What's on in Barcelona
Sant Jordi (St George's Day)
St George is the patron saint of Catalonia, and on the 23rd you will find people selling roses on literally every street corner, and bookstalls set up with roughly the same frequency.
As a gentleman you are supposed to give your lady a rose, the rose being said to have sprung from where the dragon's blood fell; as a lady you are supposed to give your knight-in-shining-armour a book. The book comes either (a) from the fact that April 23rd also happens to be the date of the deaths of both Shakespeare and Cervantes and (b) is thus World Book Day or (c) from the fact that it's a golden opportunity to flog some books.
It has become a little commercialised, but it's still a cute tradition and, to judge from the throngs on the Ramblas, a very popular one.
- Info: English, Spanish, Catalan
Until July 5th
The program for the 25th edition of Barcelona's Guitar Festival includes Estopa, Luz, Rosario, Jorge Drexler, Crystal Fighters, The Stranglers...
Venues always include the wonderful Palau de la Música, L'Auditori, Luz de Gas and Bikini.
Coming up we have Katie Melua (Sant Jordi Club, April 17); the Primavera Sound Festival (Forum, May 29-31); the Sónar Festival (June 12-14); Miley Cyrus (Palau Sant Jordi, June 13); and One Direction (Estadi Olímpic, July 8)... not to mention Lady Gaga (Palau Sant Jordi, November 8, tickets on sale Feb 14, sold out Feb 15.).
There's also the Festival de Pedralbes (June 12-July 10), in the lovely gardens of the Palau Reial, with people like Simple Minds (June 25), Kool And The Gang (June 26), Tom Jones (June 30), Blondie (July 3)...
For what is on in the way of classical music, opera and the like, see what's on at the Palau de la Musica and the Liceu Opera House (two places well worth visiting for their architecture, even if you are not that keen on that sort of music). Tickets for these can be obtained from ServiCaixa (see below)
Classical music is also on at the Auditori, home to Barcelona's Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC). Tickets for this can be obtained from Telentrada (see below).
ServiCaixa is one of best sources of tickets for concerts and other events in Barcelona, being run by La Caixa, the city's major bank. Tickets can be bought online or at cashpoints throughout the city.
Telentrada is the online ticket service from rival bank Caixa de Catalunya.
Tickets for many concerts can also be purchased at FNAC.
Of the exhibitions currently on in Barcelona, we particularly liked the following:
CaixaForum Until May 11
Le Corbusier: Un atlas de paisajes modernos
Given that they've won the Champions three times in the last eight seasons, there's perhaps some justification for the claim that Barça [website] are the best team in the world (though for non-football fans it's hard to understand quite what they all get so over-excited about), though Atlético Madrid are making a fine job of messing up this season, with the last game of the season potentially a title-decider.
Last chances to see Barça at home this season:
- League Barça vs Athletic Bilbao, April 20
- League Barça vs Getafe, May 3
- League Barça vs Atlético Madrid, May 18
- Full fixture list
Also in the League, apart from the away game to city rivals Espanyol (see below), there's also the small matter of the final of the Copa del Rey, also against Real Madrid, in Valencia on April 16.
A visit to the Barça museum includes a look inside the stadium itself, one the world's biggest.
Espanyol [website], Barcelona's "other" first division side play in a new stadium out in Cornellà (to get there, take the FGC train line from Plaza Espanya and get off at either Cornellà-Riera or Almeda).
Remaining home games for Espanyol:
- League Espanyol vs Rayo Vallecano, April 13
- League Espanyol vs Almería, April 27
- League Espanyol vs Osasuna, May 11
- Full fixture list
For utterly one-eyed reporting, see our Newspapers page.
See also our Barcelona Sports page.