Best museums in Barcelona for art lovers
5+1 Barcelona art museums you shouldn’t miss
Barcelona is art. Art is here represented in many ways: open-air sculptures, monuments, buildings, art galleries, museums… If you are an art lover and art is one of your passions, you need to visit our best Barcelona art museums. It’s a fascinating way to understand our culture through any of the main art disciplines: painting, sculpture, photography… Today we share with your our favorites.
These are the top art museums in Barcelona:
Picasso Museum. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona opened on 1963 and is housed inside 5 medieval mansions of the Born District: a unique setting! This wonderful collection of 4.249 works from the early and late works of Pablo Picasso, is considered the best collection in the world about the training years of the artist. There aren’t many cubist masterpieces in this museum (most of them are in Paris and NYC), but there’s a story behind every painting that will open up a whole new perspective about who Picasso was and will probably change your way of looking at his paintings forever.
Miro Foundation. The Joan Miro Foundation (Fundacio Joan Miro) was conceived by Miró himself and his friend Joan Prats in 1968. At that moment, Barcelona was not particularly into contemporary art, and they decided to create a new modern building designed by architect Josep Lluis Sert with the idea of opening one of the first contemporary art museums in Barcelona, to promote young artists. The collection offers a complete vision of Miró’s life and works, from the very first sketches to some huge paintings, and learning to decipher his symbols it’s a lot of fun! It’s located on the top of Montjuic hill, far from the city center but with a unique views from the rooftop. Skip the line buying your tickets here.
MNAC. The National Museum Art of Catalunya is the largest museum in the city. It’s situated on the top of Montjuïc Hill, in the Palau Nacional built for the 1929 World Fair. There are 4 main sections: Romanesque, Gothic, XVII to XIX century and first half of XX century. Since there are no shortcuts from one masterpiece to the other, you must go through the whole section once you enter one of them: so plan at least a full morning or afternoon to visit it! (no less than 4 hours for the whole collection). Get your online tickets here.
CaixaForum. It’s far more than a museum but a cultural center with the best temporal exhibitions covering from antique art, modern or contemporary art. It’s located in an old Catalan modernist textile factory designed by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch and restored by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. Not only worth for the exhibitions but for the building itself. The views from the rooftop are also wonderful. And the exhibits are so interesting that it makes our list of top Barcelona art museums.
Can Framis – Fundació Vilacasas. Can Framis was also a factory in the 1800s. After years of inactivity, the Fundació Vilacasas decided to refurbish the old building and turn it into a new Contemporary Art Museum. There’s a space for temporary exhibits, but unlike the European Museum of Modern Art in the Born district, there’s a permanent collection of 300 Catalan artists’ works from the 60’s to nowadays.
But wait! What about the MACBA? is it worth it?
MACBA. The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art was built by Richard Meyer in the heart of the Raval district and was called to be the leader of the contemporary art museums in Barcelona. Unfortunately… Barcelona is not New York. Only one floor of this museum is dedicated to their permanent collection, where rather than displaying the most renowned Spanish contemporary artists they prefer to focus on less well known young artists that are often difficult to relate to. The other two floors are used for temporary exhibits, what means your visit experience will strongly rely on what’s on at the moment. But again, they aren’t often big hits and they tend to focus in the kind of contemporary art that praises ugliness and suffering for the sake of “social conscientiousness”, rather than inspiring art seeking beauty. This is why I often leave this museum feeling worst than when I entered it… 🙁 For contemporary art museums in Barcelona, we recommend instead the Fundació Tàpies and the Fran Daurel Museum in the Spanish Village.
So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: are there any other Barcelona art museums you’d like to recommend?