November: what to do in Catalonia

Film fests of all kinds, jazz rumba and flamenco, theater and exhibits welcome the cold weather

A Sailor Moon cosplayer poses at the 23rd Barcelona Manga Fair in 2017 (by Josep Ramon Torné)
A Sailor Moon cosplayer poses at the 23rd Barcelona Manga Fair in 2017 (by Josep Ramon Torné) / Rachel Bathgate

Rachel Bathgate | Barcelona

November 1, 2018 11:41 AM

What’s ending this month

Make sure to catch these month-long events before they go away in November.

Asian Film Festival | Cinemes Girona, Filmoteca de Catalunya, and CaixaForum Barcelona

With the majority of blockbuster films and even independent productions making it to theaters in Catalonia coming from the west, the Asian Film Fest provides an opportunity to see what’s made on the other side of the world. At various cinemas throughout the Catalan capital, this event screening a hundred films from 20 countries ends November 11.

Dalí exhibit | Figueres

If you haven’t yet been to learn more about Salvador Dalí and his art in the artist’s northern hometown of Figueres, this temporary exhibit is even more reason to. Called ‘Els Dalí de Figueres. La família, l’Emporda  i l’art’ or ‘The Dalís of Figueres. Family, the Emporda, and the art’ in English, it offers an intimate look into the surrealist’s relationship with his family through 135 pieces, and ending on November 4.

Sant Narcís Festival | Throughout Girona

In Catalonia, there's always a 'Festa Major' – a city-wide celebration – going on. This month sees that of Girona, far up in the north, ending on November 4. This, of course, means traditional dances of the 'sardana,' fire running 'correfocs,' music, and more. And don’t worry if you missed the beginning – there’s always a big finale! Check out #firesgirona on Twitter for more info.

sant narcís 

What’s on this month

50th Voll-Damm Jazz Festival Barcelona | Throughout Barcelona | Whole month of November

This is an opportunity to see jazz – and much more, including musicians Avishai Cohen or Amadou and Mariam, and even films on the topic. Positioning itself as “one of the most important jazz festivals of its kind in the world,” it can be found at various venues like the swanky Luz de Gas, the iconic Harlem Jazz Club, and even the prestigious Liceu opera house. The extensive festival includes various sub-events, including one dedicated to flamenco, and it goes for the whole month of November and even into December!

voll-damm jazz

Temporada Alta | Throughout Girona and Salt | Whole month of November

This iconic performing arts festival presents itself as “a meeting point between the Catalan and international scene,” this is perfect for theater lovers who want to see the latest and greatest that this timeless genre has to offer – from local Catalan productions to European and even worldwide plays, and much more. It goes for the whole month of November and even into December!

Temporada Alta

SCAN International Photography Festival | Tarragona | October 18 - December 9

To get a chance to see some quality professional photography and leave Barcelona – even to go south, as the weather gets warmer – check out this event in Tarragona, set up to foster the art form and reflect on its purpose and future.

In-Edit Film Festival | Throughout Barcelona | October 25 - November 4

If you love both independent documentary filmmaking and music – and, of course, the story behind the artists and the songs – then this is the event for you. Collecting pieces about a variety of genres, personalities, and tendencies, this is a chance not to miss.

Cat Power with Band | Razzmatazz, Barcelona | November 1

American singer-songwriter Cat Power and band comes to one of the biggest concert halls in Barcelona, where you can enjoy her new album, Wanderer. This concert is part of the larger project Cruïlla de Tardor, a celebration of the festival to tide you over until the summer edition.

Barcelona Manga Fair | Fira Barcelona Montjuïc, Barcelona | November 1-4

The Barcelona Manga Fair, or ‘Saló del Manga’ in Catalan, is a referent for the genre featuring the very latest in comics, animation, and Japanese culture – from cuisine to tea ceremonies - even martial arts. This year’s 24th edition will pay homage to father of manga Osamu Tezuka, connect manga anime and sport (in light of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics), and even bring a manga exhibit with over 100 originals. Last year’s event saw an unprecedented almost 150k visitors, so expect just as many as not more for this year!  

Saló Manga

De Cajón! Barcelona Flamenco Festival | BARTS and throughout Barcelona | November 4-30

While not native to Catalonia, many of the musicians here have taken the undulating, southern Spanish and Romani-original music genre of flamenco and made it their own. What better place, then, to get to see some of the best musicians at this festival, itself also part of the Voll-Damm Jazz Festival.

Chestnut Fair | Maçanet de Cabrenys | November 4

Part of the ‘gastronomical days’ that go until the middle of the month, here in this town right by the northern border you can take a trip to the mountains, enjoy the scenery, and indulge in this typical Catalan fall delicacy – a second chance after the country celebrates the ‘castanyada’ on October 31.


TEDx speaker ‘Learning & Memory in the Age of Digital Distractions’ | Monday Coworking, Barcelona | November 5

For a chance to hear a TEDx speaker and to reflect on the consequences of the digital and internet-based world that we live in, come listen to Dr. Anastasia Dedyukhina speak on how this all “is changing our brain, memory, and learning, and why our devices are so irresistible.” You’ll also be given tips on how to manage these tools correctly without cutting them out of your lives. Make sure to get tickets early – no entries will be sold at the door.

Rec.0 | Igualada | November 7-10

An old industrial district in a town to the west of Barcelona is turned into a fashionista’s dream, filling former warehouses with pop-up shops selling top brands at special prices. This event additionally brings culture, gastronomy, and heritage interwoven into the various days of the event.


Feminist Film Manifestos IV | CCCB, Barcelona | November 8-10

The website for the event states that “feminist political disobedience starts with a laugh,” and this explains the atmosphere for the festival, which adds that it is a “radical dig at patriarchal authority” using “humor and sarcasm” as strategies at one of the cutting-edge cultural centers in the Catalan capital. 

‘Most’ International Wine and Cava Cinema Festival | Vilafranca del Penedès and surrounding area | November 8-18

One of the most defining elements of the fall is the wine harvest – especially in the lush landscape of Catalonia. The country also has its own sparkling wine, cava; and, let’s not forget, a film festival dedicated to these two products. With Switzerland as a guest country, don’t miss this delectable opportunity.

Most Priorat

Diada de la Rumba | Sala Apolo, Barcelona | November 11

To find a music genre that incorporates both Catalan culture, Romani tradition, and international influences, look no further than rumba Catalana. Traces of flamenco, Cuban music, rock, pop and all sorts of traditional Mediterranean music can be found within its unique strumming and rhythm pattern, called ‘ventilador.’ This day and event includes workshops in the morning – if you’d like to try your hand at this contemporary piece of heritage – and of course, concerts at night.

diada rumba

Alternativa Film Festival | Zumzeig Cinema, Barcelona | November 12-18

The 25th Edition of the Barcelona independent film fest includes workshops, seminars, masterclasses, and both feature-length pieces including names like ‘Black Mother,’ ‘La Casa Lobo,’ ‘Our New President,’ and ‘The Image you Missed’ – with even more short films in a variety of languages, both fiction and non-fiction, international and local. Not to be missed to welcome a weather perfect for enjoying good up and coming independent cinema.

Funeral mass in memory of Montserrat Caballé | Liceu Theater, Barcelona | November 17

Actually held at the Barcelona Cathedral in the city’s old-town behind closed doors, the renowned opera house gives a window onto this somber event by screening it for whoever wants to see. Tickets will even be free, all those interested have to do to a live viewing of the event will be to book a seat on November 12 on the Liceu theater website. The mass is set up in honor of Montserrat Caballé, world-class Catalan soprano who recently passed away at the age of 85.

Montserrat Caballé

Barcelona Games World | Gran Via Venue, Barcelona | November 29-December 2

Capping off the month, the third edition of this event will be separated into three areas: Games Play, Games Pro, Games e-sports, and Games Fun. With an agreement with the competitive OG Sèries platform, this event will even have a space for mobile games. In all, a perfect day of fun for both amateur and professional gamers!