Articles Comments

Barcelona for Idiots » Barcelona Events

La Diada: Catalonia’s Special Day

While some cultures focus on celebrating victories, in Catalonia, September 11th, aka, the “Diada” marks the anniversary of a battle lost that ultimately resulted in the abolition of the Catalan’s established government and institutions. Celebrated since the  reinstatement of Catalan Parlament in 1980, as the “National Day of Catalonia,” festivities include speeches from politicians and noteworthy Catalans, poetry readings, lectures, traditional dances, political protests, and live music, all of which pale in comparison to Barcelona’s massive city-wide block-party, La Mercé. Most events will take place in Barcelona’s Ciutadella Park (Metro: L4 Ciutadella/Villa Olimpica, L1 Arc de Triomf) Note: Festivities for La Diada, unlike at La Mercé, tend to be somber and serious, about paying your respects to lives lost, not partying. Don’t expect a barrel of monkeys, a bucket of laughs or … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Sites to See, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Sant Joan: Celebrating Summer with Fire in Catalonia

In Catalan, they say “Qui encén foc per Sant Joan, no es crema en tot l’any” —He who has a fire for Sant Joan isn’t burnt in all the year” Which is lovely and poetic, but one has to wonder at its veracity, what with all the bonfires and firecrackers combined with revelry (alcohol) throughout a crowded city like Barcelona plenty of people end up burnt, literally and figuratively speaking. All the Pretty Bonfires The real shame here is that the bonfires aren’t put to better use roasting hot dogs and marshmallows (smores, anyone?), because while we can appreciate the favorable bonfire lighting that takes ten years off any face…or maybe that’s all the orujo talking…fires are for creating lovely moments between the paladar and messy bites of chocolate and marshmallow on sugary graham … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Dessert, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Food, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Things to Do

The Sound of Sonar

  The time has finally come. We said our sad goodbyes to Primavera Sound, and now Sonar is upon us. This year’s outdoor music extravaganza includes big names like Lana del Rey, Fatboy Slim, and the Roots, in addition to more DJs than we care to count. A day of Sonar is yours for 39€, but Friday and Saturday are sold out. An evening of Sonar sounds will cost you almost twice that at 60€, but the good news is that at the time of writing tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday evenings. TIckets: Get your tickets online at www.sonartickets.com  or www.ticketmaster.es, via phone from 9am to 10pm Mondays through Fridays and 10am to 10pm weekends at 902 150 025. Purchase tickets in person in Barcelona at Tiquet Rambles, at La Rambla 99 Mondays through Sundays from 10am to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Eateries, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Food, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Music Festivals, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Two Weekends of Crowds and Amazing Music: Part I: Primavera Sound

As Barcelona heats up, and spring transitions into summer, it’s finally that time again. What time, you ask? Outdoor Music Festival Time. Because heaven knows, there’s nothing better than you and a few hundred of your fellow Wilco or Lana del Rey fans sweating in tandem, while swaying to your favorite tunes, en directo (that’s live, if you’re still lagging behind in your Spanish studies). (San Miguel) Primavera Sound From the May 30th through June 3rd, checkout once indie, now nearly mainstream big names like Wilco, Franz Ferdinand and Rufus Wainwright. While we think Rufus is by far the dreamiest, we must admit a certain inclination to see the aging members of The Cure, especially Mr. Goth Bed-head himself, Robert Smith (Friday June 1st, we’re in love, too). Other amazing musicians that we don’t … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Music Festivals, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

A Night at the Museum: Free of Charge

Tonight, May 18th,  from the stroke of 7pm until 1am, 52 Barcelona Museums will open to the public free of charge. Yeah, they’ll be a little crowded (especially Barcelona favorites like Gaudi’s La Pedrera, and the Picasso Museum), but the popular ones are crowded most of the time anyway (so you might as well go when you don’t have to pay). Our personal favorites include Barcelona’s Chocolate Museum, and the Catalan Museum of Modernism (oh, the art).  Not into art? No problem. There’s the Olympic and Sport Museum, for athletes and sports aficionados, and Barcelona Motorcycle Museum for bikers and cycle collectors.This yearly event is a rare treat for residents (free stuff in Barcelona!), and a lucky coincidence for this weekend’s tourists. So stroll among artifacts and masterworks by Miró and the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Museums, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured, Uncategorized

Soap: Circus, Cabaret, Comedy….and Bathubs

Through the 26th of May, Soap: The Show is on at Barcelona’s Teatre Poliorama on La Rambla (you know, that street with the living statues, the flower stands and the pick-pockets….La Boqueria Market is down that way, too). A mixture of acrobatics, drama, dance and the burlesque, set to modern music, SOAP is well worth the entry price. Tickets start at 25 euros, and it’s a small theater, so even the bad seats aren’t so bad. The stunning and often sexy acrobatics set to modern music (think Tool, Mika, Ben Harper and more) will not disappoint. Amazingly athletic dance and circus numbers are interpersed with comic relief by a very annoying clown, and songs by a talented opera singer. While the opera singer doesn’t do well when the show turns to her to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Dance, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured, Uncategorized

Barcelona’s Poetry Festival

“Poetry is contagious, like a virus, and spreads like pollen…” or so Barcelona Poesia, the city’s official poetry festival, would like us to believe. When in fact, poetry is the domain of few and far between. That said, fans of poetry are usually really passionately interested in anything to do with the art, and this year’s festival promises performances that might even amuse a more general public. At 9pm tonight, Tuesday May 8th, 2012, Barcelona’s annual poetry festival kicks-off with the Nit de Poesia Al Palau (Poetry Night at the Palace) at the beautiful Palau de la Música Catalana, one of Barcelona’s quintessential modernist structures. Poetry by nine different poets in nine different languages will be read. There will also be video poems by Frederic Amat, and piano improvisation by  Agustí Fernández. Not into poetry? … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

La Feria de Abril: A little Andalucia for the Barcelona-Mix

If you’ve been looking for a time to get started on your lifelong dream of learning to “bailar sevillanas”, this is your weekend. From April 27th through the 6th of May, locals and tourists alike can hop public transport (Trambesós, bus 23 and metro L4 more information at TMB) to the Fòrum and pretend they’re in Seville at Barcelona’s version of La Fería de Abril. Snap pictures of women in rainbow-hued ruffled dresses, watch amateurs and professionals dance sevillanas, take in a Flamenco concert, and stuff yourself with tapas and other eats from Southern Spain (pescadito frito, anyone?). Don’t forget to loosen up with a few shots of Andalucia’s famous sherry, Fino. Just remember, Fino is cheap, fortified wine (between 1 and 5 euros in supermarkets)….and will cause the mother of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Dance, Barcelona Eateries, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Flamenco, Barcelona Food, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Music Festivals, Barcelona Things to Do

50% off a Romantic Sant Jordi Dinner

Roses and books just not enough for your ” media naranja?” No problemo. Take your partner (your mom, or your best bud) out to dinner. At SantJordiTambeSopava.com (Saint George Had Dinner Too) you can make reservations at over thirty restaurants and recieve 50% off your meal. If like so many of us, Mondays just aren’t your day, and you don’t have time or energy for a romantic candelit soiree with your significant other or anyone else tonight, never fear, the deal lasts through Sunday the 29th. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Eateries, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Food, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Practical Stuff, Barcelona Things to Do

St. George: A Barcelona Holiday in Pictures

St. George: A Barcelona Holiday in Pictures

The best part of St. Jordi, aka, St. George’s day in Catalonia, is seeing the city full to the brim with books and flowers. The crowds are overwhelming, and their behavior most politely described as underwhelming at times, but the beautiful photo ops should’t be missed, even by the most cynical and anti-social among us.  So without further ado, here are some of our favorite images from the St. Jordi Celebrations in Barcelona: … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Not Just For Hippies: Earth Day in Barcelona

This weekend (April 21-22), you can participate in celebrations of La Mare Terra (Mother Earth in Catalan) in Barcelona‘s Ciutadella Park. At the “Fira per la Terra” (the festival/fair for Earth) you can hang out for a meal (paella, pasta, whatever) or browse artisan meats and cheese, arts and crafts or just stand around and gawk at all of the people milling about. Some other options are renting a little row boat, convening with the animals at the Zoo, or climbing the wooly mammoth statue for a photo op.  It’s really up to you. This is a great opportunity to snag artisan wares, but is definite “pass” if you’re interested spending your Earth Day “close to nature”. For that, you should definitely just pick up (hop a train, rent a car, whatever) … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Parks, Barcelona Things to Do

A Kindle for St. George

    In other St. Jordi-related news, Amazon has been campaigning the Kindle in Catalonia with special ads for Sant Jordi. Because you know, even an e-book is a book, right? Is it just us, or does that seem less romantic than a real book, even if at 99 euros, it’s far more expensive than your average hardback book. Besides, how will your lover get it signed by the author? That said, the kindle is a handy-dandy tool for travelers that like to read, and much lighter-weight than the two or three books you’ll need to read your way through an eight-hour Transatlantic flight… … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Books, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

April 23rd, Catalonia is for Lovers: St. George’s Day, Books and Roses

April 23rd, Catalonia is for Lovers: St. George’s Day, Books and Roses

    Who needs my funny valentine?  St. George is almost here, rushing up on his white charger to save us from the dragon and shower everyone in books (sounds painful, doesn’t it?) and rose petals (relatively painless, after the books). April 23rd is St. George’s Day, known as Sant Jordi, in Catalan, and for the event, the city streets fill to the brim with vendors hawking books and roses, in addition to other Sant-Jordi-inspired products, not to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Barcelona Restaurant Week April 13-22, 2012: Bargain Prices for Amazing Eats

  This year 34 restaurants will be participating In the 3rd edition of Barcelona Restaurant Week, an initiative that offers reasonable fixed price menus, and donates 1 euro of every meal to two charities, the Spanish Heart Foundation and the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation. The menus will be available at lunch and dinner and will cost 25 euros per person (beverages and IVA not included) at top Barcelona restaurants including Alba Paris, Cent Onze, and Jardinets de Gràcia. The purpose of the event is two-fold: to fund-raise for the above mentioned charities, and to give people who otherwise might not to be able to afford it, the chance to dine in these expensive establishments, normally priced between 40 euros (ouch) and 80 euros (impossible) per person for a fixed menu. Just remember to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Eateries, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Food

Vaga General/ Huelga General / General Strike in Barcelona

  Thursday the 29th of March, 2012, a general strike is planned in Barcelona. What does it mean for you? Maybe nothing, maybe some inconvenience and unpleasantries. During the last general strike in Barcelona there were some issues with public transportation, vandalism, and overturned trash containers. While the city didn’t feel particularly unsafe to us the last couple of times, the best policy is to be careful and extra aware, and avoid any demonstrations. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Politics, Barcelona Practical Stuff, Barcelona Safety, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Antiquaris: the 36th Annual Fair for Barceloneses who like “Old Stuff”

                                Starting Saturday March 24th, (through Sunday April 1st) make your way to Barcelona Fira in Montjuic for the Antiquaris Antique and Modern Art Fair. This yearly event highlights antiques, and a wide variety of art and artifacts (from archeological items to contemporary art). If you’re into old stuff (art, furniture, jewelry, whatever) this is the stuff that dreams are made of. This is a great place to check out beautiful things that the writers of Barcelona for Idiots can’t possibly afford, just remember, if you break it, you buy it.  Since you love art so much, why not check out MNAC (the National Museum of Catalan Art) or Fundació Joan Miró while you’re there. Come nightfall, there’s nothing like buying an expensive ice-cream, wading through masses of people to see a light and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Museums, Barcelona Sites to See, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Three Cheers for Green Beer: St. Patrick’s Day in Barcelona

You may not be aware of this, but the neither the Catalans nor the Spanish are particularly Irish. The Catalans may feel a certain kinship with the Irish for cultural/political issues (think Ireland v. Britain, Catalunya v. Spain), but that doesn’t translate to any noteworthy Barcelona St. Paddy’s celebration (no parades, or gigants in green). No matter. Barcelona is full of Irish Pubs, and if you insist on wearing silly green wigs and hats, pinching people who aren’t wearing green or throwing back a chilly pint of Guinness or Harp on March 17th, they’re the place to be. For Irish eats and drinks from 10am on, try Flaherty’s just of Les Rambles (Metro Drassanes). For your typical deep-fried bar food and a wide selection beers (Irish and otherwise), head to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Dance, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Food, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Fat Thursday and Carnival

Happy Fat Thursday! (Dijous gras in Catalan). So begins the short but festive Carnival season here in Barcelona with pa amb tomaquet (bread with tomato) and botifarra d’ou (cured botifarra sausage made richer by the addition of eggs), which will continue until the morning of Ash Wednesday next week. While Barcelona’s festivities aren’t nearly as famous as those in Brazil, or Spain’s Canary Islands. Welcome the Rei Carnestoltes (the traditional “Crack-pot” king of Catalonia’s Carnival festivities) tonight in Barcelona’s Born neighborhood, watch rues, or parades of costumed kids and adults in neighborhoods throughout Barcelona on Saturday (beware the crowds, eeh gads!) and attend the king’s funeral on Wednesday morning. For more grown-up dress-up fun, take the short trip in public transport (RENFE) to SItges, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, well-known for its gay … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Food, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Where to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Barcelona

Something funny(ish) to break the ice: Joey’s Thanksgiving Pants Well, first of all, in case you haven’t noticed, Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday in Barcelona, Catalonia, or Spain. That said, if you’re an American or Canadian, you’ll probably long for a cozy gathering around a table overflowing with scrumptious fall foods before too long. Because even if you’re ridiculously, completely in love with your existence in Barcelona, sometimes you long for a taste of home (after all, you’re only human). It goes without saying that if you want an overpriced (30 euro-ish) mediocre  and crowded Thanksgiving meal you can head to the Hard Rock Cafe, or Fosters. Of course you’ll wait in line so long you may forget about what you’re giving thanks for (any ideas?). Another pricey (60 plus euros per head if you’re … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Dessert, Barcelona Eateries, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Food, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Practical Stuff, Barcelona Recipes, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

The Much Promised Photos of La Mercè

So Barcelona’s biggest party has been over for more than a week…so sue us. But hey, there’s always next year. Here are some pictures to give you something to look forward to next September when Barcelona spends millions of euros of fireworks.  Which considering the economic times we live in isn’t so smart. Especially not when they’re literally burning millions at the same time as they cut the salary of our already abysmally paid medical professionals. Don’t get us wrong, we love fireworks and free events, but we love having qualified doctors more…. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Dance, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Flamenco, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Movies, Barcelona Museums, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Music Festivals, Barcelona Parks, Barcelona Politics, Barcelona Sites to See, Barcelona Things to Do

August in Barcelona…Festes Majors for Everyone

In case you weren’t aware, Barcelona is in the late stages of early August evacuation wherein, local yokels with any spare cash whatsoever flee to as far-far away as possible. Far from empty, the city fills to overflowing with tourists from across the globe, who mix with the few disgruntled residents forced to stay behind and work, holding down the fort for BCN’s tourist trade. Here at Barcelona for Idiots, we’re among that group, as we feel like skipping posts altogether in a busy tourism month like August would be a waste. Besides all of the typically touristy stuff out-of-towners love to do in Barcelona (think Guadi, tapas and cava), August is the main month for Barcelona’s biggest block parties or “festes majors”. Not-so-sidebar: You must understand that people from Barcelona aren’t just … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Food, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Holidays, Barcelona Music Festivals, Barcelona Sports, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Greek in Barcelona

No, we’re not talking about food, or people, we’re talking about Barcelona’s Grec (Greek) Festival, ongoing until the very end of July (the 31st, if you must have a numbered date). And interestingly enough, the Grec Festival has nothing to do with Greek culture. The thirty-something festival (young by European standards) is a celebration of all things theatric, with live theatre, dance, music, circus and other stage arts and is named for the place where the opening sessions take place, s Teatre Grec. Check out the calendar of events here. Who knows, there might be something that catches your fancy. Coming up this weekend, July 15-17, speakers of can enjoy a translated production of ‘s great existentialist work (Esperant Godot), or Call me “Maria” a circus production set in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Dance, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Flamenco, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Music Festivals, Barcelona Things to Do

Primavera Sound – Spring Music in Barcelona

  Featured above: Sufjan Stevens, the great musical mind that brought us “The Upper Peninsula” with an improptu rendition of his heartbreaking song “For the Widows in Paradise” seated outdoors somewhere (we vote America, definitely not Barcelona or any part of the Mediterranean we would recognize) with his banjo to accompany him.  It’s finally that time of year again–temperatures (and hemlines) are rising, and terraces are full and overflowing into what little walkway is left for pedestrians. Barcelona residents and visitors are ready for Barcelona’s biggest Spring music festival, Primavera Sound. With a series of concerts in Barcelona city, Poble Espanyol and El Parc del Forum from May 13 through May 29th, the festival has independent and alternative artists for a wide variety of musical tastes. We’re sorry you missed last night’s Echo … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Music Festivals, Barcelona Things to Do

Primavera Sound–Spring Music in BCN

It’s finally that time of year again–temperatures (and hemlines) are rising, and terraces are full and overflowing into what little walkway is left for pedestrians, and Barcelona residents and visitors are ready for Barcelona’s biggest Spring music festival, Primavera Sound. With a series of concerts running in Barcelona city, Poble Espanyol and El Parc del Forum from May 13 through May 29th, the festival has independent and alternative artists for a wide variety of musical tastes. We’re sorry you missed last night’s Echo and the Bunnymen (it’s our fault for not posting sooner) but we highly recommend catching the tramvia to Parc del Fòrum tonight (Thursday the 26th of May) and catching fun artists like  Big Boi, Interpol, Of Montreal, The Flaming Lips, Sufjan Stevens, The Fiery Furnaces and Smoke … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Music Festivals, Barcelona Things to Do, Uncategorized

Sunday Voting…

To those of you not from around here, it may be surprising to find that in Barcelona, as well as throughout the autonomous region of Catalonia and throughout Spain, elections are held on Sundays. So if you were out and about today in Barcelona and wondered what all hullabaloo was about, no there wasn’t a church social, today was election day. In Barcelona, and throughout Spain municipal elections were held. While most of Spain has opted for conservative party PP (Partido Popular) candidates, in Barcelona the CiU (Convergència i Unió), a Catalan nationalist party (in favor of Catalunya becoming a seperate country from Spain) has won the majority in the Barcelona elections, which means Xavier Trias could become Barcelona’s new mayor. This is the first election that Ciu has won … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Events, Barcelona Politics