Yes, you read that right! This is a blog post about ALL the free museums in Barcelona. Or, I tell you the time when you can visit a specific museum for free. Because I know that visiting Barcelona can be quite expensive. But it does not have to be. Don’t worry, I got you! And let me tell you a secret: Many museums in Barcelona offer free entry on Sundays. So if you thought that you might run out of ideas about what to do in Barcelona, this blog post is also for you!
This post is part of my Barcelona blog post series. Other posts that could interest you are:
Let’s do a self-guided walking tour of Barcelona!
Explore Barcelona on foot! With this self-guided walking tour in Barcelona, you can see the most important parts of Barcelona in only one afternoon. And it includes a map with the itinerary of the walking tour you can download.
Two-day itinerary for visiting Barcelona
This is the perfect itinerary for visiting Barcelona in two days. Find out what the best places are to stay in Barcelona, what to do there, and the best places you have to see. And of course, visit Gaudí buildings!
Bucket List for visiting Barcelona: 20 Things you have to do!
Here is a Barcelona Bucket List with 20 ideas of what you can do in Barcelona when you visit the city for the first time. This list includes fun activities in Barcelona, museums, monuments, and food places.
Barcelona Neighbourhood Map + best places to stay
At first, I was struggling to distinguish all neighborhoods whenever I was visiting. In case you feel the same, here is a Barcelona neighborhood map you can download. This post also includes all the famous monuments you need to visit. Check it out!
Let’s start: Here are 20 museums in Barcelona you can visit for free!
Take a look at Picasso’s artwork from his early years at the Picasso Museum
Listen up, art fans! The Pablo Picasso Museum in Barcelona owns the biggest art collection by Picasso worldwide. It shows more than 3000 artworks by Spanish artists, mostly from his earlier years.
After the museum opened to the public in 1964, Picasso himself gifted many pieces to the museum. The museum tries to show how Picasso’s style changed over the years. And it also focuses on his relationship to Barcelona. Did you know Picasso went to the art school Escola de Llotja close to the Picasso museum when he was a teenager?
Free Entrance: You can visit the museum for free on the first Sunday of the month & Thursdays from 4 pm to 7 pm. You need to pre-book your free ticket!
Visit Barcelona’s Design Museum and admire it from the inside & the outside
The Barcelona Design Museum is located in the modern district of Poble Nou. If you are looking for a museum and pass by a building where you think “What a funky building!”, then you arrived at the right place.
This museum owns an outstanding collection of decorative arts, ceramics, textile, and fashion pieces. Even vintage furniture is exhibited in this museum! The Design Museum also has always changing temporary exhibitions you can check out. You can find the current exhibitions here.
Free Entrance: Sundays after 3 pm & the first Sunday of the month.
Explore Palau Güell, one of Antoní Gaudí’s creations
I hope you enjoy visiting Gaudí buildings just as much as I do. And here is another one you can tick off from your bucket list: Palau Güell. This mansion is one of the lesser-known works of Gaudí but just as impressive.
Businessman Eusebi Güell hired Gaudí to build him a mansion not far away from his parent’s house. By the way, building a mansion like that in the area of La Rambla was very questionable. That area was famous for its nightlife full of strip clubs and gambling halls. A house like that in the district of the poor? Crazy!
This mansion served the purpose of entertaining and impressing Güell’s high society guests. And I am sure they were. The great thing about this place is that you can explore everything, from the basement to the rooftop. Look how the light falls through the roof! So beautiful.
Free Entrance: Only the first Sunday of the month. You have to book your free ticket before going.
Explore old ruins in the City History Museum in Barcelona
The Museu d ‘Història de la Ciutat (MUHBA) is located in the Palau Padellás in the Gothic Quarter. This beautiful building was brought stone by stone from the Carrer de Mercaders to Plaça del Rei in 1931 so that it would not be destroyed by a construction site.
The new location gave the people in Barcelona an interesting surprise: The ruins of the largest Roman settlement in Europe. From a town called Barcino, what Barcelona was called in Roman times. The museum shows ruins, ceramics, and excavation work. And the excavations are so well preserved! You can find more information here.
Free Entrance: Sundays after 3 pm and the first Sunday of the month
Check out Barcelona’s “Blue museum”: Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona
The Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona is also called “Museu Blau” due to its beautiful blue color. The architecture is just impressive.
Everything started with a big bang! On the inside, it shows us amazing exhibitions about the history of our planet. The exhibitions consist of information about fossils, dinosaurs to animals, fungi, leaves, and plants. I especially recommend this museum for families and children. You can find the museum’s website here.
Free Entrance: Sundays after 3 pm and the first Sunday of the month
Barcelona’s Ethnological Museum & World Cultures Museum
This museum is a merge of the Museum of World Cultures (Carrer Montcada) and the Barcelona Ethnological Museum (Montjuïc).
The Ethnological Museum teaches us about Catalan history. At the same time, it compares it to other cultures worldwide. The main title of the permanent exhibit is “Sentir el patrimoni” (Feel the Legacy). What do they mean by that?
You will find six large objects in the main room (a boat, a wine press, a loom, a blacksmith blower, and an herbal cabinet). Those six objects stand for the six areas each culture has. The whole exhibition is accompanied by multimedia and audiovisual content. In some areas, you can even touch the exhibited objects.
The Museum of World Cultures, on the other hand, focuses on the numerous different cultures we can find on the four other continents – Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania. A very international museum. It is located in the Palau del Marquès de Llió, a gorgeous building from the 13th century. The museum offers more than 30 halls full of information about popular but also quite unknown cultures. An amazing place for children!
Free Entrance: Sundays after 3 pm & the first Sunday of the month. Check here for more information.
Enjoy the Mediterranean Flair at the Botanical Garden of Barcelona
The beautiful botanical garden of Barcelona is located in Montjuïc Park. It shows visitors plants and vegetation from five regions of the world with a Mediterranean climate, which means they have a similar climate to Barcelona. Plus, you have amazing views of all over Barcelona from here.
The botanical garden is a hidden oasis of more than 14 hectares and shows plants from all over the world: from Chile to Australia. The highlight of this garden: A bee hive!
Free Entrance: Entrance is free on Sundays from 3 pm & the first Sunday of the month
Admire Goya’s paintings at Catalonia’s National Art Museum (MNAC)
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is located in the majestic Palau Nacional of Montjuïc. So if you are already planning to visit Montjuïc, make sure to check out this museum as well!
This museum owns an incredible collection of European art, from the Romanesque period to the 20th century. Apart from the impressive art collection by artists like Canalleto or Goya. You can even see furniture and other decorative pieces that the one and only Gaudí designed himself. This museum is one of the largest in Spain, so you can imagine how incredibly huge its collection is. You can find more information here.
Before you leave, do not forget to go up the rooftop terrace. There, you will have amazing views of all over Barcelona.
Free Entrance: Saturday after 3 pm, the first Sunday of every month from 10 am to 3 pm
Find out about the ruins underneath El Born: El Born Cultural & Memorial Centre
El Born Cultural & Memorial Centre was built in the 19th century and originally was a food market. The stunning iron structure is very impressive and definitely catches your eye when you walk past it in Barcelona’s neighborhood El Born.
In 2002, the incredibly well-preserved medieval remains of around 42 streets and 60 houses were found here that belonged to the old Ribera district of Barcelona. This cultural center tells us a story about Barcelona from the 10th to the 16th century. I find these ruins so impressive! Apart from that, even ruins from the Roman Times were found here, too.
Free Entrance: Entrance is free on Sundays from 3 pm & the first Sunday of the month. More information here.
For lovers of modern art: The Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona
The MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona) is located in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona. The building was designed by American architect Richard Meier. Once you are there you will see another thing this building is famous for: The place right in front of it is one of the most popular places for skateboarders in Barcelona.
The permanent collection of the museum shows thousands of contemporary artworks, mainly by Spanish and Catalan artists. If you are a modern art fan, this museum is a MUST! Before you go, check out their exhibitions here to see if there is something you fancy.
Free Entrance: Saturdays from 4 pm to 8 pm
THE place for contemporary art: Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
The CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona) is an culture and art center in Barcelona. It is located right next to the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona (see above).
The program consists of exhibitions, conferences, meetups, and festivals. You can find the current exhibitions here.
Free Entrance: Sundays after 3 pm
Dive into the world of music at the Museum of Music in Barcelona
The Museum of Music in Barcelona is the perfect place for everyone interested in instruments, music and culture. The museum shows hundreds of different instruments and really dives deep into the history of music. And the outcome is the following: You can listen to the Rolling Stones and learn about the instruments they used. And after, you can listen to a sarangi from India. Like taking a musical trip around the world!
By the way, this museum has a remarkable collection of classical guitars. It is considered to be one of the most important collections in the whole world! I honestly think that this is a museum all of us would enjoy going to. Who would not like to learn more about music?
Free Entrance: Sundays after 3 pm, Thursdays after 6 pm & the first Sunday of the month
Visit the Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes, a stunning well-preserved monastery
To me, the Monastery of Santa Maria de Pedralbes is a true hidden gem of Barcelona. Many people do not know about it but it is definitely worth visiting.
This is a monastery from the 14th century and is incredibly well-preserved. It houses its own permanent exhibition with artifacts owned by the monastery. But it also hosts temporary exhibitions from time to time. You can check for updates on their website. The monastery was declared a national monument in 1991. You should definitely check it out!
Free Entrance: Entrance is free on Sundays from 3 pm & the first Sunday of the month
Modern Art in El Raval: Santa Monica Arts Centre
The Santa Monica Arts Center is located in an old Catholic monastery. But now, instead of religion, this place is dedicated to modern art. It is a culture and art center that offers exhibitions of all types of digital arts, like visuals, performing arts, music, new digital formats, science, literature, and even architecture or fashion. Check out the current exhibitions on their website.
It is located right at La Rambla, so if you are close, make sure to check it out.
Free Entrance: Alwaaaaays! 🙂
Explore sailing boats at Barcelona’s Maritime Museum
Another amazing museum where children will have an amazing time in Barcelona’s Maritime Museum! It is located in a majestic building that used to be the Royal Shipyard of Barcelona. The building has an impressive ceiling and if that not is enough you will be left speechless by the museum’s map and ship collection.
Your ticket also includes entry to the ‘Santa Eulália’ sailing vessel. How awesome is that? Make sure to check out the temporary exhibitions as well. This museum is at the top of my current bucket list 🙂
Free Entrance: Every Sunday after 3 pm
Take a deep dive into Barcelona’s history at the Photography Archive of Barcelona
The Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona (Photographic Archive of Barcelona) was created in 1931 and has a collection of more than 2 million photographs. Most of these photographs are related to the city of Barcelona. Many of these images are from the very early days of photography, so a true treasure!
Apart from that, the archive also has laboratories and several rooms they use to store the photographs. They also host temporary exhibitions and other events. You can find more information here.
Free Entrance: Siempre!
Learn about the history of Catalonia at Catalonia’s History Museum
Catalonia’s History Museums is the perfect destination for history lovers. Or anyone that wants to learn more about Barcelona’s or Catalonia’s history from the Roman Empire to the Spanish Civil War in the 20th century. The great thing about this museum is that it’s interactive. So no, not another boring history museum!
Apart from that, it is located in an old warehouse in La Barceloneta. After you leave the museum I recommend having some drinks at the rooftop restaurant “La Brisa”. The views up there are spectacular!
Free Entrance: On the first Sunday of each month from 10 am to 2.30 pm. More information on their website.
Explore a beautiful baroque palace at “La Virreina” Palace
The Palace of “La Virreina” is a beautiful Baroque palace of the 18th century that is used as a culture and art center. This palace features all kinds of contemporary works- from photographs, images, and artworks. And the best part: You can visit it for free every single day! Check their current exhibitions on their website.
Free Entrance: Always!
Check out the Architectural masterpiece: Pavelló Mies Van der Rohe
The Foundation “Mies Van der Rohe” is a reconstruction of the German Pavilion designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition.
Today, the Pavilion is a center for architecture, art, and urban planning. One of the recurrent programs of the foundation are exhibitions, art interventions, publications, and documentaries. If you are interested in modern architecture, you should check this place out. You can find their temporary exhibitions here.
Free Entrance: The first Sunday of every month from 10 am – 8 pm (March-October), from 10 am – 6 pm (November-February).
The Frederic Mares Museum, home to an impressive sculpture collection
The Museu Frederic Marès in Barcelona owns Spain’s most impressive sculpture collection. Frederic Mares was a sculptor that during his life (1893-1991) collected all kinds of sculptures and other expensive objects, decorations, and even toys.
In 1944 he announced that, after his death, he would like to inherit his outstanding collection to the city of Barcelona. And that is how the Frederic Mares Museum was founded. The museum is located in the Palace of the Inquisition in the Gothic quarter. Once you have seen everything in the museum you can take a break at the Café d’Estiu on the interior patio. So relaxing!
Free Entrance: Sundays after 3 pm and the first Sunday of the month.
And those were all 20 museums in Barcelona you can visit for free. Which one was your favorite? I really do recommend visiting the Monastery of Pedralbes. I absolutely loved it here. But while doing my research I found some places myself that I have never been to. I hope you found it helpful!