ArticketBCN, the Barcelona art ticket, is an affordable way to visit Barcelona´s best art museums. It gives you entry into seven of Barcelona´s leading art centers during a period of 6 months and includes both the permanent and temporary exhibitions of the participating museums. It is valid for 6 months from the first day you visit one of the museums (not from the day you purchase the ticket) and costs only €22.
The museums included in the articketBCN are:
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona - CCCB- The CCCB (Center of Contemporary Culture) is located near Plaça Catalunya and organizes and produces exhibitions, debates, festivals, concerts, and cinema. It is divided into three exhibition galleries, two lecture halls, an auditorium, and several multi-purpose spaces. It is must-see for anyone interested in contemporary culture. Normal entry costs between €4,5 and €6. http://www.cccb.org
Fundació Antoni Tàpies - The Fundació Antoni Tàpies is located in the neighborhood of Eixample and was created in 1984 by the artist Antoni Tàpies to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art. Antoni Tàpies was born in Barcelona and is famous for his surrealist and abstract paintings. The largest collection of Tàpies work can be found here, as well as various collections from other artists, including art from Africa and Asia. The foundation also arranges lectures and film screenings. Normal entry costs €6. http://www.fundaciotapies.org
Fundació Caixa Catalunya - La Pedrera- La Pedrera is one of Barcelona´s most famous buildings, designed by Antoni Gaudí. With the articketbcn you can visit the building, the permanent exhibition about the architect in the Espai Gaudí, a period apartment dating from the early 20th century, and the exhibition hall, which hosts temporary art shows by international artists. The building is extraordinary, and is one of the most visited sites in Barcelona. Queues are to be expected, but it´s worth the wait. Normal entry costs €10. http://obrasocial.caixacatalunya.es
Fundació Joan Miró - This museum is located in Montjuic and houses the best works of Joan Miró, as well as some pieces by other artists. Miró, who is considered one of the best Catalan artists of all time, donated many of the works himself. There is a permanent collection of Surrealist paintings, tapestries, sculptures, and sketches covering the period from 1914 to 1978. The museum also sponsors temporary exhibitions, films, lectures, and summer music nights in July and August. There is also a café with an outdoor patio serving drinks, pastries, and sandwiches. Incidentally, the building was designed by one of Miro´s best friends, the architect Josep-Luis Sert. Normally entry costs €8,50. http://www.fundaciomiro-bcn.org/
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya- MNAC - MNAC, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, occupies the Palau Nacional in Montjuic, and absolutely should not be missed. Showcasing over a thousand years of Catalan art, from Gothic to Modern, MNAC is Catalonia’s national art gallery and is one of Spain´s greatest museums. If you plan to visit only a few museums MNAC should definitely be on your list. Normal entry costs €8,50. http://www.mnac.cat
Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona- MACBA- Located in Raval, near the CCCB, MACBA houses a collection representing the main movements in art since 1945, with most of the exhibitions from Spanish artists. In addition to the permanent collection the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and organizes activities related to contemporary art and culture. The building, with a facade made almost entirely of glass, was designed by the American architect Richard Meier. Normal entry costs €7,50. http://www.macba.cat
Museu Picasso - The Picasso Museum is located in the neighborhood of El Borne and occupies five mansions from the 13th to 15th centuries. It is considered a key reference for understanding the formative years of Pablo Picasso, although it contains none of his most famous pieces. The musuem has a permanent collection with more than 3,800 works from his early years, showing the progression of his work up to the Blue Period and giving visitors the chance to trace the artistic development of one of the most famous artists in the history of the world. Normal entry costs €9. http://www.museupicasso.bcn.es
The articketBCN is an excellent price, even if you don´t have time to visit all seven museums. It´s ideal for art lovers who plan to spend much of their time in Barcelona visiting museums, but it´s also great for those who just want to make a quick visit to each of them in order to check out the best collections and pieces. If this is your first time in Barcelona and you want to see the best art the city has to offer, then the articketbcn is the way to go. The articketBCN can be purchased at the ticket offices of any of the art centers, at the Barcelona Tourism Offices, or at www.barcelonaturisme.com. For more information on articketbcn visit www.articketbcn.org.
If you love and appreciate fine art, you have to include a visit to the Museu Nacional D’Art de Cataluña (the National Museum of Art of Cataluna – MNAC). Here, you will find some of the most treasured artwork in Barcelona, perhaps in all of Spain.
The museum, itself, is housed in the Palau Nacional, Barcelona’s new baroque palace which is centrally-located on Montjuic Hill and was long ago conceived by Josep Puig i Cadafalch to be the centerpiece of the 1929 International Exhibition.
The museum’s ground floor is divided into three main sections – Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance and Baroque. The second floor, or upper level, is devoted entirely to Modern Art and includes dramatic examples of drawings, prints and posters even a numismatics collection.
Dramatically-domed and visually inspiring, the building housing the museum is worth the visit, even before you see the glorious artwork inside because it represents one of the finest examples of modern architecture anywhere in Barcelona. Of course, once inside, you will be treated to the most complete collection of Catalan art that exists anywhere in the world – a spectacular presentation that includes everything from Romanesque to Modern art.
When you enter through the museum’s main entrance, you will immediately encounter the Romanesque gallery to the left of the central hallway and the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque galleries to the right. Take your time walking around the ground floor because there is much to see and enjoy.
The Romanesque Art Collection, for example, is one of the most notable in the museum because it features stunning collection of mural paintings. These one-of-a-kind paintings (the majority of which were bought from churches in the Pyrenees region of Spain) were relocated to the museum during the period dating from 1919 to 1923. Interestingly, a special technique was used to “cut and remove” the frescoes from the walls on which they rested and transplant them – safely – to a new surface … the walls of the museum. This memorable collection features artwork that dates all the way back to the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.
The Gothic Art Collection is extensive and includes mural paintings, panel paintings, stone, ivory and wood sculptures … plus metalworking and enamels that date back to the period from the late 13th century to the 15th century.
The Renaissance and Baroque Art Collection exists, in large part, because of the Cambo Collection. Donated to the museum by the financier, Frances Cambo, it underscores the evolution in the tastes of polite Catalan society for the art that was produced in Spain and other parts of Europe in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It is a noteworthy collection, well represented by the works of Rubens, Tintoretto, El Greco, Titian and many others.
The generosity of other donors has also helped to improve the collection. For example: the addition of The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection has added the works of such European artists as Rubens and Huber to the museum’s walls.
The Modern Art Collection, located on the upper level, captures the glory of the modernist movement when it took root, and prospered, in Catalonia. Many superb artists are well represented here, including Fortuny, Casas, Gaudi, Picasso, Rusiñol and others.
And, while the artwork that covers the walls is notable, the museum’s collection also includes modernist furniture (including several pieces by Gaudi), fireplaces and doorknobs.
A small collection of vintage photographs is also available for viewing, as well as an extensive numismatics display (more than 134,000 coins) that chronicles the evolution of coins from the first Greek minting to the modern Euro and payment cards.
Here’s how easy it is to get to the museum:
1. The museum is easily reachable by foot from the Plaza Espana. All you need do is walk briefly along Queen Maria Cristina Avenue until you reach the long stairway that leads directly to the museum. If you’re in good shape and energetic, walk the stairs. If not, you can take a convenient escalator that also leads directly to the museum.
2. Public transportation is also readily available from the Plaza Espana to the museum. You can board the Nº50 bus or the Nº55 bus. Each goes directly to Estadi Olimpic, which is the stop that will lead you directly to the museum. You can take an escalator down from the bus stop which will leave you at the museum’s main entrance.
Entry into the museum, itself, is free and allows visitors to enjoy a few of the temporary exhibitions and the building’s stunning architecture, including its painted dome. Those visitors will also be able to purchase souvenirs from the Souvenir Shop on the ground floor and patronize the museum’s restaurants. In fact, one upper level restaurant includes panoramic views of Barcelona for diners. Visitors to the upper level will also be able to see and enjoy the original frescoes that have been painted onto the doom.
For visitors who want to see the permanent exhibitions for which the museum is noted, there is a modest fee of 8.50 Euros for adults only; children under age 12 are admitted free. The first Sunday of each month is also free for all visitors.
If you really enjoy art, you may wish to purchase an Articket. It allows you to visit up to 7 of the city’s best art centers and museums at a dramatically reduced price. It provides additional advantages, as well, such as enabling you to visit the Museu Nacional d’Art de Cataluna twice. You also get an audio guide at no additional cost, which can come in handy when viewing the art.
Finally, here is some good advice for you:
● Remember to enjoy the stunning view of Barcelona from the front steps of the museum. It is magnificent … and memorable. You may even wish to enjoy a coffee or light snack at the museum’s open air café while you enjoy the incredible panoramic views.
● Most of the signs that accompany the works of art are written in Catalan. Be sure to carry an audio guide with you so that you can better understand the history behind the art. You may also elect to take a guided tour on your walk through the museum.
● The use of the audio guide can be confusing because it narrates the history and background of selected pieces, but not everything. As such, you need to be attentive so that you can match a special symbol next to the artwork with a corresponding number to make sure that you will fully understand everything you see.
● Photographs are disallowed throughout the museum. However, many visitors take pictures using their mobile phones or their cameras when the guard is out of sight.
● The Oleum Restaurant, located on the museum’s upper level, is open from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. only, Tuesdays through Sundays. While somewhat expensive, it affords diners magnificent views of Barcelona and, as such, may be worth a visit.
● Try to avoid arriving at the museum in the early morning hours. That is when it is most crowded with numerous school tours.
From the 11th century all the way up to the present, the magnificent National Museum of Art of Catalonia presents more than 1,000 years of the very finest in Spanish and European art from many of the world’s great masters — all in one incredible museum. It is the one trip you must make during your stay in Barcelona.
Start your personal sightseeing tour in Ciutat Vella.
Cuitat Vella, Barcelona’s “old town” is right in the middle of the city … a perfect starting place to begin your personal tour. This area, which long ago was separated from Barcelona’s other villages by ancient Roman walls, includes four districts (Barrio Gotico, Raval, El Borne and Barceloneta), each of which includes sights worth visiting.
Make Barrio Gotico your first stop. Considered to be the most heavily Gothic area on the European continent, it is also the oldest part of Barcelona, an intriguing and dense maze of shops, cafes, open and inviting squares and buildings dating back several hundred years, many of which were actually constructed over a two hundred year period between the 13th and 15th century. Interestingly and amazingly, many of these buildings remain surprisingly intact … a wonder to see. Barrio Gotico is flush with many interesting sights that need to be seen. These include …
Catedral de la Seu - this ancient cathedral is one of the most impressive and very best examples of Catalan Gothic architecture.
Plaza del Rei (Royal Square) - dating back hundreds of years to medieval times, this charming, “must-see” square is a true architectural wonder.
Conjunt Monumental de la Place del Rei - here, in the heart of Ciutat Vella, is the museum that artfully and completely recounts Barcelona’s long and fascinating history. A walk through this remarkable museum will give you access to the most extensive collection of underground Roman ruins available anywhere in Europe.
Plaza de Sant Jaume - here, for your personal enjoyment, is one of the grandest and most magnificent squares in all of Barcelona – home to the Palau de Generalitat (Cataluna’s stately Government Palace) and Casa de la Ciutat (the Ajuntament de Barcelona, also known as Barcelona Town Hall).
Museu de Calçat - If you’ve never been to a “shoe museum,” this is one stop you can’t afford to pass up. It’s fascinating, unusual, different and totally enjoyable.
Take A Break …
Stop and Enjoy Las Ramblas.
Your personal tour should lead you directly to the tree-lined tourist mecca of Las Ramblas, a very pleasant part of town that stretches all the way down to Barcelona’s trendy harbor from the Plaza Cataluna.
This is the perfect time to take a break at an outdoor café and enjoy the passing pedestrian scene as you sip a coffee or eat a light lunch. But, don’t sit too long. You still have lots to do and see … beginning with your next destination – Raval.
Many locals think of Raval as the real Barcelona. You can decide when you get there … because you will find much to see and do. For instance, in Raval, you can visit …
MACBA (Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum) and CCCB (Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Center) … this is “heaven-on-earth” for those who love and appreciate the best in contemporary and avant-garde art. And you can make both stops in a single visit.
Gothic Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu - Gothic architecture is dominant in many parts of Barcelona. And this is one of the most stunning and noteworthy examples of this unique architectural art form.
Here, in Raval, you will also be able to see the spectacular and visually-splendid Palau Guell, one of Antonio Gaudi’s earliest works. It is located in a prominent position for all to see on Nou de la Rambla Street. Don’t miss it.
Make El Borne (La Ribera) your next stop. This district, which also dates back to medieval times, and once extended almost to Barcelona’s harbor, features many sights worth seeing, such as:
Santa Caterina Market - built way back in 1848, renovated and renewed in the 1990s, it is a huge fresh produce market and a fun and fascinating destination for every visitor to the city. What is particularly noteworthy about Santa Caterina Market is that the archaeological remains of the ancient Santa Caterina convent were discovered here when renewal took place in the 1990s. This was a very important archaeological discovery.
Museo Picasso - Barcelona’s most visited art museum and home of one of its very best art collections features some of Picasso’s very best works. You won’t want to miss it.
Parc de Ciutadella - tucked away from the hustle and bustle of El Borne, the Park offers a green respite and a pleasant retreat from the rigors of sightseeing. There is a lot to do and see – and enjoy – for the entire family, especially the children.
Santa Maria del Mar - after you leave the park, stop at church. But, keep this in mind: it’s not just any church. In fact, Santa Maria del Mar is probably the most beautiful Gothic church in all of Barcelona. Your visit there will be memorable.
Believe it or not, there are still many sights to see in Ciutat Vella. Continue your walking tour with a stopover at Barcelona’s beautiful port area.
The beneficiary of a major renovation project in the 1990s, the port today is trendy and features museums and activities that make it especially fun to visit for children. It also gives you an insight into the city’s long and proud maritime history. There are many sights worth seeing. These include:
L’Aquarium - a magnificent water-borne museum for oceanic mammals and sea life, it is also one of the world’s most important Mediterranean-themed aquariums.
Museu d’Historia de Cataluna - stop here and take a fascinating tour back through Cataluña’s long and interesting history.
Museu Maritim - this is one of the city’s finest museums … and it’s where you will learn all about Barcelona’s nautical history.
Platja de Barceloneta - if you enjoy sun, surf and sand, you won’t have to go far to find it. Barcelona’s most popular – and populous - -beach is within easy walking distance of all major hotels and vacation apartments.
Barcelona has often enjoyed spurts of heavy architectural development throughout its long history. Excellent examples of this can be found in Eixample district.
As you begin to leave Ciutat Vella and venture inland, you are likely to encounter the incredible Sagrada Familia, Antonio Gaudi’s magnificent and memorable unfinished church. One of the most extraordinary sights in all of Barcelona, it must be seen to be appreciated.
It’s time to move on to Montjuic.
Nicknamed “the mount of museums,” Montjuic is well-known for its many sport complexes (built expressly for the 1992 Olympic Games), its exhibition pavilions, its trade halls and its spectacular gardens (which were planted for the 1929 Universal Exhibition). There is so much to see and do here, you will need to set aside an entire day just to explore and enjoy. Here are the main sights:
MNAC - this is the National Musuem of Art of Cataluna and it is where you will find truly outstanding exhibits and examples of Roman and Gothic Cataluña art.
Fundacio Joan Miro - Spain’s “other” 20th century titan of the art world, and a Cataluña “favorite son” is well represented here with an unrivalled collection of many of his finest works of art.
Poble Espanol - Spain’s remarkable architectural achievements are well represented in this enjoyable open air museum. Visitors will also enjoy the museum’s craft workshops.
L’Anella Olimpica - Barcelona proudly hosted the 1992 Summer Olympic Games and this site is the historical reminder of that unforgettable event.
Jardin Botanic - stop here for a pleasant, relaxing - and visually stunning – break from the day’s sightseeing. It’s a welcome respite.
If you think you’re finished … you’re not.
Estadi Camp Nou - this is the modern stadium of Barcelona’s world-class football (soccer) club – Barça - and a must-see for those who enjoy the game. Located in Les Corts and no more than 20 minutes from downtown Barcelona, the stadium is one of the largest in Europe.
Parc Guell - far from downtown Barcelona, but well worth the trip, this playful, fairy-tale park, situated on a large tract of land, is one of Antonio Gaudi’s best-loved and finest contributions to Barcelona and its people. It’s magnificent and a wonderful place for parents and children. Plus, visitors can take the time to buy traditional Catalan souvenirs at very affordable prices.
There are many more sightseeing treasures located in and around Barcelona, something to please every taste. All you need to do is decide what you like …. then arrange to go and see it.
From historical museums to art museums … Roman ruins to Gothic churches … open air squares to fun-filled theme parks – Barcelona is a sightseer’s dream destination. Come here … visit our best sites … enjoy. It’s definitely worth the trip.