6 ways to enjoy the culture of Barcelona from your home

Although life as we know it has changed these past two weeks, you don’t have to forgo the wonderful cultural proposals that Barcelona has on offer.

From virtual museum visits, talks, shows, concerts and more, we’ve put together this list that will lift your spirits and ensure Barcelona’s cultural soul stays strong during this time.

So, this evening instead of watching another Netflix series, why not gather together with your family or housemates, and check out some of the Catalan’s capitals brilliant cultural experiences from the comfort of your sofa. 

Virtual visits to museums

Despite the city’s museums having closed their doors during this period of confinement, you can still explore their corners with these virtual visits. From the Picasso Museum, the Barcelona Museum of Design, the Catalonia National Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and much more, pick your favourite and get lost in their diverse collections. Here you’ll find a list we’ve put together with links to access the virtual visits.

Barcelona e-library

The libraries of Barcelona have opened their shelves to the public during this extraordinary time to share their collections online. There are more than 100,000 titles available in Catalan, Spanish, English, French and German that you can lend virtually. Enjoy e-books, magazines, films, audiobook, documentaries and much more with your Catalan library card. Find out more here.

VIDA Festival live

If you’re like us, you’re already thinking about those long summer nights and outdoor festivals. We recommend checking out the “Vida at Home” cycle of concerts. The festival – which is scheduled to be held in Vilanova i la Geltrú this July – will be streaming live performances every day this week at 19h on their Instagram page. Enjoy acts from Ferran Palau, Enric Montefusco, The New Raemon, Núria Graham, and many more. 

Virtual Gaudí

If you were planning a trip to Barcelona and are craving the city’s masterpieces, here we have your Gaudí pick me up. Check out these virtual visits of La Pedrera and Casa Battló. These 360º tours are almost as good as the real thing! Get up and close to two of Gaudí’s masterpieces and discover the history of modernism in Barcelona from your home.

Opera in your living room

The Liceu theatre has launched a special initiative to bring its latest opera extravaganzas straight to your living room. Normally you have to get dressed up to go to the opera, but not any more! Don your favourite pyjamas and get ready for an evening of Madam Butterfly, Aida, Normaor Rigoletto. All you need to do is register at this link and enter the code ‘OperaEnCasa’ (OperaAtHome).

Science, art and technology

The Open University of Catalonia and the libraries of Barcelona have come together to offer a series of five videos that explore the relationship between art, science and technology. Put together by the OUC professor, Pau Alsina, this conference raises questions that have been explored throughout history to help us to understand more about the world around us and how we, as humans, create within it. Discover the conference here.

Find more exciting ways to spend your time at home with this programmeof cultural initiatives you can enjoy from home, put together by Barcelona City Council’s Institute of Culture.

Let us know, how have you been spending your time at home? 

Songs about Barcelona

7 songs that will make you fall in love with Barcelona

Whether you’re creating a playlist for your next trip to Barcelona or simply missing the Catalan capital, these songs about the magical city will inspire you to dance around and sing about your love for it.

Barcelona has been visited by many a creative, singer and songwriter over the years on the quest for inspiration. Many have found it in its charming cobbled streets, quirky bars and buzzing cultural scene.

So, what are you waiting for? Turn the volume up and don’t be afraid to sing along!

La Rumba de Barcelona – Manu Chao (2002)

Rumored to own a bar in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, Manu Chao is a French-Spanish singer who performs in a large variety of languages. His song about Barcelona will take you straight to the heart of the city with its catchy beat and lyrics. We guarantee you’ll be singing it as you walk down Las Ramblas. 

Barcelona – Giulia y Los Tellarini (Vicky Cristina Barcelona Soundtrack) (2008)

The Catalan-Italian band Giulia y Los Tellarini never dreamed their song ‘Barcelona’ would be chosen for Woody Allen’s film Vicky Cristina Barcelona. This song was featured on the trailer for the film. 

As the song lyrics go “Barcelona is powerful” and we couldn’t agree more!

Barcelona – Freddie Mercury and Monsterrat Caballé (1988)


Barcelona is the title song of the audacious collaborative album by Freddie Mercury and soprano Montserrat Caballé. With Mercury’s second solo album he fulfilled one of his life-long dreams to combine opera and rock.

The Queen lead singer put his life and soul into his work and unfortunately died several months before being able to open the Barcelona 1992 Olympics with this song.

Barcelona Hechicera – Peret (1992)

This catchy rhythmic song is dedicated to the city of Barcelona and its main sights. It’s one of our favourites and always puts us in a good mood.

It was written in 1992 for the closing ceremony of the Barcelona Olympic Games to the tune of Catalan Rumba. This music genre was developed in the gypsy community of the city in the 60s, influenced by Flamenco Rumba, Cuban rhythms and rock and roll.

Barcelona – Ed Sheeran (2017)

The young 25-year-old singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran penned this song out of love for his dear Barcelona. This upbeat tune will certainly get you in the mood to visit the Sagrada Familia and Las Ramblas. The singer decided to include some of the Spanish words he knew, despite them not making much sense, to capture his perspective of the city.

George Ezra – Barcelona (2014)

The song Barcelona is taken from George Ezra’s album ‘Wanted On Voyage’.

The story goes that George was struggling to deal with his rapid fame and needed to sort some things out in his head. His answer was to move in with a stranger in Barcelona and spend some time reconnecting with the real world. Thus this song was born!

We’re from Barcelona – I’m from Barcelona (2006)

The name of this Swedish group is funnily enough “I’m from Barcelona”. It’s said that the band’s inspiration for their name and this song came from Manuel the waiter in Monty Python’s Faulty Towers.

The video features all 29 band members – we bet you can’t resist singing along with them!

So, there you have it. If Barcelona had a playlist, it would most certainly be this!

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.

Barcelona for dummies…

…or random useful facts you might need to know when meeting a Catalan!

Remember and remember! You are not in Spain!
Architecture at Plaça Sant Jaume

  • You are in Catalunya. When asking a question, “So here in Spain, what time do you usually have lunch?” the answer will follow “Well…I am really not sure about Spain… But here, in CATALUNYA, we take a long break after two o’clock.” It is useful to know thatParlament of Catalunya defines Catalunya as a nation, and the Spanish Constitution recognizes Catalunya’s national reality as a nationality. Therefore, saying “I am Catalan, not Spanish” is politically correct!

You can find the main buildings of the Autonomous Government and the Barcelona Town Council at the Plaça de Sant Jaume in the historic area of Barri Gòtic, where you might catch a glance of beautiful architecture or taste the rebel spirit of another loud local workers’ or students’ demonstration!

Flamenco is not the traditional music here

Catalans prefer rock and roll a little bit more. A scene called ‘rock català’ has become famous in the last 20 years with some of its most popular bands as Lax’n’Busto (translation: an old type of laxative), Els Pets(translation: The Farts), Sangtraït (translation: bloody bruise), or Sopa de cabra ( translation: Goats Soup). With names like that, lively imagination and original music are assured. Listen and view a song by the Goats Soup here!

Know their tapas

One dish that will accompany practically everything that is put on table is Pa amb tomàquet a different kind of bread with tomato sandwich. They cut tomato in two halves, rub it into white toasted bread, season it with olive oil and salt, and then throw the rest of tomato away! Usually accompanied by pernil or embotit ( ham or sausage), it is my favorite lunchtime endeavour.

If you have a sweet tooth, find out how to prepare the irresistable pudding Crema Catalana yourself – right here!

Catalan must be one of the most ‘X-rated’ languages in the world…

taking in account the amount of ‘X’ letters used! Catalan is a language in its own right, co-official with Castilian Spanish in Catalunya, Valencia and Balearic Islands. And the good news is that the government of Catalunya offers to anyone to study Catalan language for free. Click here to find out!

Don’t need a new years party to pop a bottle of sparkling wine!

A glass of a bubbly Cava is a popular addition to the daily breakfast menu in any local tapas bar, especially on a hot summer day. Quite a cheerful start of the day! And you were curious why people smile a lot.

Franco’s

regime 1939 – 1975 did lots of harm to Catalunya, suppressed any kind of public activities associated with Catalan nationalism and democracy such as publishing books on the matter. Even the use of Catalan language in government-run institutions and in public events was banned. Scary!

World’s most powerful men re-unite in Barcelona

to celebrate and practice the national sport! And no, it is not bull-fighting – it is definitely football. Since the moment I saw a mother teaching her little baby boy the anthem of FC Barcelona, I realized the strength and patriotism this sport carries for Catalans. Here in Barcelona you can sense the power of the football industry like nowhere else. Not only you can buy underwear with FC symbols in every little souvenir cornershop, you can also sign up for a long years waiting list to buy a season ticket in the stadium! For Catalans, it is worth waiting, as it is all about the game here in Barcelona. And when they win, the whole of Catalunya is celebrating a feast like winners of real war! Visit FC Barcelona to find a ticket to the next game!

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!

Homage to Banesto

Only a few days ago, a group of protesters broke into the Banesto building on Barcelona’s Plaça Catalunya and set up a squatters’ camp to be the headquarters for acts of protest which would culminate in clashes with riot police coinciding with the 29 September general strike.
The Banesto building has sat empty for many years; now was our chance to see it on the inside, so risking life and limb, Albert and I grabbed a camera and shot some footage of the interior.

Flash back to 1937, and read the words by George Orwell in Homage to Catalonia.

Up at our end of the Ramblas, round the Plaza de Cataluña, the position was so complicated that it would have been quite unintelligible if every building had not flown Read more

Olivas Sféricas

¿Lo Quieres Saber?

Lolita Taperia (EX-Inopia)

¿EXPECTATIVAS CUMPLIDAS?

Bajamos a pie por la calle Rocafort, después de un duro día de trabajo y muchas ganas de darnos un homenaje.  Así que vamos al Inopia, en la esquina con Tamarit.  Cuál es nuestra sorpresa que al llegar vemos que ahora se llama “Lolita Taperia”.  Gente en la puerta, como antes y cantidad de extranjeros con sus mapas en mano preguntándole al “amable señor de la puerta” si eso era el Inopia, a lo que él respondía “yes, yes, same place, same kitchen”.

Con mi Blackberry trato de encontrar respuesta a este lío y me entero de que los hermanísimos Ferran y Albert (Adrià) están preparando un nuevo y flipante proyecto para este otoño en el Paralelo por lo que Albert ha dejado Inopia.  Pues vaya, se te caen un poco las espectativas pero también te suben las ganas de ser juez y no parte del nuevo proyecto del socio de Albert, Joan Martínez… ¿será el nombre lo que vendía o realmente la calidad de los platos?.  Después de esperar más de la cuenta, entramos.

Tomamos la ensaladilla con picos, las mini hamburguesas, unas berenjenas dulces, un pincho de cerdo de “dos colores”… bueno, bien, las raciones siguen siendo exíguas.  Estábamos sentados en la barra pequeña del fondo y me llamó mucho la atención que la chica que estaba detrás de la barra preparando platos, lo hacía sobre una báscula.  Cortaba una fina loncha de salmón, lo colocaba sobre la báscula, lo pesaba y apuntaba en una libreta.  Le ponía un chorrito de salsa blanca, lo pesaba y apuntaba.  Un ramito de una hierba y a pesar y apuntar… too much ¿no?, como diría alguien que yo me se “¡entre poco y demasiado!”.

Luego, sobre las 00.00 horas, se convierte en bar con coctelería.  De pronto las agresivas luces blancas de bar “noveau” de ambiente blanco, cambian a rojo, sube la música y el efecto es impactante, parece que estés en otro sitio, hay que felicitar al artífice por este efecto tan bien conseguido.

Lo peor, pero mal, mal, el “amable señor de la puerta”, que tengas que esperar en la pura calle y el agresivo efecto del cordón ese que ponen en las puertas de las cutre-discotecas y que desabrocha el gorila de turno para que pases.  No es buena imagen. Quizá por la marca Albert Adrià, se pasaban por alto estas faltas de respeto a los clientes pero ahora, muy bien lo van a tener que hacer para que la burbuja no se les pinche a ellos también, como una Oliva Sférica sobresaturada.

  • Dónde: Tamarit 104 (Eixample – Sant Antoni)
  • Cuándo: de martes a viernes de 19.00 a 23.00 – sábado de 13.00 a 15.30 y de 19.00 a 23.00 (luego sólo bar)
  • Llámales: 934 245 231

Are we human or are we dancers?

¡Somos los campeones del mundo!  escribo esto con lágrimas en los ojos…  ¡que maravillosa y voluptuosa frase!…  nos lo hemos merecido.

Un mes ha sido, en el que se ha ido formando la bola poco a poco, en el que las pantallas más o menos megagigantes, han ido atrayendo gentes a pulsos, como polillas a la luz (y desde luego con mucha más convicción que con la que iba Caaaaroolaaainnnn…)   Aquí ha dado igual que te guste el fútbol o que lo aborrezcas, ha sido imposible permanecer en la isla del desconocimiento, porque esto ha ido más allá.  Es la fuerza de los sentimientos que nacen del corazón y del estómago, del hígado y del páncreas, de todas las vísceras juntas que gritan y te mueven el cuerpo sin que lo puedas controlar.

No sé que tiene el fútbol éste, que nos hace olvidar.  He visto gentes preparándose para los partidos con auténticos Read more