If you have visited several districts in Barcelona, you will have noticed how different they are from each other. The many faces of the Catalan city make it an excellent outdoor set that can be used both to film a period movie and to frame the deepest of dramas. You must have realized by now that the city that hosted the filming of Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona is not as Woody Allen depicted it, but many more directors have filmed in this city without us paying much attention to it. Find the locations for all the movies filmed in Barcelona with us and create your own film tour.
– Tibidabo. The amusement park located in the heights of Barcelona has been the setting for several productions. The first was The Machinist, such a dark thriller that it is sometimes hard to believe that it was shot in Barcelona. Christian Bale, the main character, walks across Tibidabo in the film, in which you will surely recognize the mythical Ferris wheel that appears behind the actor. In addition, this is the first location on the list where the omnipresent Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona appears. In the scene, the three protagonists of the film cross the park with the spectacular views of the city and the famous plane behind them.
– Poble Espanyol. This enclave of the mountain of Montjuïc is known for the amalgam of reproductions of historic buildings from around Spain. Thus, it seems strange to think the enclosure could be used to recreate a specific place in a movie, but this is the case of Perfume. The Plaza Mayor of this tourist attraction was the setting that was meant to depict the French city of Grasse in the film. In addition, one of the buildings, the Valderrobres Town Hall, was the chosen place to simulate the consistorial house in the small French town.
– Razzmatazz. One of the best nightclubs to go out in Barcelona was the one chosen to capture – at the rhythm of indie-pop band Dorian – the love story starring María Valverde and Mario Casas in Spanish teen movie Tres metros sobre el cielo (Three steps above heaven). Another curious location of this same film is the bridge of Vallcarca (or viaduct, to be more precise). This is one of the most sought-after places for being the spot where the female leading character paints a graffiti with the phrase that gives the film its name.
– La Pedrera. Casa Milà’s rooftop can welcome you into another world, so it is not surprising that it is in this list of movies filmed in Barcelona. In fact, its faced chimneys have watched scenes between Jack Nicholson and María Schneider in The Reporter, a film that was also shot in another Gaudí building in Barcelona, Palau Güell. Another scene featuring Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson discovering the third party in the film also takes place between the chimneys of La Pedrera.
– Palau de la Música. The modernist auditorium by Lluís Doménech i Muntaner had a young Antonia San Juan as its neighbor, whom lived in front of the Palau in her role of Agrado in the Oscar-winning All about my mother. On the other hand, director Whit Stillman also paid tribute to the city in a movie entitled Barcelona in 1994. In it, the main character attends a jazz concert in the colorful palace.
– Arc de Triomf. Wandering around abandoned metro stations worthy of our list of mysteries of Barcelona, Quim Gutiérrez and José Coronado cross an underground Barcelona in the Spanish film The Last Days. Meanwhile, on the surface the most recognizable places in the city are totally devastated, including the famous arch on Lluís Companys avenue.
– La Monumental. Very close to the previous location, and a few stops from our seaview apartments in Barcelona, you will find the old Monumental bullring, now transformed into a museum. This was the setting chosen to shoot a controversial bullfight for the movie The Gunman, with Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. However, what was filmed was the beautiful modernist building, since the bullfight that appears in the film was filmed in Madrid to respect the ban on this practice that has existed for years in Catalonia.
– Casa Argelich. The offices of Cedimatexsa and the upper floors of this building located at number 34 of Rambla de Catalunya, have hosted the filming of more than 95 films since its homes became uninhabited with all the period furniture left intact. Like Butterflies in the Light, Salvador, 25 kilates … these are only 3 of the most well-known Spanish productions shot here. Nevertheless, the most famous film is still [REC], the zombie movie that popularized this location among the geekiest moviegoers.
– Horta Labyrinth. The most romantic of the parks in the city has also become a filming set several times. Of all the movies filmed in Barcelona, the labyrinth has seen the most diverse. This was the place where the aristocratic dinner was recorded in the Paris depicted in Perfume, while Gauche Divine director Pere Portabella chose it as a setting for what he calls his most anti-bourgeois film: Nocturno 29.
– Plaça de Sant Felip Neri. The enfant terrible of the Barcelona School of Film, a transgressive artistic movement that emerged in the city during the Franco regime, dedicated a beautiful movie to Barcelona’s nightlife. With all the romanticism that this square transmits, José María Nunes places his two characters here at the climax of Noche de vino tinto (Red Wine Night). In addition, it also appears in a scene of Perfume, as well as in a relaxed talk among the characters in Woody Allen’s feature recorded in the city.
-Park Güell. One of the films that takes place entirely in Barcelona is L’auberge espagnole (Pot Luck), a film about the lives of several Erasmus students in Barcelona. Therefore, as expected, these youngsters visit this park designed by Antoni Gaudí, where they also take advantage of the great views of the city.
The park also represented the Fu-Manchu castle in the homonymous sixties film starring Christopher Lee.
– Ciutadella. Another of the locations from movies filmed in Barcelona is this well-known city park, where the Cascada del Parc de la Ciutadella has been chosen as a favorite corner for the female lead of Three steps above heaven to get in shape, and is another of the locations captured in Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona.
– Correos. The imposing post-office building located at the end of Vía Laietana was the perfect place for Anacleto: Agente Secreto (Spy Time) and his son to face their archenemy. The impressive corridor that unites the two buildings on the street of Angel J. Baixeras is already popularly known as «the bridge of Anacleto». Grand Piano, with Elijah Wood, was also filmed inside these large offices.
– Plaça Reial. We have reached one of the locations that has been chosen more times in movies filmed in Barcelona by filmmakers from around the world. The dull city that Biutiful by Alejandro González Iñárritu describes leads Javier Bardem to walk across this square, as he curiously did in The Gunman too. Period films have also benefited from the charms of Plaça Reial, which saw actresses build a civil war barricade in Libertarias and is also the place Jean Baptiste Grenouille sees a perfume shop for the first time. On the other hand, L ‘auberge espagnole places the main character of the film in this square during his first encounter with the city.
– University of Barcelona. The most unique building in Plaça Universitat was chosen by Rodrigo Cortés for Sygourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy to give their classes in Red lights (Red Lights). Its façade was also used in Catalan film Salvador, to recreate a demonstration in which the anarchist Salvador Puig Antich escaped violent police charges.
– Montjuïc Cemetery. After an unexpected death, the cast of All about my mother gathers around a white tomb in this cemetery, with the Mediterranean Sea in the background. The fateful outcome of Salvador also occurs in this place.
– Sagrada Familia. And to end this list of locations from movies filmed in Barcelona, we could not miss the most famous monument by Gaudí. In this modernist set, two of the main characters of Italian film Manuale d’amore 2 meet their homonyms by pure chance. In addition to this, scenes have also been recorded here for L’auberge espagnole, All about my mother and, of course, Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona.
Now that you know more about all the movies filmed in Barcelona and their locations, you can start your themed tour around the city. Let us know if you think we have forgotten about any location or if you want to share your experience visiting these places.
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