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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Why You Will Love Attending Shows at the Teatro Liceu in Barcelona

Attend a show at Teatro LiceuBarcelona is known for its grand multitude of wonderful features: delectable cuisine, beautiful beaches, and unique architecture are just a few examples.  However, one quality of Barcelona that stands out from the rest is the outstanding entertainment!  This city hosts some of the finest shows around, from spellbinding concerts to exciting flamenco dancing.  One incredible venue here is the historic Teatro Liceu.  Discover why this is one of the best performance venues in Barcelona and make plans to spend an evening there today.  

Everything You Need to Know before Attending a Show at Teatro Liceu

Where is the Teatro Liceu Located?

This attraction is located on La Rambla in Barcelona.  You’ll be able to spot this building right away; its classic architecture and towering appearance make it a distinguishable icon in Barcelona.  

What is the History of the Teatro Liceu?

The origins of this magnificent opera house can be traced all the way back to the year 1837, when an organization of liberal, armed citizen militias (known as the Sociedad Dramática de Aficionados, or Society of Theatre-Lovers) founded a music conservatory.  Created as a result of Barcelona’s rapidly growing population and economy, the opera house first opened its doors to the public in 1847.  With its colossal size and 4,000 seats, it was the largest opera house in all of Europe.  Today, you can take guided tours of this venue to admire its beauty and characteristics.  

What Kind of Shows are Performed at the Teatro Liceu?

Being an opera house, this venue primarily features a wide variety of different operas, such as Macbeth and Elektra.  Some of the most famed opera singers have performed in this very venue, including Tebaldi, Domingo, and Pavarotti.  However, operas are not the only Gran Teatre del Liceu events you can attend in Barcelona.  This opera house also hosts concerts, symphonies, ballets, and much more.  Stay up-to-date with the Liceu Opera House calendar so you don’t miss your favorite show while you’re visiting Barcelona.  

How Do I Purchase Tickets for a Show at the Teatro Liceu?

There are a few different options for buying your tickets to the Gran Teatre Del Liceu events!  You can buy them online, through their mobile app, at their box office, or by calling them at 902 787 397.  Take a look at their box office hours before you go!

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Photo by LUNAMARIA / Getty Images

 

La Mercè 2016 is Barcelona’s biggest festival

La Mercè, which celebrates the city’s patron saint (the Virgin of Mercy) from the 22nd to 25th of September, is Barcelona’s biggest festival and arguably one of the finest ways to experience Catalan culture. Legend states that a year after saving Barcelona from a plague of locust in 1687, the Virgin of Mercy was canonised and has been celebrated ever since. This spectacular festival, which officially first took place in 1902, marks the end of summer with a series of unmissable events at venues across the city. Here are just some of the festival’s highlights.

  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies of La Mercè

Get into La Mercè spirit at the opening ceremony held at Plaça Sant Jaume where visitors will be treated to a show with giants and monsters dancing on stage. The end of La Mercè is marked by the Piromusical grand finale by the Magic Fountain at the foot of Montjuïc. Piromusical: 25th September, 22:00, Reina Maria Cristina Avenue. 

piromusical- La mercè

  • Castellers

Plaça de Sant Jaume plays host to one of La Mercè’s most popular and impressive events, the Castellers (human towers) in which groups of Castellers compete to build the highest possible human tower, which is subsequently climbed by a child. 24th September 12:30

castellers-la-merce

  • Gegants

Els Gegants (giants parade) is another event ideally pitched for families and features huge effigies of Kings and Queens marching through the streets, often to the sounds of small percussion groups. 24th September 11:00, Plaça de Sant Jaume.

Gegants La Mecè

  • Sardana Dance and Ball de Bastons

No Catalan festival would be complete without Sardana dancing. This traditional dance reflects Catalan unity and pride and can be witnessed in front of the Cathedral on 22nd September at 19,00. Head to Plaça de Sant Jaume on 23rd and you can also witness the Ball de Bastons (stick dance). This folk dance, similar to Morris dancing found in England and Wales, is conducted in row formation with dancers carrying one or two sticks.

Sardanes La Mercè

  • Correfoc for adults and kids

In the evenings, the city is lit up with a famous projection show repeated at various intervals at Plaça de Sant Jaume. One of La Mercè’s most thrilling events is the Correfoc (fire runs). Certainly not for the feint-hearted, the Correfoc features community groups dressed as devils who run the streets of Barcelona with hand-held fireworks and  bangers, accompanied by fire-breathing dragons. If you plan on attending the ‘adult’ Correfoc, held after the more harmless junior event, protective clothing is advisable as some fireworks are hurled directly at the crowds! 25th September,Via Laietana, junior  event 18:30, adult event 20:30 

Correfoc La Merce

You can check the whole program of La Mercè 2016 where you will find hundreds of activities.

If you are planning to come to Barcelona during La Mercè and you are looking for an apartment in Barcelona, do not hesitate to check our website

Enjoy Barcelona!

 

Palau de la Musica is One of the Best Concert Venues in Barcelona

Orchestra performance at the Palau de la MusicaMusic enthusiasts should consider the city of Barcelona, Spain, as their next vacation destination.  This gorgeous and exciting area offers endless opportunities for entertainment, including numerous musical and dancing performances.  If you’re visiting this city and you’re looking for the best concerts, you need to see what’s going on at Palau de la Musica in Barcelona.  One of the finest event venues around, this magnificent building is the perfect setting for an unforgettable night in Barcelona.  Learn everything you need to know about Palau de la Musica and check their events schedule today!

History of Palau de la Musica in Barcelona

This eye-catching attraction was built in the early 1900s by the beloved architect, Lluís Domènech i Montaner.  Palau de la Musica Catalana was constructed with the purpose of fostering musical appreciation to the community by providing them with the finest entertainment possible.  You’ll spot this gorgeous structure right away due to its iconic, colorful stained-glass windows and towering columns.  You’ll find it easily, as it’s located nearby to popular Barcelona attractions like Las Ramblas and the Barcelona Cathedral.  

Events at the Palau de Musica in Barcelona

Visitors and locals alike flock to Palau de la Musica in Barcelona from near and far to experience the incredible shows held here.  They host over 600 shows annually, with over 190,000 visitors attending these extravagant events every year.  These amazing shows include flamenco dancing, symphony orchestra performances, operas, concerts, and much more.  Many performances of the Maestros de la Guitarra are held here as well.  Take a look at their events calendar to see the full schedule of performances!

While you’re here, you should also consider participating in a guided tour of the Palau de la Musica Catalana.  A historic building that is recognized as a World Heritage Site, this is one of the best places to take a tour in Barcelona.  You’ll be treated to stories of this building’s past, as well as behind-the-scenes peeks into how these productions are created.

How to Obtain Palau de la Musica Tickets to the Next Concert

You can purchase your tickets for the events at the Palau de la Musica either online or at their box office.  If you have any questions about tickets, you can contact them by calling (902) 442-882.

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Where is the Best Barcelona Christmas Market?

See decorations at a Barcelona Christmas marketThe holiday season is such a magical time of year!  If you’re looking for the perfect place to spend your Christmas, Barcelona is your ideal destination.  This enchanting and exotic city is home to some truly incredible attractions and activities during this time of year.  During the day, shopping in a Barcelona Christmas market is a popular pastime.  As the sun dips below the horizon, the streets illuminate with countless Barcelona Christmas lights twinkling in the dark.  While you’re in this city enjoying the quirky Christmas traditions and festivities, be sure to purchase a souvenir at a Barcelona Christmas market to commemorate your trip!  Here are some of the best Christmas fairs in Barcelona to explore during your vacation.  

5 Places to Experience a Barcelona Christmas Market this Holiday Season

1. Fira de Santa Llúcia

A Barcelona Christmas tradition that dates all the way back to 1786, Fira de Santa Llúcia is a can’t-miss event.  Their many booths feature items like musical instruments, Christmas decorations, crafts, and much more.  This is one of the most authentic Spanish markets in the city.  

Address: Carrer dels Lledó, 11, 2, 08002 Barcelona, España.

2. Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Familia

Located within gardens surrounding the iconic Sagrada Familia is the Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Familia runs from late November through the beginning of December.  They offer all the gifts and treats you need for the Christmas season!

Address: Plaza de la Sagrada Familia, 1, 08013 Barcelona, España.

3. Mercat Gòtic (Fira de Brocanters)

This particular market is open all year long, but it especially busy during the holidays.  They offer a wide variety of precious antiques and other rare artifacts to browse.  You’re bound to find a unique treasure here!
Address: Avenida Catedral, 7, Ciutat Vella, El Barri Gòtic, 08002, Barcelona, España.

4. Col.lectiu d’Artesans de l’Alimentació

This is the best place to go if you’re looking for some of the finest local foods and produce!  Col.lectiu d’Artesans de l’Alimentació offers a wide selection of chocolates, wines, cakes, honey, cheeses, herbs, and much more.  They are open year round, so visitors are always able to stop by.

Address: Plaça del Pi, 08002 Barcelona, España.

5. Mostra d’Artesans de la Ribera

Located in the lovely El Born area, Mostra d’Artesans de la Ribera offers excellent hand-crafted gifts.  There are also many other shops located nearby this spot for you to continue your shopping adventure in Barcelona.

Address: Carrer de l’Argenteria, 4, Barcelona, España.

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