50 things to do in Barcelona in 2014: autumn

Highlights of Barcelona's autumn 2014 events

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Which of Time Out's 50 great things to do in Barcelona in 2014 are on in autumn? A massive international jazz fest, a month of dance, a major gastronomic fair, a fashion and design fair, more of the Basketball World Cup, an important cardiology congress, Barcelona's biggest citywide party and more.

European Society of Cardiology Congress

Europe’s major event for medical professionals in the cardiovascular field takes place every summer in the trade fair zone in L’Hospitalet, on the outskirts of Barcelona. The event brings together thousands of visitors, who can choose from among more than 500 talks and conferences, looking at all the latest research. The 2014 edition is putting the spotlight on the theme of ‘Innovation and the Heart’ and offers Clinical Practice, Experts and Abstract Sessions on guidelines, the most challenging cases faced by leaders in the field, and controversial topics in the discipline. Attendees will also have the opportunity to find out about the latest developments in scientific research and even to ‘Meet the Legends’ in a programme designed to provide younger practitioners with a unique opportunity to interact with some of the key figures who have shaped cardiology as we know it today.

  1. Fira de Barcelona Av. Reina Maria Cristina, s/n, Sants-Montjuïc
  2. Sat Aug 30 - Wed Sep 3
More info

2014 Basketball World Cup

The celebration of the Basketball World Cup in Spain in 2014 will give Barcelona, one of the six host cities, alongside Bilbao, Granada, Gran Canaria, Madrid and Seville, another opportunity to demonstrate its ability to organise world-class sporting events. The main venue for the event, which will run from the 30th of August to the 14th of September, will be the Sant Jordi arena, with capacity for 17,960 spectators. Among the teams competing for the ultimate prize in world basketball will be Spain as host nation; the USA as gold medallist at the last Olympic Games; France, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Serbia representing Europe; Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina and the Dominican Republic representing the Americas; Angola, Egypt and Senegal representing African basketball; Iran, the Philippines and Korea as the top Asian teams; Australia and New Zealand from Oceania; and four wild cards.

  1. Palau Sant Jordi Pg. Olímpic, 5-7, Sants-Montjuïc, 08038
  2. Sat Aug 30 - Sun Sep 14
More info

Festival Piknic Electronik

Family-friendly, open-air festival of electronic music on Montjuïc every Sunday afternoon in summer. Something more than just a picnic, Piknic Electronik aims at reconciling two apparently contradictory worlds and provide a way to bring family and friends together in a pleasantly green environment while enjoying electronic music. Activities designed specifically for kids can include anything from skateboarding lessons and inflatables to hip hop classes and recycling workshops.

  1. Various venues
  2. Jun-Sep

San Miguel Mas i Mas Festival

This tasteful music festival spans the summer months, and has gone from concentrating on Latin sounds to providing a bit of everything. Concerts take place at various venues, including the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Liceu Opera House, the Jamboree jazz club and even local art and history museums. Past acts have included Brazilian legend Hermeto Pascoal, Level 42, techno DJ Angel Molina, and some classical music. More of a musical marathon than a traditional-style festival and practically single-handedly responsible for revitalising the city's once spartan summer music agenda, especially during August, it’s ideal for open-minded music fans willing and able to appreciate everything from jazz, techno and soul to world and classical music.

  1. Various venues
  2. Jul-Sep

Festes de la Mercè

This five-day festival opens with giants and dragons in the Plaça Sant Jaume. It’s followed by more than 600 events including sardanes (traditional Catalan dancing) and correfocs (fire-running). Other highlights include dazzling fireworks displays, free concerts, a seafront air show, sporting events including a swim across the port and a regatta, and a heap of activities for children. Many visitors are enchanted by the processions of gegants, large hollow figures made of papier-mâché and carried around by groups of enthusiasts, which were first introduced into the festivities at the beginning of the 20th century. Those brave enough to want to experience the fire-running and see the processions of firework-wielding devils should attend suitably equipped and protected against flying sparks by wearing adequate footwear, hats, protective glasses and thick long-sleeved shirts.

  1. Various venues
  2. Wed Sep 24

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

CSIO Barcelona 2014

Barcelona is set to become the capital of the equestrian world once again when it hosts the 103rd edition of the Furusiyaya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final. This will be the second time that the city plays host to the most important event in show jumping’s yearly calendar, featuring the world’s best riders. The venue will, once again, be the grounds of the city’s Real Club de Polo.

  1. Real Club de Polo Barcelona Av/ Dr. Marañón, 17-31, Les Corts
  2. Thu Oct 9 - Sun Oct 12
More info

Fòrum Gastronòmic

Two major fairs in the Spanish catering and food sectors, the Gastronomic Forum and Hostelco (International equipment for restaurants, hotels and catering), are teaming up to hold the 2014 edition of the forum at Barcelona’s Gran Via trade fair complex from the 20th to the 23rd of October. This is the first time that the Gastronomic Forum will be held in the Catalan capital (until now the host cities have always been Girona and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia). The aim of this collaboration is, while preserving the essence and identity of both events, to make the biennial Barcelona fair a major platform for the exchange of knowledge and networking among professionals in the sector and a showcase and benchmark for the industry at the international level, thereby promoting exports by enhancing and harnessing the image of Catalan and Spanish cuisine abroad.

  1. Fira Barcelona Gran Via Botànica, 62
  2. Mon Oct 20 - Thu Oct 23
More info

© 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

Mercat de Mercats

The ‘Market of Markets’ is a gastronomic fair that brings together food and wine producers from all over Catalonia. The stalls are arranged in front of the Cathedral, and a €12 ticket allows you to choose four tapas from whichever stalls you like, while €10 gets you four small glasses of wine or cava (plus you get to keep the glass). Some 30 market stalls, 50 local food producers, 12 of the city’s bars and restaurants, and 16 wineries took part in last year’s edition. Amateur chefs should note that they can get great tips on how to perfect their dishes from world-renowned Catalan chefs. It’s a weekend that offers the chance to discover and taste the products sold in the markets, enjoy a variety of tapas and wines and get to know the gastronomy of Catalonia much better.

  1. Barcelona Catedral (Cathedral)
  2. Coming in October

Beefeater In-Edit 2014

An excellent festival of music documentaries from around the world, held over ten days, Beefeater In-Edit has become a reference point for the genre and a must for music fans. Last year’s edition drew some 30,000 spectators and gave awards to Sini Anderson’s ‘The Punk Singer’ in the international category, ‘Triana Pura y Pura’ in the Spanish national section and ‘Bustamante Perkins’ in the audience voted category.

  1. Various venues
  2. Oct-Nov

© Lorenzo Duaso

46th Voll-Damm Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona

One of Europe’s most well-respected jazz festivals has grown to embrace everything from bebop to gospel, around a core of mainstream performers that have included some great names in the genre such as Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Bebo Valdés, Al Green, Herbie Hancock, Caetano Veloso and even Katie Melua. Venues range from the Palau de la Música Catalana, Luz de Gas and Razzmatazz to L’Auditori. This is a living festival for a living city; organized and designed for those who live in Barcelona and a testimony of the city’s love affair with the genre (it’s surely no coincidence that Woody Allen likes to spend so much time staying, and sometimes even playing, here). More information on the programme of concerts and the venues for the festival’s 46th edition coming soon.

  1. Various venues
  2. Oct-Nov

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

Tricentenari

This year sees the 300th anniversary of the fall of Barcelona to the Bourbon troops during the war of Spanish Succession and the consequent loss of Catalonia’s traditional rights and liberties. Tricentenari BCN is a programme of events curated by Catalan journalist Toni Soler designed to commemorate and understand those events, creating a dialogue between the past and the present that will allow us to relate the history of Catalonia to its present and future aspirations.

  1. Various venues
  2. Until Wed Dec 31

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

© 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

© Pep Herrero

Castellers and La Festa Catalana

The deeply loved local tradition of building human towers, in various formations, can be seen during festivals all over Catalonia. It consists of groups of enthusiasts, called colles, who team up on festival days to build and then dismantle human towers. This and other Catalan traditions, from papier-mâché giants to sardana dancing can also be seen every Saturday at 7.30pm in various Old City locations such as the square in front of the Cathedral.

  1. Various venues
  2. Feb-Nov

50 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.