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Watch out, fantasy fans, here comes something great! For the already - and quiet impressive - 47th time the “International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia” is about to return to the great city of Sitges. If you’re a lover of fantasy of all kinds you shouldn’t think twice about attending this event. The Sitges edition is known for being the number one fantasy film festival in the world and has developed into an appreciated establishment. Since the first international week of sci-fi and horror in 1968 the festival has spread its wings and has become a more than reliable barometer when it comes to new and futuristic technologies and trends. From this year’s October 3rd to 12th visitors can benefit from encounters, exhibitions, screenings, presentations and Co. and get completely lost in the event’s surreal atmosphere. But Catalonia’s foremost film festival isn’t just a big excitement for interested spectators: since an international jury honors the best films, actors and filmmakers with the “Maria” award - plus the festival hosts several other award shows,too - the event is also of great importance for a professional audience. As a natural consequence of its high international reputation, each year the festival provides a popular meeting point for international VIPs. Sitges' guest list impresses with big names like Anthony Hopkins, Cameron Diaz, Jodie Foster, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tony Curtis and many more. Did you know that even the master of direction himself, Mr. Quentin Tarantino, launched his first movie in the adorable little city on the Spanish coast-line back in the days? By now there really shouldn’t be any more arguments necessary to point out how great this event is ;-) One more: don't miss out on the annual "Zombiewalk" on which fans dress up in spooky outfits and scary make-up to create one bizarre get-together! FAST FACTS Location: Sitges (35km outside Barcelona) Dates: 3rd to 12th of October 2014 Website: sitgesfilmfestival.com
Madrid and Andalusia are usually already pretty hot by the time of June – Barcelona indeed still convinces with a warm but comfortable climate and therefore makes a perfect traveling destination to spend some exciting days. Before you take off to the beautiful Catalan capital, note down that there is more to discover than “just” some sights (even though they are amazing in BCN!). For a perfect experience be open to join some of the city’s great events taking place in June. Here comes our Top 4: Feast of Sant Joan: The Summer Solstice is a very special deal in Barcelona. Since the night from June 23rd to 24th marks the shortest night of the year and the beginning of summer, Catalan people celebrate this with a public holiday on which Barcelona and its surrounding transform into an electric area. In this night of Sant Joan the sun reaches its highest point, for that reason Barcelona organizes a great and impressive firework each year to brighten up the city. Visitors as well as locals benefit from the buzzing and vibrant atmosphere at Sant Joan, have a picnic outdoors or/and watch some nice performances and happenings in the streets. When the sun sets in the evening of June 23rd it may be a good idea to head near the beachside where a lot of people in a good mood enjoy live music and tasty drinks. Pride Barcelona: Another colorful – if not THE MOST colorful – event is just around the corner. For its already sixth time Barcelona will host the annual Pride Barcelona, which is a great festival hosted by the LGBT community. From June 27th to 29th visitors can be entertained by a diverse programm featuring performances, parades, music, parties, workshops, debates etc. We are pretty sure that you won’t be able to find any bored person around since the participation choices are various enough to please everybody. Since Pride Barcelona is known to be one of the most famous and important LGBT festivals, it not just provides amusement and enjoyment, but as well campaigns for tolerance and equality. To find out more about locations, timetables and Co. feel free to discover the official website. Sonar Festival: If music is one of your greatest pleasures, don’t miss this amazing event! It is safe to say that this is more than just another random happening: it’s a legend, it’s an establishment, it’s an institution – it’s the famous Sonar Music Festival about to take over Barcelona again! This amazing international music festival goes back to the early days of 1994 and has ever since been able to successfully spread the world to please it with awesome sounds. In 2014 the beat-machine will be in town from June 12th to 14th and probably again attract fans from all over Europe. The three-day-event features upcoming and leading artists playing live on stage and offers also different artistic, digital installations to create a unique and inspiring festival atmosphere. This year’s line-up is again pretty convincing and includes huge names such as Robyn, Lykke Li, Boys Noize, Massive Attack and many, many more. Tickets can be easily bought online. Moto GP 2014: Sport fan can finally breath now, we have something cool for you right here :) In 2014 the Montmelo racetrack hosts one of the biggest and most important races in the international speed scene: the MotoGP World Championship. From June 13th to 15th the famous Circuit de Catalunya – which as well hosts the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix – will be populated by super-fast and high-tech motorcycles, which will drive rapid laps reaching impressive speeds of around 300kmh! More than 100.000 people are expected to watch this racy pleasure and to enjoy roaring motors and lead in the air. To join in safe yourself some tickets.
Since the arrival of spring and the beautiful sunny and warm weather, locals and tourists these days enjoy daytime in Barcelona to the fullest. But what about the later hours? Right on time for people not to forget about the great evening events the Catalan capital has to offer, the Night of Museums is returning to Barcelona again. Such as a lot of other cities in Europe, Spain`s second largest town opens its doors to a lot of cultural institutions to the public at night. On May 17th interested visitors can enjoy the offer including not just exhibitions, but also concerts, workshops and Co. of around 60 museums at special opening hours from 19.00 pm to 1.00 am. “La Nit Dels Museus” is for free – so don’t miss it!
Of course there is a lot more that can be done in the amazing city of Barcelona - but let's start with these 10 tips :-)
May in Barcelona is more than awesome! Since the temperatures in general are already perfectly warm and enjoyable, visitors have the possibility to show off their brand new, light summer fashion. Where to wear some airy outfits can be discovered right here – just read through our Top 4 Barcelona events taking place in May. Primavera Sound: Watch out, we’ve got a treat for your ears right here! Being not just Barcelona’s most important and exciting Music Festival but also the number one in Spain, Primavera Sound is an institution of great tunes. The wonderful town of Barcelona has been hosting the annual event since 2001 which every year attracts beat-lovers from all over the world. This year from May 28th to 31st visitors can enjoy an amazing weekend getting lost in music – just next to beach! Primavera Sound is not one of those festivals advertising with its load of trendy stars but is especially known for featuring rather unknown artists to let people discover the sounds of the future first hand. But of course there will again be some big names playing as well, for example the Nine Inch Nails, Arcade Fire or Kendrick Lamar. If you want to save yourself some tickets, hurry up! Labor Day: In Spain May 1st is one of its national holidays. Spanish people join in in the international tradition of celebrating the Labor Day at the very beginning of May to enjoy a day off work spending it with friends and family. To honor working people’s achievements in economy and sociality, the May 1st celebration was established in 1975 after the end of Franco’s dictatorship and first publically celebrated two years later in 1977. May 1st makes a great opportunity for visitors to discover Barcelona’s cultural offers, since museums and Co. stay generally open while shops and offices are closed. If you like, you can also watch or take part in various peaceful meetings and demonstrations being hold all over town. Formula 1 Grand Prix: Fasten your seat belts and focus – the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix is ready to start engines! From May 9th to 11th friends of super-cars and speed can experience the atmosphere of high-technology vehicles turning their laps. Since the early 1990 this famous event takes place a little outside the Catalan capital in the little town Montmeló. With the goal of successfully complete 66 fast rounds, the ambitioned professional drivers will take over the Circuit de Catalunya – a race track being famous for guaranteeing very exciting competitions. Special speed-fans can go for a whole Formula-1-Weekend since there are not just tickets for the main race on Sunday, but also for the test-driving and qualifying on Friday and Saturday available. Ciutat Flamenco: This wonderful event of the art of dancing is a total must for all of those who just can’t stop their feet from stomping the beat when music is playing. Ciutat Flamenco is a multiple and colorful festival celebrating the loveliness of the beautiful and traditional dance of Flamenco, annually taking place in the Catalan capital. From 23rd to 26th of May interested visitors can populate the halls of “El Mercat de las Flors” in order to take part in the various, flamenco-themed offer. Regarding classical as well as contemporary interpretations of dancing Flamenco, people are welcome to enjoy shows, concerts, exhibitions, workshops, dance sessions and competitions. More information can be found on the official website.
Barcelona is a great holiday destination throughout the whole year – so it can’t be considered something else than a good idea to plan a trip to the Catalan capital in the springtime. To make your preparations a bit easier we summed up the Top 4 events hold in Barcelona during the lovely month of April. Easter Processions: Since Spain is basically a Christian country, of course Easter is celebrated. Being known to take their religion quiet serious, the Spanish people worship the feast with a whole week called the “semana santa” (holy week) starting on Palm Sunday and ending on Easter Monday. In 2014 this means Easter festivities take place from April 13th to 21st. It may almost be unnecessary to explicitly say so, but since Barcelona is a pretty popular destination for a lot of Europeans during the Easter time, the city will probably be quiet packed again. But that should really not hold you back because in addition to the common attractions Barcelona has to offer, there will be a lot of worth-seeing Easter processions, for example:
- Iglesia de Sant Augustin: Friday 18th, Placa de Sant Augustin 2, 17.00 pm
- Santa Maria Del Mar: Friday 18th, Placa de Santa Maria 1, 9.30 am
- Barcelona Cathedral: Friday 18th, Pla de la Seu, 15.30 pm
Let’s be honest: who doesn’t simply love food? Especially trying something new can be a tasty pleasure – as long as you are making the right choice. To help you find your way through the colorful world of all kinds of foodstuff, we summed up precisely five dishes you need to give a try during your stay in Barcelona to make your trip a complete satisfaction. A quick reminder: yes, Tapas are great - we all know that, so we decided just to skip on these. What you really need to try are Calçots. Never heard of that? Well, you might probably not be the only one not knowing how delicious this specialty can be. Calçots are basically just green onions grilled until they are pretty burned outside. Ordering them you will probably get around 10 – 12 served with salvitxada, a sauce made of almonds, tomatos, garlic, oil and spices you can dip your onions in. To be honest, this does not sound too fancy but indeed is pretty delicious! It is no great secret that Spain is famous for its love of meat. Since Barcelona does not make a difference there, you won’t be able to ignore all the meaty temptations all over the Catalan capital. One of these is called Jamón Ibérico, a Spanish delicacy of great fame and basically omnipresent. Jamón Ibérico is smoked ham and exists in all different kinds of variations. You can not only buy it at the butcher or the supermarket of course, cut in very fine slices it is also a very popular thing to snack around Barcelona. Whether as a sandwich filling, a salad topping or pure and fried like French fries – people seem not to get enough of their ham. For a reason! Less meaty but not less delicious are Patatas Bravas. This typical dish contains boiled potatoes which are cut in small wedges and then deeply fried in hot oil until they are perfectly crispy. You can get these tasty pieces almost everywhere solid food is sold such as cosy restaurants, bars or snack stands. Traditionally they are served with a spicy, tomato-based sauce, but you can also eat them with mayonnaise or just ketchup. Do yourself a favor and skip your French fries at least once to order some Patatas Bravas instead. A truly healthy and vegetarian – even vegan - snack is Escalivada. This grilled Catalan salad can be perfectly eaten at a barbecue, as a side or also as a light snack for lunch. Escalivada traditionally is made of eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions which are grilled and mixed with a dressing out of oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Especially its smoky taste makes this salad so popular and a lovely alternative to a plain Cesar’s Salad. Our list would definitely not be complete without a dessert! For that reason we would like to introduce you to the Crema Catalana. This delicacy is a Catalan pudding made with milk, egg yolks, orange peel, vanilla and cinnamon. Often served in little cups topped with caramelized sugar it is very similar to the French Crème brûlée, but said to be even a littler creamier than its famous sister. If you are looking for something sweet and delicious to finish your menu with, the Crema Catalana should be your choice in any case! In this sense: Buen provecho :-)