Artwork at the Banksy Museum Barcelona

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Piece of the Banksy Museum Barcelona

Tips to plan your visit to the Banksy Museum Barcelona

IS THE BARCELONA BANKSY MUSEUM WORTH IT?

The Banksy Museum arrives to Barcelona after its big success in Paris a couple of years ago. The original idea was to make it a temporary exhibit, but after the Covid pandemic the project became a permanent museum. The collection includes some 130 pieces, that are displayed on rotation. They aren’t original Banksys, though: Street art is by definition a perishable art, and most pieces end up vandalized or destroyed in a relatively short amount of time, or it is even stolen from its original support. So that’s the reason why original Banksy’s are so hard to come by.

So does the artist support or authorize in any way this museum of replicas of this work? No. Banksy’s main goal is to spread his message and reach as many people as possible, which is way he doesn’t oppose to people reproducing his artwork without consent even if he doesn’t get an economical benefit from it. 

So why should you visit the Barcelona Banksy Museum? First of all because the works and their message don’t loose their power despite being replicas: the pieces have been accurately made by other street artists that have been loyal to the techniques, dimensions and materials of the original ones. Then because many of the originals are lost forever and it’s a once in a lifetime chance to get to see something as close as possible to the originals. And finally because you’ll very rarely get to see that many Banksy works together (OK, replicas of), so the museum is a great opportunity to get familiar with the artist’s evolution and iconography world at once, without the need of researching the internet or flipping over books.

Who is the street artist Banksy?

Banksy art in Spain's most important exhibit about the artist

Several theories exist about the true identity of Banksy. He was probably born in the Bristol area (UK) around 1973-74, where he got in touch with the local graffiti scene in the 1980, then moved to London towards 2000. Probably a white blond man, Banksy could be the nickname of musician Robbie Banks or the artist Robin Cunningham, but that's just the two most popular guesses: his identity remains a secret. Banksy is famous for his stencils with strong political and anti-capitalist messages, sometimes mixed with poetical touches (flowers, balloons) and elements of surprise.

Before you start visiting

The Banksy Museum is divided in three different floors. The street level displays the artist’s works found in the UK, where he is supposed to be born and/or live, and therefore where he’s been most active. The upper floor, accessible through some metal stairs half way down the street level, is dedicated to his works in France and Italy, most of them approaching the problems of refugees and immigrants. The basement is accessed by a stair case behind the ticket office at the entrance, and it shows works from Ukraïne, USA, Palestine and Cisjordania.

Because of the unusual distribution, our recommendation is to start with the street level and go all the way down to the bottom. On the way back, take the stairs to the upper floor, and after that head back to the entrance to descend to the basement. The exit of the museum is at the end of that level. There you’ll also find a small patio where to take a short break outdoors surrounded by some greenery, some more Banksy pieces and views over the backside façades of the block and probably laundry hanging to dry on the balconies.

But my best tip is to make sure to read the exhibit labels. Very often you’ll find there stories that add more sense to a particular piece, or they’ll help you notice details that you might have missed with only a quick look but when noticed they totally transform the message of the piece. Be ready for many wow moments and unexpected plot twists (only if you read the labels or take a tour).

Learn more about Banksy:

Top 5 pieces of the Banksy Museum Barcelona

1

Kissing Coppers

A paradigmatic exemple of Banksy's critical opinion of the authorities, this stencil represents two male British policeman kissing. The shock of an unexpected situation is followed by an explosion of radical messages: the defense of  same-sex relationships (BTW, the piece was first seen in a Pub in Brighton, the LGTB capital of the UK), and criticism of the violence and hypocrisy of the law inforcement authorities.

WHERE TO FIND IT: At the entrance of the museum inside a red telephone booth, and in the same room, on a wall to the right. 

2

The Son of a Migrant from Syria

In 2015 the drama of a refugees camp in Calais, France, made the news. There huddled 7000 immigrants trying to cross the Chanel onto the UK. There Banksy created a series of stencils representing Apple founder Steve Jobs, presented as a migrant carrying a black bag and an old Apple computer. Despite being the son of a real migrant from Syria, Jobs created one of the most successful companies in history, generating billions of wealth.

With this piece the artist reminds us that immigrants aren’t society parasites but that they contribute to everyone’s progress. It’s also a condemn of the treatment that the poorest immigrants receive even in Europe.

WHERE TO FIND IT: On a wall on the upper level.

3

Girl and Balloon

Who hasn't seen (and loved) this iconic stencil of a black and white little girl who has just lost her red heart-shapped balloon? The simplicity of it is part of its magic. The piece talks about love (the balloon) and about the hope that we all need to keep despite the worst and saddest situations we may encounter in life. Afert a second look, the stencil can also be interpreted not just as the little girl trying to catch the balloon but it could also be she released it in purpose.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention, it is in a wall on top of the stairs taking to the basement. The wall also replicates the structure of the location where the original was painted: a wall under some stairs. If you miss it, there’s also a smaller framed replica hanging in one of the first rooms of the basement level.

4

Flower Thrower

One of the most famous pieces by Banksy, this stencil represents a black and white protester throwing a colorful flower bouquet as if he was throwing a Molotov cocktail. While the contrast between color and black is striking, the clash of the violent action and the pacifist message of the flowers is what really freezes you in place. It also evokes revolutionary feelings as well as hope.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Towards the end of the basement level, on a wall. There’s also a smaller framed version called “CCCP Flower Chucker” where the Thrower is painted over a red CCCP sign (first rooms of the basement level).

5

The Walled off Hotel

In contrast with the many stencils, and to a minor degree, paintings and graffiti that you find in this museum, the Walled Off Hotel is one of the few immersive installations by Banksy: a hotel with the worst views of the world. Created in 2017 near the Bethlehem Wall, it was the artist's way to commemorate the 100 anniversary of the occupation of Palestine by the British, which was the origin of the current political conflict.

The original project is a fully functional hotel complete with a dozen rooms where guests can stay, a piano-bar and an art gallery. But in the Banksy Museum Barcelona they’ve only reproduced one of the rooms. The name “Walled Off” is a word game that evokes the luxurious Waldorf hotel – so even the name connects with the anti-capitalism and political criticism of Banksy’s message.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Towards the exit, at the end of the basement level.

Where is the Museo Bansky Barcelona?

The Museo Banksy in Barcelona is located in an art gallery called Espai Trafalgar on 34, Trafalgar street in Barcelona, and it occupies the street level, basement and mezzanine of a building from the early 1900’s of the Eixample district, and connects with the street level of an older building facing the Born District on 41, Sant Pere Més Alt st (which is  where the exit of the museum is found).

How to get there

  • SUBWAY: Urquinaona station (L1 and L4). 
  • SUBURBAN TRAIN: Arc de Triomf station (R1, R3, R4 and R7).
  • BUS: The closest stop is #780, where buses 19 and H16 stop (there’s also night buses stopping there, but their schedule doesn’t match that of the museum).
  • TOURIST BUS: Red Route, Arc de Triomf stop.
  • CLOSEST PARKING LOT: Parking Trafalgar
  • CLOSEST TAXI STOP: Corner of Ronda St. Pere and Bruc st.

Museum opening hours and tickets

The museum opens Monday through Sunday from 10AM to 8PM, with the last access being 7.15PM. On Thursdays they celebrate night visits staying open until 9PM (last access 8.15PM).

There’s guided tours available in different languages. On Saturday and Sunday they are only in Spanish and English and they cost an additional fee, whereas on Monday the tours can also be in Catalan, French and Italian (besides Spanish and English) and they are free of charge.

Where to eat near the Banksy Museum

RESTAURANT TYPE OF FOOD DISTANCE COMMENTS
Casa Lolea Tapas 1 minute from exit Best sangria in town
Flax & Kale Healthy flexitarian 1 minute from exit Mexican Asian Italian fusion
China Crown Chinese Fine Dining 5 minutes from entrance Gaudi building with original furniture
Casa Alfonso Tapas 6 minutes from entrance Vintage venue from 1934
Viena Fast Food 6 minutes from entrance Quality local fast-food chain
Asador de Aranda Meat 7 minutes from entrance Kitchen open non-stop 1PM to midnight
Els 4 Gats Catalan 8 minutes from exit Open in 1896. Picasso designed the menu.

Other things to do near Banksy Barcelona

FAQ

Is Banksy Museum Barcelona the same as World of Bansky, the Art of Bansky and Banskyland?

No, it’s not.

World of Bansky is an itinerant exhibit that explores the works of Banksy through an immersive experience that incorporates light, sound and digital effects. The exhibits in Calgary and Winnipeg were sold out, and it’s heading to New Orleans, Miami and Dallas next.

Art of Bansky is the largest exhibit of original Banksy art in the world, with headquarters in Toronto and London.

Banksyland was an itinerant immersive experience about Banksy, which was discontinued due to the many complaints of its visitors.

Is there other Banksy artwork in Barcelona?

Yes. You can see a handful of this works at the MOCO Museum of Contemporary Art, just a little over 10 minutes walk from Banksy Barcelona.

What are the best areas in Barcelona to see graffiti and street art?

Barcelona is a very interesting destination for graffiti and street art lovers. You can find here from Keith Hering to European artists such as  . The best districts to explore to find street art are Poblenou, Raval, Gothic Quarter, Born and Gracia. Check out our blog post about Graffiti in Barcelona to get an idea of what to expect in each district and what areas to head to.

Which is your favorite piece at the Banksy Museum Barcelona?

Marta

Author Marta Laurent Veciana

AUTHOR BIO

Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.

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Last update on 2024-07-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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