Like any big city steeped in history, Barcelona is full of awesome institutions packed full of artefacts, art and exhibitions aimed at teaching us a little more about the city and its story. From Gaudí to Picasso; contemporary art to Catalonian history; maritime defence to the culture of football and more, there’s something for everyone with our guide to Barcelona museums.
Antoni Gaudí, one of Spain’s most prolific architects, is a champion of Catalan design and celebrated in this museum. Located in the city centre, this multimedia space brings to life his plans and buildings through holograms, virtual reality and other interactive elements. With several different themed areas ranging from his early works to his lasting impact on international structures, the exhibition is a must-visit for any architecture buff.
Image via Museu Picasso facebook
It’s no surprise this museum is one of Barcelona’s most frequently visited sites, with a modest range of Pablo Picasso’s lesser known works from his early periods. Opened at the request of the artist after his death, it’s located in an effortlessly trendy neighbourhood and its exhibition follows the creative genius’ life throughout his various artistic phases.
Image via Fundació Joan Miró facebook
For a dash of modernism, venture to Fundació Joan Miró and see some of Joan Miró’s stunning works. Housed in a building crafted of glass and twisting shapes of white and designed by the artist’s friend Josep Lluís Sert, the collection spans Miró’s vast portfolio of paintings, statues, drawings and more alongside other contemporary artists.
Image via MACBA facebook
See the best of international contemporary art at MACBA, where the minimal space and diverse collection of artists never fails to inspire. With a collection that continually grows and changes, it has been a key player in Barcelona’s art scene since the 90s and is located just a stone’s through from the Barcelona Contemporary Cultural Centre (CCCB), another contemporary art museum.
As the heart of Catalonian culture, Barcelona is befittingly home to the Museu d’História de Catalunya where its rich history is celebrated. With a number of exhibitions exploring everything from pre-history to present day culture, it touches on the greatest and darkest moments in the nation’s long timeline, a must-visit Barcelona museum if you’re interested in Catalonia’s story.
Image via CCCB facebook
This sprawling cultural space is not only home to a number of contemporary art exhibitions, it’s also a hub for creatives to come together at its restaurants, library and auditorium. With rotating exhibits and installations scheduled throughout the year, it can be a little hit and miss but is still worth a visit.
Image via Museu Maritim de Barcelona facebook
Discover Catalonia’s seafaring ways at the Maritime Museum, built on the site of a former shipyard named Drasannes. Located in the thriving Las Ramblas neighbourhood, the permanent collection has been expanded in recent years and features a breathtaking reconstruction of a 16th century galley.
If you’re a massive football fanatic, you’ll know that Barcelona is home to one of the most popular clubs of all time – FC Barcelona. Housed in the iconic Camp Nou stadium, their guided tours will take you through the colourful history of the club as well the behind-the-scenes of Camp Nou.
Image via CosmoCaixa facebook
This fun science museum is a favourite for family days out and has a number of permanent exhibitions that uncover the secrets of the cosmos and a recreation of an Amazonian rainforest. While it tends to be more popular with locals, it’s still a great choice for travellers and its beautiful grounds are well worth the visit.
Image via Museu de la Xocolata facebook
Definitely the most delicious of Barcelona museums – take a break from cultural spots and visit the Museu de la Xocolata, which celebrates all things cacao and delicious. This humble museum explores the culinary history of the cocoa bean, beginning with its origins through to its numerous and evolving uses as medicine, aphrodisiac and food. Swing by the store at the end of your visit to grab an edible souvenir to take home.