloneta

So there you have it – an action-packed itinerary for what to do in Barcelona in 1 day. We hope you enjoy your short stay! And, if you are looking for accommodation, remember that here at Bizflats we have apartments which are guaranteed to make your time in Barcelona unforgettable.

 

Cursa dels Nassos – End the year on a sporting high running in Barcelona

Let’s face it, 2016 has been an interesting year across the globe and one which many will willingly kiss goodbye to. Why not end on a high with Barcelona’s 10K Cursa dels Nassos on December 31st?

On the last day of each year, Barcelona’s streets buzz with anticipation for the eagerly anticipated Cursa dels Nassos which sees the city become awash with shades of fluorescent Lycra as residents and visitors to the city gather together for this spectacular sporty affair. The race (not to be confused with Sant Cugat’s Sant Silvestre Barcelonesa race which operates on a smaller scale outside the city), is a hugely important fixture on the Catalan calendar and is the second largest of its kind in Spain. The unusually named event honors a legendary figure who is said to have as many noses as days of the year. According to folklore, the noses man (home dels nassos) sheds a nose every day, leaving him with only one nose on New Year’s Eve for when he finally leaves his house. The Cursa dels Nassos is a must for anyone interested in running and welcomes an impressive 14,000 runners (maximum) from over 50 countries every year.

Although the Cursa dels Nassos is a pretty speedy affair (11 athletes completed it in under 30 minutes last year), anyone over the age of 16 can take part by simply registering online and turning up on the day. There is also a race category for people with visual impairments, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy and wheelchair users. The route starts on Selva de Mar street in the Sant Marti district of Barcelona and takes runners through some of the most beautiful parts of the city. The Cursa dels Nassos is an undeniably brilliant way to spend the last day of the year and, with a 17:30 start time, it leaves you plenty of time to put your glad rags on for the evening’s celebrations.

The tradition of running on New Year’s Eve began in 1925 when a journalist in São Paulo (Brazil), inspired by a night race he had seen in Paris, decided to hold his own event. The race was named La Corrida de São Silvestre de São Paulo. It started at 23:40 on December 31st and finished in the early hours of January 1st 1926. Over the years the race gained in profile until Spaniard Antonio Sabugueiro decided to replicate it in Madrid, creating what is now known as San Silvestre Valle.  Nowadays, similar events are held across Spain in cities such as Beasain and Vitoria.

So, if the Cursa dels Nassos whets your appetite for running and all things Lycra, you’ll be pleased to know that there are loads of organised races taking place in Barcelona during 2017.

Barcelona running events during 2017

  •  February 12th 2017 – eDreams Mitja Marató de Barcelona

This is Barcelona’s second largest running event which saw 12,493 participants last year and is also open to wheelchair users. Water stations are placed approximately every 5 kilometers and there are bag storage facilities available. Note, there is a maximum completion time of 2 hours 45 minutes, so if your approach to running is slow and steady or you are new to the sport, this might not be the one for you!

edreams-mitja-marato

  •  March 12th 2017 – Zurich Marató de Barcelona

This marathon started in 1977 and is fast becoming an important fixture on the international running calendar for its flat and scenic route around the beautiful city of Barcelona. There are water points, massage services and showers available to runners and refreshment stations available around the course.

Zurich Maraton de Barcelona

  • May 7th – Cursa de Bombers

This 10 kilometer race is a hugely popular event organised by Nike Running and the city of Barcelona which accepts up to 20,000 runners – of which there are usually around 400 firefighters. Traditionally the race involved relay teams of four firemen where each member ran a 2.5 kilometer leg of the route in full firefighting gear weighing up to 20 kg to compete against other teams of firefighters. The Cursa de Bombers is an unmissable event for runners on the international athletics calendar and has been awarded the Bronze Label from the IAAF International Athletics Association.

cursa-de-bombers-barcelona

So, with the Cursa dels Nassos and so many running events on offer in the city, make this New Year’s Eve and 2017 your year to get running!

First Dip of the Year in Barcelona

What better way to welcome in the New Year than a bracing dip in the Mediterranean? Since 1996, hundreds of bold bathers have flocked to Platja de Sant Sebastià for the first dip of the year (Primer Bany de l’Any). Why not join these brave souls on January 1st 2017 at midday as they charge into the sea, clad in only their swimming costumes and the occasional Santa hat?!

The event, organised by el Club Natació Atlètic-Barceloneta, is totally free and is a sure-fire way to rid your cobwebs from the night before! And, if the prospect of an icy dip is a little daunting, you can register at the club´s reception prior to the event for a hot shower afterwards. This is a brilliant affair and a far better alternative to a day spent hibernating under the duvet, cradling a packet of Alka-Seltzer to nurse your hangover.

Whilst not for the faint-hearted (medically speaking), proponents of icy dips claim that the health benefits are numerous. Swimming in cold water can help your immune system, improve libido and boost circulation. Some even claim to experience a natural high so surely that´s reason enough to tempt you!first-dip-of-the-year-in-barcelona

  • Join Europe´s Popular New Year´s Day Tradition

By taking part in Barcelona´s Primer Bany de l’Any, you’ll join the tradition of thousands of people who mark the start of the New Year with a dip in the sea, rivers or lakes and, with an average water temperature of 13 degrees in January, Barcelona provides a comparatively gentle winter bathing experience!

For over 30 years, bathers have braved the freezing waters off Barry Island (Wales) for a New Year´s Day swim and in Edinburgh (Scotland), locals take part in the Loony Dook –  an icy plunge into the River Forth where the water is decidedly chilly! Similarly, in Rzeszów (Poland) bathers refuse to be deterred by the bitingly cold waters year on year.

first-dip-of-the-year-in-barry-island

The Netherlands boasts over 60 locations for a New Year´s Day plunge, and insist there is no better way to start the year. With a whopping 25,000 participants each January, the Dutch are arguably the champions of this watery tradition. The largest scale event is the annual nieuwjaarsduik in Scheveningen which welcomes approximately 10,000 swimmers.

first-dip-of-the-year-in-the-netherlands

So, what are you waiting for?! Get 2017 off to a great start and make this January 1st a day to remember by heading to Barcelona for a New Year’s Day dip!

Christmas Bath in Barcelona

Christmas Catalan Dishes

Barcelona does Christmas undeniably well. Whereas in many European cities, you are likely to have Christmas tat and poor Santa-imitations thrust upon you, the Catalans celebrate in style and yuletide joy is often accompanied by a range of delicious Catalan dishes and sweet treats. In Catalonia Christmas begins on 24th December and continues until Epiphany (Dia dels Tres Reis d’Orient) on 6th January when the presents arrive, providing ample time to fill your boots with some local culinary delights.

On Christmas Eve, We celebrate El Tío de Nadal (a Christmas log which poos presents) and whilst there are no traditional Catalan dishes to mark the occasion, no self-respecting Catalan would celebrate without having stocked up on Neulas (Catalan biscuits usually eaten with Cava) and Turró (a sweet food found in a variety of guises but its most original form is similar to that of nougat). Be sure to pick up your own share of these tantalising treats in any of the Christmas markets dotted around Barcelona.neules

December 25th in Barcelona is one big gastronomic treat. Catalan dishes served on Christmas day include escudella i carn d’olla (a sensational soup comprised of lamb, pig´s ear or cheek, potatoes, chicken, butifarra or Catalan sausage and Galets, a kind of pasta with a shape of a shell) , followed by pollastre farcit (oven roasted chicken stuffed with seasonal chestnuts and sausage meat). These Catalan dishes are washed down with Cava and sweet treats such as dried fruits and nuts, “Turrons” and “Neules”. You´ll also find giant Galets (pasta shells) along the streets of Barcelona in December which make great photo opportunities!

Escudella i Carn D'olla

Celebrations continue on St Steven´s Day (26th December) with family gatherings and once again, the opportunity to extend the Christmas waistlines with leftovers from the day before used to make “canelons”.canelons

Celebrate New Years Eve like a true Catalan with the surprisingly-tricky-to-master grape countdown in which you pop one grape in your mouth for every clock chime. Considered to ensure good luck for the year ahead, make sure you you don´t miss out – you can even buy packs of 12 deseeded grapes for the occasion! There are many theories attached to this tradition, but the most common explanation arises from the over-production of grapes around 1900. New Years Day hangovers aren´t usually soothed by a particular Catalan dish but stuffed chicken often crops up on the menu.uvas de Fin de año

Finally, the 6th January (Dia de Reis) provides yet another perfect excuse to indulge with El Tortell de Reis. This colourful, O-shaped cake is usually stuffed with marzipan or cream and glazed with fruit and contains two hidden surprises: a figurine of one of the threee kings and a fava, or dried field bean (yes, you read correctly, a bean!). Whoever is lucky enough to find the king gets to wear a paper crown whereas the less fortunate finder of the bean has to pay for the cake!

tortell-de-reis

So, loosen the belt and prepare to indulge. Catalan Christmas cuisine won’t fail to disappoint!

 

Most Famous Ski Resorts near Barcelona

Winter in Barcelona can be the perfect plan: Architecture, gastronomy, culture, beach and moreover, a day trip or a weekend to Ski!  We´ve put together a list of Ski Resorts near Barcelona within a drive or train. Keep reading to know which are the most famos catalan ski resorts. Time to hit the slopes!

Ski Resorts near Barcelona

  • Baqueira-Beret Ski resort

Baqueira-Beret ski resort is the biggest ski resort in Spain and boasts a wealth of trendy clientele. Set in Vall d’Aran in the Pyrenees and with a whopping altitude of over 120km and 33 ski lifts, it´s well worth the four hour drive from Barcelona. Snowfall here is pretty heavy and consistent throughout the winter months and there is great skiing on offer for all levels, including some eye-popping black runs off the top of the 2516m peak of Tuc Deth Dossau.

Baqueira-Beret has a wide variety of activities to suit your skitour Barcelona needs, such as ski classes or Heli-skiing, alpine skiing, snowboard, telemark, and Nordic. The apre-ski scene here is fab so after an energetic day on the slopes, you can reward yourself with a tipple or two! With an adult day ski pass costing 49 Euro it´s slightly pricier than some of the other resorts in the neighbouring areas but we think it´s well worth splashing out.

baqueira-beret-ski-resort

  • La Molina Ski Resort

Talking about Ski Resorts near Barcelona, If you are looking for something a little closer to Barcelona than a 4 hours ride, we highly recommend the resorts of La Molina (also accessible by train) and Masella. Both resorts are approximately a two hour drive from Barcelona. Spain´s oldest ski destination, La Molina, is the perfect spot for short ski breaks or even a day trip. It has around 67 kilometrers of ski-worthy slopes and also boasts additional activities such as ski Segway. However, if Apre-Ski is your thing, then perhaps this resort isn´t for you. It´s small and offers very few hotels (our favourite is Guitart Hotel La Molina Resort and Spa) but with a ski lift pass at around 40 Euro per day it won´t break the bank.

la-molina-ski-resort-near-barcelona

  • La Masella Ski Resort

A Ski trip from Barcelona could also take you to the giddy heights of La Masella. Much like its neighbour, La Masella isn´t for those wishing to paint the town red after a day on the slopes. So whilst Masella is unlikely to satisfy the needs of party animals, it is easy to get to and offers over 70 kilometres of brilliant slopes. An adult day lift pass in peak season will only set you back 43 Euro, so we think it’s well worth a visit.

la_masella_estacio_esqui

  • Grandvalira Ski Resort

If you are a pro, this is your ski resort: Grandvalira. This resort, which is the biggest Ski area in Andorra, has 110 pistes and an enormous skiable area of 205 kilometres! With peaks in this areas averaging out at 2500, the views won´t fail to disappoint. You can get here by train or car and for the coolest accommodation, head to the nearby villages of Soldeu and El Tarter. An adult day lift pass here costs around 47 Euro.

Grandvalira ski resort

  • Espot Ski Resort

This small ski station in the Lleida Pyrenees mountains is part of SkiPallars (a ski pass for two separate stations). It features 22 ski runs spread across 22.5 Km, 6 lifts, a children’s park and facilities such as snow cannons and is only a 3 1/2 hour drive from Barcelona. There are several packages available, but an adult (beginner) pass starts from 18 Euro.

espot-ski-resort

  • Vall de Núria Ski Resort

Vall de Núria is a charming resort accessible only by a train which departs from Ribes de Freser. The journey itself makes Vall de Núria worth the visit as it covers 12.5Km and climbs a staggering 1,000 meters in around 40 minutes. With 11 pistes catering for a variety of levels as well as a Children´s snow park, and amenities within the surrounding areas, Vall de Núria makes for an ideal ski getaway. There are various price packages available but a railway pass plus ski pass costs upwards of 27 Euro.

vall-de-nuria-ski-resort

So, ski fans, what are you waiting for? Hit the slopes and let’s Ski!

Barcelona at Christmas: Must see events and must do activities

Whether you´re simply passing through Barcelona in December or planning a more extended stay, we´ve compiled a list of unmissable events to mark the festive season. Keep reading, there are several things to do in Barcelona at Christmas.

Barcelona at Christmas: Must See events and must do activities

  • The Nativity Scene, Plaça de Sant Jaume

Every December Plaça de Sant Jaume comes alive with a giant nativity scene (Pessebre). Whilst all the traditional characters are represented (as well as Catalunya´s traditional Caganer or pooing man), they appear in different guises with the exception of the three kings. The nativity scene takes on a different theme each year and this year sees a more modern twist to the traditional setting with nine giant globes.

nativity-scene-barcelona

  • Christmas Markets in Barcelona

The Christmas market on Avinguda de la Cathedral, known locally as the Fira de Santa Llúcia, is another Barcelona must see at Christmas. It runs from 25th November until 23rd December, and, located in the heart of the Gothic quarter, offers the perfect setting to soak up the festive atmosphere. Here you can get your hands on some Catalan souvenirs such as él caganer (pooing man to go in the Nativity scene) or El Tió de Nadal (present-pooing log). However, if you prefer to pick up your Christmas gifts in a more intimate setting, make your way to smaller markets such as the Sagrada Familia market, The Three Kings Fair on Gran Via or the neighbourhood markets of Sants and Pedrables.

christmas-markets-in-barcelona

 

  • Xocolata amb Xurros in Barcelona

When thinking about chocolate with churros, it´s impossible not to think about the sweetest street in the city, Carrer de Petritxol, next to Plaça del Pi in the Gothic quarter. There you will find the best chocolatiers in the city such as La Dulcinea and La Pallaresa.

chocolate-with-churros-barcelona

  • The Kings Parade, January 5th

The Kings Parade (La Cavalgada de Reis) is a procession where the three kings arrive in Barcelona on their impressive floats with their royal pages. They parade around the whole city handing out thousands of sweets from 18:00-21:00 before continuing their night´s work of delivering presents to children across the world. On this day, children go to bed early in the hope of waking up to find the presents they had asked for in a letter to the kings. According to tradition, children who have behaved badly during the year will receive coal.

the-kings-parade-barcelona

  • Music and More

For a more relaxed way to get into the Christmas spirit, head to Palau de Musica, Liceu Opera House and Cathedral de Santa Maria del Mar for a variety of Christmas concerts. For those visitors with younger children, Poble Espanyol is packed with family-friendly events throughout December.

So, be sure not to miss out on these Barcelona must see Christmas events, there are loads of things to do in Barcelona at Christmas, and remember, we have several apartments in Barcelona that will make your holidays unforgettable, take a look!

 

 

 

 

 

El Caganer and El Tió de Nadal: Catalan christmas traditions

Catalonia is known for it´s often unusual traditions and Christmas time in the region is no exception. This article explains the mystery of two important figures that appear in the festive season – El Caganer and El Tió de Nadal.

Often found among the more traditional Nativity scene setting is El Caganer (or the crapper). This funny figure, which traditionally takes the form of a gnome-type figurine, is often depicted in a red cap (barretina) with his trousers down and defecating! This bare-bottomed figure is said to bring good luck and his popularity has spread in recent years. El Caganer can be seen throughout Catalonia as well as other areas of Spain (Murcia), Portugal and Italy (Naples).

El Caganer

Nowadays, caganer figures are available in many different forms, including key politicians, football players, and even the pope (!) and are available to buy at Barcelona´s Christmas markets.

The origin of the Caganer isn´t entirely clear but he is believed to have appeared in Nativity scenes by the late 17th Century. Some claim that his faeces represent the fertilizing of the Earth within the Nativity scene and consequently ensuring that the scene would be fertile for the following year. Others claim he is a response to comtemporary social issues such as immigration and some claim El Caganer borders on blasphemy.  The Caganer is largely tolerated in Catholic counties but opinion is divided as to whether Caganers are totally appropriate in Nativity scenes.

El Caga tió or El tió de Nadal is a popular fixture throughout Catalonia at Christmas.  El Tió is quite literally a smiley pooing Christmas log with a red Catalan beret, perched on stick legs and covered by a blanket. Children traditionally look after El Caga tió from 8th December (Dia de la Immaculada Concepció) until Christmas Eve, when he is placed by a fireplace and sung to. Whilst singing, children hit this cheerful pooing log with a stick before leaving the room to pray for presents (at which point, parents sneakily place presents under the blanket). Upon returning, children are met with a load of presents (typically sweets) that have been pooed out of the log.

Caga Tio

The Tió de Nadal, now available to buy in Christmas markets across Barcelona, dates back several centuries to a time when the fireplace was a central part of family life. Traditionally, the log was burned after Christmas celebrations were over and its ashes scattered on the crops to promote fertility.

So, get ready to celebrate this festive season Catalan-style and be sure to pick up your very own Caganer or Tió de Nadal at the Christmas markets in December!

Tipping in Barcelona ? How much shall I tip ?

For visitors to any new city, the issue of tipping often creates some degree of confusion. Tipping in Barcelona, and indeed throughout Spain, isn’t as common as in other countries such as the USA, and in the early part of the 20th century was once deemed inappropriate as it heightened the class divide. Nowadays, tipping is at the customers’ discretion. Keep reading for locals’ advice on the do’s and don’ts of tipping in Barcelona.

  • Tipping in Bars and cafes in Barcelona

Catalans tend not to tip much in bars or cafes, but if service is particularly good, they might leave some loose change once they’ve paid up, but rarely more than a euro.

  • Tipping in Barcelona Restaurants

Given that tipping in Barcelona isn’t expected, you are unlikely to receive exceptional service in restaurants. That said, if you wish to show gratitude for good service, you could leave a few euros on top of the bill and slightly more for large groups and in more exclusive restaurants (around 7-10%).

  • Tipping in a Taxi
If you plan to hop in a taxi to get around the city and want to leave a tip for good service (for example, if your driver has taken you the most direct route), it is common to simply round up the fare. So, if your ride costs €9.50, you may with to pay €10. However, tipping is not expected.
  • Takeaway/Delivery service
Again, tipping isn’t expected but some people give up to a couple of Euro to the delivery person for efficient, friendly service, particularly if someone has delivered goods to your apartment door and you don’t have an elevator!
  • Tipping in City Tours
In general, tips are included in the price of the tour, but if you feel that your guide has really looked after you and you’ve enjoyed the tour, you could leave up to €5 per person at the end of the day.
We hope this article gives you a bit of guidance when deciding when and how much to tip.