What's on in Barcelona
- Info: English, Spanish, Catalan
Barcelona's "festa major", La Mercé, is named after its patron saint and includes music and dance as well as some spectacular traditions such as the castellers (human castles, pictured, right) and the correfoc (literally the firerun), at which dragons belch fire over the packed crowds and demons spray everyone with sparks.
The Mercé also includes a very popular 10km fun run across the city.
Concerts coming up in Barcelona include The Sisters of Mercy (Razzmatazz 2, September 9); Red Hot Chili Peppers (Palau Sant Jordi, October 1 and 2); Estopa (Palau Sant Jordi, October 15); Peter Murphy (Sala Apolo, October 20); Justin Bieber (Palau Sant Jordi, November 22); Pixies (Sant Jordi Club, November 20); Europe (Razzmatazz, November 22); The Cure (Palau Sant Jordi, November 26); and The Damned (Razzmatazz 2, December 13).
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.
For football fans, one of the big attractions of Barcelona is its world famous club, Barça [website], with a visit to its stadium (preferably to actually see a game) high on your to-do list.
Your next chance to see Barça in action at home this season is the Barça vs Alavés game in La Liga (September 10). There's then the first Champions game of the season, Barça vs Celtic (September 13), after which there are -- at home -- two league games vs Atlético Madrid (September 21) and vs Depor (October 16) before the Champions tie vs Manchester City (October 19).
TimeOut Barcelona had an article recently on 15 Barcelona bars with big screens (content in Catalan) which you might find handy if you find you're not going to spend that kind of money on 90 minutes watching 22 blokes boot a bit of synthetic leather about.
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).
The first home game of the season for Espanyol is vs Málaga in La Liga, August 28.
For utterly one-eyed reporting, see our Newspapers page.
See also our Barcelona Sports page.
For non-football fans, it's frankly hard to understand quite what all the fuss is about.