Drawing Barcelona

Art Nouveau, city streets, people, tourists and taxis, lots of taxis. These are some of the popular subjects drawn by illustrators participating in the ‘Barcelona Illustrated’ exhibition, running until the 16th of January in Gràcia at the fashion gallery Las Cosas de Martinez.

This is an exciting exhibition where you can discover the city from the viewpoint of some of Barcelona’s most important established and emerging artists.
“The show is different, diverse and fun,” says Inés García-Albi, curator of the exhibition. “On display are the distinct visions of thirty artists from different spheres, including advertising, the press or editorial”. The illustrators work in various techniques, from watercolours, collage, pencil, acrylic, ink, screen to digital”.

Artists featured in this the exhibition include: Xano Armenter, Ignasi Blanch, Mirthe Blussé, Laura Borràs, Roberta Bridda, Brusco, Lluís Cadafalch, David Elósegui Victor Escandell, Arianne Faber, Africa Fanlo, Flor Garcia, Christian Inaraja, Isamat Marcos, Oscar Julve, Katrina Kalnina, Lluïsot, Eva Miquel, Perico Pastor, Elenio Pico, Imapla, Sonia Pulido, Felix Roca, Max Saladrigas, Gemma Sales, Philip Stanton, Martin Tognola, Luisa Vera, Natalia Zaratiegui, and Lucas Zarraluki.


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Distinction. A century of fashion photography

This fascinating new exhibition at the Museu del Disseny features photographs from the museum’s fashion photography collection, which comprises over 460 images.

Though the world of fashion and marketing has changed considerably in the past two decades thanks to the rise of the internet and new media, throughout the 20th century fashion photography was central to the spread of new fashion styles and trends, and this exhibition explores the evolution of fashion photography during this time period.

Photographs featured date from between 1903 and 2013 and represent the work of 35 different photographers; diverse origins include fashion magazine editorial shoots, work commissioned by fashion brands and work commissioned by designers and companies to use in advertising campaigns.

The exhibition itself is split into seven sections; each one illustrates a different stage in the evolution of fashion photography.

Distinction. A century of fashion photography takes place from the 25th of November to the 26th of March at the Museu Del Disseny.

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The Ethnological Museum

Discover the new Ethnological Museum of Barcelona on Montjuic, next to the MNAC and the old botanical garden. From November the 15th you can enjoy free guided tours every Sunday, up until the 3rd of January.

The newly renovated Museum of Ethnology in Barcelona has been set up as a space where society can reflect upon on itself. Anthropology is the science of people, and the learning that the museum curates is geared to everybody.

The Ethnological Museum is a museum of anthropology that is based on the dual pillars of scientific knowledge and visual aesthetics, with objects that challenge visitors to interpret their social environment.

Until the 4th of December, admission to the museum is free, offering locals a unique opportunity to discover this new cultural centre.

From Sunday November the 15th you can enjoy free guided tours of the Museum of Ethnology. Tours are conducted by a team of anthropologists, researchers and specialists who know the themes and stories that lie behind the exhibits on display.

Guided tours will be conducted in two sessions every Sunday at 11:30 am and 1.00 pm in groups of between 5 and 35 people. Places must be reserved by calling 0034 932563484 or by writing to reservesmeb@bcn.cat.

Located on Passeig de Santa Madrona, 16, 08038 Barcelona, the Ethnological Museum is best reached via Plaça Espanya.

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OFF-FRINGE Barcelona

If you have attended the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe Festival then you’ll no doubt be familiar with the hilarity that goes with it. But you don’t need to suffer the downpours and chill winds of a Midlothian summer.

This year celebrating its ten year anniversary, the Guinness Laughter Lounge brings the best of the Edinburgh Fringe to the sunny Mediterranean shores of Barcelona, presenting a host of comedians as part of this Saturday night comedy series.

This weekend is event’s grand finale, and to close the series, double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Carl Donnelly brings his ‘Jive Ass Honky’ show to the stage.

Proffering a hilarious observation of the foibles of 20th century ideals, the internationally acclaimed comedian brings his show to Barcelona for the first time ever.

As well as Donnelly, the evening will start with a warm up from Dublin’s Ger Staunton, a regular of Ireland’s vibrant comedy circuit as well as festivals such as the Galway Comedy Carnival and of course, the Fringe.

This weekend is the grand finale for the current OFF-FRINGE season but they will be back in January for bit more sun, with more comedy. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/guinnesslaughterloungebarcelona. The show takes place at Sins Restaurant Lounge Bar, Muntaner 7, 08011 Barcelona.

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A magical realist tour of Barcelona’s Latin American literary heritage

There are numerous tourist routes of Barcelona’s cultural wide heritage – modernism, Zafon, Rodoreda, Miró, The Cathedral of the sea.

Now, forty years after Garcia Marquez was first published, La Casa America Catalunya recently launched a tour of places that were significant to the literary group that revolutionized twentieth century literature. Authors such as García Márquez, Vargas Llosa and Donoso all lived in Barcelona and worked under the tutelage of Catalan literary agent Carmen Balcells.

“It was something that the city was lacking” affirms Cristina Osorno, head of the Casa America Cataluny. Most literary tours focused on Catalan authors but there was none dedicated to a movement that has given so much to the city.

Passers-by will not see their landmarks marked by any official signposts. Interestingly, Latin American predecessors Rómulo Gallegos and Ruben Dario have plaques in the places where they lived, but not so with the places frequented Vargas Llosa, Garcia Marquez, Cortazar, Fuentes or Balcells.

García Márquez could never enjoy the gold medal of the city he was posthumously awarded at a ceremony in March.

The new route is being done with the collaboration with the Libraries of Barcelona. It will last about two hours and take place mainly in the Ciutat Vella: the port where boats arrived with the writers, and where they were going. Escudellers, where Mexican Sergio Pitol stayed, the pension where Fernando Vargas Llosa and his aunt-wife Julia spent their first night in the city, the Palau Guell and the Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp Gabo visited with his friend Tísner.

Attendees will read excerpts from the novels they wrote here in certain significant points. “We plan to soon include tours Sarria, where many of the writers lived,” says Marga Arnedo, organizer of the route.

If you enjoy the work of South American authors such as Garcia Marquez and Vargas Llosa, you are sure to enjoy this wonderful tour. See http://www.americat.cat/es/home for more information.

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New Year’s Eve 2015 in Barcelona – what to expect?

With Autumn in full swing and Christmas shopping under way, thoughts turn to New Year. Barcelona’s New Year celebration ritual began two years ago by the local government, in response to a barrage of requests from hoteliers of the city who did not know what to say to their clients when asked where to celebrate the arrival of the New Year in Barcelona.

In the end it was decided that, Barcelona, its neighbours and the thousands of visitors coming to the Catalan capital could celebrate New Year in Montjuic, on Maria Cristina Avenue.

To mark the arriva of 2014, a 15 meter high giant was created, star of a pagan ceremony that would be repeated on 31 December 2014. But what was on its way to becoming a tradition, a hallmark of the New Year Barcelona, has already passed into history. The new municipal government and party organizers have decided to retire the colossus resident to a park in Gava.

So a change in format is to be expected this year, though has not yet been finalised. Though we can count on Montjuic and Maria Cristina avenue as the setting, as well as a festival of light, pyrotechnics and water, using the framework created by the Magic Fountain, the backdrop of the Palau Nacional and the Quatre Columnes Puig i Cadafalch.

The other thing you can be sure of is smiles, plenty of cava, a great party and a warm New Year in Barcelona!

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The best brunch in Barcelona

Everyone loves a good brunch. Here are our top 3 in Barcelona. Enjoy!

Federal Cafe

Based on an informal Australian eatery, Federal cafe looks like it up sticks from Melbourne and landed in the Eixample in Barcelona.

Featuring exceedingly tasteful decor and plenty of natural light, this is a really relaxing weekend brunch joint.

With friendly service and a menu specialising in breakfasts such as juices and shakes, eggs, bacon and sausage, fruit and sandwiches. The coffee is amazing.

Parlament, 39
Sant Antoni



Picnic more than fills its modest space. It opened in 2010 and gave the premises a rigorous makeover creating a welcoming space with country-kitchen bar stools, exotic flower arrangements and lounge music. Food is influenced by the US deep south, with corn chowder, fried green tomatoes and the very tasty speciality that is little crab cakes with fennel salad and crème fraîche.

If you come at the weekend for brunch do get there early for any chance of a table.

Comerç, 1



Norte is another firm favourite. Located in the Eixample Dreta this time, Norte was opened by three friends who graduated in an unusual combination of philosophy, journalism and art history.

The group have turned a corner bar into a superb miniature restaurant offering reworked and updated classic dishes from the Basque country and Galicia, served on small plates.

Breakfast and lunch are delicious here, with omelettes and scrambled eggs served with toast and a home-made jam that tastes like a family recipe. All the seasonal vegetables are organic. A great placr to come for families with children.

Diputació, 321
Eixample Dret


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Cara a Cara

Cara a Cara (Face to Face) is a thought-provoking new exhibition at the Fundació Foto Colectania showcasing over 100 works by Spanish and Portuguese photographers, with works dating from the early 1950s right through to the present day.

The exhibition focuses on portraits, as its name suggests. It sets out to highlight work s that get up close and personal with the photographers’ subjects, works that highlight both the striking diversity and the touching similarities shared between all human beings.

Cara a Cara is an exhibition providing a fascinating insight into what it means to be human. The photos exhibited are an opportunity for reflection and contemplation on the subject of self.

Entry to Cara a Cara costs €3, although it is free on the first Saturday of every month. The exhibition runs from October the 6th to February the 13th, 2016.

Find out more information about Cara Cara here.

Fundació Foto Colectania Julián Romea 6, D2, 08006 Barcelona

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Las Casas Cerda

The Generalitat of Barcelona (local government) has declared las Casas Cerdà in Barcelona to be Bien cultural de interés nacional (BCIN) , which means that they are buildings of historical and cultural interest and as such are protected from damage or redevelopment.

Las Casas Cerdà are a set of three buildings at the intersection of Roger de Llúria and Consell de Cent in Barcelona’s Eixample, though originally there were four. Their name comes from the landowner and businessman who developed the site, Josep Cerdà Soler, rather than Ildefonso Cerdà who was responsible for the design of the Eixample.

The Cerdà houses were built in a chamfered form according to Ildefonso Cerda’s Plan in 1859. They are important as they are some of the very first major buildings that were made in the Eixample, and because they are more faithful to the Cerdà Plan than many subsequent developments.

If you are touring the Eixample to discover more about the history of Barcelona’s art nouveau and industrial past, be sure to visit these fascinating buildings.

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Madonna in Barcelona

Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart Tour’ will arrive in Barcelona this November for two nights only. Madonna will play at the beautiful art nouveau Palau Sant Jordi on the 25th and 26th of November.

Building on the success of Rebel Heart (2014), her thirteenth studio album, the tour promises performances of music from an album which has been rated as one of her best yet. As well as new material, Madonna will be performing classics from throughout her career.

This promises to be a show to remember and would be a great memory to add to your trip to Barcelona. If you are planning to be in Barcelona in late November be sure to get your ticket now!

Tickets are available here.

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