Madonna Traerá Su “Rebel Heart” a Barcelona

madonna-rebel-heart-barcelonaMito viviente para unos. Una provocadora para otros. Ha sido censurada en muchos países por “contenidos explícitamente sexuales” y ha generado grandes polémicas en temas religiosos.

Sin importar lo que pensemos, se caiga o no, esté vieja o no, Louise Verónica Ciccone – “Madonna” – sigue re-inventándose y conquistando generaciones.

En su último paso por Barcelona en el 2012, durante su gira “Madonna World Tour”, logró un lleno total en el Palau Sant Jordi y encendió a una multitud de fans.

La Reina del Pop visitará la Ciudad Condal este 24 de noviembre, en lo que hasta el momento será el único concierto en España de su gira “Rebel Heart”. La diva iniciará su despliegue de conciertos en Miami en el mes de agosto y visitará las ciudades más importantes de Europa como Praga, Berlín, Amsterdam, Londres, Paris y por supuesto, Barcelona.

Las entradas estarán a la venta el próximo lunes, 16 de marzo en ticketmaster y van desde 45€ hasta 175€.

Si no vives en Barcelona no te preocupes! Ven con tus amigos y hospédate en uno de nuestros apartamentos desde 85€ la noche. No te pierdas la oportunidad de ver a una de las cantantes más influyentes de las últimas décadas en una de las ciudades más vibrantes de Europa.

Experience the Lights and Sounds of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

Experience the Lights and Sounds of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

Barcelona’s  Magic Fountain of Montjuïc has earned its name after a century of virtually uninterrupted, crowd-pleasing performances in the heart of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. The fountain’s waters are known to jump and dance in a rainbow of colors and to a diversity of melodies and pictures. The performances have earned a genre all their own and are now called water acrobatics.

Attending a magic fountain show is integral to the Barcelona experience. If you’re staying at one these great Barcelona short term rentals you definitely want to make the fountain a priority on your sightseeing list. It’s a great and free way to spend a night out in this temperate Mediterranean city.

Magic Fountain of Montjuïc History

This city landmark was built in 1929 with its first performance taking place on May 19th during the Great Universal Exhibition, which was the reason for the fountain’s construction. Carles Buigas was the ambitious architect who designed it as early at 1922. Buigas oversaw the building of the fountain, which took over 3,000 workers less than a year to complete.

During the Spanish Civil War, the fountain was completely decimated, resulting in the only period since its construction that it wasn’t in operation. It was up and running again in 1955 after Buigas oversaw its reconstruction. In the 1980’s music was incorporated into the fountain performances, bringing the show to a whole new level. A decade later, prior to the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, the Montjuïc was completely restored, and the performances have since come to include film as well.

Visit the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

The fountain performances are considered magical largely due to the astounding synchronicity of the numerous technical elements that complete the show. The over three million liters of water dance using five different pump systems, 134 electric motors, and 109 hydraulic valves. The lights create over 50 different shades and hues, turning the water nearly every color you could imagine. This isn’t just a beautiful show, but it’s an engineering masterpiece, demanding the consultation and planning of the city’s greatest talents.

Since the advent of music and film, the fountain has included some of the world’s most famous acts. Historic film showings have included The GodfatherThe Lord of the Rings, and Gladiator. Some reputable musical acts that have been part of the shows are the Spanish zarzuela movement, and “Barcelona” by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé.

The Magical Fountain of Montjuïc is chosen each year as the site for the “Pyromusical”, which is part of La Mercè festival. This is typical fountain performance accompanied by an epic fireworks and laser show.

Showtimes:

Autumm & Winter:
Friday & Saturday, from 7pm to 9pm.

Spring & Summer:
Thursday to Sunday, from 9pm to 11.30pm.

When you’re visiting Barcelona, be it for business or pleasure, be sure not to miss a chance to see a show at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. This is a great activity for the kids, and also makes for a lovely night out with your sweetheart. Grab some dinner around Plaça de Carles Buigas and make an evening of it.

“Calçotada” de Valls (Spring Onion Festival)

If anybody ever ask me to mention a traditional Catalan dish, I would say “Calçots” without hesitation. Calçots are milder and less bulbous than onions.This weekend we will celebrate the 34th edition of Fiesta de la Calçotada de Valls (Spring Onion Festival).

 I know sometimes it’s better to discover new experiences by your own. However, some local events require some know-how/contacts, and it’s better to reserve a tour, so you enjoy all the insights of the festival. A great option is LivingIt, an agency focus on traditional events and local festivals in Catalunya.

If you decide to visit the festival by your own, make sure you get there early (before 10 a.m.) to  make the most of your visit. There are trains coming to Valls from Barcelona Sants Station.

There will be plenty of contests and activities, so  as soon as you arrive, go to get your tickets at the City Hall and get prepare to live a unique traditional experience.

If you are looking for accommodation in Barcelona, don’t miss our special offers for this weekend. Apartments in the city center from 36€ per person/per night.

Bon profit!

 

There’s Plenty to Do All Summer in Barcelona

summer in barcelona
Barceloneta Beach / Photo By Luis Hernandez via Flickr

The summer in Barcelona, while humid, is significantly cooler than other Spanish cities, making it a perfect Mediterranean retreat for anyone looking for a getaway during the warmer months. Whether you’re looking for a good place to spend summer vacation with the kids, or just need a change of scenery for a few months, Barcelona will prove to be the perfect destination to meet your desires.

Many locals head out of town from late July through early September, leaving visitors with a city open to their every whim with less traffic and fewer bodies. Barcelona is the epitome of Mediterranean charm with its expansive beaches, and yet also displays the culture and design of any northern ancient European city. It’s draw is in its inviting streets begging you to meander about, so leave the itineraries at home, book a short term rental, and spend a healthy chunk of your summer in Barcelona.

Here are some of the great things to look forward to during summer in Barcelona.

Festivals
The Primavera Sound Festival in late May brings together music from different genres. From rock legends like The Strokes to pop artists and indie bands like The National, this is one the world’s best music festivals. Come June two other exciting annual festivals role around. The Dancing Egg takes place around the Corpus Christi at various churches to celebrate fertility and rebirth. Another summer favorite is the Sónar Festival, which is Barcelona’s International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art.

Parks
Barcelona’s famous Parc de la Ciutadella is home to a boating lake, a waterfall, playgrounds and the city zoo. This is a favorite hang out during the summer in Barcelona, and is both a great place for a walk, to to just let the kids run around. Parc Güell is a surrealist park designed as a city garden in which the gardeners could live, giving it the air of fairy tales.

Beaches
Before the last couple of decades the beach was not at the forefront of the city’s landscape or experience. Barceloneta Beach was made a reality during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and is now a central aspect to summer in Barcelona.

Stiges

This beautiful coastal destination is known as Catalunya’s party town. Just a 40 minute train ride down the coast from the big city, it makes for a great day trip where you can explore its various beaches.

Museums
Many of the Museums in Barcelona hold Nits d’Estiu (Summer Nights) events throughout the months of July and August. They keep their doors open late and host concerts, special exhibits and other fun events. CaixaForum is known to be one of the best nighttime programs during the summer in Barcelona.

If you’re planning a summer getaway to Barcelona you won’t run out of great things to do in this beautiful and culturally rich Mediterranean city. Bizflats has many great properties throughout the city suitable for you regardless of how many people you’re traveling with. Our short term rentals are conveniently located, elegantly furnished and perfect for a summer in Barcelona. Our properties can be found on La Rambla, at Barceloneta Beach, and we even have a country Villa just outside the city. The prices range depending on what you’re looking for but the quality is always excellent. We look forward to helping you find the perfect accommodation for your summer in Barcelona.

5 of the Most Romantic Restaurants in Barcelona

5 of the Most Romantic Restaurants in Barcelona

Barcelona is an innately romantic city with tons of romantic spots. Historic monuments contrast modern design, and the whole city is cornered against the beach by lush green mountains. A city devoted to food and wine, there are date nights to be had in every hole-in-the-wall tapas restaurant you find. Tapas themselves are meant for sharing, served in small two-bite portions, and always paired with some national treasure of a wine or beer. Romantic restaurants in Barcelona aren’t hard to come by, and this city built for romance also offers other fashions of dining – excursions, really – that will give you and your sweetheart an experience to remember whenever you visit.

Romantic Restaurants in Barcelona

No matter what your taste, you’re sure to find plenty of romantic spots to eat in Barcelona. Below are a few of our choices for the most trendy restaurants in Barcelona.

  1. For a classic Mediterranean tasting menu, book your reservations at Con Gracia. This small, tasteful restaurant is elegant, intimate, and the perfect for romance.
  2. Joséphine is a charming café and comptoire. Their vintage style features a simple, yet delicious Mediterranean menu accompanied by tasty cocktails and often live jazz music. If you’re looking to keep it simple and a little eclectic this is a great option.
  3. For one of the cities best gastronomic experiences head to Mayura for interesting mix of Mediterranean and Indian cuisines in a relaxing environment. You won’t be disappointed by their fantastic cocktail list either.
  4. One of the new additions to the scene of romantic restaurants in Barcelona, Toto is known for great taste in both spectacular designs and an outstanding Italian-inspired menu.
  5. If you’re looking for an exquisite dining terrace then book your romantic dinner at Roig Robí. This is not only one of the most romantic restaurants in Barcelona, but also one of the most traditional with a menu boasting an unique and delicious interpretation of high Catalan cuisine.

Even More Romantic Things to Do in Barcelona

Private Hot Air Balloon Ride

If you’re looking for more than just a meal and some spectacular views of our gorgeous city, then this hot air balloon ride, which includes a traditional Catalan brunch, is a great way to celebrate a romantic holiday in Barcelona. Surprise your better half with this Barcelona birds eye trip and you’ll give the most exceptional gift – experience to share.

Cooking Class

In the spirit of experiential dating, plan a night of cooking fun. This is a great twist on the traditional Valentine’s Day event, grouping activity with fine dining. Sign up for this Small Group Barcelona Cooking Class and learn the secrets of Spanish cuisine and master tapas dishes or paella. At the end of the challenge, led by a personal professional chef, enjoy the fruits of your labor among loved-ones.

Gourmetbus

This traveling Michelin-rated dining experience is among the most unique ways to experience the city’s views, culture and cuisine. Hop aboard the glass-roofed Gourmetbus and get a tour of Barcelona, accompanied by a famous Carls Gaig meal.

The numerous romantic restaurants in Barcelona to choose from will not disappoint you during your romantic occasion, nor will the amazing date-night activities about town. If you’re planning a special trip to celebrate the holiday with your sweetheart check out some of our romantic flats scattered about the city and surrounding countryside. This is a day for making memories, so make it special!

The Palace of Catalan Music is a Feast for Both the Eyes and the Ears

The Palace of Catalan Music
The Palace of Catalan Music / Photo By kkmarais via Flickr

In the heart of Barcelona, Spain you’ll find the Palace of Catalan Music, which is just as much an historical institution as it is a center for the arts. Featuring world-renown art in both performance arts and in fine arts, this is certainly a stop worth making on your trip to Barcelona. Whether you’re seeing a performance, taking a tour, or just walking by you won’t be disappointed that you visited that Palace.

Built between 1905 and 1908, the Palace of Catalan Music is itself a masterful work of art. Part of the turn-of-the-century Catalan Art Nouveau movement, also known as modernisme, it is the only art venue of this style to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It stands today as a symbol of the history and heritage for the people of Catalonia. The building’s beautiful architecture is centered around a metal structure covered in glass, flooding it with natural light and making it a wonderful place for large installations.

The Palace has three separate venues. Two are large concert auditoriums, and the third is an intimate concert room for small shows. It also has two meeting places, one is used for intermissions, while the other is an event venue. Each space has a unique art piece all its own, and evoke strong senses of place.

This unique center for the arts is the culmination of local, national and international talent performing in an historic setting. The Palace also has a renowned music education program and guided tours of their gorgeous building. The house Chamber Choir is a professional international benchmark. These 22 voices are devoted to rediscovering the Catalan musical heritage while embracing international choral music and developing new works. This traveling group has worked with the most prestigious international orchestras, opera companies, and conductors.

Shows at the Palace of Catalan Music are diverse and entertaining. Here are some listings for the 2014 holiday season.

Soweto Gospel Choir – Gospel Greats
This South African gospel choir will be performing a tribute concert to Nelson Mandela.

Waltzes and Dance Festival – Orquestra Sinfonica del Valles
This is a festival of Waltzes, Dance and gospel.

Christmas Gospel Rhythm – Alabama Gospel Choir
This show is a journey through the history of gospel from the 19th century to modern Christmas tunes that invite the crowd to join in.

Christmas With Swing – Coros de las Escuelas del Conservatario del Liceu
This is an instrumental and vocal jazz show by students of all ages.

Great New Year’s Concert – Strauss Festival Orchestra and Ballet
This is one of Europe’s most famous tours celebrating the musical traditions of 19th century Vienna.

When you visit the Palace of Catalan Music you’ll be treated to several unique, and famous experiences. The Palace itself is a symbol of an artistic movement set in that particular area while simultaneously celebrating its cultural heritage. The in-house acts are just as noteworthy as the guest ensembles they host from around the world. The Palace of Catalan Music is worth a trip when you’re visiting Barcelona. If you’re looking for a great accommodation while in town, check out the great bizFlats apartments scattered about this beautiful city.

The Opera is Spectacular at the Gran Teatre del Liceu

gran teatre del liceu
La Rambla, home of Gran Teatre del Liceu / Photo By Justin via Flickr

The Gran Teatre del Liceu is not only Barcelona’s premier opera house, but a historical institution founded on La Rambla in 1847. It is a symbol of the city’s diverse arts culture. Visiting the Teatre on La Rambla would be a great night out in Barcelona, is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. A nice meander down the tree-lined, open air mall, and maybe a meal or cappuccino at one of the outdoor cafes would be a great precursor or finish to a show. This outing in the heart of Barcelona will be all but disappointing whether it’s your first time in Barcelona, or you’re just looking for something new to try in this wonderful city.

Founded as a theatrical center for the city, a program for Italian-style singing was eventually cultivated. In a one-and-a-half centuries of existence it went through many stages of development, mostly in ownership and management. Finally, in 1994 on the the 31st of January the stage and Auditorium burned to the ground. In 1997 the Gran Teatre del Liceu was rectified. Though certainly a modernized version of its predecessor, the new building is every bit as inviting, elegant and encompassing of Barcelona’s history and culture as ever.

Here are some of the upcoming 2015 operas at the Gran Teatre del Liceu:

Maria Stuarda
This is a lyric tragedy by Giuseppe Bardar based on the play Maria Stuart by Friedrich con Schiller. It tells the story of the rivalry between Mary, Queen of the Scots and her powerful cousin Elizabeth I.

Una voce in off / La voix humaine
These back-to-back one-act operas are wonderful juxtapositions to each another. Una voce in off is a romantic opera about a woman falling in love while hearing the voice of her dead husband through a tape recorder. La voix humaine, on the other hand, is a lyric tragedy about a woman who refuses to accept the truth.

Norma
This is Vincenzo Bellini’s most famous opera, and a lyric tragedy of Italian romanticism in which the high priestess, Norma, falls in love, breaks her vow of celibacy and has two children. This story of the classic revengeful and passionate heroine is a must-see for any opera fans.

Siegfried
This is the third part of The Ring of Nibelung, a monument of Western culture. This classic drama of the human urge to self-destruct finds the characters moved beyond sense to violate the laws of nature.

Tristan und Isolde
A classic drama of betrayal, guilt, and revenge is the ultimate battle for honor in this story of nonsensical passion. Wagner’s classic tale paralleling romanticism and modernity is another one for the opera lovers out there.

If you’re a real opera buff than you might consider staying at one of these bizFlats accommodations right in La Rambla neighborhood where Gran Teatre del Liceu is located. Besides the opera you can enjoy the many shops, cafes and restaurants in this historic and beautiful part of Barcelona. Buy your opera tickets in advance to be sure to get the best seats for your favorite show. While you’re staying in the area check out some of the other great La Rambla attractions.

How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Barcelona

New Year's Eve in Barcelon
Torre Agbar | Photo By Daniel Daranas

 

New Year’s Eve Barcelona 2014New Year’s Eve in Barcelona is legendary, with the country’s wonderful traditions wrapped up in the setting of this beautiful, historic city. While you’re romping around the town waiting for the clock to strike midnight it’s encouraged that you’ve adorned yourself in red undies. Cava, a delicious Spanish champagne, is the midnight drink, which accompanies the twelve grapes everyone is to eat with the twelve chimes of the clock. The tradition of grape-eating is meant to bring you a great year ahead. Beware though, it’s much harder than it sounds to stuff twelve seeded grapes in your mouth in just twelve dings of the clock! Locals tend to take a late supper at home before congregating with the public in various places, be it a club, street, or beach to celebrate the countdown. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that many people will serve in celebration of the holiday. This dish is typically served as a rice and seafood dish cooked slowly. Hailing from Valencia it is typically referred to as Spain’s national dish, and is a wonderful communal meal to eat with friends and family. After a late meal there are many options for celebrating New Year’s Even in Barcelona. The Plaça d’Espanya is a popular spot, especially among visitors. From 23:30 until the New Year hits there will be live performances including the famous Castellers – the human castle builders. The fountain waters and fireworks show makes for quite the spectacule.

The Torre Agbar is another famous New Year’s Eve in Barcelona sight to see. This landmark becomes a beautiful light show worth checking on December 31st. For an incredibly traditional New Year’s Eve in Barcelona you’ll want to get tickets to the Tablao de Carmen, one of the top flamenco clubs in the city. Get your tickets soon for a late dinner and a flamenco show. Another classic Barcelona way to celebrate the upcoming 2015 is to head to one of the many beach clubs. The temperate climate in the city makes the beach a favorable choice for welcoming a brand new year. There are clubs lining the beachfront in Barcelona, so you’ll have a wonderful variety of places to go. New Year’s Eve in Barcelona is a fantastic time to experience some very unique and celebrated Spanish traditions. The city’s most famous attractions are in full effect in preparation for one of the biggest holiday celebrations the city sees. Barcelona, while full of breathtaking views and rich stories, is also full of people who know how to dine and party well when the occasion calls for it. There are more celebrations planned than can be counted, and the city’s charming locals and enthusiastic visitors are sure to make it a memorable time. If you’re considering visiting the city to celebrate the New Year check out some of the available bizFlat properties in prime locations for all your holiday festivities. You’ll feel right at home on Barcelona in one of these charming, comfortable apartments or villas. There are options for everyone, whether you’re visiting with your whole family, your sweetheart, or a group of friends.