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 some examples, but you can also suggest some more to add 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 and courses 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.Interesting 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.

El 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 bookshop.How to get there: by the 39, 59, H14, H16 or 120 bus, or take the metro to Jaume I, Barceloneta or Arc de Triomf.

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, V29, V31, 34, 62, 96 or 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)Interesting 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://raiassociacio.orgRAI 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. 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-Tallers or workshops.How to get there: the nearest metro station is Jaume I.Interesting fact: young creators who want to work on theatrical projects can use spaces called Artistic RAIsidencies.


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