Author Archives: Conor Monaghan

SITGES – International Fantasty Film Festival of Catalonia

SITGES – International Fantasty Film Festival of Catalonia is widely considered to be the number one fantasy and horror film festival in the world and and encompasses everything cultural about Catalonia. The Sitges Film Festival is a culmination of the best fantasy films from all over the world. Sitges film festival 2015 Established in 1967, the festival will take place this year from the 9-18th October in the coastal resort of Sitges, 34 kilometers West-South-West of the city of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Sitges’ status as the number one fantasy film festival in the world allows it to receive visits from top-level movie stars, directors and producers like Quentin Tarantino, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Paul Verhoeven, Ralph Fiennes, George A. Romero, Cameron Diaz, Viggo Mortensen, Terry Gilliam, Rutger Hauer, Sarah Michelle Gellar, John Landis, Joe Dante, Zoë Bell, Dino de Laurentii, Takashi Miike, Wim Wenders, Tony Curtis, David Cronenberg, Vanessa Redgrave, Darren Aronofsky, Brad Dourif, John McNaughton, Peter Greenaway, John Woo, Park Chan-Wook, Johnnie To, Paul Naschy, Ray Liotta, Jon Voight, Sam Raimi, Robert Englund, Tarsem Singh, Roger Corman, Mira Sorvino, Santiago Segura, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, Guillermo del Toro, Kim Ki Duk, Álex de la Iglesia, Aitana Sánchez Gijón, among others from the long list of people who, year after year, are a media attraction. The Festival is governed by a Foundation, made up of representatives from the Sitges Town Council, the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalonia’s autonomous government) and other institutions, associations and public and private companies. Most of its resources come from the sponsors, companies and collaborating institutions that offer aid to the festival and get involved in order to broaden their horizons and help a fantastic festival to take place. Since 1971 the festival has given awards to the best films, actors, and filmmakers. The Maria Award winners are the main awards of the festival, and are chosen by an international jury. They are:
  • Best Motion Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Short Film
  • Best Makeup Effects
  • Best Production Design
The festival also presents:
  • The Infinia Award for Best Special Effects
  • The Noves Visions Award
  • The Carnet Jove Jury Award
  • An Award for the Best New Director
  • The Gertie Awards for Best Animated Short and Feature Film
  • The Grand Audience Award (Gran Premi del Públic), which is awarded according to the votes of the festival's spectators.
  • The Midnight X-Treme Award, which is given to the best motion picture from the special screenings (and is chosen by the Carnet Jove Jury)
If you would like to go the Sitges Film Festival and are looking for a place to stay then check Habitat Apartments where you will find some lovely apartments at great prices. Featured below is the lovely Paseo De Gracia A Apartment which is right next to the Paseo de Gracia train station which will take you direct to Sitges in about 30 minutes. [caption id="attachment_4029" align="alignnone" width="900"]paseo-de-gracia-a-apartment-barcelona-sofa_a(1) Lovely view of Gaudi´s masterpiece Casa Battló[/caption] If you liked this article then give us a like and a follow on our social media sites!  :-D
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Sonar Music Festival 2015

Sonar is a three-day electronic and advanced music festival. It was founded in Barcelona in 1994 by Ricard Robles, Enric Palau, and Sergi Caballero. The festival has been divided into two parts since its inception: Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night.

sonar 2015

During its 20-year history, Sónar has transformed the atmosphere of the city every June, as well as making Barcelona the continent's epicentre of electronic music and being one of its main touristic attractions for people of all ages.

In addition to the above, Sónar also organizes and encourages other events, performances and showcases which take place in Barcelona but outside of the main festival itself. These extra events in turn also attract very large audiences of between 50 and 70 thousand visitors, in addition to the 80,000 visitors attending the actual festival. This means that even if you are not at the festival itself there is plenty of other things going on and the city is absolutely buzzing with people looking to have a good time.

In 2013, Sónar by Day, moved to a larger space in the Fira Montjuïc facilities at Plaza Espanya. In addition, the festival created Sónar+D, the next step in the evolution of what was known as SonarPro.

The venue for Sónar by Night was also moved to the larger venue of the Fira Gran Via area in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, adjacent to Barcelona's Zona Franca area. This new home meant that it was possible to offer large format concerts with an extensive audiovisual display.

If you want a ticket to Sonar Festival click this link

If you are looking for somewhere to stay then check out Habitat Apartments where you will find a huge number of apartments dotted around the city that can accommodate any size group. Featured below is the Plaza España 2 Apartment which is conveniently located near Sonar Day and Sonar Night and comfortably sleeps 5 people.

Be aware that if you are trying to find somewhere to stay then it is important to book well in advance because all our apartments get filled.

plaza-espana-2-apartment-barcelona-blacony-a

If you liked this article and want to get more advice and travel tips then follow us on our social media sites below!

Image taken from www.madridedm.com 

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Primavera Sound 2015!

From the 28th to the 30th of May is the 15th edition of Primavera Sound Festival so you can look forward to what is sure to be another fantastic Festival!

primavera sound-2015 Primavera, is an annual music festival that takes place in Barcelona and is held within the Parc del Fòrum leisure site—located approximately 6 km north east from the center of Barcelona—in the Diagonal Mar area of the Sant Martí district, by the coast of the Balearic Sea. The event is one of the largest music festivals in Spain, with an increasing attendance rate of more than 100,000 each year. To buy tickets for Primavera Sound Festival Click here cartel primavera sound 2015 If you are looking for a place to stay during Primavera then check out Habitat Apartments where you will find apartments to accomodate any amount of people. Featured below is the Blue Ground C Apartment which is about 15 minutes walk from the festival and can sleep up to 10 people. blue-ground-c-apartment-barcelona If you liked this article and want more advice then follow us on our social media sites below!  :-) Image taken from www.thespacelab.tv
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Sant Jordi´s Day in Barcelona – Love and Literature!

St. Jordi´s day is Catalunya's version of Valentine's Day and is a one day festival of romance, roses and books all inspired by the legend of Saint George on 23rd April every year.

sant-jordi-barcelona St. Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia (along with the Virgin of Montserrat) and so Sant Jordi is celebrated on 23rd April to commerate his death on that date in the year 303 AD. The legend of Saint George, which you probably have heard, is that Saint Jordi slew a dragon to save a princess - and then plucked a red rose for the princess from a rose bush, which had sprouted on the exact spot, where the dragon's red blood had spilled. On Sant Jordi's day it has long been a tradition that the men in Barcelona and Catalunya give their sweetheart a red rose, but now in more recent years, due to the simultaneous deaths of Miguel Cervantes and William Shakespeare on 23 April 1616, a new tradition arose at the beginning of the 20th century which is that now the ladies give the men a book. There are bookstalls and book markets all over Barcelona on Sant Jordis day especially on Las Ramblas and Rambla de Catalunya. By the end of the day, some four million roses and 800,000 books will have been purchased. Most women will carry a rose in hand, and half of the total yearly book sales in Catalonia take place on this occasion. [caption id="attachment_3912" align="alignnone" width="450"]Different Coloured Roses Different Coloured Roses © image: Zelik[/caption] Nowadays roses of many different colours are sold to be given as a present with each colour symbolizing something different: Red rose – usually given to lovers because it symbolizes passion and love. Blue rose - usually given to friends since they symbolize trust. It is said that if you give blue roses to someone who is anxious, it will help that person to feel more calm. Pink roses - usually given to thank someone else for an important favour, or simply for that persons affection. Purple roses - symbolize nobelty, femininity and seduction White roses - symbolize purity and innocence, and are often given to express someone the desire of having a deep long relationship Yellow roses - less common, but are also seen. They symbolize joy and happiness, thus they are usually given to teenagers and also in celebrations   Although it is not a public holiday in Catalonia you can definitely sense that there is a fiesta taking place as the whole center of the city is filled with people. Listed below are the areas with the highest number of book stalls and roses, but bear in mind that these areas will be very busy and crowded so if you want somewhere a bit more relaxed then move a little further out of the center.   Plaça Sant Jaume Metro: Jaume I (Yellow Line, L4) Plaza Catalunya Metro: Catalunya (Red Line, L1) or (Green Line, L3) La Rambla (Las Ramblas) Metro: Drassanes (Green Line, L3) Metro: Liceu (Green Line, L3) Metro: Catalunya (Green Line, L3) If you are going to be in Barcelona around this time and you still haven´t found somewhere to stay then take a look at Habitat Apartments where you will find a wide range of great apartments available to rent. Featured below is the Ferran Suites Apartment which is in the perfect location if you are wanting to celebrate Sant Jordi´s Day! [caption id="attachment_3924" align="alignnone" width="390"]Ferran Suites Apartment Ferran Suites Apartment[/caption] If you liked this article and would like to see more then give us a like on our social media sites!
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Barcelona World Mobile Congress GSM 2015

Over the course of four days, 2-5 March 2015, Mobile World Capital Barcelona will host the world’s greatest mobile event: Mobile World Congress. Below we have explained a bit about what this is and we have chosen some brilliant apartments that are nearby to the event!

World Mobile Congress
[caption id="attachment_3890" align="aligncenter" width="576"]World Mobile Congress World Mobile Congress[/caption] The event aims to highlight all of the most recent innovation, and show that when it comes to technology anything is possible. The 2015 GSMA Mobile World Congress will convene industry leaders, visionaries and innovators to explore the trends that will shape mobile in the years ahead. Depending on the type of pass selected, attendees can take advantage of the many components that make up this industry-leading event:
  • A world-class thought-leadership Conference featuring visionary keynotes and panel discussions
  • A cutting-edge product and technology Exhibition featuring more than 1,900 exhibitors
  • The world’s best venue for seeking industry opportunities, making deals, and networking
  • App Planet, the Centre of the Mobile Apps Universe, where the mobile app community gathers to learn, network and engage with innovators
  • Global Mobile Awards programme, where we recognise industry innovation and achievements
  • And, all MWC pass holders can attend 4YFN, an event focused on startups, corporations, and investors
 
ADN 41 [caption id="attachment_3875" align="alignnone" width="300"]ADN 41 Terrace ADN 41 Terrace[/caption] Lovely apartment in Barcelona ideal for a relaxing holiday away from the noise of the city center with all the necessary amenities and easy access to public transport. It’s lovely terrace will become the ideal place to relax after a day of sightseeing. Elegant details in its decoration and modern amenities including will welcome you to a great stay in the city. In one open space there are: living room with double sofa bed, dining room, fully equipped open kitchen. Terrace with table and chairs. This apartment overlooks Plaza Espanya and so it is only a stones throw from the World Mobile Congress conference. There are 8 other apartments in this building so if you are coming in a big group this building is ideal to accomodate up to 45 people.   Plaza Espanya 1 [caption id="attachment_3874" align="alignnone" width="300"]Plaza Espanya 1 Living Area Plaza Espanya 1 Living Area[/caption] This spacious and luminous apartment is located in the Sants district, near Plaça España and Montjuic. Quiet district full of history, Sants is just at 5 stops to Plaça Catalunya. Ideal for families or groups of friends wanting to have both calm and easy access to all the city. Plaza España 1 provides sleep up for 4 people in its 2 double bedrooms. There is also a sofa-bed available for 1 person in the cosy living-room. A large dining table stands in this main room, next to the modern and fully equipped open-kitchen. Two ample windows leading to 2 balconies bring sunlight into the room. There are 2 other apartments in this bulding so if you are a large group we can accomodate you.    Blanca 1 [caption id="attachment_3873" align="alignnone" width="300"]Blanca 1 living area Blanca 1 living area[/caption] Blanca 1 apartment is ideal for a relaxing holiday away from the noise of the city center with all the necessary amenities and with easy access to public transport and closet to the World Mobile Congress. The predominant white color all over the place, small details in its decoration and modern amenities including will welcome you to an unforgettable stay. It has two bedrooms, each with double bed and large closet. The first room overlooking the street Riera Blanca and the second with internal view. One complete bathroom with shower. Large living room with double sofa bed, dining for 6 and a fully equipped open kitchen. Patio with laundry area. There is 4 other apartments in the same building that can be rented, so if you are a large group then these apartments are perfect. There is also Parking within 100m of the apartment  
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Christmas Shopping in Barcelona

It is Christmas time again and Barcelona has shown this already by turning on its Christmas lights! The beautiful city is lit up and the festive spirit is everywhere! Barcelona offers some great opportunities for Christmas shopping. Featured below in this article is a list of different options for you! the-shopping-night-barcelona The Shopping Night Barcelona Fira This year is the 5th anniversary of TSNB – The Shopping Night Barcelona which is the 4th December and on this day Passeig de Gracia opens its shops, restaurants and bars between the hours of 8pm to 1am so there is plenty of time to do some Christmas shopping! Barcelona also offers some quirky places which combine old buildings and concepts and modern designer clothing. Here are some examples: El Raval   The district of El Raval is a truly authentic and lively area of Barcelona. It is filled with designer boutiques and nice restaurants. The Carrer de Talle is an especially great street with lots of vintage shops. La Rambla La Rambla is undoubtedly the most famous street in Barcelona when it comes to shopping. Here you will find a mixture of locals and tourists and the shops offer anything that you could possibly want. It is important to remember that this street is always very busy so if you are looking for a relaxed and quiet shopping trip then you should probably go elswehere. Barri Gòtic The gothic area of Barcelona is one of the oldest areas and is filled with souvenir shops for tourists as well as boutiques and designer shops. As well as this there is also plenty of restaurants and local cafés and if you want to you can go into one of the many churches and rest for a while. El Born This is an up and coming area that has become increasingly popular at night due to the vast amount of cafés and restaurants and the unique shops that it offers. There are also a lot of small shops that sell handmade clothing and other accessories. For Christmas shopping there is one place that must not be missed which is the biggest Christmas market in Barcelona and takes place each year in front of the cathedral in Barri Gòtic. The market is called Fira de Santa Llúcia and commences on the 28th November. Why not go for a romantic shopping trip! December is notorious for being cold and wet but Barcelona offers several places where you can hide from the weather and do some shopping indoors. Right in the centre of Barcelona is Plaza Catalunya where you can find El Triangle which is a massive shopping centre filled with shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafés. By the sea at the harbour you can walk across a pier and get to Maremagnum which is another big shopping centre with a sea view. If you are searching for something a bit different then check out El Corte Ingles, it is similar to the English chain John Lewis and is spread out over many floors. It is absolutely massive and sells everything! If Reading this article has enticed you to visit Barcelona then why not go ahead and book a trip! If you are still looking for somewhere to stay then check out Habitat Apartments which offers lovely apartments at very reasonable prices. Here is an example of one of the beautiful apartments called Paseo De Gracia A. It is perfectly located on the famous shopping avenue Passeig de Gracia and offers a great view of the Casa de Batlló designed by Gaudi paseo-de-gracia-a-apartment-barcelona
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