Inside the Born, Cultural and Memorial Centre. Barcelona © El Born CCM-Pere Virgili

Spaces for alternative culture in Barcelona

Get your hipster gear on because we're going to Barcelona, one of the most avant-garde cities in Spain, where new trends seem to pop up every day. Art is part of life in the streets of Barcelona, full of galleries and neighbourhoods that are constantly being updated, like El Raval. As well as following the 'official' itineraries that will take you round the most famous sites and museums, we have some more alternative suggestions for you, which you'll find just as interesting. Here are a few examples, although you can suggest some additions to the list.

Barcelona Contemporary Culture Centre (CCCB)

http://www.cccb.org

This is one of the most visited cultural centres in the city. Here you can enjoy exhibitions, debates, festivals, films, courses and urban tours. Its inner courtyard, Pati de les Dones, is the setting for concerts, plays, and other events, which are particularly enjoyable on summer evenings. Or you can go up to the terrace for fine views of the sea, the Gothic quarter, and Tibidabo. And some other interesting spaces: a bookshop and a restaurant. How to get there: any metro line or bus stopping at Universitat or Plaça Catalunya. Fun fact: the centre is located in a 12th-century church which later became a charity hospital. By the way, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is just next door.

Born, Cultural and Memorial Centre

http://elbornculturaimemoria.barcelona.cat/

We had to include this very special place, created in a 19th century market with cast-iron architecture, and focusing on local and national history and the events that affect all of humanity. Its cultural attractions include exhibitions, concerts, workshops, and a secret: underneath it there is an archaeological site which gives an idea of what the streets and houses of Barcelona looked like in the late 17th century. You can also visit the culinary space El 300 del Born, and the bookshop. How to get there: by the 14, 17, 19, 39, 40, 45, 51 or 120 bus, or take the metro to Jaume I or Arc de Triomf. Fun fact: Would you like to take a guided tour and feel as if you time travelled 300 years into the past? Your wish is granted.

Barcelona Museum of Ideas and Inventions (miba)

http://www.mibamuseum.com/

Although this suggestion may not be quite so 'alternative', it is still very original and creative. On your visit to the miba you'll find three exhibition spaces. The first, Limitless Society, shows what some high-tech centres and companies are capable of imagining. The second space, Reflectionarium, shows all kinds of inventions; and in the third, Corner of the Absurd, you can laugh at some nonsensical ideas. As well as all this, it offers guided tours, conferences and courses. How to get there: it's right in the tourist centre, a few metres from Plaça Sant Jaume. The nearest metro station is Jaume I. Fun fact: you'll be surprised and amused by some of the ideas in this museum: creative bathrooms, a slide to get from one floor to another, a periscope so you can see what's underneath you…

Nau Ivanow

http://www.nauivanow.com/ In the Sagrera district, this space for the creation and dissemination of the stage arts is intended to encourage projects by young creators. It's also a place for artists and audiences to meet and experiment together. The main exhibition space is the Andy Warhol gallery, although it has other places for meetings and rehearsals. It also has an outdoor terrace and viewing point where films are often shown, and a courtyard which is delightful in warm weather. How to get there: by metro, take lines 1, 5, 9 or 10 and get off at La Sagrera. By bus, you can take the H8, V27, 34, 40, 62, 96 and 126. Fun fact: Nau Ivanow is part of the initiative Fàbriques de Creació de Barcelona, which has transformed several unused spaces into new centres for culture and innovation. Consult their website to see what they are and where you can find them.

BlueProject Foundation

http://blueprojectfoundation.org/ This multidisciplinary centre focuses on modern and contemporary artistic creation. When you visit, you'll find an exhibition area divided into two spaces. Il Salotto is a gallery for established artists, and the Sala Project shows projects by up-and-coming creators. What kind of activities will you see? An interesting combination: performance, dance, music, sculpture and painting. Any new artistic expression is welcome. And for a restorative rest, you can always linger in the café over an imaginative vegetarian dish. How to get there: the nearest metro stops are Jaume I (line 4) and Arc de Triomf (line 1) Fun fact: resident and guest artists can use the space known as El Taller to produce the art they always imagined.

Miscelánea

http://www.miscelanea.info/ It really is miscellaneous. Culture of every kind has a place in this space which mixes genres and media through art, design and audiovisual creation. They describe their programmes as 'distinctive and daring'. The gallery puts on 10 to 15 exhibitions a year, and local and international creators show their work every three weeks. Music lovers will find much to engage them too, as Miscelánea hosts experimental electronica sessions, small-scale concerts and festivals. Plus, there are courses and workshops, and the chance to buy a truly original souvenir in the shop, making this a highly recommended visit. How to get there: Miscelánea is in the district of El Raval in downtown Barcelona, just five minutes from the Columbus monument. The nearest metro station is Drassanes. Fun fact: Miscelánea has a café-bar which hosts small meetings and acoustic concerts.

RAI-Art

http://rai.pangea.cat/es/ RAI is an assembly-based association which works for social, cultural and educational transformation. One of its many projects is RAI Art, the area in charge of its artistic programmes. It includes the Bona Sort Theatre, two multi-purpose galleries and a collective bar. All kinds of activities are hosted here: music, dance, theatre, painting, photography, puppetry, film, circus, etc., all year round, from Thursday to Sunday. As well as the agenda of RAI-Art, this association also has other projects like RAI Eficmus (a space for musical training and creation) and RAI-Talleres or workshops. How to get there: the nearest metro station is Jaume I. Fun fact: young creators who want to work on theatrical projects can use spaces called Artistic RAIsidencies.


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