Discover the best museums in Barcelona with BrightSide Tours. In this post, we are going to recommend the most iconic Cultural Centers and art collections.
The city hosts an array of very well curated museums on many different topics. From Medieval to modern art, from Picasso to Marilyn Monroe. You might have heard of the wax museum or even the hemp museum. But what are some alternative and lesser known cool museums in Barcelona you can include to your itinerary?
Here are our top selections to discover the best museums in Barcelona:
Museum of World Cultures
Address: Carrer de Montcada, 12, Born
Barcelona is a truly cosmopolitan city and the streets buzz with guests and residents from all over the world. The Museum of World cultures is just around the corner from the famous Picasso museum. It´s a hidden gem in that it is much more relaxing than its neighbor. It exhibits the cultural diversity of different cultures from Africa, Asia, America and Oceania through art and has an impressive collection of ancient pieces. The museum was inaugurated in relatively recently – in 2015 – so it is also kids friendly in explaining art history. Entrance ticket: 5 EUR
Museum of History of Catalonia
Address: Plaça de Pau Vila, 3 (Barceloneta)
Located right by the old port in an old warehouse, this museums gives a very in depth and comprehensive overview of the history of Catalonia. From the first settlements in the region over 4000 years ago to the present day. It answers many questions about the Catalan identity and past and has interactive and fun installations. You can easily spend 2 or 3 hours inside and don´t miss the rooftop terrace that has a fantastic lounge bar with great views over the marina. Entrance ticket: 6 EUR.
Address: Carrer del Comerç, 36 (Born)
A wonderful, entertaining option if you are travelling with kids or if, like us, you just love chocolate. This museum is very conveniently located right next to the Park of the Citadel and boats a collection of masterpieces that were made from chocolate. It also shows how chocolate is produced as well giving the opportunity to participate in tastings and workshops. A true hidden treasure in the heart of the city. Entrance ticket: 6 EUR, free for children under 7
Cosmo Caixa / Planetarium
Address: Carrer d’ Isaac Newton, 26 (Sarria)
Another option that is very suitable for family fun is the Cosmo Caixa or Science museum of Barcelona. Although it´s location is not very central, it is absolutely worth the trip. Once inside, you can spend nearly half a day exploring and learning. It has an impressive collection of materials on physics, chemistry and botanic that are presented in a very children-friendly manner. And the huge outdoor gardens are a big plus so make sure to pack some lunch. Entrance ticket: 4 EUR
Address: Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8 (Montjuic)
La Caixa is Catalonia´s biggest bank and apart from sponsoring the science museum, it is also the main contributor to La Caixa Forum – a gallery that hosts temporary expositions from some of the most famous artists in the world. Currently there is one on Andy Warhol but make sure to check their website to see what´s on as it differs every month. Additionally, the museum is housed in an impressive Modernist building by Josep Puig i Cadafalch – and old factory with an uneven rooftop that is worth a visit itself.
FOTO COLECTANIA FOUNDATION
Address: Passeig Picasso 14, El Born.
Of the least known Barcelona museums, this interesting foundation encourages the promotion of Spanish and Portuguese photography since the early 1950’s, through exhibitions, workshops, publishing and other activities held at their studios in the lovely district of Gràcia. It’s a private non-profit organization, hence the small entrance fee of 3EUR: peanuts for any photography aficionado.
MACBA and CCCB
The Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona (MACBA) and The Contemporary Cultural Center of Barcelona (CCCB) form the cultural dynamic duo that turned the old red-light district of El Raval, into one of the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city. The impressive museum building by Richard Meier is the artistic Mecca of Barcelona and the favorite playground for the numerous skateboarders around it. The 19th century charity house that has become CCCB is today the cradle for many cultural spin offs and one of Barcelona’s most popular exhibition halls. Other venues like La Capella dels Angels and the Foundation for Arts and Design complete this contemporary cultural cluster. MACBA.
Address: Montcada, 15-23. El Born- La Ribera.
The Picasso Museum is one of the most important Barcelona museums for obvious reasons, key to understand the formative years of Pablo Picasso. Over 4000 works by the master are displayed within a striking architectural complex of Catalan Gothic palaces from the 13th and 14th centuries. Located in the charming district of El Born, this museum is a testament to the artist’s intimate relation with Barcelona.
MUSEU DEL DISSENY
Address: Plaça de les Glòries, 37. Sant Martí.
Since 1992, Barcelona has become a synonym for contemporary design and avant-garde arts. The Design Museum is organized around the theme of decorative arts, craftsmanship and design and it conserves enormous holdings as a result of merging the collections of various museums. This unusual stapler-look-alike building sits between other architectural icons like the Agbar Tower and Els Encants flea market, making this part of town the new keystone for progressive architecture.
Address: Veguer, 2. Gòtic.
The Museum of History of Barcelona looks after the archaeological heritage of the city. Although displaying at many locations, the main site is at Plaça del Rei, where visitors can explore the original Roman City underneath the Gothic Cathedral: a spectacular archaeological journey of over 2000 years to the very foundation of Barcelona.
Address: Parc de Montjuïc s/n. Sants Montjuïc.
One of the very rare jewels of rationalist architecture in Barcelona, Joan Miró’s friend Josep Lluís Sert designed this outstanding building to hold the world’s largest collection of artworks by the Catalan surrealist artist. Paintings, sculptures and ceramics make up the impressive collection of the museum: a must for the art boosters wandering the endless gardens of Montjuïc.
Address: La Rambla, 99. El Raval.
This former Peruvian Viceroy’s Palace is nowadays the town’s Image Centre Exhibits Hall, a cultural space to explore the world of image, photography, video and art. With free entrance and right on Las Ramblas, this is a perfect break from the hustle and bustle for a quick cultural getaway.
VILA CASAS FOUNDATION & CAN FRAMIS
Arguably, Vila Casas is the stethoscope to check the pulse of the Catalan contemporary artistic panorama. Located in the former industrial area of Poblenou, inside a beautiful contemporary building, the works of Catalan and foreign resident painters can be seen through permanent and temporary shows.
Roc Boronat, 116. Sant martí.
In conclusion, the Art Galleries. Cradle of artists in the likes of Picasso, Dalí or Miró, there’s no doubt Barcelona is an art city. With a long tradition of art dealing and home to a large number of galleries, there are two areas to remember: Petrixol and Concell de Cent streets. The vast majority of galleries are along Consell de Cent street, around the crossing with Rambla Catalunya. As for the tiny Petrixol Street, right off Las Ramblas, it has been historically the home of great art galleries like Sala Parés, the oldest in town and where painters like Rossinyol, Cases or Dalí exhibited. Petrixol is also famous for the local churros with chocolate, so while at it…
Barcelona Old City Museums Intro
For a personal introduction to some of the best museums in Barcelona within the old city, we strongly suggest our Old City Barcelona Walking Tour which covers perfectly this part of the city.