The best shops to find your perfect wedding dress in Barcelona

Pronovias

Barcelona is a city known for its exciting boutique and designer fashion, so what could be a better place to find a beautiful and unique wedding dress? Check out these designers with Barcelona-based shops for a selection of original wedding dresses to see if you can find your dream gown.

No list of wedding dress shops in Barcelona would be complete without Pronovias, perhaps the most famous Spanish wedding dress brand. Pronovias started off its life in 1922 as a store in Barcelona that specialized in silk, lace and other high-quality fabrics, and now has stores worldwide. The shop owes its initial fame to designer Alberti Palatchi Ribera, who became renowned for revolutionising the bridal-wear industry with his ready-to-wear gowns. Stylish and classy, Pronovias has something for everyone, with their extensive collections spanning multitudes of themes and designs.

Location: Rambla de Catalunya, 129

Rosa Clará

Since 1995, founded by Rosa Clará herself, Rosa Clará bridal house has been making its beautiful and dreamy wedding gowns. Their goal has always been to create pieces using the best quality fabrics as well as prioritizing style and design. Having become one of Barcelona’s most famous wedding dress designers, their dresses have been worn by worldwide celebrities, including Eva Longoria and Sofía Vergara. Not only this, but Rosa Clará has also collaborated with famous designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Lacroix to create unique and exciting wedding collections.

Location: Diagonal, 409

Aire

If you’re looking for a classic wedding dress, Aire might be the shop for you. With collections that range from the simple to the stunning, all Aire gowns have an air of elegance about them with their gorgeous silhouettes and perfectly placed details and embroidery. If you’re thinking of having a beach wedding, Aire has you covered as they even have a special Beach Bridal collection!

Location: Via Augusta, 32

Yolan Cris

Started in Barcelona, this boutique was created by sisters, Yolanda and Cristina, who have been inspired by their youth when their mum owned a bridal boutique of her own. Since its inception in 2005, Yolan Cris has gone on to design gowns for celebrities including Christina Aguilera, Shakira and Kim Kardashian’s bridal party. The two sisters combine their extensive knowledge of the industry and traditional production methods with high fashion and innovative designs. Currently featuring collections like ‘Boho Chic’ which incorporate an element of 60’s nostalgia into the design, these dresses are not for traditionalists but for those who want a haute couture edge. 

Location: Diagonal 508, Principal 1ª

Otaduy

Another designer to look out for, Carolina Otaduy was inspired to start her wedding dress company when living in New York. Formerly an indie music producer, she takes that creativity into her designs inspired by art, music and film, focussing on the concept of dresses designed for women who want to be themselves on their wedding day. If you’re looking for something unique and handmade, this could be the place where you find the wedding dress that you feel truly encapsulates your personality.

Location: Torrent de l’Olla, 45

Cortana

One of the more popular bridal boutiques in Barcelona, Cortana is headed up by designer Rosa Esteva. Born in Majorca, her designs have a decidedly Mediterranean influence about them, taking inspiration from art and contemporary dance. It’s easy to find those themes in the flattering carefree forms her dresses take, with an elegant, chic and boho feel. You can be assured of the quality of the bridal gowns, as they are all flawlessly crafted in small ateliers throughout Barcelona.

Location: Provença, 290

L’Arca

If you’re a lover of all things vintage and looking for something a little more niche, L’Arca might just be the wedding dress shop for you. L’Arca both carefully curates gowns, as well as well as bridal accessories from all periods of time, but also make dresses to measure – always with a vintage inspiration – and customisable from their current collections. With the inspired idea of bringing the past into the present, L’Arca holds over 40 years of expertise in period designing, having worked with Hollywood directors and renowned designers alike. 

Location: Banys Nous, 20

So now you have your options for just some of the beautiful and unique dresses you can find amongst Barcelona’s streets, why not check them out to see if your dream gown is waiting there for you.

10 safety tips to avoid being pickpocketed in Barcelona

Like any major city, when visiting Barcelona, it is important to be careful with your belongings. In general Barcelona is a safe city and most tourists are able to visit without any problems at all. However, you may have heard stories of Barcelona’s famous pickpockets. Getting your valuables stolen on holiday can always be a bit of a nightmare and leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. But all of this can easily be avoided if you follow our simple guide of safety tips below.

10 safety tips to avoid being pickpocketed in Barcelona

  1. Always be aware of your belongings! When you’re sitting out on a terrace try and keep an eye on your stuff and never leave your phone or wallet out on the table, as that’s easy territory for pickpockets.
  2. Be extra vigilant on the metro – this is where a lot of pickpockets operate and trust us they know what they’re doing! People can try to distract you whilst the pickpockets do their work. If you have a backpack make sure you keep it in front of you.
  3. Other places to take extra care of your belongings are in general in places where there are agglomerations (the Rambla, queues for attractions, the beach, the metro, etc)
  4. Not leaving your belongings unattended is a rule of thumb actually. Never leave your bag out of sight, even in a fancy bar or restaurant. A good tip is to trap a handle of your bag on a chair leg so it is not easy to snatch away.
  5. Pickpockets will automatically try and target tourists, so try to dress and act in a way that doesn’t too obviously attract attention to the fact that you are one. We’re not saying you have to speak Catalan or Spanish (in fact you will hear all sorts of languages whilst you’re here) but try to blend in and dress in a similar way to the locals.
  6. This also applies to stopping in the middle of the road to look at a big map for example. Not only does this immediately draw attention to you as a tourist, it also makes you an easy target for pickpockets.
  7. Be wary of people who approach you in the street. Unfortunately, someone can distract you in order to take your belongings. This can include anything from people offering you club entry or even street performers.
  8. There’s nothing wrong with having a few beers or glasses of wine on your holiday, but if you’re planning on drinking make sure you still have your wits about you. Pickpockets will take advantage of drunken people, especially around the Las Ramblas and Gòtic areas.
  9. It’s always a good idea to keep some cash in separate places on the off chance you do get pickpocketed so you’re not left without any money at all.This is an important one to know anywhere you go, but try and remember the emergency numbers. In Barcelona the number for the local police, Guardia Urbana, is 092, or you can also call the Mossos d’Esquadra (112), as both deal with cases of theft. However, if you don’t speak Spanish it’s better to call the Europe wide 112 number as they speak a variety of languages and can be dialled from most international mobile phones.
  10. If you want to report the theft, you can check the list of police stations you can go to on this handy link.

With all that being said, these are just tips to keep in mind when visiting Barcelona.

Barcelona is a beautiful and wonderful city, and in fact, most of the people you meet here will be friendly and more than happy to help you in any scenario. Stay vigilant but also don’t forget to enjoy your trip to Barcelona!

Trencadís  – What is it and where can I find it in Barcelona?

Trencadís may not be a word that you’re not familiar with, but if you’ve visited Barcelona before, you will certainly have seen it around you in the streets, in buildings, in parks, in souvenir shops… These mosaics are an explosion of colour, each little piece uniquely different in shape, pattern and colour scheme, yet when pieced together they come and form one cohesive and magnificent artwork. Not to mention, Trencadís is absolutely captivating when glittering under the Barcelona sun, as the light bounces off the tiles and brings the vibrant colours to life. It is no wonder that this technique has become synonymous with Mediterranean culture and design.

trencadís

What is Trencadís?

Trencadís is a Catalan term that literally means “chopped” and is the name for this artistic method that was popularised in 20th century Catalan modernism by artists like Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, Trencadís is a mosaic-like effect, achieved by cementing together random shards and pieces of broken chinaware, piece by piece like a jigsaw. Sometimes other materials are used, like glass, buttons or shells. In French, this technique is known as “pique assiette”, which translates to “plate thief”, perhaps referring to the use of recycled or “scrounged” materials – in other words, materials that ceramic factories often discarded.

What is the origin of the Trencadís?

Well, legend has it that Gaudí was visiting the ceramics workshop of Lluis Bru, and when he saw how tediously slow he was putting the pieces together, the impatient Gaudí simply grabbed a tile, shattered it into a hundred pieces on the ground, and stuck them on by the fistful, exclaiming “We must do it like this or we’ll never finish!”. Whether or not the story is true, it is true that the Catalan architect certainly used the innovative craft extensively and transformed it into one of his most signature techniques, which he applied in many of his architectural creations in Barcelona.

Where can I find Trencadís in Barcelona?

One of the most famous examples of Trencadís is brought to life, in the form of the world-famous mosaic, affectionately known as “El Drac” that majestically lazes on the steps in Park Güell. Also, the pavilion seating area in Park Güell, where you can get a panoramic view of Barcelona, is adorned in multi-coloured mosaic tiles, and is a popular photography point for visitors of Barcelona. Throughout the park you’ll find the distinctive artform of Trencadís-covered spheres, columns, and buildings too. The colors that predominate in the work are blue, green and yellow, which for Gaudí symbolized Faith, Hope and Charity.

trencadís

One of Gaudí’s other Trencadís masterpieces is Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gràcia, which when illuminated during the nighttime almost comes alive with magic, glowing and shimmering in the dark. Even the stone benches that line the luxurious shops on Passeig de Gràcia are covered in the signature mosaic tiles.

In Sant Pau, mosaics were used everywhere to introduce floral motives into the hospital, and can be found in murals, on the ceilings, floors and walls. On the floor of Parròquia de Sant Pacià, a geometric design of marble mosaic lies on the floor, created by a young Gaudí.

With Trencadís found on many different architectural creations in Barcelona, just keep your eyes peeled while wandering around, and you’re sure to stumble upon another mosaic-covered beauty. Did you find any that we missed out? Let us know!

English Cinemas in Barcelona – Barcelona Travel Guide

Visiting an English cinemas in Barcelona may just be the perfect downtime activity during your trip. As much as we love exploring the city, between sightseeing, tapas bar-hopping, or  running all around Barcelona, it can be nice to rest your feet, sit back and relax while watching a film. Or perhaps there just so happens to be a rainy day during your trip (whilst it is rare in Barcelona but believe it or not, it does happen!!), you may be looking to stay dry indoors while still being semi-productive with your time. Or perhaps you so happen to be here in town while your favourite blockbuster film is about to be released.

You may be surprised to hear that we have English cinemas in Barcelona! Indeed most Western films, whether shown on television or on the silver screen, are dubbed over with Spanish or Catalan voiceovers – which could perhaps explain why generally speaking our English isn’t the best, as we never really get exposed to the language.  But for those looking to hunt down the ‘V.O.’ ‘versión original’ of Western films, there are a handful of places you can check out. Keep reading for our recommended list of English cinemas in Barcelona!

English cinemas in Barcelona

Verdi HD & Verdi Park HD

These two sister cinemas are located right next to each other on the ever-popular Carrer Verdi in Gràcia, with many restaurants and cafes nearby, perfect for a post-cinema film discussion over a glass of wine and some tapas. They show many independent “art house” films in the language they were originally produced sobra   including English and other languages.

Carrer de Verdi, 32, 08012 Barcelona
Carrer de Torrijos, 49, 08012 Barcelona

Yelmo Cines Icaria

This cinema is located right near the beach on La Vila Olímpica del Poblenou, in El Centre de la Vila shopping mall. It’s well equipped with over 15 screens and it is perfect for having dinner on the beach after a film.

Carrer de Salvador Espriu, 61, 08005 Barcelona

Cinema Maldà

Calling all the cinephiles! If you’ve got a whole day to spare, why not head to watch films back-to-back at this cinema? You’ll definitely be getting the most bang for your buck with its unique pricing method, which charges by the day.

Carrer del Pi, 5, 08002 Barcelona

Balmes Multicines

This modern and comfortable cinema is located in the upper part of the city and shows all the most popular films in their original language, with a full food bar for the essential snacks and drinks during the film.

Carrer de Balmes, 422-424, 08022 Barcelona

Renoir Floridablanca

A quick walk from Plaça Catalunya, this cinema is perfect for those in the city center, looking to watch a V.O. film.

Carrer de Floridablanca, 135, 08011 Barcelona



Phenomena

This retro style cinema takes you back in time, with its royal red carpets and red curtains. Their wide-ranging selection even includes some retro Japanese anime films like “Akira”.

C/ Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 168, 08025 Barcelona

 

English Cinemas in Barcelona - Phenomena

 

Cinemes Girona

Located in Gràcia, this cinema frequently participates in film festival screenings, such as the Asian Film Festival or the American Film Festival.

Carrer de Girona, 175, 08037 Barcelona

Filmoteca de Catalunya

In Raval neighbourhood, this cinema is dedicated to screening educational documentaries on a wide range of topics, and even have regular exhibitions.

Plaça de Salvador Seguí, 1-9, 08001 Barcelona

Have you visited any of these English cinemas in Barcelona before? What are the latest V.O. films that you want to watch? Leave you comments below and help us to learn more!

5 ideas to celebrate Halloween in Barcelona

Fans of ghosts, ghouls and ghastly guises wishing to celebrate Halloween in Barcelona are in for a treat. We´ve scoured Catalonia´s capital for the best spooky celebrations on offer and have scouted out some great fancy dress shops to ensure that you are dressed to impress.

Whilst not traditionally a Catalan tradition, Halloween is now celebrated in Barcelona in the days leading up to 31st October. The celebrations also extend to 1st November for All Saint´s Day where you can also enjoy La Castanyada (chestnut festival) which sees people gather together to remember the deceased and eat seasonal fruits, such as chestnuts.

With so much on offer, choosing where to celebrate Halloween in Barcelona can present quite a challenge. Read on for our selection of the best events on offer.

5 ideas to celebrate Halloween in Barcelona

  • Phenomena Cinema

Film fans wanting to spook themselves on the creepiest night of the year should head to cinema Phenomena for a Halloween-themed movie marathon on October 31st. Films such as Child’s Play and Pet Sematary will be shown in original version with Spanish subtitles.

Phenomena Cinema Barcelona

  • Halloween in Port Aventura

For a more action-packed Halloween, visit Port Aventura theme park for the usual thrill-seeking rides as well as special Halloween-themed parades, performances, a haunted lake and creepy forest.

Halloween Port Aventura

  • Enigmatium Experience

From 29-31 October, Enigmatium restaurant offers a truly spooky dining experience with mysterious cocktails and Halloween-themed dishes. Diners will also experience live, interactive theatre shows.  Visitors with children should visit the family-friendly events on 30th October and 1st November. Booking is recommended.

Enigmatiu Halloween

  • Poble Espanyol for grown ups and for kids:

Dance the night away in Poble Espanyol on 29th October at “Un Brunch terrorifico”. The attraction, which comprises architectural styles from across Spain, will play host to DJs and musicians for a night of Halloween-themed fun from 16:00-04:00.

On Saturday it’s time for families to celebrate Halloween. There will be workshops, activities outfit contests and much more.

halloween_poble_espanyol_2016

  • Razzloween:

Party fans could visit Razzmatazz, a very famous disco in the city, for Razzlloween on 31st October from 1am onwards.

Halloween Razzmatazz

  • Where to hire/buy your outfits in Barcelona:

No Halloween celebration would be complete without a creepy costume. Famous costume hire store Menkes (Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes, 642) has a brilliant range of costumes to hire to get you in the party mood. Atuendo for Fun (Roger de Llúria,25) is similarly equipped with a variety of hire costumes to suit your party needs.

For those wishing to purchase an outfit, we recommend visiting La Bolsera (Xuclà,15)  but if you are simply looking to accessorise, head to one of the Claire’s stores at various locations across the city.

Once you’ve got your hands on the perfect outfit and picked your party destination, we are sure that Halloween in Barcelona won’t disappoint!

 

 

 

 

 

Avinguda Diagonal – Barcelona Diagonal Avenue… Take a Walk on the Wild Side

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On this last weekend of August in Barcelona… today, a unique sun is my ally, my best spotlight… a great part of Avinguda Diagonal is closed to traffic, so I get my phone and a pair of sneakers and invite you to join me in the adventure of finding unique buildings, hidden places and relaxing corners.  So sew your shadow to my feet Peter, and up we go “second to the right and straight on till morning”.

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Let’s start our journey at Plaça Francesc Macià.  I follow the characteristic pavement pattern, onto this urban catwalk.  I have to be careful not to miss a thing… sleek modern buildings next to old classics and Gaudi’s trademarks, make for beautiful patchwork.  The awesome Casa Sayrach (Avinguda Diagonal corner with Enric Granados), stands so elegant, as one of the last buildings of Barcelona modernism. Curved shapes characterize its façade.

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Back to the avenue, amongst luxury shops and nice cafés and restaurants, I get to the terrace, of José Luis, a classic in Barcelona, the restaurant with posssibly the best “tortilla de patata” in town.  Next to it, “Ajo Blanco” (Carrer de Tusset), the other side of the coin, a cool new designer restaurant.  Diagonal-Tusset-Granados… the most interesting edge, an explosion of architecture … La Casa Mas de Miquel, La Casa Sayrach, and the stunning Metro 3 building, where the Habitat store (designer furniture) is located.

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Now I run into the “Barcelona Equestrian circle” (Diagonal corner with Balmes) – SPOTTED:  I’ve heard that you can belong to this select club for a small fee of 12,000 euros, plus the endorsement of four partners and, of course, you must pass a test prior to admission.  Then the doors of the Barcelona Equestrian Circle will never be closed to you.  You can get together with the economic and social elite of Barcelona, enjoy an exquisite coffee or a drink until the wee hours of the morning… but yes, YOU HAVE to wear a tie [at least of you’re a gentleman]. The Circle completely renovated the interior in 1992, including a full gym, a rooftop pool & café and 16 rooms for members and guests.

The club is hosted in the palace “Casa Perez Samanillo” built in 1910, and what catches the eye is one of the most striking elements of the building, a huge oval window overlooking Diagonal… locals call it the “fishbowl of Barcelona”.

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This is amazing!!! No traffic and I’m walking in the middle of the street!!!  I’m arriving at Pilma, one of my favourites deco shops. Not far in distance, now I can see the obelisk marking the cross between Diagonal and Passeig the Gràcia.  To my right, the building of the Barcelona Provincial Council, advising the beginning of another great promenade, the boulevard of Rambla de Catalunya.

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A little further along are the Jardins del Palau Robert and in front of it, on the other side of the avenue, between two glass monsters, the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce and Deutsche Bank respectively, the Pompeya Church, a jewel of Neo Gothic contemplates the passage of time, unperturbed by it’s big neighbours.

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Those deck chairs are so inviting… I’m done, hope you found it so appealing that you are eager to get your ass away from La Rambla, and discover an atractive brand new world!

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To MWC or not to MWC

Mobile World Congress. Em. Double u. Cee. I finally find myself using the official abbreviation, after holding out for a long time still calling it 3GSM, like an old timer. Back when it started in Barcelona five years ago, it was a different beast. Back then, all the buzz was about highly technical network stuff I didn’t really understand. But there was a promise that it would make mobile internet fast, really fast. Well, I’m not so sure that we have a fast – really, really fast – mobile internet connection anywhere near Barcelona, or that I could afford it if it did.

So fast forward to 2011, and one more MWC – this time around it’s tablets, tablets, tablets… I am writing this on my ipad, finally cutting edge technology even I can understand. Used to be a time when 3GSM MWC week was the only time of the year I didn’t feel completely awkward about carrying two blackberrys, speaking into one, while writing messages on the other… at the same time!

A chance encounter with cool blogger Rob Kerr on Sunday night – his light light up while he tells me and a friend about the new Xperia Play game phone he just saw at the SonyEricsson presentation, and I’m hooked. There might be something in it for me, after all.

As anyone who’s ever innocently tried to book a Valentine’s day getaway to Barcelona on the expectation that it is the middle of February, so low season, and couldn’t find an apartment in Barcelona or anywhere nearby knows, this is the highest week of the year in the city. It is an incredibly busy week, everyone is in a rush to set up their booths, go to meetings, tweetups, more meetings… and did I mention the parties?

We often get requests from clients ranging from recommending a catering supplier, delivering a package to our office or getting a hair dryer. All in a day’s work. But what in the world do you tell someone who asks you for a submarine??

Monday 17:00 I walk through the gates of mobile nirvana, only a couple of hours to get my fix. Good. Don’t wanna overdo it, there’s still three more action-filled days to go.

Jaume birra
Free as in free beer, courtesy of Miyowa

Special thanks to Markus Lonka and his great crew at Mixem Solutions for generously providing a pass to MWC.

YOU’D LOVE TO BE IN BARCELONA ON DECEMBER THE 2ND!!

shop, shop, shop… shop til you drop!

At last Barcelona takes the train of the FASHION NIGHT OUT.

New York was the pioneer of the idea three years ago, in a bid to support the fashion industry.

Its original pretense was so simple – extending store hours along with additional incentives, all as remedies to shore up the weakening retail sector in New York City.  However a season later, the idea first facilitated by Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, the legendary Anna Wintour, is now a global event, with 16 countries participating.

This is now a young classic,

and therefore Barcelona City Council is launching an initiative similar to that done by Vogue in major cities worldwide where it achieved major success, becoming a classic in a very short time period. One of its latest editions was in Madrid.

It is not only shopping, it is fun, shows, famous dj’s, parties and cocktails in all shops, bars, restaurants and hotels participating in the event. Gifts and all sorts of surprises and promotions in bars and participating stores. Barcelona, unable to ally with Vogue Spain because the magazine can only choose one city per country, has teamed up with Harper’s Bazaar which will host a big tent at one of the side roads of Passeig de Gràcia.

The key is buying flowers,

Passeig de Gràcia is the stage where the show is performed and the city will look gorgeous because that precise night the Christmas lighting will be switched on for the first night this year. Get your Shopping Passport and enjoy the shopping night. The passport is the accreditation that allows you the access for shopping at any of the stores that participates in the project -from 8 pm to 12 am-… and even to participate in 5 draws, with 5 fabulous prizes!

You can register during The Shopping Night at one of the two accreditation booths that you will find along the Passeig de Gràcia to get your Shopping Passport. (Rosselló street with Passeig de Gràcia and Gran Via with Passeig de Gràcia. From 10 am)…  Then all stores will open up to the big party.  Each time you buy for a value of 20 EUROS, a flower will be stamped on your Passport. The more flowers you have stamped on it, the more opportunities you have to win at the numerous draws that will take place during the night.

Happy Shopping!