YOUR ART TOUR IN BARCELONA
Are you an art lover? Are you passionate about a Picasso and Miro? Or maybe have a strong interest in a specific art period (Roman times, Middle Ages, Modernism…)? Do you hate wasting your time with audioguides that have too many fillers and don’t go straight to the point? Do you know how much difference it makes to have your own private guide when visiting a museum?
From skipping the (often long) lines, to bringing the paintings alive, to making sure you don’t miss any of the museum masterpieces, to answering all your questions.
Having your own private museum guide totally enlightens your visit, makes it more time-efficient and definitely way more informative, fun and personal than an audioguide would do.
Come exploring the best Barcelona museums with us!
FREDERIC MARÈS MUSEUM
MUSEUM OF MODERNISM
MUHBA (Museum of History)
Located in a pedestrian alley of the Born district, occupying 5 medieval mansions, this museum will show you the Picasso you didn’t know about: his early years in Málaga, La Coruña and Barcelona, and his beginnings in Paris (from the Blue Period to the start of the Cubism). The end of the museum is dedicated to Las Meninas series – a wonderful exponent of the end of the life of the artist.
After visiting this museum, you’ll have a more solid background to understand the other works by Picasso from a new point of view.
Contrarily to the Picasso Museum, that focuses in some specific periods of the life of the artist, the Miró Foundation allows you to follow the evolution of the painter and see how he approached different topics throughout his life.
Learn how to identify and interpret Miró’s cosmic symbolism, so you can enter his surrealist world full of stars, planets and birds.
This museum is located in the Hill of Montjuic and a taxi ride is required to get there.
MNAC IN DEPTH
The Romanesque collection is the jewel of the MNAC: the largest collection of Romanesque frescoes in the world, saved from sacking by being carefully pulled out of their original locations in small churches up the Pyrenees and being put back into their new homes in the MNAC – exact plaster replicas of the architectural structures where they had been originally painted.
While visiting this part of the museum on your own can feel a bit boring since at a first sight all the paintings might seem them same, with your guide you’ll get to discover what makes them unique, what is the story behind them and how to interpret their rich symbolism.
GOTHIC, RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE
The other side of the street level of the museum hiddes another gem: the masters of the Catalan Gothic. Hundreds of magnificent altarpieces allow you to follow the evolution of art transitioning from the basic inexpressive strokes of Romanesque into the delicate lines of Gothic. Here also there are lots of symbolism and stories to be discovered, that you’ll miss out without a guide pointing at them for you.
Renaissance and Baroque are mostly represented by private collections donated to the museum, and they include Italian and Flemish names you’ll definitely recognize.
Before heading to the upper floor, we’ll take a coffee break at the café of the Oval Room (or weather permitting, in the outdoor café overlooking the city). That’ll allow you to let all the information you’ve received so far sink in, as well as freshen up to prepare for the second part of the tour.
1 hour 45 minutes
1700, 1800 and early 1900’s
The upper floor of the museum is entirely dedicated to modern art. Learn about the transformation that the local society was suffering and how that translated into art. What were the artists that paved the path for the development of Modernism, and who played leading roles then. You’ll also be able to follow the evolution towards the first Vanguards, including a few works by Picasso and Dali.
This part of the collection is not only focused on paintings, but it also has a beautiful array of sculpture worth mentioning, and one of the best collections of vintage furniture in Barcelona, including some Gaudi designs.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR TOUR
It is also possible to create your custom Barcelona museum tour, by selecting in advance which museums you want to visit with us. Here are a few examples of what can be done and how long they take (but if you had any other idea in mind, feel free to let us know). It’s also possible to combine one museum with some city sites of your choice.
While a full visit of the MNAC museum requires around 4 hours, the highlights of the collections can be done in approximately 2 hours (or 1 hour for an in-depth visit of the Romanesque or the Gothic collections, 2 hours for the upper floor), what leaves you time to combine it with another museum or city sight.
LOCATION: Hill of Montjuic
Museum of History of the City (MUHBA)
Not an “art” museum but a paradise for history and ancient stones lovers: a unique opportunity to explore an archaeological excavation. A stroll through the underground remains of the Roman, Paleochristian and Visigoth city, excavated under the Royal Palace of the Crown of Catalonia and Aragon. The visit takes 1.5 to 2 hours.
LOCATION: Old Town
Museum of Modernism
Little known jewel displaying a gorgeous collection of modernist furniture in the street level, considered to be probably the best in Catalonia (at least as good as the pieces shown at the MNAC). In the cozy basement the collection continues with selected sculptures, paintings and even some impressive stained glasses. The visit takes 30 minutes to 1 hour.
LOCATION: Eixample district
Frederic Marès was one of the most important sculptors in the Barcelona of the early 20th century, but apart from being an artist he was also a very dedicated collector. Being fascinated by the medieval art, the most important part of this museum is dedicated to Romanesque and Gothic sculptures, but it also covers other styles. The upper floors, instead, display what it is known as a “Collectors Cabinet” showing daily life objects of the old times. The visit takes 1 to 2 hours.
LOCATION: Old Town
Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)
Although it also gives a quick sample of the most renowned contemporary Spanish artist, the permanent collection of the MACBA is focused mostly in the emergent and the little-known (at least at an international level), and it usually occupies only one floor. The other two levels are generally used for temporary exhibits that change every few months, what makes it difficult for us to keep up with them. If you are interested in this museum, you’ll have to tell us at least one month ahead of time so we can prepare your Barcelona museum tour as well as you deserve. The visit of the permanent collection takes around 1 hour.
LOCATION: Old Town
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU?
This tour is designed for adults that consider themselves museum lovers, could spend hours in a museum and appreciate all the knowledge and insights only a private guide can give them there.
If you want to visit a museum, but not spend a whole morning or afternoon there, we recommend you book any of our sightseeing tours: some of them already take you to the Picasso Museum or the Miró Foundation, or you can just add one or two extra hours to any of our tours so there is time to visit the museum of your choice. We can also custom an itinerary that includes one museum plus one or two more sites or areas. Contact us letting us know what do you have in mind.
If you are traveling with kids, even if our guides can make a museum visit enjoyable for them, a museum-only tour is likely to be too much for them. Kids need outdoors and variety. Consider visiting only one museum, then spending the rest of your tour visiting other sites that are more kid-friendly.
If you have walking issues, take into account that inside most local museums seating opportunities are rare. Be prepared to stand up, walk to the next room, stand up… Consider bringing your own travel foldable stool to use during the tour.
If you are on a wheelchair, most museums are accessible although some might require a detour in order to use elevators when needed.
If you’d like to have a longer tour, feel free to add extra hours to your tour so you can visit more things (either museums or sites).
If you are interested in Salvador Dali, check out our Dali Day Trips.
If you are also booking a Montserrat tour, make sure to ask your guide to take you to the Montserrat art museum!
TOUR AND BOOKING INFORMATION
* Site ticket costs are given as an orientation only, as they can change without notice. Discounts might apply for students and/or seniors.