50 things to do in Barcelona in 2014: art and exhibitions

Highlights of Barcelona's art and exhibitions in 2014

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Among the 50 great things to do in Barcelona in 2014 are exhibitions of contemporary art, architecture, design, dance, moving images and more.

Museu Marítim de Barcelona

Barcelona’s history is closely linked to the sea and during its period of maximum splendour, ruled over a maritime empire that stretched from the Balearic Islands to Athens. The city’s Maritime Museum, located in the old port area at the end of the Ramblas, in the old Drasannes shipyards, contains examples of old vessels, including a reproduction of a 16th-century galley, as well as scale models and naval artefacts. You can also visit the schooner Santa Eulàlia, moored in the nearby Port Vell.

  1. Av. de les Drassanes s/n, El Raval, 08001
More info

Grec 2014

Named after the Greek amphitheatre (Teatre Grec) that forms such an integral part of its programming, this is the major cultural festival of the year. It brings together dozens of shows from around the world, encompassing dance, music, theatre and circus. Increasingly there are performances in English, with Catalan surtitles. From its humble beginning, when the Greek Theatre (which was actually built especially for the 1929 World's Fair on the site of a disused quarry) was the only venue used, the festival has grown to become both a highlight of the Barcelona summer cultural calendar and a major event on the European performing arts scene. The festival now takes place at a number of venues in the city including the Mercat de les Flors for dance performances, the neo-classic TNC Catalan National Theatre and the Teatre Lliure, a bastion of independent theatre production in Catalonia.

  1. Montjuïc (various venues)
  2. Wed Jul 30
Aixafem el Feixisme

Aixafem el Feixisme © Pere Català Pic

The Spanish Civil War through Art

This exhibition at the MNAC uses painting, sculpture and evidence of the huge explosion of different techniques in the fields of avant-garde photography, posters, photomontage to explain one of the most important episodes in contemporary history. Presenting the civil war in its social, historical and artistic context, it traces the web of relationships and connections between the work of artists such as Julio Gonzalez and Picasso and photographers like Augustí Centelles and Català Pic.

  1. Catalan National Museum of Art (MNAC)
  2. Coming in July

© Elan Fleisher / Time Out

Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Modernista architect Domènech i Montaner’s hospital is made up of 20 pavilions, abundantly adorned with the flourishes that characterise the architect’s style and set in peaceful gardens that spread over nine blocks in the north-east corner of the Eixample. It’s set at a 45-degree angle from the rest of the Eixample’s grid system, so that it catches more sun. The hour-long guided tour, in Catalan, Spanish, English or French, covers several major parts of the site and the gardens, offering details and curious facts about the building’s history, an overview of the current renovation project and fascinating insights into early 20th-century Barcelona society. English language tours set off from the meeting point on the corner of C/Sant Antoni Maria Claret and C/Independència.

  1. Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167, Eixample
More info

© T(Part) 1977 Col.lecció MACBA. Consorci MACBA, Dipòsit Philippe Méaille

Art & Language Uncompleted

This exhibition at the MACBA will feature an extensive selection of works from the Art and Language Collection of Philippe Méaille, which, while mainly associated with Conceptual Art, challenges the existing vocabulary of art history by refusing affiliation to any artistic identity. The collection includes everything from written notes, manuscripts, documents, essays, photocopies, and newspapers to books, drawings and paintings, and even fragments of a conversation.

  1. Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona (MACBA)
  2. Sep 19 2014 - Apr 2015

FADFest

This festival of all things related to design is a celebration of creative excellence, handing out awards for the year’s best designs in the fields of architecture, interior design, graphic design, advertising, industrial design, the handicrafts, art and fashion. Visitors can see the exhibition featuring all of the winning and short-listed designs, getting an invaluable insight into what’s happening in the field today.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Thu Oct 9 - Fri Oct 10

© Andrea Pizzalis

Sâlmon Dance Festival

This innovative dance festival will be back for its third edition in 2014, complete, as ever, with new proposals and artists with fresh ideas who are not afraid to swim against the current. The festival offers an insight into the work being done by both local and international artists in the framework of the artistic residencies offered by the El Graner centre for dance creation and the European modul-dance project led by Mercat de les Flors, which includes 19 other dance houses. The festival agenda consists of a jam-packed programme of events lasting two weeks, all demonstrating different formats and an enormous diversity of approaches to the theme of the body and movement, alongside shows, laboratories for professionals, spaces for reflection, and spaces for meetings between creators and the general public.

  1. Mercat de les Flors
  2. All of October

DHUB: Museu del Disseny de Barcelona

The city’s new design museum will house the collections from the former museums of clothing, decorative arts and ceramics. The clothing museum’s collection provides a chronological tour of fashion; the decorative arts’ collection is informative and fun, and looks at the different styles informing the design of European artefacts, and the collections from the erstwhile ceramics museum are equally fascinating. And this is one museum where the outside is as fascinating as what lies inside – the strikingly angular Design Hub building, located next to the equally impressive Agbar Tower, was designed by MBM Arquitectes, the architecture studio formed by Josep Martorell, Oriol Bohigas and David Mackay, together with Oriol Capdevila and Francesc Gual, and uses only two materials for its façade – zinc plates and glass.

  1. DHUB: Museu del Disseny de Barcelona
  2. Coming in December

50 great things to do ... by season



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50 great things to do in Barcelona in 2014

Enjoy the best culture, fun and festivals the Catalan capital has to offer in 2014

Barcelona by area

Barceloneta and the Ports

The city boasts seven kilometres of golden sands, running from the bustling Port Vell to the upscale Port Olímpic and beyond to the Fòrum. Inevitably, this is also where you'll find some of the city's best seafood restaurants.

The Barri Gòtic

A stroll through the medieval alleyways and secluded squares of the Old City is the best possible introduction to Barcelona and the starting point for most visitors upon arrival in the city.

The Born and Sant Pere

The pedestrianised Passeig del Born, the Born's main artery, is one of Barcelona's prettiest thoroughfares, bookended by a magnificent 19th-century market building and a glorious 14th-century church.

The Raval

Once a no-go area for tourists, the Raval is being transformed. Some of its gems have been around for years - Gaudí's medievalist Palau Güell was an early attempt at gentrification - but others are newer.

Montjuïc & Poble-sec

It's often left off visitors' itineraries, but the hill of Montjuïc merits a wander. In summer, the hill is a few degrees cooler than the city below, and its many parks and gardens are excellent places for a shady picnic.

The Eixample

The Eixample is a Modernista showcase: its buildings include the Sagrada Família, La Pedrera and the Hospital de Sant Pau.

Gràcia

Gràcia was an independent town that was swallowed up as the city spread, but it retains its own identity and is one of the most popular and vibrant districts in the city.

Sarrià

Sarrià was its own independent town until 1921, when it was gobbled up by Barcelona and became the city's new uptown area, not only for its geographical location but also for its more posh homes, shops and restaurants.