Sagrada Familia: A History in Stop Motion

It is without a doubt Barcelona‘s easily most recognisable building and attracts toursits from all over the world. It is of course Antoni Gaudí’s monumental Sagrada Familia, the surreal shapes inspired by nature, the hard chiseled features of Catalan sculptor Subirach’s works on the Passion façade and the amazing Nativity Façade are a major attraction to the millions of tourists who visit every year.

The downside to visiting the Sagrada Familia is of course the long wait to get inside and once inside you don’t have the opportunity to discover all the secrets and history of this magnificent building, Thankfully there are people out there who have taken the trouble to put together an informative website showing the chronological history of the Sagrada Familia, using historical images it shows the construction of the Sagrada Familia from the very beginning in 1882 until the present day. If you are interested in discovering more click here. There is also a rather humourous video on the website and on youtube which shows the history of the Sagrada Familia in Stop Motion. To save you having to look for it, it is attached below. Enjoy!

Five of the best beaches outside Barcelona

In Barcelona the arrival of summer is always eagerly awaited. The arrival of the hot weather signals the beginning of weekends spent at the beach, enjoying the sunshine and the cool waters of the Mediterranean. Unfortunately this means the beaches, especially those in the city, are always packed and finding a space can be difficult unless of course you are prepared to get to the beach early. Here are five easily accessible options outside Barcelona.

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Castelldefels Platja- Just a short 20 minute train ride from Barcelona you will find Castelldefels. Stretching for over 4,8km and being an average 90m wide finding a place to spread your towel and enjoy the sun is very easy. The more crowded areas are those closest to the station so if you are prepared to walk a little you will find a relatively uncrowded spot. Getting There:  Lines R1, R3 and R4 from Barcelona Sants.

Platja-de-les-barques-Sant-Pol-de-Mar-a17821908Platja de Morer-At the northern most end of the small town of St Pol de Mar this 750mlong beach can be found. With some Roman ruins and a winery closeby it is a great place to spend the day far from the crowded Barcelona beaches. Getting There: R1 from Pl. Catalunya. Approx. 1 hour

 

garrafGarraf- After passing through the tunnels of Garraf on the train you come across this little semi secluded beach. Just over 380m long it is lined with quaint little fisherman’s houses, there are showers, toilets and beach bars as well as several restaurants just off the beach. Getting There: R2 from Barcelona Sants. Approx. 30mins.

masnouMasnou- There are two beaches to choose from at this town to the north of Barcelona, Masnou and Ocata. Both are long and wide offering ample places to relax and enjoy the beach, the water is calm, deep and more importantly clean. There are bars and facilities all along the beach. Getting There: R1 from PL. Catalunya. Approx 25mins.

 

SitgesSitges-There are plenty of beaches to choose from in the small coastal village of Sitges. From the relaxed family friendly San Sebastian beach to the more crowded and lively Ribera beach. There are volleyball courts, bars and facilities at most beaches. The more crowded beaches tend to be those closer to the centre a short walk towards the southern most end will reward you with less crowded beaches. Getting There: R2 from Barcelona Sants. Approx 35mins.

 

What’s on in Barcelona.7-8-9 June 2013

With the good weather finally here and summer literally just around the corner, the pace in Barcelona is definitely starting to pick up. This weekend, there are loads of things happening all over the city here are three of the standout events in Barcelona this weekend.

MuseMuse- It promisises to be a big night in Barcelona tonight when British  alternative rockers Muse take to the stage at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys. Doors open at 6.30pm, and support acts You Don’t Know Me and L.A performing at 7.30pm and 8.15pm respectively. Muse will be performing hits from their latest album, The 2nd Law; the show features two massive stages, confetti, a robot and a massive inverted pyramid where video clips will be projected during Muse’s performance. It is Muse’s only show in Spain. Don’t miss it. Tickets: 50€- 73€

Piknic Electronik Barcelona 2Piknic Electronic- Sunday afternoon pack a picnic lunch and head up to the gardens of Joan Brossa on Montjuic for an afternoon of electronic music. The second session of Piknic Electronic 2013 gets underway at 1pm and continues until the sun goes down and then some. The DJs in charge of keeping the crowd up and moving are El Guincho, Floating Points, Saschienne and Sascha Funke. It is a family friendly event meaning there are loads of activities for children including jumping castles, hip-hop workshops, sports and a play centre. Where: Gardens de Joan Brossa,Montjuic. When: 1pm Entry: 8€-11€

Brick Lane 00Brick Lane Vintage Market- Do you consider yourself a hipster? Are you looking for the perfect vintage shirt, jacket, a pair Buddy Holly style glasses? If you answered yes to either of these two questions then you need to get down to the Brick Lane Vintage Market. Featuring some of Barcelona’s best known Vintage suppliers you are sure to find a bargain. Where: Carrer Corretger, 5. When: Sunday 9th June,  12pm Entry: 2€

Open Air Cinema: Sala Montjuic

Open air cinema barcelonaEveryone loves summer holidays and Barcelona is no different, the city empties as people head to the beach to soak up the sun, enjoy big lunches, long siestas and late nights. It seems that some parts of the city go into standby as it waits for its residents to return but not all f the city shuts down some parts open up. One part which opens every year to great expectation is the sala Montjuic open air cinema.

The gardens of the imposing fortress on top of Montjuic are converted into Barcelona’s biggest cinema. Once night falls picnic rugs are spread out, food appears from picnic baskets and thousands of people settle in to watch some of their favourite movies projected onto the big screen. All movies are shown in original version with Spanish subtitles; movies to be screened this year include Snow White, Drive, The Untouchables and Moonrise Kingdom.

Accompanying the movies are a series of concerts to make the night at the cinema a good one, what can be better than enjoying a picnic listening to some jazz and followed by a movie?

The Sala Montjuic season begins on Sunday the 30th of June and finishes on Wednesday 7th of August with screenings and concerts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For more information visit the official website.

Sónar 2013

Sonar 2013If there is one festival which keeps getting better and better every year, it is Sónar. This year it is going to celebrate it’s twentieth anniversary with another great line-up of the best DJs, groups and  producers both past and present playing live in front of more than 90,000 people over three days in Barcelona on the 13, 14 and 15 of June.

Sónar 2013 kicks off on Thursday the 13th with Sónar Day, this year the green grass of Macba has moved locations to the Feria in Plaza Espanya. A move not without controversy amongst some long time Sónar regulars, who prefer the intimate and familiar surroundings of Macba to the open more impersonal spaces of the proposed new space. Following the inaugural day of action Sónar officially gets underway with the inaugural concert by British duo the Pet Shop Boys on the Thursday night.

Sonar 2013What follows is two full days of the best electronic music in two great locations, the new Sónar Day location and the existing Sónar Night locations. Once again the organisers have outdone themselves for this special 20th edition of Sónar. They have managed to attract not only some of the biggest names in the electronic music industry but also some of the pioneers. Apart from the aforementioned Pet Shop Boys, electronic music geniuses and one of the most influential names in the music industry, Kraftwerk will be bringing their new show 3-D to Sónar 2013.  Other artists appearing at Sónar 2103 are Skrillex, Richie Hawtin, Two Door Cinema Club, Laurent Garnier, Jamie Lidell, Hot Chip and Gold Panda. For full listing of all Concerts and DJs click here.

It promises to be one of the best editions of  ever. Will we see you there?

 

 

 

 

Best Chinese Restaurants in Barcelona

Chinese Restaurant BarcelonaComing to Barcelona you might just want a break from the typical Catalan foods of pa amb tomaque, paella and jamon. They are great foods but if you are here for a few days or weeks you might get tired of always ordering the same so why not try some Chinese Food. Ok, so as you may have noticed there are quite a few Chinese Restaurants in Barcelona and not all of them are great so we have narrowed down the list to give you the Best Chinese Restaurants in Barcelona.

Si Chuan- An absolutely delicious selection of some of the finest Chinese dishes available Peking Duck among them. Large servings and a good quality to price ratio make this a favourite amongst Barcelona locals and Chinese visitors. Where: C/ Benet Mateu 48-50. Price: 20€-40€. Tel: 93 203 6048

Best Chinese Restaurant Barcelona

 Hai Cheng- According to local legend this is where many Chinese chefs go to eat once they have finished work, means it must be good. Fresh produce direct from the market is transformed into mouth watering cuisine. Fondues, seafood and abundant vegetable dishes abound. Where: C/ Girona, 170. Price: 10€-20€. Tel: 93 207 5563

 

Memorias de China- Beautiful Ancient Imperial China inspired décor, an open kitchen and excellent food make this Chinese Restaurant in Barcelona one of the best. Order from a selection of feasts including Canton and Hong Kong, or order of the extensive menu. A little more upmarket than your normal Chinese Restaurant. Where: C/ Lincoln, 17. Price: 20€-40€ Tel: 93 415 7602

Best Chinese Restaurants in BarcelonaSon Hao- Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine is served in this very popular Chinese Restaurant in Barcelona. The Braised beef noodle soup is of a standard only to equalled in Taiwan,. Owners are friendly but can be a little pushy in a light hearted way. This restaurant is popular with visiting tour groups from China and Taiwan. Where: C/ Muntaner, 66. Price: 20€-40€ Tel: 93 453 8303

Cuina Maria- Whilst the name might not sound Chinese, this is a great little restaurant serving traditional Chinese dishes. Open for almost two years this Chinese Restaurant has developed a cult following among the local Chinese community. Generous servings are a signature of this Chinese restaurant in Barcelona. Where: C/ Ausiàs March, 56. Price: 10€-15€ Tel: 93 246 4261

If there are any other Chinese Restaurants in Barcelona which you think should be included on the list please leave a comment and let us know.

Spanish Grand Prix: Formula 1 Returns to Catalonia

This year’s Formula 1 Championship has gotten off to a flying and emotional start with three different winners from the four races contested so far. Vettel currently leads the championship with Räikkönen, Hamilton and Alonso not far behind. The Spanish Formula 1 on the 10-12 of May 2013 promises to be an action packed weekend of racing accompanied by the smell of burning rubber and the screaming sound of the engines.

Spanish favourite Fernando Alonso will be looking to put the problems of the Bahrain Grand Prix behind him. A problem with the DRS caused him to make two unscheduled pit stops and he was unable to make use of the DRS during the race. Despite these problems he still managed to finish among the points, but on his home turf he will be looking to finish higher up in the rankings. With this year’s Ferrari ,Alonso must be considered as one of the favourites to win the championship and the Montmelo circuit is the perfect place from which to start.

Red Bull Team mates Vettel and Webber seem to have buried the hatchet after Vettel defied team orders and overtook Webber to win the Malaysian Grand Prix something which didn’t sit well with Webber. Have they really put their problems behind them, no one knows but the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix offers the perfect opportunity to see this new sporting rivalry between team mates. Other contenders for the race include Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel of Mercedes and Lotus driver Räikkönen.

We all know that anything is possible in motor racing and the best place to catch all the action from the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix is live from the Catalunya Circuit. It promises to be a fantastic race. Don’t miss it!

 

 

Pedralbes Gardens Music Festival in Barcelona

There is a new music festival in Barcelona’s already hectic summer music festival agenda, the Pedralbes Garden Music Festival. The inaugural festival will take place in the gardens of Palau Reial in Pedralbes from the 20th of June to the 7th of July 2013.

Organisers have managed to bring some big names in the music industry to the inaugural Pedralbes Gardens Music Festival. Opening the festival will be world renowned tenor Josep Carreras accompanied by soprano Gladys Rossi and the Symphony Orchestra of Girona. Carreras will be performing classic songs from Broadway and cinema from such composers as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gershwin, Lloyd Weber and Mancini. Carreras will be performing on the 20th of June at 10pm.

Following Carreras will be Spain’s biggest crooner, Julio Iglesias who will be performing his biggest hits on the 26th of June. Iglesias’ charisma, good looks and voice have made him an international star. Testament to the fact is the more than 300 million sold over his career.

Also appearing at the festival are Antony and the Johnsons, who will be performing his only show in Spain. The “She’s So Blue”show in collaboration with musical director Steve Bernstein will showcase the works of composers who have inspired him, among them Leonard Cohen and The Velvet Underground. Antonyand the Johnsons will be taking to the stage on the 28th of June.

Rounding out the Pedralbes Garden Music Festival are Natalie Cole performing “Once in a Lifetime”, Rodger Hodgson lead singer and composer of Supertramp performing many of the songs which made him famous and disco stalwarts Earth, Wind and Fire performing their danceable fusion of funk, soul and rock.

The final act of the festival will be one of the greatest American groups of all time, the legendary Crosby, Stills and Nash (unfortunately without Young) back in Barcelona after an eight year absence. They will be performing some of their biggest hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s. An opportunity not to be missed to see three music industry legends performing on the 8th of July at the Pedralbes Gardens Music Festival.

For tickets and further information visit the official website.

 

 

Primavera Sound 2013

After a long cold winter the spring is slowly making its presence felt inBarcelona, the days are getting slowly longer and warmer, people are shedding their winter layers, and there is a different vibe in the city, an air of excitement as spring and summer is festival time inBarcelona. Leading the festival charge this year is Primavera Sound with an artistic line up marked by pop, rock and underground dance tendencies. Primavera Sound will take place in Parc del Forum from the 22-26 of May 2013.

Primavera Sound gets underway on the Wednesday with concerts by The Bots, The Vaccines, Guards and Delorean in Parc del Forum and in Apolo Theatre Cheatahs, John Talabot andVeronicaFallshowever it isn’t until Thursday that Primavera Sound truly gets underway with numerous concerts lasting until the early hours of Friday morning. There is hardly enough time to get some rest before it starts all over again, Friday and Saturday nights are the big nights at Primavera Sound when this year headlining acts  Blur, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Wu-Tang Clan and Hot Chip perform.

 Primavera Sound 2013 is not just about music, it is continual catwalk of new and emerging fashion. What sunglasses, dresses, shorts, shirts, and hair styles will attendees to Primavera Sound be wearing this year?  The best way to find out is to attend the Primavera Sound Festival.

If you are thinking of coming to Primavera Sound you should start looking for your accommodation in Barcelona now.

For the full Primavera Sound line-up and more information visit the official website.

 

Practical Information

Where: Parc del Forum,Barcelona

When: 22-26 May 2013

Tickets: Full Tickets Sold Out, Day Tickets 80€.

Getting There: Bus, 43, 7, 36, 141 and 41

Metro, Line 4 Maresme-Forum Station

Tram, Trambesos (T4 Line) Forum Station.

 

Authentic Japanese in Barcelona

In Barcelona, it would appear as though there is a Sushi restaurant on almost every corner, but how many of these restaurants are authentic? The sad truth is not many, but there are many authentic Japanese restaurants in Barcelona and here is a guide to a few of them.

Japanese Restaurant BarcelonaRamen-Ya HiroJudging by the line outside this restaurant Chef Hiro is doing something right, big steaming bowls of Ramen complete with home made noodles served with your choice of chicken, bamboo shoots, egg, algae plus much more. The restaurant is very small and you can’t reserve a table so get in early. Where: C/ Girona, 164. Barcelona. Price: 15€

 

Japanese Restaurant BarcelonaBouzuIf you are hankering for the authentic taste of Japanese Tapas, then head down to Bouzu. Try the maguro no tataki, a semi cooked tuna fillet, or kakiage, an absolutely mouth watering vegetable tempura with prawns. Adding to the authentic Japanese experience is the house selection of fine Japanese music being piped through the restaurant. An excellent place to spend time with friends. Where: Ronda Sant Antoni, 26. Barcelona. Price: 20€

Japanese Restaurant Barcelona La Cuina de l’UribouWith a typical Catalan name you wouldn-t expect this restaurant to serve Japanese food, but it does and excellent food at that. The Sushi Combi just can’t be beaten for taste or price. Try a set menu to experience the full range of flavours of Japanese cooking. Where: C/ Taquigraf Serra 26, Barcelona. Price: €30

 

Japanese Restaurant BarcelonaKuoA small intimate and welcoming Japanese Tavern, the extensive menu is sure to please evn the most demanding Japanese food lover. Their speciality is Teppenyaki, the sirloin with yakiniku sauce and mushrooms is to die for. If you prefer Sushi, the sushi to sashimi no moriawase is what you are looking for, 18 pieces of sushi consisting of 6 maki, 3 nigiri and 9 sashimi is sure to keep you coming back for more. Where: C/ Madrazo 135. Barcelona. Price: €30

Japanese restaurant barcelonaUna mica de JapóNot as glamourous as other Japanese Restaurants in Barcelonabut judging by the Japanese clientele, this family run restaurant is as authentic as it gets. Expect no sushi here; their specialities are Bento, Katsudon and Gyoza. A little piece of Japanin Barcelona. Where: C/ Aragó 104, Barcelona. Price: 25€

If you discover any authentic Japanese Restaurants in Barcelona, leave a comment and let us know. Douzo meshiagare..