One of the most beautiful cities in the world has endless spoils to offer for every holiday explorer who visits its shores. A popular choice for travelers on the list of things to do is an excursion around the city to appreciate the finest art in Barcelona.
In this post, we share the best art galleries and museums in Barcelona – all of which are among the top Barcelona attractions. Avid art lovers and novices curious to learn more will enjoy an enriching experience at any of these world-class art spaces.
Art Galleries in Barcelona
In Barcelona, you’ll find captivating artworks in some of Spain’s most visited art galleries. Diverse contemporary displays showcase the best of modern art in Barcelona. Take your pick from five of the most notable in the city.
Marlborough Gallery belongs to a larger family of galleries with its base in London and branches in Tokyo, Chile, and New York (to name a few). The Marlborough art gallery in Barcelona was opened in 2006.
Marlborough is famous for its cutting-edge collection, inspiring a modern approach to artistic expression in various forms.
Fun Fact: Marlborough Gallery was the first to showcase German Expressionists in its founding space in London in the 1950s.
At ProjectSD, you’ll appreciate the provocative exhibitions of artists such as Silvia Dauder, Asier Mendizábal, Pieter Vermeersch, and Patricia Dauder. This lovely art gallery in Passatge de Mercader celebrates the works of upcoming local talent and international artists.
ProjectSD also goes out of its way to foster innovative collaborations between young, up-and-coming artists and established art professionals.
Note: Stroll through the gallery’s impressive exclusive collection of artists’ books and learn more about the personal stories of the geniuses behind the art.
Headed by Carlos Duran and Chus Roig, the Senda Gallery has an eclectic collection of works from the brightest young artists. Also featuring exhibitions from national and international names, the gallery prides itself in representing multiple artistic languages.
The gallery is on Trafalgar Street in Barcelona, a trendy street with many great shops and cafés. With a lot of quaint spots to explore, a visit to this particular gallery is well worth the trip. The added perk is that it’s a free activity to do in Barcelona.
Galeria Joan Prats
Regarded as one of the pioneering spaces for contemporary art in Spain, Joan Prats Gallery enjoys a strong reputation for its collection of multiple artistic disciplines. The gallery has been part of Art Basel, Arco, and Art Basel-Miami Beach art fairs since 1976.
The riveting artworks of artists such as Teresa Solar Abboud, Ràfols Casamada, Carles Congost, Luis Gordillo, Perejaume, and Juliao Sarmento are on display at Joan Prats.
Fun Fact: Joan Prats, a close friend of famous painter Joan Miró, was a respected Catalan art promoter. He curated exhibitions for artists such as Picasso, Calder, Dalí, and of course, Miró.
ADN provides a vibrant space for politically conscious artists to make a social commentary and showcase their contributions in a stylish artistic setting. You can expect to find the dynamic works of artists such as Carlos Aires, Núria GüellEugenio Merino, and a well-known group called the Democracia.
Socio-politically active young artists are especially welcomed at ADN. Often, visitors can also attend special talks and performances aimed at uncovering (and debating) the links between society and art.
Art Museums in Barcelona
Barcelona’s art museums are among the most culturally and historically rich in Europe. Learn more about just five of the most famous museums in Barcelona.
Admission: €7 – €12 ($7,48 – $12,82) but free on the first Sunday of the month
Unsurprisingly, the Picasso Museum is Barcelona’s most visited museum. And that’s because it houses the world’s most extensive collection of Picasso’s artwork. A trip to this national landmark needs to top your list of things to do in Barcelona.
View the art pioneer’s works in chronological order. You’ll be able to map his journey through the years and get an insight into the development of his artistic genius.
Fun Fact: It is recorded that the Picasso Museum sees over 1 million visitors a year. Remarkable, right? This space is a must-see for all admirers of Picasso, with nearly 4,000 pieces on display.
Quick Tip: As the most famous museum in Barcelona, queues are often extremely long in the mornings. I suggest visiting at lunchtime or before closing time.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
Admission: €12 ($12,82) general but free on the first Sunday of the month
The National Art Museum of Catalonia in Montjuïc charts the evolutionary journey of Catalan art from the 12th to the 20th century. Famous collections include Romanesque 10th-century murals, a Modernista collection unique to the Catalan region, and an intriguing Gothic collection.
Here, you’ll also find Renaissance and Baroque artefacts and artworks. MNAC is home to the largest Catalonian art collection in Spain.
What You’ll Love: At the top of this former castle, you’ll get access to a platform that allows you to enjoy breathtaking city views.
Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)
Admission: €6 – €11 ($6,41 – $11,75) but free on Saturdays from 4 pm to 8 pm
The work of outstanding late 20th-century painters is most prominent at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art in the El Raval neighborhood. Visit MACBA to appreciate the city’s beautiful contemporary art.
Beyond celebrating Catalonian and Spanish artists, this space is also made for international works. Like most museums, MACBA tickets are also offered at a discounted range.
Quick Tip: Exhibitions are changed every quarter. Stay up-to-date with upcoming displays by checking the museum’s website. Museum passes are also available.
Fundació Joan Miró
Admission: €7 – €14 ($7,48 – $14,96)
Joan Miró Museum, one of the best art museums in Barcelona, pays homage to beloved Spanish painter, ceramicist, and sculptor Joan Miró. His art collection includes works that date back as early as 1914.
My favorite part of visiting this museum was the outdoor sculpture gallery, set amid Parc de Montjuïc’s natural surroundings.
Fun Fact: One of Miró’s closest friends, Josep Lluís Sert, designed the museum. The museum is lauded as one of the most stunning architectural buildings in the world.
Admission: €4 ($4,27) general
At La CaixaForum Museum, an impressive collection of cool contemporary art awaits you. The temporary exhibitions are also a major draw-card for visitors.
The building is an ode to industrial Catalan modernism because it is a renovated textile and yarn factory with a century-long history. I took great delight in the enchanting walkways and terraces upon my visit.
Fun Fact: The museum is run by La Caixa and Banco Santander banks as part of their contribution to the Spanish culture and art scene today.
Barcelona Art Galleries: Wrapped Up
With that quick snapshot of our recommended art galleries and museums in Barcelona, a fulfilling Spanish cultural experience is up for grabs during your next Catalan trip.
Squeeze in an art adventure while seeing Barcelona in a day, and we guarantee you’ll leave feeling inspired!