The best museums in Barcelona that are worth your time

From the history of Catalonia to virtual reality art, Barcelona’s world-class museums have something for everyone. Here are 20 of the best.

No city break would be complete without hitting up a few of the top museums and Barcelona has some great ones to choose from. From world-renowned art to Roman ruins and sporting legends, there are countless interesting places in Barcelona to suit every cultural taste.

Learn more about the city’s most prominent artists like Gaudí, Picasso, and Dalí at the city’s stunning landmarks and art museums. Discover local history, from the Romans to the 20th-century dictatorship, at the leading history institutions. Spend an afternoon in the home of the legendary FC Barcelona to learn how it became one of the most successful sports teams in the world. And surround yourself with art and architecture in the city’s open-air museums. Find all that and more in this list of the best museums in Barcelona.

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1. Immerse yourself in Catalan culture at the Museum of the History of Catalonia

History museum

The people of Catalonia are fiercely proud of their region. Discover why in this fascinating museum, which tells you about art, literature, wars, business, traditions, and more. The replica of a school classroom during the years of Franco's dictatorship is a sobering sight.

Highlights:

Your museum entry ticket lets you go up to the museum's rooftop restaurant for panoramic city views.

Address and opening hours:

Plaça Pau Vila 3, 08039 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-7:00 PM Tuesday- Saturday, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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2. See what the Romans did for us at MUHBA

History museum

There are several different sites of MUHBA, the Barcelona History Museum. The most interesting is in Plaça del Rei, where you can literally go underground to see the ruins of the Roman city of Barcino.

Highlights:

Want more Roman history? You'll find the Temple d'August five minutes away. This is another MUHBA site showcasing the impressive pillars of an ancient temple.

Address and opening hours:

Plaça del Rei, 08002 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-7:00 PM Tuesday- Saturday, 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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3. Discover Barcelona on the brink of war in the Born

History museum

El Born Culture and Memory Center takes you back in time to the year 1700, when King Carlos II died without an heir and the Iberian Peninsula was plunged into one of its most brutal wars. Learn about the 1714 Siege of Barcelona in this emotionally charged museum.

Highlights:

The museum aims to show how ordinary people's lives were turned upside down by war. Painstakingly reconstructed historical records tell you more about the individuals who lived here, for a remarkably moving exhibit.

Address and opening hours:

Plaça Comercial 12, 08003 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-7:00 PM Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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4. Cross the entire Iberian Peninsula at Poble Espanyol

The name of this open-air museum, high on the slopes of Montjuïc, means Spanish Village. And that's exactly what it is — a small-scale reconstruction of the different styles of architecture and traditional crafts found across Spain.

Highlights:

For an extra special visit, go to Poble Espanyol by night. Enhance your experience with tapas, drinks, and a dramatic flamenco performance.

Address and opening hours:

Avinguda Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 13, 08038 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-midnight Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-10:00 PM Monday.

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5. See the masters at work at MNAC

Art museum

The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya is one of the best art museums in town. Against the stunning backdrop of Montjuïc, this museum has everything from murals to photographs, as well as more paintings than you can begin to imagine.

Highlights:

Make the most of the audioguide included with an MNAC entry ticket. There are so many works on display here that it's easy to miss some real masterpieces without the guide's help.

Address and opening hours:

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

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6. Discover the hidden side of Barcelona's most famous artist at the Gaudí House Museum

Art museum

Nestled deep in Park Güell, this museum is inside Gaudí's old house. His furniture and trinkets, together with audio-visual displays, bring him to life.

Highlights:

On a Park Güell and Sagrada Familia tour, you’ll also visit Gaudí’s amazing Sagrada Familia church for an incredible contrast between Gaudí's austere personal life and his extravagant works.

Address and opening hours:

Parc Güell, Carretera del Carmel 23A, 08013 Barcelona. Open 9:30 AM-6:00 PM every day.

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7. Plunge yourself into the world of Picasso

Art museum

Pablo Picasso never stayed in one place for long, but he certainly left his mark on Barcelona. With over 4,000 works on display, this museum is a must for any fans of Cubism.

Highlights:

A guided tour is the best way to see this museum. With an expert on hand, you'll learn more about the different phases of Picasso's life and career, including his intriguing blue phase.

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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8. Discover one of Catalonia's favorite artists at the Fundació Joan Miró

Art museum

 You'll see several brightly colored pieces by Joan Miró in the open air around Barcelona. Now learn more about him in this impressive collection of his works.

Highlights:

Your entry ticket will let you spend a couple of hours admiring some of Miró's finest paintings and sculptures. Check out the Espai 13 area, where fun interactive activities let the kids show off their own artistic skills.

Address and opening hours:

Parc de Montjuïc, 08038 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Monday-Saturday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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9. Take a day trip to Girona, the capital of surrealist art

Art museum

Salvador Dalí, leader of the surrealist movement, was from a small town to the north of Barcelona. Take a day trip to the Dalí Museum in Girona to see his most significant works up close and personal.

Highlights:

The Dalí Museum day trip includes a walking tour of the historic city of Girona.

Address and opening hours:

Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí 5, Figueres, 17600 Girona. Open 10:30 AM-5:45 PM Monday-Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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10. Inspire young minds at Cosmocaixa

Science museum

This hands-on science museum has plenty of interactive fun for the kids. With everything from experiments to test Newton's laws to enormous dinosaur fossils, this is the perfect place to inspire would-be scientists.

Highlights:

The aquarium just may be the coolest thing in Cosmocaixa. With an unusual rainforest habitat, it has some of the strangest fish you've ever seen.

Address and opening hours:

Carrer d'Isaac Newton 26, 08022 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-8:00 PM every day.

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11. Learn what happens when tech meets art at IDEAL

Science museum

Is it art? Is it science? You decide, in this wild museum where nothing is as it seems. Enjoy giant projected versions of Dalí's most famous works and immerse yourself in the wonders of the metaverse.

Highlights:

Your IDEAL entry ticket comes complete with a VR headset. You'll feel like you're really walking through a Dalí dreamscape, seeing art as you've never seen it before.

Address and opening hours:

Carrer del Dr Trueta 196, 08005 Barcelona. Open 10:0 AM-9:30 PM Wednesday-Monday. Closed Tuesdays.

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12. Explore the entire planet in the Natural Science Museum

Science museum

Dedicated to the natural world, with a particular emphasis on climate change, the Natural Science Museum is full of hands-on exhibits to delight young and old.

Highlights:

Combine your trip to the Natural Science Museum with a visit to the Botanical Gardens to see plants from all the world's Mediterranean climate zones.

Address and opening hours:

Plaça Leonardo da Vinci 4-5, Parc del Forum, 08019 Barcelona. Open 10:00 AM-7:00 PM Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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13. Score at the FC Barcelona Museum

Sport museum

Within the world-famous Camp Nou stadium, the FC Barcelona Museum is one of the top museums in Barcelona. Learn the history of this legendary team and the fascinating tale of how Barça became a key symbol of Catalan identity.

Highlights:

An FC Barcelona immersive tour ticket lets you go beyond the museum and into the players' changing room and through the players’ tunnel. It's the perfect day out for the wannabe Messi in your life.

Address and opening hours:

Camp Nou, Carrer d'Arístides Maillol 12, 08028 Barcelona. Open 9:30 AM-7:00 PM every day.

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14. Go celeb-spotting at the Wax Museum

Cultural museum

Rub shoulders with the world's most famous people at the Wax Museum. Pose for that perfect shot with everyone from Billie Eilish to Pablo Picasso.

Highlights:

A Wax Museum entry ticket lets you see the entire exhibit, with an ever-changing roster of celebrities. Finish with a drink at the museum's Enchanted Forest bar.

Address and opening hours:

Passatge de la Banca 7, 08002 Barcelona. Open 10:30 AM-8:00 PM every day.

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15. Discover the world's most famous herb at the Marijuana Museum

Alternative museum

Leave the kids at home for this one. This surprisingly serious museum explores the history and use of cannabis, including some unusual examples of marijuana in artworks from the 17th century.

Highlights:

You'll get a complementary photo memento with a ticket to the Marijuana Museum —  one of the most original souvenirs around.

Address and opening hours:

Carrer Ample 35, 08002 Barcelona. Open 11:00 AM-8:00 PM every day.

FAQs

What are the must-visit museums in Barcelona?

Most visitors agree that the best museums in Barcelona are the art museums. These include the Gaudí House Museum, the Picasso Museum, and MNAC.

Are there any free museums in Barcelona?

You'll have to pay to enter most museums in Barcelona. However, many offer free entry on the first Sunday of the month.

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

Yes. Family-friendly museums in Barcelona include the Cosmocaixa science museum and, for budding athletes, the FC Barcelona museum.

For which museums in Barcelona are guided tours recommended?

A guided tour is a good idea for places like the Picasso Museum, the Gaudí House Museum, and other Gaudí works. This way, you won't miss any details.

Are there any museum passes or discount cards available for visiting multiple museums in Barcelona?

You can find discount bundles if you're visiting several Gaudí museums and monuments. Some other museums with multiple sites will offer discounts, like the Natural Science Museum and MUHBA.