Barcelona in the cinema

Barcelona in the cinema: how do film directors show the city?

There are some cities you quickly fall in love with when you visit them. Some examples of that are Paris with its magnificent streets, full of beautiful monuments and source of culture and art; Venice, the floating city we can visit sailing in a gondola through its charming channels; Edinburgh with its castle and stone pavements that make us feel we are in medieval times; and of course, Barcelona, the well-known Catalan capital shines with its own light thanks to beautiful Mediterranean beaches and modernistic jewels we find all around the city.

Barcelona is not just a great touristic destination, but also a great scenario where celebrating all kind of shows and events. This way, we find Barcelona music festivals, sportive events such as Marathons or Triathlons, painting and photography exhibitions and even film shootings.

In this post we talk about Barcelona in the cinema and we present some films filmed in the Condal city. Have you watched all of them?

Riña en un café (Dispute in a café)

This film date from 1897 and it was directed by Fructuós Gelabert. It was filmed with a camera built by himself and it is considered the first Spanish film with a plot.

The scenario of this short film is the terrace of a restaurant located in Sants neighbourhood. This is an emblematic area you can easily visit from this apartment in Entenza.

Land and Freedom

We find Barcelona in many films related to Spanish Civil War. Perhaps one of the most famous is Land and Freedom, directed the well-known film director Ken Loach.

This film narrates the history of a young Liverpool man who leaves his city and moves to Spain to join the International Brigades.

Wheels on Meals

Do you love martial art films? Are you fan of the great battles of Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee or Tony Jaa? Then, you should know about Wheels on Meals, a film starring Jackie Chan and with Barcelona as main scenario.

Do not miss this comic combination of Jackie Chan and Barcelona in the cinema.

Los Tarantos

This is Spanish musical drama film where Catalan rumba is the main protagonist. The history is based on one of the most famous romances ever: Romeo & Juliet.

Additionally, it was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category.


This is probably one of the best examples of modern zombie horror film nowadays.

A great characteristic about this film is that it is filmed as a found footage using a “shaky camera” technique. This way, you feel you are completely inside of the film, living every step the characters take.

Almost the entire film was recorded in a building located in Rambla Catalunya, a centric street that lead into Plaça Catalunya, the heart of Barcelona.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Names that we all know such as Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Rebeca Hall or Penélope Cruz guided by a giant of the cinema called Woody Allen.  Vicky Cristina Barcelona shows the city of Barcelona through Allen’s eyes capturing its cosmopolitan, elegant and, at the same time, charm and Mediterranean character.

Furthermore, Penélope Cruz shines with a role that radiates strength, character and unique personality. In fact, she won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award.

The director born in Brooklyn made this ode to Barcelona in the cinema, but it is not the only city he perfectly illuminates in his films. Paris (Midnight in Paris), Rome (To Rome with Love), London (Match Point) or New York (Annie Hall, Manhattan and Hannah and Her Sisters) are examples of that.

Todo sobre mi madre (All about my mother)

The last film we talk about is directed by one of the most famous Spanish fil directors: Pedro Almodóvar. In fact, this film won the Best Foreign Language Academy Award in 1999.

This is also one of the first films of Penélope Cruz, who is nowadays one of the most famous actress not only in Spain, but also all around the globe.

barcelona music festivals

Barcelona in the cinema: how do film directors show the city?
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