Barcelona is a city that captures peoples imagination. With its stunning architecture, mediterranean beaches, beautiful parks, mysterious little alleyways and lively atmosphere, it makes a perfect movie set.
And quite a few directors have thought the same over the years. Here is our top three of movies set in Barcelona.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Number one has to be Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”. A film about two American girls who spent a summer in Barcelona, looking for love and looking for themselves. Barcelona is the perfect colourful backdrop for this romantic drama. Between a sexy Spanish artist, his crazy but sensual ex wife and the streets of Barcelona, you can’t go wrong. Most of the film is shot in the city and you can easily recognise places like Tibidabo, the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà, Fundació Joan Miró, Park Güell, Las Ramblas, Hospital de Sant Pau and so many more. One of the bars that is featured in the film is Bar Marsella, a very old Absinthe Bar that is certainly worth a visit. This film is almost like an ode to the city of Barcelona and its most famous artists, Antoni Gaudí and Joan Miró.
The Spanish Apartment
The second film on our list is “L’Auberge Espagnole” or “The Spanish Apartment” in English. This film is definitely a must see for people who study, or have studied, abroad. And for anyone else with a love for travel and languages! It’s a story about a French Erasmus student on exchange in Barcelona. He moves into an apartment with six other students and between the struggles of finding his way in life and love, finds true friendship. Just like “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, this film shows a lot of Barcelona. From Park Güell to Plaça de Catalunya and from Plaça Reial to Barceloneta. Of course the Sagrada Familia also makes its appearance. One of my favourite scenes shows the group of friends going out for a night on the town. They go from bar to bar and party till dawn, it perfectly portraits those long warm Barcelona nights full of life, music and laughter. “L’Auberge Espagnole” really shows the lively vibes of the city and all its charm, it seems to show the reason so many people fall in love with this city.
Our third movie is quite different from the first two. “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” is more of a fantasy movie. It tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an orphan who was born with an incredible sense of smell. He becomes a perfumer and spends his life looking for the ultimate fragrance, the scent of a woman’s soul. This movie is quite dark and plays in a different day and age. therefore it’s not as easy to recognise the city of Barcelona as it is in the other movies mentioned. For the film, several scenes were filmed in Barcelona as well as in other places in Catalonia. One of the locations used is El Poble Espanyol, an open air museum that shows different architectural styles from throughout Spain. A lot of the other locations are situated in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. There is Carrer de Ferran, Plaça Reial, the Cathedral and the beautiful Plaça Sant Felip Neri. Another place that was used is Parc del Laberint d’Horta, a beautiful park with a labyrinth garden. Although “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”, doesn’t showcase Barcelona in the way the other movies do, you can imagine how the mysterious alleyways, small squares and medieval buildings of the Gothic Quarter can really set the scene for a movie like this.