There are plenty of options to improve your English if you live in Barcelona. Travelling abroad, signing up for an intensive English course, online learning, etc.
The list is long!
But there are also many other ways to practice English in Barcelona.
Without travelling, and without spending much – or any – money.
Barcelona has developed into a cosmopolitan city.
There are many native English speakers who offer different ways to level up your language skills. Let’s dive in.
Free and fun ways to practice English in Barcelona
What’s your favourite way of learning? What’s your budget?
Let’s look at 10 cheap, or free activities to practice your English in Barcelona!
In no particular order:
10. English cinema
How about going to the cinema in English?
Since we first started teaching English in Barcelona back in 2000, we’ve heard the following repeated a lot of times. “I prefer movies dubbed in Spanish or Catalan, as I want to relax”.
In our experience, this is a missed opportunity.
For example, Spanish students progress a lot slower compared to students in countries like Sweden. Up north, no movies are dubbed except children’s movies.
There are plenty of English cinemas in Barcelona. The most popular among tourists is perhaps the Icaria movie theatre down by the beach. They show all movies in V.O (versión original, original version).
There’s also Maldà and the awesome Filmoteca de Catalunya in the Raval.
During the Summer you can head up to the castle on Montjuic where many of the films will be in English. Many film festivals also pop up regularly in Barcelona to help your language skills.
9. Walking tours in English
What do English speakers explain about your home town?
Check out one of the city’s guided walking tours, a different way to practice English in Barcelona. And discover things you perhaps didn’t know!
You’ll get some exercise as an added bonus.
And who knows, perhaps you can start an English conversation with some of the other people on the walking tours.
Come on, don’t be shy!
Sneak in with the tourist groups and visit local Barcelona museums in English.
Or get the audio explanation in English to listen and learn at your own pace.
And let’s not stop with just the CCCB!
Pick two more museums to practice, or a popular location like the Sagrada Familia. A nice mix of language and culture in your home city. Some museums offer free entrance on Sundays.
7. Yoga in English
If yoga is your thing you could sign up for a yoga class in English.
Some studios and yoga teachers offer the first session for free.
The group sessions sometimes have a nice backdrop like down by the W-hotel, or in the Ciutadella park.
Exercise both your English and your body.
6. English mass in Barcelona
Did you know that you can go to mass in English in Barcelona?
This international catholic church organise mass every Sunday, except August, led by a Chicago native.
The church is based in Pedralbes and also live streams some of its masses.
5. Hikes (day trips)
Do you miss nature while living in the city? You’re not alone. Every weekend there are people who get together with strangers to go on hikes.
Check out the Facebook group “Hikes near Barcelona” where expats and English speakers plan excursions together.
Some locations you can reach by public transport, for other hikes they offer carpools.
Make new international friends as you practise your English.
4. TED talks
You’ve probably heard of or seen one or two TED talks. But did you know there’s a local TEDx version in Barcelona?
Check out their English Speaking events and improve your language level. As a bonus, you’ll learn about something new and interesting. Write down any new vocabulary you learn!
TED talks range from everything from tech to business, to science. The quality of speakers tends to be quite high.
Are you brave enough to strike up a conversation with someone in English after the talk?
3. Graffiti tour
So, there are tours for pretty much everything in Barcelona. Did you know there’s one where you can check out the graffiti in town?
The cool thing about these tours is that the art constantly changes. Check out tags, walls, furniture and other unexpected places for some pretty cool graffiti.
The tour is in English and you can choose to visit the Born / Gothic, or the Raval. A free way to learn English.
You can also combine the tour with a workshop and learn techniques to make some graffiti yourself. A fantastic present too!
2. Cooking classes
We mentioned that Barcelona is a pretty cosmopolitan town, right? This is reflected in the cooking scene which is exploding right now.
Learn how to cook something new while following instructions, and talking with fellow wannabe-chefs, in English.
As you enjoy the meals, interesting conversations arise. A fantastic way to improve your English level without leaving Barcelona.
And improving your pronunciation while at it.
1. Comedy in Barcelona
Comedy can be a bit of a hit and miss. Since the Giggling Guiri stopped booking comedians the level has been a bit uneven.
The last years have seen an upswing of comedy shows and this is a fun way to practice English in Barcelona!
A quick Google search will show you the latest gigs, both paid and free.
Other ways to learn languages in Barcelona
Hope you liked our ideas?
If not, fear not, there are many other ways to practice your English in Barcelona! We just couldn’t feature them all in detail.
Here are a few more to inspire you to improve your language skills without taking classes, or studying online:
- Look for open mic sessions if you prefer listening to songs in English
- Acting classes and workshops in English
- Learn to surf in English
- Blockchain meetups
- Escape rooms
- Coding meetings in different languages
- Language exchange (teach someone Spanish, Catalan or any other language while they teach you English)
- Startup events
- Bike tours
- Get your driving test in English
- English speaking Spanish civil war tour
- Listen to Catalan news in English (like this one about Human Towers, aka Castellers)
- Canada day brunch at the Consulate of Canada at Plaza Catalunya