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Barcelona - Leisure, Entertainment & Sports
There are a number of expat groups with a range of interests from running to business networking, and which cater for a variety of nationalities. A list of groups can be found her here. Other events arranged for expats are listed at barcelona.angloinfo.com and www.barcelonaconnect.com.
Barcelona's privileged position on the Mediterranean coast offers many opportunities to take up sailing or other watersports. Beginners can take their first lessons at the Barcelona Sailing Club (Real Club Nautico de Barcelona, Moll Espana, 08039 Barcelona, 93 221 6521, www.rcnb.com.
The city is alive 24 hours a day with bars, restaurants and nightclubs and for many Spaniards, a night out doesn't begin until past midnight with partying till breakfast. The Barri Gotic and Las Ramblas areas are popular with tourists and newcomers to the city and are always lively. It is also, unfortunately, a popular haunt for pickpockets, so the usual, sensible precautions are needed.
L'Eixample, in the north of the city, is where most of the local tend to spend their nights out. Other popular areas are Maremagnum and Port Olimpic, both with malls and bars overlooking the sea, but prices there are can be high.
Reviews of restaurants, bars and clubs can be found at http://www.barcelonaconnect.com/Nightlife/?langId=1 and at www.barcelonayellow.com.
The city has not forgotten its nature lovers with botanical gardens, rose gardens and parks, each with their own distinctive flavour, from gothic to postmodern. A fun day out is the Horta Labyrinth Park if you dare to get lost in the maze. The park is situated at Passeig dels Castanyers, near the Mundet Metro Station.
A full list of parks and gardens can be found on the Barcelona Town Hall website here.
Being Spain, there are of course a number of lively and colourful festivals throughout the year. Among them is St George's Day which is celebrated on the same day as the English on 23 April. Barcelona's saint day is celebrated during the week of 24 September, with firework displays and even fire-breathing dragons.
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