Things to Do
Essential museums, monuments, walks, talks and tours in Barcelona
- Barcelona rooftop bars
- Gaudí's Torre Bellesguard
- September's must-see art
- 20 great things to do in Barcelona
- Barceloneta prawn route
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
The Antique and Modern Book Fair celebrates its 63rd edition (63ª Fira del Llibre d'Ocasió Antic i Modern 2014) from September 19 to October 5, starting out as part of the Fiestas de la Mercè. The fair is in Passeig de Gràcia as it has been for the last 40 years, but because of construction, it'll just be a few blocks from its usual spot, this year between C/Aragó and C/Mallorca, on both sides of Passeig de Gràcia. Count on the participation of 38 exhibitors from all over Catalonia and different cities throughout Spain to bring the best of their collections of older and rare books. You'll also have luck if you're looking for second-hand books at good prices.
Oktoberfest, probably better known in these parts as La Fiesta de la Cerveza (The Beer Festival), is one of Germany's best-travelled historical and cultural celebrations, which is huge in the Bavarian city of Munich, and is probably the biggest party in the world. This year Barcelona's version of Oktoberfest carries on for more than a week, from October 3 to 12, in the Plaça del Univers in the Fira de Barcelona conference centre and trade show space in Montjuïc. And it's free to get in! Under a giant tent of some 4,000 square metres (you should really book a table in advance via their website) sheltering a multitude of bars, you can get litre-sized glasses of great beer and enjoy live polka music, DJs, beer, traditional Bavarian food, beer, big fun, and more beer. There will also be an area for kids at a reasonable price and things to do for all ages, as well as a new VIP area this year for the high-rolling beer lovers.
- Rated as: 4/5
An ocean of data ('Hello world!', an installation of 5,000 personal video diaries downloaded from the Internet), a sea of information ('Thingful.net', a system for discovering connected objects around us), rivers of references (basic vocabulary: algorithm, geolocation, prediction, pattern) and graphics ('Submarine Cable Map', marking the fibre-optic system that connects the world) attempt to explain what Big Data means. For some it's the new oil, a source of inexhaustible wealth; for others it's a tool of social control. What is certain is that the metaphor of the cloud, an ethereal place where all our tweets, passwords and photos go, is quite misleading: it's more like a tangle of wires and sensors that could literally encircle the globe, and large containers have been built to preserve the content._Big Bang Data is a dense and complex exhibition, in the amount of material presented. It's a panopticon on the storage of information (in 2009 alone as much data was produced as in the whole history of humankind leading up to then) that leaves us facing the abyss of a big question. We have created a technology ready for archiving information about ourselves and our surroundings, but we haven't been able (yet) to agree on certain uses, to establish rules for our own protection, as citizens and consumers, against the dangers of this creation.
- CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona Montalegre, 5, El Raval, 08001
- Fri May 9 - Sun Oct 26
The Fabra Observatory is the stage for another year of a one-of-a-kind event that combines gastronomy and science. Summer nights are full of science, astronomy and gastronomy in one of the most impressive viewpoints of the city. The evening begins with a gastronomic proposal designed with astronomy in mind, with quality ingredients and good food served on the terrace at 9pm. After the meal is a 30-minute science talk, with questions taken from the audience. Afterwards it's a visit to the museum, the Noucentisme hall, and the telescope, and then it's into the hall with the great dome, which still boasts original materials. From there you can observe distant constellations, stars and much of the solar system with the 1904 telescope, one of the largest and oldest in Europe that's still in operation.
- Camí de l'Observatori, s/n, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, 08035
- Tue Sep 30 - Sat Oct 11
Just when you thought it was safe to put your clothes back on after summer... the Erotic Lounge Klic-Klic is back in Barcelona. What can you expect? Erotic and porn shows on various stages, demonstrations and sales of related products, national and international stars, art exhibitions, games, live contests and other activities sure to raise the temperature of all in attendance.
- Pavelló Poliesportiu Municipal de la Vall d'Hebron Pg. de la Vall d'Hebron, 176
- Thu Oct 2 - Sun Oct 5
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.
- Rated as: 4/5
Kerry James Marshall is an African American artist who's almost unheard of in Spain. But that's about to change now he's exhibiting a new retrospective at Madrid's Reina Sofía as well as his most recent paintings, videos, sculptures, drawings and installations at Barcelona's Tàpies Foundation. By the second half of the 1970s Marshall had a notion, through television series, of the Jewish Holocaust, the extermination of the American Indians, and the journeys of African slaves in America. So much invisible suffering. Then he began to extend the language of political correctness, which included women, sexual choices, and the powerless in the list of verbal amends to be made. Marshall joined the art world around when others were watching 'Holocaust' and 'Roots' on TV. When he went in for figurative painting, he found there was a lot of artists doing portraits of Western white cultures, but nothing to represent his background. His portraits are great composotions, epic narratives, and featuring black subjects, something many hadn't seen before. As a suppressed culture, African Americans don't have historical documents, and there's a lack of self-representation.Marshall has managed to achieve a balance between presence and invisibility with the use of dark backgrounds with no white lines highlighting figures, or with the use of ultraviolet photographs of African Americans, and installations where you have to look through a hole in a wall. But at the same time he creates black super