Poble Espanyol celebrates spring this year with a big festival full of colour. 'De flor en flor' ('From flower to flower') is the name of this festival of flowers and gardens celebrating its second year in Barcelona. The five-day festival (April 13 to 17) for the senses features floral arrangements everywhere, and a long list of activities for the whole family: an orchid show, a bonsai exhibition, a rose display, another exhibition related to the flower world, a quick-paint contest for kids and adults, and live music. You'll also find workshops with a plant or gardening theme, and kids can become familiar with the art of cultivating an urban garden.
During Semana Santa (Holy Week, aka Easter Week), on April 10, 11 and 12 from 8pm to 10pm, there will be special lighting at the Sagrada Família on the Passion façade. The light show is free and open to everyone. The best place to see it is from C/ Sardenya. There will be three shows each day that last about 10 to 15 minutes. On the Passion façade, Antoni Gaudí expressed the cruelty of the last hours of the life of Jesus via 12 groups of sculptures made by Josep Maria Subirachs. The lighting will narrate the passion and death of Jesus Christ through the sculptures.
Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra is the evolution of Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra, a group of klezmer and gypsy music from Eastern Europe that has become a top name in Balkan music in Barcelona over the last three years. They started out in Barcelona and have gained an international reputation as well. The seven nomadic musicians and passionate explorers of the klezmer and gypsy sounds now extend their inspiration to a wider musical genre, understanding Balkan music as a group of musical traditions and a multi-ethnic culture that goes beyond the confines of geography and is fed by all those historic traditions that once inhabited the area: Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, gypsies, Ottomans, Arabs....
Back in Plaça Reial every Saturday (10am-11pm) in spring, it's the craft market Drap-Art, featuring creative-recycling workshops, culture and sustainability to promote responsible consumerism. The market is part of the 'La Reial es mou' (Plaça Reial moves) project, and is quite popular with anyone who's looking for different kinds of products that are made locally, are innovative and sustainable, and are of high artistic quality.
April 5, 6 and 7 at Santa María del Mar church, and then April 18 at the Palau de la Música Catalana, you can enjoy one of the most impressive and emblematic Mozart pieces, 'Requiem', performed by ARSinNOVA Chamber Choir, Artes Symphony Ensemble, and vocals by soprano Assumpta Mateu, mezzosoprano Anna Tobella, tenor Marc Sala, and baritone Enric Martínez-Castignani, under the direction of Albert Santiago. The programme also includes Mozart's 'Prague Symphony' ('Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504').
Following the showing at Art Madrid '17 and how well it was received by critics and visitors, the exhibition 'The Muses' comes to Barcelona's Fifty Dots in Gràcia. Irene Cruz invites you to view her work from deep inside, from the edge of silent phrases she translates through her muses, the silhouettes. They all gather together and mark a precept of becoming the same delicate identity. It is the name given to all, silky skin dressed in their favourite flowers that scarcely delimit earthly bodies from the landscape filled with bluish haze and colours of strange hours in the eternal autumnal forest.
The Foto Colectania Foundation and the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) are collaborating on the exhibition 'Photobook Phenomenon'. At the CCCB, where they're showing five of the seven parts that make up the show, it's on until late August (and until late July in Foto Colectania). The exhibition places value on the photobook's place in contemporary visual cultural as well as looks at a reinterpretation of the history of the photograph via the paper of the photobook and the printed photograph. You'll see photobooks from Ródchencko, William Klein and Robert Frank, as well as those from Japanese artists, who pioneered the phenomenon. There's a section dedicated to photobooks of protest and propaganda, which brings together radical designs.
The party to end all parties is back! Las Cinco, the powerful union of the big five LGBT parties in town – Churros con Chocolate, La Rebujito, La Ká, POPair and SomosLas – have put all their other affairs on hold to organise an unforgettable festival of fun (and the proceeds go to a good cause, this time to aid the campaign Casa Nostra, Casa Vostra). The rooms at Razzmatazz will fill up with hostesses including Mesón Candelas and La Chuchi de Sudamérica; performances from Carmen La Hierbabuena and Rey del Glam (an Alaska tribute band); and DJ sessions with DJ de Koplowitz, Karmele & Lidia, Mauro Feola, Pistol Pete, Carlos Meinteil, and the resident DJs of all five parties. Don't miss out on the biggest fun of the week!
Friday nights in the centre of Barcelona, head down to the 'secret' basement of a Greek restaurant where they say that whoever enters can't help but dance the salsa nonstop. Making the magic that gets you moving are DJ Jacoviche Melomanía Garcia and the band La Gozadera BCN. If you've never ventured in, now's your chance to join in on this Barcelona sensation.
It's Easter. Spain's a Catholic country. So you know what you're getting with the traditional activities. Among the religious processions on Holy Thursday, and one that is documented as far back as the 17th century, is that of nearby Badalona, which highlights both the ancient and the emotional. Known as the Procession of Silence, it got its name given because the participants and spectators don't make a peep as the procession passes through the medieval streets of the Dalt neighbourhood. It's also worth mentioning the special lighting, made only by candles the locals decorate their windows and balconies with, as well as those illuminating the crosses on the walls of houses and those that the members of the procession carry. It starts off at the Parròquia de Santa Maria.
In front of Barcelona's Cathedral in the centre of town, Good Friday activities include the 'Sermon of the Seven Words', followed by the worship of the passion and death of the Lord, and then at 6.30pm the stations of the cross, which enacts passing to 12 stations that represent the steps Jesus took toward his death. Various parishes around Barcelona celebrate the stations of the cross in addition to the one at the Cathedral.
Andalusian Easter in Hospitalet
For more than three decades, the Andalusian community in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat has celebrated Easter in Catalonia as only they can in the south of the Peninsula. The most emblematic element of these processions are the 'saetas', religious songs performed by sung by Andalusian flamenco singers in a genre that is considered the expression of the suffering of Andalusian people.
Kids (and adults) love gobbling up the special 'mona de Pascua' Easter cake and chocolate eggs. But do you know where the Catalan tradition of the mona comes from? This workship invites kids to travel to Barcelona 1707, where Archduke Carlos III prepared a game to celebrate Easter with the children in the Old City of the Born. Through a game of clues (in Catalan) you'll get to know the origin of the mona, which is linked to European tradition, and also learn more about the world of chocolate in the 18th century, taking in the aromas of vanillia, pepper, ginger... And finally, each boy and girl gets to make a mona and a chocolate egg to decorate it with in this delicious workshop.
Catalan artist Joan Miró collected objects and elements from nature during his walks along the beach and in the countryside; he observed their weight, shape, texture, colour, size, and so on, to discover alternative realities. But what can you find at the Joan Miró Foundation? You're invited to walk through the rooms, the corridors, the patios and the terrace of the gallery to see what you can find, and in this workshop your collection will be the centre of the game and experience.
Lucas and Robert live surrounded by boxes in a toy factory. Lucas loves to jump and dance, and Robert is passionate about music. The pair are very mischievous, curious and restless, and because they can't bear waiting to find out what surprises await them inside each box, they'll soon be immersed in a magical and unexpected adventure.
You might notice there's quite a sense of community and a sociable aspect about Barcelona. It's a city where family and friends value time spent together, especially if that means relaxing outdoors. And, yes, kids are part of the culture, too. One of the best ways to do as the locals do is visit a park, the little ones in tow. Here are some of Barcelona’s best parks for kids to run around, kick a ball, and even take in some of the city’s iconic architecture while you're at it.
These days zip lines aren't just found in campgrounds or on pricey guided nature adventures. In fact, right in some of Barcelona's public city parks there are a handful where you can take hold and take off. Sure, you're not soaring over a canyon or flying long distances, but you can get a mini rush just the same. And if you've got the kids in tow, they'll have a blast.
A beautiful day, just the right warmth from the sun and occasional light breeze... ahh, perfect picnic weather. You don't have to leave town to find a peaceful spot to spread out your blanket and set up for an outdoor feast. Fill your picnic basket with your favourite goodies (don't forget the corkscrew!) and head out for one of these 10 best picnic spots in Barcelona.
If you're looking for something to do as a family other than sit in a dark cinema, eat at another crowded restaurant or try to get the little ones away from that electronic game, you've come to the right place. Barcelona may not have as many parks as London or New York, but it's got its share of lovely open spaces to spend some quality time in a mysterious place known as the outdoors.
Visiting a city as big as Madrid and managing to see and do all it has to offer is no easy task. From sprawling museums to traditional restaurants and bars, every corner you turn uncovers a spot that draws in tourists and locals alike. To make the choices a bit easier and to make sure you experience as much as you can, we've picked 20 essential things to do when you're in Madrid. If you can't fit them all in, don't worry, you can always come back.