Nearly every neighbourhood in Barcelona has its own big celebration, or Festa Major, and now it's Poble-sec's turn to put on their week-long party. From July 19 to 27, the barrio fills up with loads of daily activities for revellers of all ages. Not sure how to decide? Let us guide you with our selections of what's on every day.
SATURDAY, JULY 19
Things get underway early the first day of the Festa Major. At 10.30am, you can join in on 'The architecture of Poble-sec, the Modernisme of the working class' tour, which takes about two hours and starts in one of the city's stellar squares, Plaça del Sortidor. If you're out with the kids, at 11am in the same square there's a clown show, and at 2pm you can recharge your batteries thanks to an agroecological 'fideuada' (meal of 'fideuà', a popular noodle-and-seafood dish), also in Plaça del Sortidor.
At 7pm in Plaça de la Santa Madrona, it's time for the meeting of the 'gegants', and you won't want to miss this giants from all around Barcelona in their parade follows this route: C/de l'Olivera, PlaçaNavas, Elkano, Concòrdia, Blai, Margarit and Magalhaes, and comes to an end in Plaça del Sortidor.
During the whole of Saturday you can also check out the best of street art and graffiti in Plaça de les Tres Xemeneies, where they've programmed an exhibition with some of the most illustrious graffiti artists in the city, along with music from various DJs. If that gets you in the mood for more dancing, at 9pm you can head over to Koska Taverna, where DJ Mr. Patato will be playing the best Black Groove. A good way to end the day is with the party in C/Roser, including a big barbecue and reggae music until 2am.
SUNDAY, JULY 20
If you're feeling a bit guilty all the excesses of the day before, why not join in the Poble-sec run? There are three categories: children (200 metres), junior (1,000 metres) and adults (5,000 metres). The start and finish are in C/Megalhaes where it joins with Plaça del Sortidor. After working up a sweat, recover with an organic paella they're doing up in the same Plaça del Sortidor, where there will also be a 'ball de bastons' traditional stick dance at 6pm, and then a 'butifarrada' (meal of 'botifarra' sausage) at 9pm, which will even have something for vegans.
The Poble-sec 'castellers' (human towers) celebrate their 15th anniversary with a castellers day, where other Barcelona casteller groups will also participate, as well as some from Lleida. Check it out from noon to 3pm in C/Blai, in front of the Francesc Boix library.
A nice way to spend Sunday afternoon is in C/Roser. At 6.30pm there will be a cold chocolate fest as well as plenty of horchata organised by the locals; at 7pm there's bingo; from 8.30pm to 10pm it's barbecue time as well as a concert and dancing in the streets.
In Plaça de Navas at noon there's a meet-up of 'tabalers' (drummers), which follows workshops for the little ones that start at 11am. At 7pm there's something else for the kids: a correfoc infantil. This safe 'fire run' takes place in the same square, and at 9pm a correfoc performance starts the correfoc for grown-ups.
TUESDAY, JULY 22 & WEDNESDAY, JULY 23
During the week there are fewer activities, but there is still plenty to do that's worth a visit. On Tuesday the 22nd from 5pm to 8pm, in Plaça del Sortidor, there's a chocolate feast courtesy of the Casas bakery. Afterwards, in the same square, you can join in the castellers workshop, hosted by the Poble-sec Castellers. Then you can head to C/Roser, where, from 9pm to 11pm you can see circus and cabaret shows, plus some surprises.
Wednesday the 23rd, the kids can get in touch with their creative side in the children's chalk-drawing workshop, which starts at 6pm in C/Blesa. At night, don't miss the rumba and flamenco concert in C/Roser from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.
THURSDAY, JULY 24
It's time to get geared up again for the weekend. The Poble-sec Castellers are organising a whole afternoon (from 5pm to 8pm) of activities for kids, including water games in the street and bouncy castles.
At dinnertime, a good option is heading toward the 'notte italiana' they're organising in La Cultural del Seco: Italian aperitif, spritz, Italian slow-food product tastings... and it's all accompanied by a 'cooking DJ set' with piadini for kids and grown-ups. The Italian nightwill end with a musical dinner with pizzas, focaccias and piadini.
FRIDAY, JULY 25
Friday's full of things to do, like a walk to get to know old Paral·lel, which starts at 10.30am in Passeig de la Canadenca at C/Vilà i Vilà.
If you've got the kids, you'll want to head to Plaça del Sortidor, where, from 5pm to 8.15pm they're hosting all kinds of family activities: workshops for cooking and making masks, for example, and a parade with circus, music and laughs. If you're a fan of fiery traditions, don't miss the 'correfoc' that starts at 9.15pm in Plaça de la Santa Madrona.
From late afternoon to midnight, Sala Apolo gets in on the festivities with a bunch of concerts they're hosting on the stage in C/Vilà i Vilà: Santa Rta at 7pm, Brut at 8pm, Aliment at 9pm, and at 10.30 you can join in some karaoke with live music from Vàlius.
There's also music in Koska Taverna, first with live swing (8pm) and then with a DJ session. If you're a little bit rock 'n' roll, don't miss concerts from Holy Family and Salvaje Montoya that our friends at Psycho are organising in C/Piqué. And if you're more into electronic music, head over to C/Roser around 9pm (after the barbecue).
SATURDAY, JULY 26
The Festa Major activities in C/Vilà i Vilà, brought to you by Sala Apolo, get underway at noon with a music workshop for kids, and they carry on throughout the day with a musical vermouth hour at 1pm, open doors (this time in Sala Apolo itself) at 1pm and concerts from 7pm to midnight with Shakin' All (7pm), Ramon & The One Armed Go-Go Dancer (8.30pm), The Saurs (10pm) and Turista Bang Bang DJ (11pm).
If it's family activities you're looking for, in Plaça de la Santa Madrona they're doing a puppet show at noon, and after a lunch, at 6pm, tere are also kids' workshops.
In C/d'Albareda, the Fundació Arrels is organising a paella lunch at 2pm. So if you want to get in on that, be sure to pick up your ticket in advance, between July 20 and 25. At 5.30pm, in th same sreet you can see a magic show, while in C/Roser they're putting on workshops and street games for the little ones. Also in C/Roser, from 8pm to 9pm, it's Latin music, and after that until the wee hours there will be funk, soul and hip-hop to dance to.
Starting at 8pm in La Cultural del Seco there's a show featuring crafts, as well as bicycles, circus, sardines and other music performances. At the same time in Koska Taverna there's a demonstration of the txalaparta, the traditional Basque percussion instrument. In C/Piqué, after a dinner, it's concerts by Drogueria Quinto and Fuckin' Bollocks.
SUNDAY, JULY 27
For the last day of the festival, if you're stil up for it, you can choose between the vermouth in Plaça de la Santa Madrona from 1pm (before that there's a morning of flamenco, country and sevillana dancing) or the vermouth concert in C/Purísima Concepció, at 12.30pm, and carry on with the street barbecue on C/Blai at 1.30pm.