Much more than Modernisme and mojitos, the Catalan capital has an array of museums to suit every taste. Cluberia pick their top ten…
Though most people come to Spain for a classic summer vacation at the seaside, Barcelona presents itself as the true cultural center, attracting millions of tourists every year. One may ask if there’s anything special about this city, something that makes people forget about the sunny beaches and the sparkling sea just to walk through its ancient streets. For us it’s the mix of beauty and glamour, with fascinating culture and history that you feel at every step.
Barcelona has been around for more than 2200 years, growing from a small Iberian village into the second largest city in Spain. It houses one eighth of the country’s population and is considered one of the main cultural centers of Spain, along with Madrid and Seville. It features beaches, parks, architectural marvels, like the famous Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família by Gaudi, and, of course – scores of museums, large and small.
Whilst most charge an entrance fee, if you check their official websites you’ll find that some of them offer admission free of charge on certain days, such as Sundays or Mondays, or during special occasions, like Museum Night. This is not a unique thing for cultural cities, but when you see what those museums offer you, you’d understand why we’re so eager to tell you about them.
So, come to Barcelona and check out this list of ten museums composed by the travel experts from Cluberia.com:
1. Archaeology Museum of Barcelona (Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya).
This is a classic museum, established in 1990 to preserve the archaeological findings of Catalonia. All kinds of exhibits from many periods are shown in the right order for you to discover the history of this land from the ancient times to the XX century. Having an opportunity to visit this one for free on Sunday, don’t miss it.
2. FC Barcelona Museum (FC Barcelona Museu)
If you’re a soccer (traditional football) fan, you absolutely have to visit this museum for the sake of the legendary Spanish team. It presents the most memorable photos, videos and, of course, prizes of the FC Barcelona. The museum also holds lots of historical football attire and equipment, so you can see how the sportsmen used to play a hundred years ago.
3. Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso)
Pablo Picasso was not just an artist, he is a true legend in the history of Fine Arts. The museum features more than 3500 works by this master and it’s considered the richest collection in the whole world. The interesting thing is that it was actually opened during the artist’s life, unlike most others, founded when he’d already died.
4. Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family (Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família)
Created by the famous architect Antonio Gaudi, this formidable building is still under construction (it started in 1882!), being one of the most complex churches in the world. The genius of the architect is well known and respected even today, mostly because modern professionals can’t figure out how exactly he came to this.
5. Museum of Chocolate (Museu de la Xocolata)
This is surely one of the tastiest museums in the world, featuring a collection of chocolate masterpieces from the masters of cuisine. It also tells you about the history of this treat and offers you an insight into the very process of chocolate making. If you’re going to Barcelona with children – this museum is a necessary destination.
6. CosmoCaixa Barcelona
The former Science Museum of Barcelona, it’s still an astonishing sight to witness after renovation. The exhibits feature space, environment, machinery, nature and there’s a real planetarium for your enjoyment. Lots of them are designed to be interactive, so that the guests may get the full understanding of what they’re actually seeing.
7. Museu Frederic Mares
This is a sculpture museum with a large collection of sculptures from numerous styles, epochs, countries and masters. If you appreciate this art form, you should definitely come, besides, the museum features comprehensive lectures on every exhibit, so you wouldn’t have to think what exactly you’re looking at, when it comes to modern sculpture.
8. Fundació Joan Miró, Centre d’Estudis d’Art Contemporani (Joan Miró Foundation)
This museum of modern art is one of the oldest in Spain, having opened in 1975. It doesn’t have an extensive collection, but every exhibit had played a serious role in the development of modern art in the country. The Spanish like it very much and it’s crowded every day, especially on Sunday, when the admission is free.
9. CaixaForum Barcelona
This is a large gallery of arts, and admission here is always free. Exhibits change every once in a while, with artists waiting in line to get their masterpieces there. You don’t have to wait till Sunday to come here and that’s just one of its benefits. Any art connoisseur should consider CaixaForum to be the first place to visit in Barcelona, because as you can often view two or three different exhibitions in a row.
10. Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona).
Contemporary art is never easily portrayed with words – you have to witness its unique spirit in person to understand it. Though opened in 1995, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona holds a huge collection of world-known masterpieces, which was originally started in the year 1959.