Things to Do

Essential museums, monuments, walks, talks and tours in Barcelona



Upcoming festivals and major events

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

Festival of Chinese Lanterns 2014

The Parc del Fórum hosts the Festival of Chinese Lanterns, a traditional show of giant silk figures lit from the inside like a lantern, which represent typical symbols and motifs of ancient Chinese culture. All the figures – more than 500 large-scale lanterns – boast an original design and are crafted by a score of Chinese artists with painted, non-flammable silk. Lanterns shows have a long tradition in China, where the Festival of Lanterns is just one of their big parties, held during Chinese New Year celebrations as well as the Moon Festival.

  1. Parc del Fòrum Edifici Fòrum, Plaça de Llevant, Sant Martí
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Mon Mar 16
More info

Open doors at BCN's new Design Museum

  • Free

After three years in the works the Museu de Disseny, Barcelona's new design museum, finally opens on December 14 to show off all its charms. To celebrate the grand opening, you're invited to take in the whole collection, made up of more than 70,000 pieces, for free until January 31. Visit the space and learn how it is that an everyday object deserves to be a museum piece, how the concept of design has evolved over time, and why Barcelona is one of the world's leading cities in the field.

  1. Museu del Disseny de Barcelona Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 37-38, 08018
  2. Sun Dec 14 - Sat Jan 31
More info

Two Market. Barcelona Second Hand

The second-hand market with the biggest pirate spirit in Barcelona is back. Find the most unusual stuff at great prices. This time around the stars of the market are clothes, especially vintage and those by small designers.

  1. L'Ovella Negra Zamora, 78, Sant Martí
  2. Sun Jan 4
More info

Mr. Brainwash

  • Free

Born in France but now living in LA, artist Thierry Guetta (Paris, 1966) – who goes under the moniker of Mr Brainwash – is today a global name in urban art. Since his early days in LA in 2006, Mr Brainwash has shown his work in cities such as New York, Miami, Toronto, LA, London and Cape Town, collaborated with Madonna and Seth McFarlane, and starred in a documentary directed by urban art icon, Banksy. 3 Punts Galeria is showcasing a selection of his most emblematic works for the first time in Spain, amongst which you'll find unique pieces on material, cardboard and paper, in small, medium and large formats. In addition, there is a series of small-sized works specially created for this exhibition, as well as a sculpture focusing on one of the city's most-loved and much-missed symbols, the albino gorilla Floquet de Neu (Snowflake).

  1. Galeria 3 Punts Enric Granados, 21, Eixample, 08007
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Sat Jan 17
More info

Holiday market in Gran Via

  • Free

The holiday stalls of toys and crafts are back on Gran Via. It's a good opportunity to get an unusual gift or for last-minute shopping on Christmas Day and Epiphany ('Reis', January 6). The 270 stalls are open from December 19 to January 6, and on January 5 you can shop until 3am if you're really that much of a last-minute Larry, or maybe you just really like outdoor winter shopping.

On the Table. Ai Weiwei

  • Free

This exhibition has been designed by Ai Weiwei himself especially for the Virreina Centre de la Imatge as a way to get to know the body of work in the artist's long career, from his beginnings in New York in the 1980s until today, making him the most well-known and influential dissident Chinese artist in the world. An activist and a celebrity, Ai's work merges with his militancy in denouncing the lack of freedom in China, while at the same time appearing at major events and in contemporary art collections. The exhibition explores strategies of approach and intervention on reality through images. From an artistic practice that includes photography and documentary film, sculpture, design and architecture, Ai's images are operations that transcend formats and disciplines, infiltrating and circulating through social networks and related areas of popular culture. In addition to several key works to get you deeper into the artist's oeuvre, La Virreina will also present previously unseen works, new productions and an installation conceived by Ai Weiwei specifically for this show.

  1. Virreina Centre de la Imatge La Rambla, 99, El Raval, 08001
  2. Tue Dec 23 - Sun Feb 1
More info

Circ Raluy: The Big Top

  • Rated as: 3/5

Inside the Raluy Circus Museum's welcoming new tent, you can enjoy the magic of being part of the privileged spectators of the fantastic world of circus. Be wowed by the aerial games with Jean Christophe de Beauchamp and Kerry Raluy, the daring feats on wheels of Emily and Niedziela; the sensuality of Rosa Raluy with her poetic performances; the ever magical world of Louisa Raluy; along with jugglers, clowns, music and more from a whole cast of characters.

  1. Port Vell Moll Espanya, 1, Ciutat Vella
  2. Wed Dec 24 - Sun Mar 1
More info
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