Favourite Films based in Barcelona

Our Favourite Films based in Barcelona


One of the best things about watching films is that you can recognise the odd street corner, familiar scenery or even a favourite city.

When somewhere has a sentimental value, it is enjoyable to remind yourself of this place. Whether it is where you and a friend have visited, you have been there with a partner or your family, it holds a place in your memory.

Barcelona as a city is held by all visitors to this high regard, with it being where memories are made by all.

One of the best ways to reimagine and give a new life to these memories, if you cannot visit the place, is by watching it on film. This way you can point out where you are familiar, so that you can imagine yourself in the scene.

Here are our favourite films which are based in Barcelona

Barcelona, Whit Stillman, 1994

The clue is in the name for this first one. Written and directed by Whit Stillman, this American comedy-drama takes place in our wonderful city. Ted, a Chicago salesman, lives and works in Barcelona during the 1980s, when his cousin, Fred, comes to stay. Fred, who is a U.S naval officer, comes to stay as he gets things into place for the arrival of a touring fleet. These cousins have had an up-and-down relationship that culminates in this film. Both young and single, the film follows them as they try the dating scene in Barcelona, which leads Ted into a work-related issue. This film is a great one to watch for anyone missing Barcelona, with many notable spots all over the city, it is an ideal way to remind yourself of our wonderful city, having fun in the process!

Places to look out for:

Av. Reina Maria Cristina, Barcelona Cathedral, El Born, Columbus Monument, Palau de la Música, Passeig de Gràcia and Hospital de Sant Pau

All About My Mother, Pedro Almodóvar, 1999

The last on our list of top 5 films based in Barcelona is a spanish-language film, directed by Pedro Almodóvar and also features Penélope Cruz. This film follows Manuela, an Argentine nurse and single mother to Esteban, a teenager with a dream of becoming a writer. A tragic event leads to Esteban’s death and leads Manuela to tie up loose ends in her life. Such as moving to Barcelona in search of Esteban’s father, a trans-woman named Lola, whom Manuela never told had a son. A powerful story that deals with very complex issues, like AIDS, homosexuality, transsexualism, faith and human nature; this film was ahead of its time and received world write success for the story it tells. Being set in Barcelona, this film gives you a strong story to learn about, in a familiar setting. We hope you enjoy them all.

Places to look out for:

Palau de la Música, Hospital del Mar and Sagrada Familia

The Passenger, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975

A noir film, The Passenger begins its story with TV journalist, David Locke, staying in a hotel near the Sahara whilst making a documentary on post-colonial Africa. In the hotel he befriends an English businessman, Robertson. Robertson passes away suddenly and Locke steals his friend’s identity in order to start a new life for himself, persuading the hotel owners that the deceased person was Locke, not Robertson. This leads to Locke’s family wanting to track down “Robertson” in order to find more out about his alleged death. This search brings Martin, a friend of Locke, to Barcelona where a close encounter gives the film tension. Watch this brilliant film to find out how it ends!

Places to look out for:

Las Ramblas, Parc de la Ciutadella, La Pedrera and Palau Güell

Pot Luck, Cédric Klapisch, 2002

Pot Luck, also known asThe Spanish Apartment, is a french-spanish language film written and directed by Cédrick Kalpisch. The story of this film is about an economics student in his Erasmus year in Barcelona. Here, the protagonist Xavier lives in shared student accommodation with fellow students from all over Western Europe. Showing how different cultures mix together in a new environment, this feel-good film shows comradery, life-choices and friendship in a refreshing way. Making for a very enjoyable film that is set in Barcelona. Giving you a chance to relive your memories of our wonderful city.

Places to look out for:

University of Barcelona, Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, Plaça Reial, Via Laietana and Barceloneta beach

Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen, 2008

This film has some very famous faces in it, with Penélope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem, playing the main parts. Directed by Woody Allen, this rom-com focuses on two American women, Vicky and Cristina, as they spend a summer in Barcelona. When here, they meet artist Juan Antonio and the complicated love story in Barcelona begins. Juan, who enjoys the attention of both Vicky and Cristina still has a confused relationship with his ex-wife, María. This film was shot all over the city and unfolds in a dramatic way. With some great actors, this is easily one of the best films set in Barcelona.

Places to look out for:

Gothic Quarter, Santa María del Mar, Port Olimpíc, Las Ramblas, Parc Güell, La Pedrera, Sagrada Familia and Tibidabo.


Diving in Maria la Gorda

Diving in Maria la Gorda, Cuba


Maria la Gorda is in Pinar del Rio province in western Cuba. It is mostly synonymous with the diving camp that is situated there.

The entire settlement consists of a hotel, diving centre, small shop, sandy beach and 2 restaurants.

However, even if you are not a diver, it is a nice place to spend a night.

If you walk a few kilometers away from the camp, towards the top of the peninsula, you see interesting landscape — mangrove swamp and the sea are divided by wall of old shells/corals. Some big (50 cm) empty shells there.

This entire peninsula was recently run over by Hurricane Ivan (and subsequently Hurricane Wilma) and it will probably take some time to restore its natural beauty.

Diving is the main activity on offer. A range of options are available, and snorkeling trips go out with every dive (though on one trip there was little to be seen by snorkelers that couldn’t be seen by snorkeling from the jetty). There is also a volleyball pitch.

The hotel also advertises that it runs hiking excursions, and other entertainment, but travelers report little evidence of any of that.

If you have your own transport it is possible to drive (with a paid guide) to the western end of mainland Cuba. You may see some Iguanas. There is a deep swimming hole with an underground connection to the sea (and containing some tropical fish) at the Ecological station, where the road meets the sea on the way in. Other trips (including hikes) are also available from the station. If you’re interested in Cuban birdlife there are a few bits and pieces to be seen. Bee Hummingbirds (the smallest bird in the world) are said to be present on the peninsula and at Playa Larga. Royal Terns loaf on the piles near the resort entrance and there are some Yellow-headed Warblers and Black-throated Green Warblers around a dump not far from the resort – follow a track into the scrubby woodland next to a roadside pool on the inland side of the road half a mile or so from the resort entrance. In spring large black, yellow and red land crabs swarm in their hundreds across the roads (especially after rain) and the inevitable casualties attract scavenging flocks of Turkey Vultures. Quite a sight.

Getting there:

There are no public buses to this part of Cuba. You can however book transfers easily through tour agencies.

From Vinales for example a transfer bus leaves daily at 8:00am and returns at 5:00pm – journey time 3hrs cost 15CUC per person. Bear in mind that Maria la Gorda is a long way from anywhere.

Hotel Maria la Gorda, CUC 66 for a room with 2 beds (hot water, TV, rich breakfast). This is the only hotel in entire area down from Guane. They have a complex of wooden cabins connected by walkways which were comfortable and pleasant.

If anyone knows if there are Casa Particulares, please add them as a comment or write an own tip. Thanks!

The dinner buffet is no good and at 15CUC per person is very bad value. There is also a small a la carte restaurant which is marginally better. When booking the hotel don’t take the dinner option – you can decide when you get there if you want to risk the buffet! (In March 2006 the food was found to be OK, though the restaurant was better than the buffet. Both were no better or worse than most of the meals in various parts of Cuba.)


Airlines Urge U.S. and Britain to Trial Virus Testing for Flyers to Revive London-New York Route

Virus Testing for Flyers

Passengers from international flights arrive at Heathrow Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, London, Britain, July 29, 2020. Toby Melville / Reuters


Skift Take: Passenger testing could enable an “air bridge” between London and New York. Yet quick, accurate, and affordable Virus Testing for Flyers remain rare.

— Sean O’Neill

Read the Complete Story On Skift

Not Every U.S. Airline Is Eliminating Change Fees in the Same Way

Airline Is Eliminating Change Fees

American Airlines has introduced new customer-friendly policies. Pictured are a parent and child on one of the airline’s aircraft. American Airlines


Skift Take: In the near future, airlines expect fewer business travelers will fly. That means they need to attract people going on vacation. And a lot of those consumers do not like change fees.

— Brian Sumers

Read the Complete Story On Skift

My Name is Matcha and This is My Incredible Story!

Matcha Incredible Story

Oh my.

I just watched the sunrise from the highest platform of my super fun cat tower. A few minutes ago, I devoured a plate of white ocean fish mixed with salmon flakes! Can you believe it? Salmon flakes!

Seriously, what a wild ride my life has been. And I’m only 4 months old.

My name is Matcha, by the way. I’m this little domestic short haired cat from Bali and boy do I have a story to tell!


The First Day: Hungry and Scared

It all began when I was born I guess. It’s a bit fuzzy but I was born and suddenly, when I was only 5 days old, someone left me in the jungle in Bali. I could barely move and I was soon covered in grass, without food and trying to survive an intense rainstorm. It was rough. The storm eventually ended but I wasn’t feeling well at all. I was drenched, sooooo hungry and some bugs started crawling all over me.

All I could do was cry because I was really scared.

I don’t know how long I was crying but out of nowhere, I started to hear two voices nearby. I started crying more loudly, hoping they would hear me and maybe help somehow.

And they sure did. It’s still a blur but a very, very nice girl just scooped me up out of the jungle and put me in a little box. Then, this boy appeared with a cloth and put that in the box, which felt so soft on my belly. They started walking with me. I didn’t really care where we were going as I was just happy to be out of that jungle.

I was taken to a house for about an hour and then to some place called a ‘vet’. People were touching me, pulling bugs off of my skin, giving me milk and, honestly, I don’t really know what they were doing but it sure made me feel better so I just went with it.

Later on, we arrived back at that same house. And the same girl and boy started to take care of me. I learned that they were called Georgiana and Derek.


Matcha's Incredible Story


The First Month: A New Life

Georgiana and Derek didn’t seem too experienced, especially the boy, but somehow they managed to feed me with a bottle and even made a cozy place for me to sleep. They watched over me and made sure I was comfortable all the time. Even in the middle of the night they would wake up if I needed anything at all.

The days passed and I started feeling so much better. I did have something called ringworm but this girl and boy spent a lot of time on their phones figuring out how to get rid of that. They were determined! I even enjoyed the warm baths they gave me with that special shampoo.

At that age, I couldn’t go to the bathroom or eat on my own yet. So Georgiana or Derek would help me out. But sometimes I just didn’t need to pee or I just wasn’t hungry. The funny thing is that they always thought they were doing something wrong if I didn’t pee or eat. I found it quite amusing that they wanted me to pee so bad all the time! I don’t know how much they pee but I just didn’t need to go that much.

So, I was really tiny during that time. I was trying to figure out how to walk steadily and I couldn’t see very well. I did try to play with these cool toys they bought me and I started to stumble around on the grass. Although, I was quite content to simply let these two people rub my head and neck all the time. That was a feeling I had never experienced before and I must say, I loved it!

Georgiana and Derek were always doing something on these devices that had a screen and a keyboard. So the only way I could get them to stop and come back to rubbing my head was to cry a little. They fell for it every single time! It was such a simple trick.

Anyway, the next month was incredible!


Matcha's Incredible Story


The Second Month: Like a Dream

One day, we moved to this beautiful house in a different part of Bali. While there, I started to understand how to walk fast and even jump up on the bed and sofa. I could roam all over the place. Of course, Georgiana and Derek were always nearby and they wouldn’t let me out of their sight. I don’t know what they thought could happen…I mean, was some big cat going to attack me? Silly people.

They even started feeding me real food. I think it was tuna and it was so yummy! I also figured out that the box they kept filling up with these weird pieces of soy sticks was the place I was supposed to go to the bathroom on my own. First, soy sticks? Such hipsters! Second, I really don’t understand why they were so excited when I started using this tray. It’s just pee and poop but these two people were jumping up and down as if I had won an Olympic event. Am I supposed to cheer every time they go to the bathroom?

I guess I can understand their concern though when these little worms started to appear near my bum. Apparently, that’s not supposed to happen and before I knew it, I was whisked away to the vet again. I will tell you this…I am not a fan of the ‘vet’. It seems to be a place they take me whenever they don’t want me to be happy. But why don’t they want me to be happy all the time?

I don’t know. I just want to be happy!

Luckily, this visit to the vet was quick. However, and I can’t say for certain, I think my parents started slipping drugs into my food shortly after. I would taste this weird bitter flavor and the texture of the tuna was a little off. I’m not really sure what they were doing but they seemed to be quite secretive about it. At least those worms went away eventually.

Matcha's Incredible Story

Life continued and I became more and more attached to my family. They became more and more attached to me too. I learned how to do this thing called ‘purr’ and every time I did it, my family stopped whatever they were doing and showered me with attention and love. It’s another cool trick!

And when we all sat on the sofa, enjoying each other’s company, they would order dinner and I would try to eat it off their plate. That was such a fun game they played with me. It looked so real when they tried to shove me away from their food over and over again!

Then we would watch a movie sometimes. Georgiana really liked these scary movies and Derek really liked these dumb comedies. I would have been happy to watch a nice animal movie but they just weren’t interested.

Life was really great and I started to get the idea that I was going to be taken care of forever. Every time they moved to a different house, they took me with them. And every day, it seemed that their routine was built around making sure I had everything I needed to be comfortable and happy. While in that jungle at 5 days old, I never could have imagined that things would turn out this way!

Oh, did I tell you? They even bought me this awesome cat house thing. Wow! Three floors, rooms to sleep in, scratch posts to scratch and even a hammock! A HAMMOCK!!!


The Third Month: I’m a Princess

I was in that comfy hammock when, one day, Derek lifted me up, put me in my pet carrier and took me back to that damn vet again. I was pretty chill about it because, I don’t know, it seemed harmless enough overall. But this time, holy crap. They jammed some needle in the back of my neck and called it a ‘vaccine’. I was pissed off and quickly discovered that I can hiss and spit and make some serious noise that make these people afraid to do things like that again. Believe me, I used these new found skills because I ended up at the vet two more times for these vaccine injections!

They kept saying it was for some vaccine passport book and that I would need it to leave the country, but why would I leave the country? I’m a Bali cat. It didn’t make any sense to me.

Well, about a week later, they really surprised me good. I did have to sit in a car for about 3 hours but when I was allowed out again, ohhhhhhhhhhh. We were at some house right on the beach in a small town called Amed. It was surreal. I could hear the waves all day and listen to birds. I could run all over the place and jump around and have so much fun. They even let me outside every now and then. I would eat some grass, try to climb trees and just run through the bushes, free as those birds!

In the evenings, I would hang out in my cat house and relax. Right before bedtime, I would always play this crazy game with Derek. He would hide his hand under the sheets and I would try to find it every time he poked his finger out. It was wild! I could play that game for hours and hours. I don’t know what Derek’s problem was because he got tired quickly from this game but no way I was going to let him stop!

By this point, these two people were treating me like I was a princess. They even called me ‘princess’ all the time. But I guess they were just confused because I don’t really have any royalty in my blood. I wasn’t going to tell them that though!

This went on for 1 more incredible month!


Matcha's Incredible Story


A Week at the Vet

Eventually, our time in Amed did come to an end. And every time I try to think about the 3 weeks that followed, I have such a mix of emotions. It was an intense period.

Let me tell you about it.

One day, I didn’t feel very well and all I wanted to do was sleep. A couple of times, I tried to walk around but my legs weren’t stable at all. My family looked very concerned as I just curled up on a chair unable to move much.

Before I knew it, I was back at Sunset Vet, but this time was very different. Derek was there at first but suddenly, he was gone and I was in a cage in a strange room with strange people and a few other animals too. I thought maybe it would last a few minutes but I ended up in this place for 6 long days. During that time, I had to receive injections and an IV and these friendly but unfamiliar vets would check my condition every few hours. They said I had an infection and a muscle sprain, whatever that is.

The good news is that I started to feel better each day. The bad news was that I really, really missed Georgiana and Derek and I had no idea if I would see them again. By the 6th day, I was quite sad. I felt better physically but my life had changed so much, from a beautiful house on the beach with a loving family to this stale room where I wasn’t able to be free at all.

And then…I almost peed myself when I saw Georgiana and Derek walk into the room! I tried to play it real cool, occasionally sniffing their fingers through the cage to make sure it wasn’t a dream. I thought they had abandoned me. I don’t know why they were gone for so long. I suppose it might have something to do with the vets and the fact that my illness was cured but I don’t really know how this stuff works so I’m a little unsure.

Either way, they came back for me! And they took me to another house with palm trees and grass and flowers and plenty of space for me to be myself again. At this point, I knew for certain that I had a family forever!


The Fourth Month: I’m a Traveler

We spent 2 weeks at this sweet new place. Georgiana and Derek never seemed too thrilled when I would climb high into the thorny tree in the corner of the yard and refuse to come down for an hour, but I didn’t care. I was so happy again and I knew they would get over it every single time and still feed me my favorite food.

That’s why I didn’t get too stressed when suddenly, one morning, I was put back into my travel carrier and placed into a van, next to a cage that had a small dog in it. I was a little concerned that Georgiana and Derek were saying goodbye to me but I tried not to worry too much. A very nice man seemed to be in charge now and I could tell by the way they were talking that whatever was about to happen, it wasn’t going to last long.

I’m not really great with time but I’ll guess it was around two days or so when, just as I had expected, Derek appeared and we were together again. It seemed that we had left Bali though, so that was bizarre. It was my first time off the island and we were now in a place called Jakarta, staying at what Derek kept referring to as a ‘pet-friendly hotel‘. Anyway, we stayed at this hotel for 3 days and pretty much played the entire time!

Derek seemed a little stressed during this period but I tried to use my purring ability to calm him down. He also wanted to put this harness thing on me but I wasn’t happy about that and didn’t let him. I feel a little bad about it but I’m a cat after all and a harness just doesn’t work for me. I did let him put a small collar on as a compromise though.

On the third day in Jakarta, it was time to leave again as Derek started packing up. At this point, I was even excited. Where would we end up next? What a crazy life I was leading! I always seemed to end up somewhere fun and comfortable, as long as it wasn’t the vet.

Matcha's Incredible Story

So let me tell you about the next 40 hours!! 40 HOURS!

I was in this smaller travel case and we ended up at an airport. I was in disbelief, thinking to myself, “Now I’m going to fly? I’m a Bali cat and I’m getting to travel the world!!

But I don’t know. If traveling the world always involves being on an airplane for 12 hours, then a 10 hour layover in another airport and then another 12 hour flight, I don’t need to do it all the time. There were also security checks and so many strangers around. I needed to go to the bathroom in odd, unfamiliar places as well and my system was all messed up because of the time changes. Oh, and I really didn’t enjoy being in that travel case for so many hours.

Traveling is hard. And I definitely couldn’t travel on my own.

Then it ended. I don’t know what happened. Our second flight landed in a place called Miami, which I think is in a country called the USA. We then walked through the airport and then we were in a car. Nobody even asked me for my paperwork or why I wanted to come to this new country. I was shocked!

About 1.5 hours later we were in an apartment and I was free to move around again, just like that.


The Future

In one room, I had a new cat tower waiting for me, which is bigger than any cat tower I’ve ever seen! I had some great food waiting for me too. The space seemed comfortable to run around and play in and it really didn’t take me long at all to adjust. Derek is here as well of course! I must say, I like it.

Everyone seems to be talking about the ‘shitshow’ and some major problems with a virus in the area and lots of talk about politics but I don’t know, from my perspective everything seems quite calm and I’m having a ton of fun! I just want to play with my favorite piece of rope, eat some more salmon flakes and observe the world from my tower. Is that too much to ask?

And who knows what the future will bring? Will I travel more? Will we move to another house again? As long as I don’t need to visit the vet too often, I’ll take whatever comes my way.

I still can’t believe that only four short months ago I was crying in the Bali jungle, so hungry and scared.

I’ve been living the dream ever since, all because these two people happened to walk by at the right time and save me. Now I’m a world traveler and a princess and I have the best family on the planet!

Salmon flakes!!!!!


VIDEO: Here’s a super cool video Georgiana made about my entire journey so far!

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