Top things to do this weekend in Barcelona
Apolo gets into the Christmas spirit with a big fun-filled day on December 17. Starting at 11am and until midnight you'll find things to do for the whole family, a market featuring local creators with record labels founded in Barcelona and their wares, a record shop, designers, illustrators, and more creative endeavours. This window into the world of emerging talent in the city also includes Apolo's regular programme of the kids' session Escuela de Rock and the monthly party VenTú, as well as special programming in the other halls, La  and La (3).
It's been 11 years since the first Festivalet, a fair dedicated to Barcelona's independent craftspeople and designers, which for many is already a must-go place to get your hands on original, signature products, plus you can buy straight from the person who made it – without going through any middleman. They've got together some 100 creators from Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg and Morocco, and this year they're also offering workshops, so you can start making things yourself.
Films played with live orchestral accompaniment have never been more popular. And this time around you won't be in an auditorium but at the cinema. The featured film is Alfred Hitchcock's classic 'Vertigo', starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, with a soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann. Performing Herrmann's score are the Orquesta Sinfónica Camera Musicae, directed by Anthony Gabriele.
Artists who've found success abroad returning home to reconnect with the fanbase that gave them that crucial initial push. This is the premise of Club Circuit, a new project by the Association of Catalonian Concert Halls that seeks to bring music back to Barcelona's most intimate – and culturally relevant – concert spaces. This first edition finishes with three consecutive dates with Christina Rosenvinge, a singer and composer from Madrid. With more than three decades in music, Rosenvinge is performing in small-capacity venues, so you feel the music closer than ever before and completely immerse yourself in her new album, ‘Un hombre rubio’.
If you're a fan of good design, you won't want to miss this new edition of the Design Market. Foment de les Arts i del Disseny (FAD), a not-for-profit association of design professionals and companies, is in charge of selecting the participants, and you'll find loads on offer from all fields of design: decoration and objects for the home, fashion and accessories, contemporary jewellery, crafts, and graphic art. Keep your energy up in the food area and keep the kids entertained in the play space set up especially for them.
One of Barcelona's most fun vintage and second-hand markets is back with a pre-Christmas edition at Estació de França. You'll find all kinds of treasures, from clothes to music, decoration, toys, books, comics and much more, all at feel-good prices. The singularity of the vendors, the aim of creating a space with a festive ambience, and the environmentally responsible awareness make this ten-year-old Barcelona weekend market worth a visit.
Some 30 brands come together in the Zoco BCN Christmas Market at the modernista mansion Torre Amat. You'll find fashion, acceossories, costume jewellery, and decoration, as well as gift ideas for your foodie friends, and other gastronomic delights to try on the spot. Don't forget to say hi to Santa or to collaborate with some of the charitable causes represented at the market as well.
The Algodonera Market Lab sets up a new edition on the terrace of the Cotton House Hotel, where you can touch, experiment with and purchase products related to the worlds of textiles, design and flavours.
In a time like now when we're always getting the biggest and the best ever thrown around, at Arts Santa Mónica they're taking the opportunity to follow the evolution of American comics from birth to full bloom, including the influence that American comics have had in Spain. The exhibition 'The comic explosion: Contrasts and influences of the great masters of North American comic strips (1895-1955)' features some 130 original works on the walls and in showcases, classified in technical contrasts, masters and disciples, and the arrival of the comic explosion in Spain. You can see pieces like an original by the classic American illustrator Matt Clark, who was a big influence for illustrators to come; a rare page from 'Flash Gordon', by Alex Raymond; and three originals of the wonderful 'Little Nemo'.
This long-established Christmas fair takes over the square in front of Barcelona’s cathedral for the weeks leading up to the big day, with stalls selling seasonal accessories including mistletoe, tree decorations and small gifts. However, if you want to experience the fair as a local, grab the chance to buy some nativity figures, whether a 'caganer' (a Catalan peasant – or a celebrity, from Rafa Nadal to Donald Trump – who defecates in the corner of the stable) or a character who actually appeared in the original story.
The Christmas Fair at the Sagrada Família has been around since the 1960s and has become one of the most traditional Christmas markets in the Eixample, with about 100 stalls selling gifts and decorations as well as tasty seasonal treats. Not to mention that it adds to the whole seasonal feel by creating a picture-perfect Christmas card around the Sagrada Família itself.
In this new collaboration between the CaixaForum and the Museo del Prado in Madrid, the spotlight is on Diego Velázquez as one of the top Spanish painters. You can behold works like 'Felipe IV', 'Juan Martínez Montañés', 'Aesop', 'Bufón con libros', 'Equestrian Portrait of Prince Balthasar Charles', 'Mars' and 'Adoration of the Magi', as well as works by other exceptional contemporaries, from Ribera to Zurbarán, and Tiziano to Rubens.
For its 35th edition, the Hipermerc'art moves from the Fàbrica Mortiz to the Galeria Cromo in Gràcia, but the philosophy is the same. You'll find more than 1,000 original works of art – paintings, illustration, sculpture, photography, collage and graphic artworks – from some 30 local artists, among them the likes of Pol Montserrat, Berta Espanyol, Mr. Sis, Alicia Omedes, Jordi Pintó, Javirroyo, Tv Boy and Marta Ballvé. You'll find art for all tastes and budgets, with prices ranging from €49 to €299.
Looking for something different and fun to do in Barcelona? Arte Bar offers no-experience-required painting parties in their studio. Join in on your own and meet new people or bring some friends and do something creative and fun together. Choose which painting you want to create and book your spot. Your instructor will walk you through the painting step-by-step, while you enjoy some snacks and drinks. At the end of the night you'll leave with your finished painting and a memorable experience.
This 17th edition of DelicARTessen, the most popular exhibition at the Esther Monturiol gallery. It's a select collection of small-format art you can appreciate (and some to buy). The exhibition features than 400 works including drawings, paintings, sculptures and photography by 90 artists. And thanks to the generosity and collaboration of all the artists, you might just find a piece or two you want to take home with you. These pieces are on sale for €100 each, and only during the exhibition.