Barcelona museums | Beyond the Ramblas

Place: Barcelona, Country: Spain
A short guide to Barcelona museums
Text by Federica Lusiardi, inexhibit
Photos: see captions

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The “Museu Maritim” in the “Drassanes Reials”- photo by Inexhibit

Barcelona beyond the Ramblas, a quick guide to Barcelona museums

This short guide presents a selection of museums and exhibition venues in Barcelona from  world-renowned ones to lesser famous cultural centers.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to all museums in Barcelona, but a quick orientation map of this quite diverse and lively city.
We entitled this article “Barcelona beyond the Ramblas” with the aim of inviting travellers going further the most famous institutions and discover other venues that  are equally capable to embody the unique spirit of this fascinating Mediterranean city.

Every museum has been visited, reviewed and described by us.
We also invite you to provide your rating on the listed museums so to help other visitors.

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The Boqueria market main entrance on the Rambla

Barcelona Beyond the Ramblas
Barcelona is plenty of museums and exhibition centers; some are very popular, such as the MACBA and the Fundació Miró; some, like the new Museu Blau or the Museu del Disseny, are less known because recently opened; others, such as the museum of the Pedralbes Monastery and the Museu Maritim, are little hidden gems which truly deserve to be discovered; finally, not everybody knows that monuments such as the Sagrada Familia and the Milà house also house permanent exhibitions.

Most museums are located in the heart of the city; yet, Barcelona does not have an urban district specifically dedicated to museums, like Exhibition Road in London or the Museumsinsel in Berlin. Furthermore, there are important institutions, such as the new Museu Blau or the Cosmocaixa, which are situated at the margins of the city center and cannot be easily reached by foot; happily, Barcelona has an efficient public transports system.
There could be many thematic itineraries across museums in Barcelona: Modernisme (Casa Milà, Sagrada Familia…), Modern and contemporary art (Picasso, Miró, Tàpies, the Macba, the CCCB…), Science (Museu Blau and Cosmocaixa); Art and History (Mnac, Muhba, Monestir de Pedralbes…). Simply restrict your search on our MyMuseum map by typology.
We can also suggest some journeys based on a different approach, by urban zones instead than by argument.

Ciutat vella and Eixample
The Barcelona historical centre, the Ciutat Vella, is quite articulated. There are two areas we particularly suggest. One is the area formed by the Barri Gòtic and the adjacent El Born neighbourhoods that can be easily toured by foot and where museums such as the Museu d’Història de Barcelona and the Museu Picasso are located in a fascinating historical environment. From here, by crossing La Rambla, you reach El Raval, where two of the most important contemporary art centres in Barcelona can be found, the Macba and the CCCB. Walking the rambla up to the waterfront, don’t miss the Museu Maritim, housed in the spectacular Drassanes medieval shipyards. From the Ciutat Vella, at roughly half an hour by foot or few minutes using the underground, don’t miss the Eixample modernist district where also the beautiful Fundació Tàpies and La Pedrera by Gaudì can be visited.

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Top: the MUHBA – Plaça del Rei. Middle: the MACBA museum in the Raval neighorhood and the Fundació Antoni Tàpies; Bottom: the Pedrera by Gaudì; all photos by Inexhibit

Parc de Montjuïc 
Here in an area pivoting around the beautiful Parc de Montjuïc (easily reachable from the underground station Plaça d’Espanya) it is possible to visit, surrounded by stunning architectures also by Jean Nouvel, Santiago Calatrava and Mies Van der Rohe, many great museums: The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, the Joan Miró Foundation, the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya and the Caixaforum temporary exhibition centre.

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Top: The Fundació Miró. Photo by Francis.
Bottom: Caixaforum Barcelona. Photo by Inexhibit

On the edge of the city
Some museums are located in fascinating locations that encircle the centre of Barcelona.
The Museu Monestir de Pedralbes, for example, lies in a calm hill and elegant neighbourhood overlooking Barcelona from north-west. At around three kilometres from Pedralbes and not far from the famous Park Güell and the Agbar tower, it is possible to visit the Museu del Disseny and the Caixaforum science center. Another spectacular museum is the new Museu Blau natural history museum, located near the seafront in the Sant Martì district, north-east of Barcelona’s central area.

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Top: The Monestir de Pedralbes.
Middle: the Museu del Disseny.
Bottom: the Museu Blau.
all photos by Inexhibit

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