Things to Do
Essential museums, monuments, walks, talks and tours in Barcelona
- Sant Jordi festival
- Spas: 20 urban oases
- Barcelona for kids
- Barcelona rooftop bars
- Top 10 beaches in Catalonia
What's on in Barcelona
It's not just about Sónar and Primavera Sound. For an unforgettable year of music, art and cultural experiences, follow Time Out's guide to festivals and events. The coming months promise an endless array of events showcasing the best in Catalan and international culture - from hip hop and documentary filmmaking to religious and traditional celebrations. Plan your year here.
This week and beyond
Sant Jordi 2015: Nuria Graham + Ferran Palau + Senior i el Cor Brutal + The Excitements + Sidonie + Joan Dausà...
To celebrate Sant Jordi, Catalonia's patron saint, on April 23, the Antiga Fábrica Damm fills up with music with a bill boasting 14 concerts that will showcase today's Catalan pop and rock. Among the perfomers will be revered bands such as Cris Juanico and Sidonie; up-and-comers like Núria Graham, who will present her highly recommended new album, 'Bird Eyes'; big draws like Blaumut; soul from The Excitements; pop with a folk accent from Ferran Palau, with songs from his 'Santa Ferida'; as well as Senior i el Cor Brutal, Qu4rt Primera, Anna Roig i l'Ombe de Ton Chien, Mi Capitán, Guillem Roma, Èric Vinaixa and Joan Rovira, many of whom have new albums out.During the festival, starting at noon, lots of musicians will be at the old beer factory ready to sign albums and books, including Santi Balmes, David Carabén, Joan Miquel Oliver, Sisa, Pau Riba and Xarim Aresté. Space is limited, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time.
Barcelona's Poble Espanyol is being transformed for four days into a traditional German Biergarten, where beer and food mix in with workshops, competitions, gifts, music, surprises and fun. The Biergarten dates back to 19th-century Bavaria, and has since become a tradition with many followers. When the weather's fine, streets, squares and parks in the region fill up with these terraces that star beer and typical German food. Poble Espanyol adapts this festive tradition, which welcomes fun-lovers of all ages and nationalities, and presents for the second year in a row the Biergarten in Barcelona, where you can take part in various beer classes and try German culinary specialities: frankfurts, bratwurst, German potato salad, pretzels... And it's not only about beer and food – there will also be competitions (lifting the giant beer steins, 'the giant sausage' and 'the spicy sausage', among others) and home-beer-making workshops. All accompanied by DJ sessions and live music. And if you have kids, feel free to bring them along, as there will also be fun for the little ones.
For the first time, work by two of the last century’s most brilliant artists is brought together. You can observe how, following their first meeting in Paris in 1926, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí echoed and challenged each other in their work. The show is produced with the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida (USA), where it was exhibited for four months from November 2014; Barcelona’s Museu Picasso is its only other venue. More than 80 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures are on display, many of them rarely seen in public before. The overlaps in the men's lives, such as a shared fidelity to surrealism, beg the question as to why we've never seen this exhibition until now.
On Sant Jordi Day (April 23), you'll find a few institutions in the city celebrating with their doors open. One is the Ajuntament de Barcelona (City Hall). You can visit the Escala d'Honor, the Galeria Gòtica and the building's centrepiece (and oldest part), the famous Saló de Cent, accompanied by figures from local history. Coinciding with the Open Day, the Ajuntament will once again sell roses to benefit local charities in their patio area from 10am to 8pm. The proceeds go entirely to not-for-profit organisations. From 11am to 8pm, the Palau Savassona, home to the Ateneu Barcelonés, also opens its doors. Visit the library, garden, discussion rooms... and participate in the activities they'll have lined up. In addition, if you become a member of the Ateneu the week of Sant Jordi, they'll waive the sign-up fee. If you're around Montjuïc, the Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya is also taking part in the Open Day, and you can get in for free from 9.30am to 7pm.
The most adorable animated characters in recent years all get together at the CaixaForum to commemorate Pixar's 25th anniversary. After touring great museums around the world, including the MoMa in New York, this exhibition touches down in Barcelona with a look at the feature and short films made in the Pixar studios, getting to know the characters deeper as well as the worlds created for them. Since the premiere of 'Toy Story' (1995), the first feature film created entirely with digital animation effects, Pixar has garnered success not only among filmgoers but also with critics who have recognised the savoir faire of the team with 26 Academy Awards and 7 Golden Globes. Storyboards, layouts, hand drawings and much more await visitors big and small.
Get to the Handmade Festival Barcelona in the Fira de Barcelona's Plaça de l'Univers for three days, April 24, 25 and 26. The festival brings together some 250 exhibitors presenting the latest in the community of all things handmade – with string and paper, cuisine, and DIY – as well as more than 100 workshops, specialised talks, concerts, presentations and activities for the whole family. This year, the show brings with it a DIY experience that will permeate the entire festival with Japanese culture.
Retrospective of the French artist that looks at her work from the mid-'80s to the present. Among the artist's diverse experiences over four decades, what's clear is her relationship with others and with herself – that is, her ability to observe others and herself. Her works are done in the first person. And her relationship with 'the other', with others, is also implicit in this search for beauty and art in its various aspects.
These are our picks of the city’s best live music, art exhibitions, festivals and sporting events for 2015
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