Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mango Outlet Barcelona

It's not often I'll call out a specific shop or brand here on the blog, but I wrote an article a few years ago on another site which receives an enormous amount of traffic for the search phrase "Mango Outlet" and I only mentioned that in passing when talking about the various bargains Barcelona can offer for the thrifty shopper.
Entrance to Outlet Zara Store, Calle Girona 37, Barcelona, Spain
I think it's fairly easy to find a bargain in Barcelona, with central shops such as Lefties (Zara Outlet) in two very strategic spots in the city, Celio is another with an outlet (although not that great for bargains IMO), and many more (please ask me in the comments or leave your own) but the actual information out there about the Mango Outlet is a bit poor. There is a store in central Barcelona - Carrer Girona, 37 - just below Gran Via and another massive warehouse which has an open sale I believe every 2 years. That one is just outside Montmelo - where the the racing circuit for the Formula 1 Grand Prix is - and is difficult to access with public transport. That one is really cheap  - like boxes and boxes of stuff and it's a proper free for all. My wife has been a few times, and people go at 5am to queue up outside, and just buy up whole boxes!
Inside of Zara Outlet Store in Barcelona

This central one is a fairly decent sized shop and you can see from the pics here, it's a nicely managed place, not just a mad rush with loads of mounds of messy items. Although it should be noted that it was an early mid-week morning ! The store is mainly women's fashion, but there is a really small section of men's stuff if you fancy prancing around like Gerard Pique.
Extended view of Zara Outlet Store in Barcelona

Any readers got some more tips? Fans of Primark for more bargains? Please let me know in the comments! And if you're looking for Barcelona accommodation this Autumn, check out BCN Rentals Apartments for some great, late deals. And for a quick look at the rest of the city sights, their guide to Barcelona is another good read.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Casa Batllò Comes Alive This Weekend

Audiovisual mapping is something waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy cooler than it sounds and involves lots of very fast computers, projectors and lights and music to transform an inanimate object into what appears to be a fully 3-D moving, living spectacle. It's nothing new, and Barcelona has seen its own town hall be transformed by the same methods a few years back with great effect. Other famous monuments have gone through the same process and if you know the static building well enough - I mean you're so familiar with the facade - , the transformation can be literally jaw-dropping.

So, as if Antonin Gaudi's works weren't already wacky enough on their facades, this weekend sees "El despertar de la Casa Batllò" which literally translates as the Awakening of Casa Batllò, and involves the very same thing. Here's the teaser vid from the website (hat tip to barcelonayellow for this)

 Doesn't that look cool?! And confirmation (perhaps) that Gaudi DID intend the rooftop tiles to represent the scales of a dragon's back, with the main chimney being a sword's handle in the slain dragon's back in homage to Sant Jordi (Saint George) the patron saint of Catalonia. I've been telling people that for years although I've never been able to actually find any official reference to it!

So, there's only 6 chances to see this, guys - it's on this Saturday and Sunday night at 21h, 21:30h and 22h and of course it's free. I'm guessing those working in Banco Pastor late won't be grumbling. ;o)

Coming to Barcelona this Autumn? Check out BCN Rentals for some great late deals on apartments.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October Music in Barcelona - Some Classics!

I don't know if maybe it's just my age, but it seems to me that there are some really cool bands playing or getting back together, or celebrating a milestone of being together quite a lot recently! And the back end of October is no exception to the rule. I've been lucky enough to see some amazing bands in the time I've been living here, and in smaller, more intimate locations than those bands would play on their home turf.

So the following are a few of my reccomendations for some bloody good bands in some great spaces with an amazing atmosphere.

Keane - Razzmatazz Wednesday 24th October. I saw Keane here about 8 years ago and they were great, really played to the crowd and it was almost karaoke-y at some parts, but they have another 3 albums under their belt now, so will surely mix it up a bit. Either way, highly reccomended.

Richard Hawley  - Apolo Friday 26th October. Richard is up for a Mercury Award this year, and actually played here already this year at Arc de Triomf during Primavera Sound for free, so great to see him back. Part of the Longpigs and collaborator with the likes of the very cool Elbow, Richard's got his own style and in such an intimate venue as Apolo, it'll be a great night.

Scissor sisters - Razzmatazz Monday 29th October. I'm never a fan of a Monday night concert, cos it's like the first day back at work syndrome, and it just doesn't feel right. However, if anyoine can get your toes tapping and your hips swaying it's the Scissor Sisters. They're certainly fans of Barccelona and even turned up to do an impromptu gig at Sonar one year, so you can bet they'll be up for entertaining this time too.

Blind Melon - Apolo 7th November - taking us straight into the November winter is the 20-year anniversary tour of Blind Melon at Apolo. I couldn't actually believe that it was 20 years since the release of their cool californian sounds and I reckon this will be a really cool concert to go and see, they'll be playing all their most successful crowd pleasers and are not promoting a new record or anything so it's going to be heaps of fun.

Anyone planning on going to any of these concerts? Or got any more to reccommend ? Let me know in the comments! And if you're coming to Barcelona this winter, check out BCN Rentals for some great deals on apartments. For a quick look at what's not to miss, then read this guide to Barcelona.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oktoberfest Barcelona - Ein Prosit!!

Well, October is flying by and apart from that one rainy Saturday, it's still glorious weather and a great time to visit the city. September and June are probably my favourite months to visit the city, but this October is shaping up to be a smashing month too, so far. We've had a puking Gaga, an even Classico an upcoming zombie walk, and this Friday is even a holiday so long weekend ahoy!

So what better reason to celebrate the long weekend than joining in the celebrations at Barcelona's very own Oktoberfest!! I've been lucky enough to visit the Oktoberfest in Munich - an exoerience I think everyone should do once in their life - so it's great that a little bit of Bavaria is coming to the Catalan Capital, too!!
Oktoberfest Beer Festival on BarcelonaSights blog.

As in Munich, you don't get served drinks if you're not sitting down, so this weekend (12th, 13th and 14th) make sure you reserve your table via the website and get your tickets - it's FREE!! By the looks of things, they have a fair few beers on tap as well as the usual Bavarian brews - Guinness, Newcy Brown (might be in a bottle of dog, rather than on tap?), your typical Belgian beers, Tequila-flavoured Desperados and they're even chaeting a bit with two brands of cider to try, too.

What's great is that they've made it a lot more family orientated, with a load of great things to distract the kids - inflatable castles, trampolines, all sorts of stuff. And then there's live music for the adults, you can bet there'll be frankfurts and the like around, so basically it's a case of rolling up in the morning, working your way through the liquid menu and staying till the night time!

Of course, one of the most important things about the whole Oktoberfest experience is the song!! Ein Prosit is the toast song, where everyone stands up (forgive me if my memory is a little blurry!) and toasts everyone else on the table and then gives it a "one, two, three drink up!" kind of gesture. For the whole 5 days I was there I had absolutely no idea what I was singing but belted it out with all my heart and lungs!! Fear not, though, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can practise here.

Thinking of heading down to the Oktoberfest? Let me know in the comments!

Coming to Barcelona this Autumn? Check out these great deals on Barcelona apartments and for a quick look at the best city sights, this Guide to Barcelona.
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