From Spanish masters to modern gems, Barcelona breathes art and culture on every colourful corner. Here’s your guide to the best Barcelona museums.
It’s no surprise that, in a city so admired for its artistic prowess, Barcelona museums feature collections considered among the finest in Europe, famous for both the city’s modern art styles and equally impressive medieval and classical creations.
Sagrada Familia & Medieval to Modern Art
Get immersed in local art history, first in the multi-cultural Raval district’s Picasso Museum, boasting nearly 4,000 works of art by the cubist master. At the Museu d’Art de Catalunya, you’ll discover 800 years of important Catalan artworks from the 12th to the 20th century. Meanwhile, the expansive Fundació Joan Miró is the home to over 5,000 pieces by the famed modernist. Located under the basilica, the Sagrada Familia Museum showcases a visual display of how the temple was built through a series of photos, artifacts and impressive models of the Sagrada Familia itself.
For those who sway towards the avant garde, the minimalist works found at Museu d’Art Contemporani are for serious modern art enthusiasts while the bizarre works at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies will appeal to a quirkier sensibility.
Kid-friendly museums in Barcelona
Barcelona has lots of exciting museum and gallery options to keep smaller visitors happy. The Cosmo Caixa Science offers amazing exhibits including a manmade rainforest and interactive games for kids that entertain and inform. They’ll also enjoy the wacky Museu d’Idees i Invents (Museum of Ideas and Inventions) and Museu Blau, the natural history museum with special attractions for under-7s.
For parents looking for unique, outside-the-box museums Barcelona has a couple up its sleeve, including El Rey de la Magia, a magic tricks museum located in a tiny shop that has performances on weekends. The Sagrada Famila Basilica offers an audio guide just for kids and the Museo de la Xocolata (Chocolate Museum) will entice them with a history of all things chocolate.
Contemporary galleries in Barcelona
For true art connoisseurs, Barcelona offers an awesome array of independent art galleries ranging from classic to the cutting edge. Established standouts include the Joan Gaspar Gallery, a descendant of the space that exhibited the first works of Picasso; and the historic Sala Parés, the city’s oldest gallery, situated on trendy Calle Petritxol, known for its artisan chocolate. To discover hot young talent, head to the Artevistas Gallery, featuring over 800 contemporary works or Espai in bohemian Gracia, a two-room venue displaying photography, paintings and sculptures from promising up-and-comers. An honourable mention goes to PLOM, the first Spanish gallery exclusively for kids, promoting creativity through the arts.
Take it to the streets
Growing in popularity all around Europe, graffiti or street art has thrived in Barcelona since ancient times. The Open Wall Conference commissions local artists and supports street art as an authentic mode of expression. To see the latest wall art in Barcelona, tours portal Trip4Real offers a fascinating walking tour that details the history of graffiti through the ages while BCN Street Art Tour travels by bamboo bike to the most dazzling street murals around town.
Take a trip to the best Barcelona museums and galleries and soak up the spectacular colours of Spanish art.