The 10 best art museums in Barcelona

From famous masterpieces to cutting-edge design, discover the incredible collections at Barcelona’s top 10 art museums.

Barcelona is dream destination for art lovers. You'll find everything from classic European portraits to avant-garde exhibits across its world-class galleries. There are even open-air museums, celebrating the most inspiring examples of art and architecture, and ultra-modern art spaces among the coolest places to visit in Barcelona.

From famous masterpieces in the city’s most renowned museums to more under-the-radar attractions, consider this list your essential guide to discovering the best art in Barcelona. 

Best art museums in Barcelona

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1. See Catalan art traditions at the National Museum of Art of Catalonia

If you're an art lover, this is the perfect starting point. From incredible Romanesque murals to stunning Catalan Modernism, MNAC has it all.

Highlights:

Your MNAC entry ticket gives you rooftop access, so when you've finished admiring the paintings, be sure to head up there for beautiful views across the city.

Address and opening hours:

Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjüic, 08038 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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2. Discover the world of Cubism at the Picasso Museum

As a former Barcelona resident, Picasso’s history is intertwined with the city’s modern history, and this museum celebrates his legacy and shows how the Cubist master's style evolved over the years.

Highlights:

This is the largest collection of Picasso’s work, so choose a skip-the-line guided tour to be sure you don’t miss any of the highlights.

Address and opening hours:

Carrer de Montcada 15-23, 08003 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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3. Embrace color at the Fundació Joan Miró

Many of Barcelona-born painter Joan Miró's works in the city’s art museums and galleries is easily spotted thanks to his characteristic bright colors and bold shapes. But to truly celebrate this iconic artist, head to the Fundació Joan Miró, a space dedicated to the showing off the his paintings, sculptures, and ceramics.

Highlights:

Your entry ticket lets you explore the entire museum, as well as its beautiful gardens. Don't miss the exhibits of other artists inspired by Miró to fully understand his legacy.

Address and opening hours:

Parc de Montjüic, 08038 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 AM-1:00 AM Saturday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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4. See the life and works of Antoni Gaudí

No trip to Barcelona would be complete without a deep dive into the world of the city’s most renowned architect, Antoni Gaudí. The Gaudí House Museum, located inside Park Güell, is one of the best places to learn more about the great Modernist and to see some of his wonderful works.

Highlights:

For a full Gaudí experience, combine your trip to the house museum with a guided walking tour of Park Güell, Casa Batlló, and the Sagrada Familia.

Address and opening hours:

Parc Güell, Carretera del Carmel 23A, 08013 Barcelona. Open seven days a week; times vary.

Best design museums in Barcelona

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5. See the evolution of style at the Design Museum

The Design Museum of Barcelona, aka the Disseny Hub, is one of the coolest museums around, both inside and out. It showcases iconic and emerging art and design across four themed floors, with regularly rotating exhibits.

Highlights:

House within the Design Museum’s unusual architecture lies a fascinating collection of decorative arts, fashion, product design, and 500 examples of pioneering 20th-century graphic design.

Address and opening hours:

Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes 37-38, 08018 Barcelona. Open 3:30 PM-9:00 PM Monday, 9:00 AM-9:00 PM Tuesday-Sunday.

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6. Explore the visual world at La Virreina

La Virreina Image Centre is dedicated to all things visual. This intriguing museum focuses on design with a political slant and often has temporary exhibits about architecture and urban planning.

Address and opening hours:

La Rambla 99, 08002 Barcelona. Open 11:00 AM-8:00 PM Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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7. Wake up all your senses at the Santa Mònica arts center

A visit to the Santa Mònica arts center is a great way to explore contemporary Catalan design. This museum has free entry, and sections dedicated to design and visual arts, music and sound, architecture, and crafts. With a program of video displays, poetry sessions, and workshops by emerging and experimental artists, Santa Mònica has carved a reputation as one of the city’s hidden art gems.

Address and opening hours:

La Rambla 7, 08002 Barcelona. Open 11:00 AM-8:30 PM Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays.

Alternative museums in Barcelona

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8. Be at the cutting edge with a trip to Moco

The Moco Museum is Barcelona's premier destination for avant-garde art. Admire works by the legendary graffiti artist Banksy and see what the edgiest names in the world or art are doing. Don't miss the permanent exhibit on digital art and NFTs, a fascinating glimpse into the future of creativity.

Highlights:

With a Moco Museum entry ticket, you'll get an audioguide to explain the wonders of modern art.

Address and opening hours:

Carrer de Montcada 25, 08003 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Monday-Thursday, and 10:00 AM-9:00 PM Friday-Sunday.

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9. Explore the future of digital art at IDEAL

The IDEAL Centre d'Arts Digitals is one of Barcelona's most futuristic museums. In this ultra-modern space, art truly comes to life with the help of the latest technology. An IDEAL entry ticket is not just a ticket to a museum. It's a full-on entry into the Metaverse, complete with a VR headset that will let you see works by masters like Dalí as you've never seen them before.

Address and opening hours:

Carrer del Dr Trueta 196, 08005 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-9:30 PM Monday-Sunday.

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10. Bend your mind at the Paradox Museum

Welcome to a world where nothing is quite what it seems. Grab a ticket to the Paradox Museum to see some mind-boggling exhibits that you'll need to look at twice. It's a great place to get some top Insta snaps, but it also offers a deep dive into the world of scientific paradoxes.

Address and opening hours:

Plaça d'Urquinaona 3, 08010 Barcelona. Open 11:00 AM-8:30 PM Sunday-Thursday, 10:40 AM-9:30 PM Friday-Saturday.

FAQs

Are there any free-entry days for art museums in Barcelona?

Yes. Many art museums in Barcelona have free entry on the first Sunday of each month. Some will also give you free entry if you arrive on a Sunday within one hour of closing.

What are some unique and lesser-known art museums worth visiting in Barcelona?

Smaller museums like the Santa Mònica Centre or La Virreina Centre are very interesting, particularly if you like contemporary art and design.

Which art museums in Barcelona have works by famous artists?

MNAC has works by Gaudí and other great Modernists. If you prefer something more contemporary, you can go to the Banksy exhibit at the Moco Museum. Of course, the Picasso Museum is the best place to go for works by Pablo Picasso.

Are the art museums in Barcelona wheelchair accessible?

Yes. All the major art museums in Barcelona are wheelchair accessible. Many of the Gaudí buildings are also wheelchair accessible, but it's a good idea to check in advance.

Are there any art museums in Barcelona that are suitable for children and families?

Children will love the Paradox Museum, which is educational as well as exciting. Most art museums are more adult-oriented, but the Fundació Joan Miró, with its bright colors, is a good choice for kids.