Bread & Butter meets Pan con Tomate

Barcelona is a city and a brand synonymous with style and fashion, and so it is good news that the urban fashion fair Bread & Butter Barcelona will return to Barcelona from the 8th to the 10th of January next year.

According to the founder of the Bread & Butter brand, Karl-Heinz Müller, the event will occupy a staggering 100,000 square feet, virtually all of the Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuic site.

The event returns to Barcelona in an attempt to recapture some of the Mediterranean market which has been in decline since Bread & Butter moved to Berlin in 2009.

The winter edition of Bread & Butter always faced stiff competition from other fashion salons in Berlin and Amsterdam and negotiations between Müller and the urban fashion and Fira Barcelona have been a long process.

The summer edition of Bread & Butter will remain in Berlin, with Barcelona’s sunnier climes hosting the winter edition. A first foray into the Asian market has also been announced, with Seoul elected for a new edition from the 3rd to the 5th of September next year. Organisers describe the city as “young, progressive, hungry, independent, and full of street life and energy”.

In the penultimate edition of Bread & Butter in Barcelona in 2008, over 90,000 people attended, and it was just days before the celebration of the winter edition in 2009 when La Vanguardia newspaper announced the organization’s decision to return to Berlin after offered them free use of Tempelhof airport to tempt them back. It’s departure was a heavy blow to the economies of the city and of the Fira de Barcelona, and hence shortly afterwards a new fashion event was launched in Barcelona, the Brandery.

Book your attendance here.

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WEDJ’s Barcelona 2014

The WEDJ’s Festival celebrates its 5th edition this year this June from the 18th of July. WEDJ aims to bring Barcelona the coolest names international dance in a live session every Wednesday this summer at Opium Barcelona, right next to the beach.

All performances will be individual at affordable prices, offering you the chance to see top name DJs at a fraction of the ordinary cost, in surroundings offering superb lighting and sound systems.

Last year’s festival proved to be a sell out success, with sets from stars such as Steve Aoki, Afrojack, Sebastian Ingrosso, Martin Solveig, Nicky Romero, Alesso, Nervo and Roger Sanchez.

This year the festival again boasts a dazzling line up including Koyou Deniz, the Dutch king of trance and house Sander Van Door, Thomas Gold, quintessential trance producer Armin Van Buuren, and other heavyweights such as Martin Solveig, Roger Sanchez and Brian Cross.

The warm up of each session is provided by resident DJ Frank Caro (81 bcn). DJ since the age of 19, Frank cut his teeth in clubs such as Amnesia and Pacha BCN.

The festival, which takes place in Opium, facing the sea at the foot of Hotel Arts Barcelona (Paseo Marítimo de la Barceloneta 34), is organized by the East Coast group company, managers of legendary Barcelona night clubs such as Scrap Metal, Jimmyz, Opium, Nuba and Bling Bling

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Barcelona Hotel Terrace Week 2014

With the arrival of summer, Hotel Terraces Week in Barcelona is soon upon us. Owed to the success of past editions, this year it will last longer than in previous years and is to be held between May the 30th and June the 8th.

The number of participating Hotels has also increased, with some 60 establishments confirmed to date, which are 9 more than last year. Hotel Terraces Week was launched by the Hotel Association of Barcelona in 2011, and in this fourth edition it is expected that the attendance will exceed the 20,000 visitors of last year.

For ten days, free of charge, each of the participating hotels offers cultural and leisure activities on their terrace. Likewise, each hotel will offer its own cuisine, which incorporates a variety of Torres wines (Torres are the official sponsor of the event).

Some 228 different activities will be made available among the participating hotels, including food, music, cooking workshops, cookery demonstrations, live music, zumba and dance workshops, ham tastings, magic shows, opera, gin and tonics and cocktails, jugglers, children’s workshops and many more.
Among the highlights are the Hotel Claris, the Granados 83 and the Bagués Derby Hotels Collection. The Hotel Claris is offering Spanish ham tasting with Manuel López de Reserva Ibérica. A cooking show will be held at the Bagués on Friday the 30th, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th and at the Granados 83 on Friday the 30th, Wednesday the 4th and Thursday the 5th, all at 20:00 . This will consist of a live cookery demonstration where you can discover the art of preparing tartars of tuna and beef at the hands of the Hotels professional chefs.

The terrace of the Hotel Duquesa de Cardona will be offering live music, DJs and samba and funk groups, mojitos, swing classes and gin and tonic workshops.
Don’t miss out on some free fun in spectacular locations!

Posted in Activities - Spring, Activities - Summer, Barcelona for Children, Barcelona Gastronomy, Barcelona nightlife, shows and concerts in Barcelona | Leave a comment

Barcelona’s bid for UNESCO 2014 City of Literature

Last week Jaume Ciurana, deputy mayor for culture for Barcelona, announced that Barcelona was making a bid for the 2014 City of Literature Title.

Barcelona has long been a city associated with literature. Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Eduardo Mendoza Garriga, Juan Goytisolo and George Orwell have all been associated with Barcelona’s literary scene over the years. This is not a new phenomena, the oldest known book in Spain is a medieval cookery book written in Catalan.

UNESCO’s City of Literature program was launched in 2004 and is part of its Creative Cities Network whose aim is to promote cultural wealth. Previous cities to hold the title include Edinburgh, Norwich, Reykjavik, Dublin, Melbourne, Krakow and Iowa City.

The president of the Publishers Guild of Catalunya, Daniel Fernandez, has said: “There are many cities which are cities of the book, which have literature running through the core of their identity, and Barcelona has it. There are also several cities that are capitals of the publishing industry, but Barcelona has something special to it, being the capital publishing in both Catalan and Spanish. With the death of García Márquez so recent, we must remember that without Catalan publishers the Latin American boom would never have happened. So linking the identity of Barcelona as a city even more closely with the world of literature is a great idea .If in a few years time we have gone from being a ‘city of fairs and congresses’ to a ‘world capital of literature’, this is something that will make me proud. For our part we will do whatever it takes to make this happen.”

The Socialist candidate for mayor, Jaume Collboni, has expressed his interest in and support for the idea, adding that the proposal “had planted a very interesting seed.”

The application requires the submission of a formal letter from the mayor of the city, and a dossier of proposal, approved by the National Committee of the UNESCO and supported by professional associations linked to the publishing world.

At a time when all heads are turned towards economic issues, this award would act as a reminder that cultural issues still matter and that Barcelona has an enormous amount to offer and to be proud of culturally.

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Plan your day at the beach with Infoplatges!

Before going to the beach in Barcelona this summer check your Smartphone. Thanks to the “Infoplatges” (beach info) app which the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) has just developed, you can access all the information you would need in order to plan a day of chilling at the beach. The Infoplatges App tool will tell you not only meteorological information such as the weather, the state of the sea and the local weather forecast, but also information on facilities and activities available at each beach, directions, emergency information and other recommendations.

All information is real-time and constantly updated. Infoplatges is the latest example of Barcelona’s local government’s efforts to use technology to connect with its citizens. Other examples include the AMBtemps Bus that lets you know the arrival time of any metropolitan bus and AMB Taxi Barcelona that allows you to calculate the cost amount of any taxi journey within the city.

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Barcelona’s Top Destination – La Roca Village

Ever wondered what the most visited tourist destination in Barcelona is? If you were to take a guess, you probably might say Las Ramblas, the Sagrada Familia, the Picasso Museum or perhaps the Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona.

All of these very sensible guesses would be wrong. In fact recent statistics from the Barcelona tourist board indicate that the most visited tourist attraction throughout the whole province of Barcelona (as opposed to just the city itself) is an out of town shopping centre!

La Roca Village shopping centre holds the title, after some 3.3 million people in 2013. La Roca is a factory outlet shopping mall located 30 minutes from both Barcelona and Girona by car or bus. La Roca Village offers big brands at prices reduced by up to 60%. It is near the village of Santa Agnès de Malanyanes, and actually located parallel to the motorway.

La Roca received more visitors than the Sagrada Família, which received a mere 3,176,970 people in comparison. The next most visited monument in the province of Barcelona was Montserrat Monastery, with nearly 2.4 million visits, followed by the Circuit de Catalunya (the veunue of the F1 racing) with just over 620,000 visits, followed by the Natural Park of Montseny which attracted 196,000 visitors.

Back in the capital, the top 5 attractions were headed by the Sagrada Família, followed by the Aquarium with 1,718,000 visitors, the Barça Museum with 1.5 million visitors, the Poble Espanyol with 1,258,000 visitors and the Montjuïc castle with 1,072,000 visitors.

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Museum Night 2014 in Barcelona

This Saturday May the 17th is Museum Night in Barcelona, with more than 70 venues participating and offering free events.

Museum Night is an initiative sponsored by the Council of Europe. Over 4,000 museums across 40 countries participate and this year the event celebrates its tenth edition. Museum Night will for the first time be followed by the International Museum Day on Sunday the 18th of May, with doors open for free admission in the great majority of the institutions participating in Museum Night.

Participating venues include the Hospital Sant Pau, the castle on Montjuïc, Born Cultural Centre, the Estudi Regomir (with work of Josep Maria Subirachs), and the gatehouse of Park Güell.

This year, as well as the regular participants above, the Santa Monica Arts Centre, the Francisco Godia Foundation, the Blueproject Foundation, the Can Riera Museum and L’ Hospitalet Fabra i Coats will also be open to the public for free. The event is expected to attract approximately 133,000 participants from the general public.

On Tuesday Jaume Ciurana, Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor of Culture, announced the different activities taking place on Museum Night. He was accompanied by the heads of the participating museums and cultural centres. The exciting program of events includes concerts, poetry readings, dance sessions, workshops and guided tours for all ages.

Josep Lluis Alay, the director of Heritage, Museums and Archives at the Institute of Culture of Barcelona, has stated that on Museum Night the Institute will present the exciting latest findings related to Barcelona’s Roman wall.

Museum Night in Barcelona is a great way for visitors to Barcelona to enjoy privileged access to many of the city’s finest cultural and historical sites, for free. If you are in Barcelona this weekend make sure you do not miss out on what could be the chance of a lifetime.

Posted in Areas - The Old Town & Ramblas, Barcelona nightlife, Barcelona's Museums, Exhibitions in Barcelona, Gaudi architecture, insiders barcelona, Montjuic | Leave a comment

Barcelona’s new luxury port development

Port Med Barcelona (Formentera Mar) us set to invest 30 million Euros in the construction and operation of a luxury marina on the north pier of the Old Port of Barcelona , which will be named Marina Vela and will berth some 339 luxury boats. This represents a very important development for Barcelona as a city.
The Port of Barcelona approved the works last Wednesday, and in the coming months Port Med Barcelona will presented further details of the construction to the Port Authority of Barcelona (APB) for approval.

Construction will start before the end of this 2014 and will last 24 months. The marina which occupy 2.5 acres of land and five acres of water, with a capacity for 134 boats between 10 and 40 meters in length. In addition a dry dock of 3,000 square meters is planned, which can accommodate 205 other pleasure craft up to nine meters in length. This brings the total capacity will be to 339 sailing boats.

To serve the Port and the public, the new marina will have a multifunctional building containing an outdoor shopping centre with a public plaza, expanding Rosa dels Vents Square next to the Hotel W. On the inside it will feature more space for the storage of boats. It will also feature the new harbour Master’s quarters, where the Harbour Master will house work directing and controlling the activities of the marina.

Other developments will include the Mirador Building, housing a restaurant with views over the water, while the dam building will feature a pedestrian walkway on its roof, as well as 51 parking spaces. The Rambla Building will connect the Joan de Borbo gardens ride and will have 71 parking spaces.
In addition to these developments there will many new public outdoor spaces.

The marina is an exciting addition to Barcelona’s ancient port which dates back to Roman times, and will add to the existing leisure possibilities of the port including the aquarium and mare magnum shopping centre.

Posted in Areas - The Old Town & Ramblas | Leave a comment

Discover Barcelona’s architectural history online

Everyone who comes here to Barcelona knows about Las Ramblas, La Pedrera and the Sagrada Familia.

However, there are over 3,000 other sites of interest that are missed by tourists as well as locals. Now, thanks to interactive map Big Time BCN, you can discover 2,000 years of history of the city online.

The website, created by the group of architects includes a complete virtual map of Barcelona’s historical heritage. Everything from monuments to ancient walls to convents to residential and industrial buildings, street furniture and sculptural elements etc are located on the map of the city with dates, names of architects or builders and other background information. It creates a fascinating overview of Barcelona’s long and diverse history.

Architects and authors Santamaría Mar, Oriol Hostench and Pablo Martínez commented that “in a database this information is useless, we had to make it visible”. The tool was designed initially for historians, designers and students, but then also for locals and tourists who want to discover more about Barcelona’s architectural heritage.

On the map buildings and monuments are classified according to their level of protection: A (the maximum degree of protection that would include buildings such as the Palau de la Generalitat or La Pedrera) ; B (local interest located mostly in the Eixample and Ciutat Vella) and category C (urban interest, for example blocks of houses).

No wonder that the creators of the project teach a Masters in the ‘Restoration of Architectural Monuments’ at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona.
The tool is available both online and through a mobile application for Android.

Posted in Areas - Gracia, Areas - Las Ramblas, Areas - Poble Sec, Areas - Sagrada Familia, Areas - The Eixample, Areas - The Old Town & Ramblas, Art in Barcelona, design in barcelona, insiders barcelona | Leave a comment

5 very different but very nice bars in Barcelona

Barcelona has one of the most happening bar scenes in the world. Each month a new joint opens up in the city. Design bars, traditional locals, beach bars, bars in the park, bars with terraces… you never need be far from liquid refreshment in this city, the world’s coolest city!

4 Gats
Carrer Montsio 3

No Barcelona bar guide would be complete without Els 4 Gats in the old town. This bar was frequented by a young Picasso and it retains a slightly bohemian, artsy vibe, mixed with its wonderful art nouveau interior.

Boutique Bar at the Ohla Hotel
Via Laietana, 49

A completely different vibe to Els 4 Gats, the Ohla Hotel is a very fine slice of minimalist chic in the heart of Barcelona. Designed by Milan based Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, the premises are in a former department store that was originally designed as the palace of a local Prince. It houses a Michelin-starred restaurant, rooftop pool and of course a seriously hip cocktail bar.

Bar Calders
Carrer del Parlament, 25

A hidden gem for Pere Calders fans. The street named after the Catalan writer is one of the liveliest venues in Sant Antoni. Not only do they have beer, tapas and books by the eponymous writer to browse, they stock four brands of Vermouth..

7 Sins Lounge
Muntaner 7

Given the name of this bar, it is perhaps unsurprising that its signature colour is red. It oozes atmosphere, the walls are red, the light low, and you can recline on red leather chesterfields or chairs.

A bit of decadence in the cities Eixample district, 7 Sins has an upstairs lounge bar serving cocktails and , downstairs with sofas and a dance floor. A fun and lively mix.

El Bar de l’Antic Teatre
Carrer de Verdaguer i Callís, 12

This could not be further from the Boutique Bar at the Ohla Hotel above. Dressed in a worn at the ears look that bookish and cultural venues love, this place oozes relaxed and laid back charm.

Is if that wasn’t enough, L’Antic Teatre has one of the best indoor terraces you’ll ever see, with an enormous courtyard with vegetation and recycled furniture strewn around louchely / haphazardly, the perfect sport to take refuge from the heat and relax with a cold caña.

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