With Gaudí’s colourful designs on almost every street corner, exploring Barcelona is like walking through a work of art. Although Gaudí is without doubt one of the most famous Spanish artists, there’s a lot more to discover and enjoy. I was lucky enough to visit Barcelona myself and I love to share amazing things – so join me on a short introductory trip around the city’s best museums.
The Picasso Museum in Barcelona’s city centre was the first museum dedicated entirely to this genius painter and currently exhibits over 3500 examples of his work in 5 adjoining medieval palaces.
Here’s a tip: entrance is free every Sunday from 15:00 and is free all day on the first Sunday of every month.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
The National Art Museum of Catalonia, situated on Montjuïc, houses a wonderful collection of Catalan visual art. The museum owns the collections of 2 different museums (Museu d’ Art de Catalunya and Museu d’Art Modern) so the range is vast; from Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art to 19th and 20th century modern art. A little bit of everything for everyone!
As with the Picasso Museum, you can visit the National Art Museum for free on the first Sunday of each month.
Fundació Miró – Centre d’Estudis d’Art Contemporani
Also situated on Montjuïc is the Joan Miró Foundation, a museum of modern art honoring Joan Miró and housing approximately 10,000 works. The Foundation was formed by Miro himself in order to provide a creative, experimental space for young artists as well as a building in which to exhibit his own works for the people of Barcelona.
Adults are charged €10.00 to enter, with some discounts for students, those over 65 years old, and the unemployed.
Museu Tèxtil (d’Indumentaria)
If you’re looking for a change of museum style, why not visit the Textile and Clothing Museum, housed in the Palau Reial de Pedraibes? The impressive collection shows the history of textiles from the 16th century up until today, including fabrics, embroidery and prints…and not to forget over 500 pieces of authentic Spanish jewellery.
The museum charges €5.00 admission and offers discounts for students, pensioners and the unemployed. Admission is free on every Sunday afternoon from 15:00 to 20:00.
You can’t leave Barcelona without having visited Casa Batlló, the Art Nouveau restored building by Antoni Gaudí at Passeig de Gràcia. Both the inside and the outside of what is considered his most symbolic work are equally impressive. What to think of the amazing facade, with wavy shaped windows and covered with a mosaic of parts of coloured glass and ceramic? Or the dragon-spine colourful rooftops? Not to forget the walls, the ceilings and the staircase on the inside. I could go on for hours… you just need to go there yourself – breathe the Gaudí atmosphere and be swept away.
Admission for Casa Batlló is €18.15; there are discounts for students, groups, and Catalan residents.
Visiting a museum with kids can be challenging, but the CosmoCaixa will definitely make them eat their hearts out! Other than exhibitions about nature, the environment, science and space, the museum also has a planetarium and interactive projects, such as a Flooded Forest and a Geological Wall. The centerpiece of the large spiral walkway that takes visitors from the basement to the 5th floor is an Amazonian tree.
The entrance for CosmoCaixa is €3.00 full price and is free for children up to 6 years old, seniors and unemployed people. You can visit for the museum for free every first Sunday of the month.
Fundació Antoni Tàpies
Spanish painters like to form foundations – and it is a great thing! The Antoni Tàpies Foundation was created in 1984 by the master himself to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art. As the Foundation’s building is situated between 2 higher buildings, Tàpies created a sculpture on the roof (Núvol i Cadira – Cloud and Chair) to elevate its height – another good reason to pay this one a visit.
The admission for the Tàpies Foundation costs €7.00; entrance is free during International Museum Day and Festival of La Mercè, patron saint of the city of Barcelona.
Camp Nou / Museu FCB
Even if you’re not really into football, the Camp Nou (“New Field”) stadium is worth a visit. Home to FC Barcelona since 1957, this 5-star stadium has a lot to offer. So what would you make of a chapel next to the changing rooms, several television studios, a nursery or the FC Barcelona club museum?
Everything you’ve always wanted to know and more; triumphs, history, cups, a photographic exhibition and, to top it off, an 8.5 metre touch screen with all the information you need.
Tickets for the Camp Nou Experience cost €22.00; this includes a ticket for the museum, a visit of the stadium and the multimedia area and an audioguide system.
Museu del Temple Expiatori de La Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is by far the most impressive church I’ve ever seen (in real life) and I’m sure many agree with me. Gaudí’s Gothic and Art Nouveau architectural design is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was even proclaimed a minor basilica. The Museu del Temple Expiatori is housed in the church building and shows not only the history of the Sagrada Familia but also tells us more about the brilliant architect himself. An extensive photo collection shows the development of the basilica, from the start in 1882 up to today.
A ticket for both the Sagrada Familia and the museum is €13.00.
Barcelona’s Maritime Museum is situated at the royal shipyards (Drassanes Reials) in the Port Vell area and is dedicated to over 75 years of maritime history. The collection is considered to represent one of the Mediterranean’s most important heritages. Here you can get a taste of what it was like to spend months at sea; there are countless models, maps and maritime treasures to keep you amused for hours, and there’s also a handy audio tour to help you navigate your way around.
Tickets for both the permanent as well as the temporary exhibitions are €2.50. Temporary exhibitions are free on Sundays from 15:00 as well as on International Museum Day and Festival of La Mercè.
CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporànea de Barcelona)
Rather than a museum, the CCCB is more of an art and exhibition space – the most visited in Barcelona, even. Connecting the academic world with creative processes and citizens in general, the CCCB centres around the core theme of the city and its urban culture. The CCCB has a great deal to offer in terms of its programming: exhibitions, debates, festivals and concerts are just a few events held here. Visitors can also attend film cycles, courses and lectures. The underlying aim of all these activities is to generate debate and reflection on the theme of the city and public space, along with other issues that define current affairs.
The CCCB asks for a €4.50 admission fee; however, the museum is free on International Museum Day and Festival of La Mercè.
Museu de la Xocolata
Chocolate; probably the best thing that was ever invented, so a museum is the least one could do to honor it. Located in the former Sant Agustí monastery, this museum takes you on a tour through the history of chocolate; from its origins, its arrival in Europe and its subsequent explosion of popularity. The museum has a teaching and leisure space for projects to raise awareness of the culture of chocolate, and organises plenty of activities for all ages, such as painting with chocolate or chocolate tasting. Yummy times ahead!
A visit to chocolate paradise is €4.30; the museum offers great discounts as well.
Tapas, sangria, sun, sea and some of the best museums – sounds like a bunch of irresistible reasons to go to Barcelona! Book your trip with us to enjoy the splendid Barcelona summer time. Do you have a favorite Barcelona museum you’d like to add to our list?
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