Free museums in Barcelona or culture on a shoestring

Pauline
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Article updated 24 August, 2017. 0 comments

With a little organisation it is entirely possible to see heaps of museums for free in Barcelona. Read on to find out which ones!

free museums Barcelona

Many museums in Barcelona allow free access to their collections, which is a good way to see as much as possible without making a hole in your budget. There is really no excuse for missing out! 😉

Permanently free museums

Arts

  • Palau Robert: located in a magnificent building dating from the end of the 19th Century, the Palau Robert organises temporary free exhibitions. Go and see them after a stroll down the Passeig de Gràcia, and relax in the gardens. Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm and Sundays and holidays from 10am to 2:30pm. Passeig de Gràcia 107, metro Diagonal (L3 or L5).
  • Palau de la Virreina: for all you very visual people this space dedicated to photography and audiovisual art is heaven. Open Tuesday to Sunday and holidays from 12pm to 8pm. La Rambla 99, metro Liceu (L3).
  • Santa Monica art centre: designed as a multidisciplinary platform, the Santa Monica Art centre welcomes temporary exhibitions on scenic and visual arts, advertising, architecture, design etc. Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 9pm, Sunday and holidays 11am to 5pm. Closed Monday. La Rambla 7, metro Plaça Catalunya (L1, L3, L6, L7).
  • Another way to keep your finger on Barcelona’s artistic pulse is to visit the contemporary art galleries: as well as having free access they show works that you won’t find in the museums. You can find a list of Barcelona art galleries at artbarcelona.es (column “galleries”).

History

  • Barcelona History Museum: Access to the museum’s central building is not free, but you can freely enter some of the museum’s annexes. For example, the Augustus temple, dating from the Roman era. Open Monday 10am to 2pm, Tuesday and Saturday 10am to 7pm and Sunday 10am to 8pm. El Call, a space that retraces the medieval history of the Jewish community in Barcelona is also free. It’s open Tuesday and Friday 11am to 2pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 7pm.
  • Museum of Catalan History: In a magnificent building dating from the end of the 19th Century, the Museum of Catalan History takes you on a journey through the region’s history from prehistory to the present day. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 2:30pm. Closed holiday Mondays, 25th and 26th of December and the 1st and 6th of January.
  • Born cultural centre: Here it is 18th century Barcelona that’s on show. We can also see Roman vestiges discovered under the building during its renovation. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 8pm. Plaça Comercial 12, metro Jaume I (L4).

Quirky museums

If you like to get off the beaten track then Barcelona has plenty of unusual places for you to visit. And these are not museums that follow the rules.

  • Bagués-Masriera museum: hidden in a luxury hotel on the Ramblas this little museum exhibits Catalan Art Nouveau jewelry from between 1900 and 1925. It’s a chance to discover another facet of the most marked artistic movement in Barcelona. There are tours Monday to Fridat at 1pm or on demand by calling  (+34)933435000. La Rambla 105, metro Liceu (L3).
  • Barcelona museum of funeral coaches: more than a morbid tour, the museum of funeral coaches takes us back to beautiful carriages of the 16th Century. It is located beside Montjuïc cemetery, and is known as a tourist site much like the Père Lachaise in Paris. Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 2pm. Guided tour Saturday at 11am. Carrer Joan d’Austria 130, bus 21 or Montjuïc funicular.

Museums free one day of the week

Catalan National Art Museum

The Catalan National Art Museum (MNAC) houses a great collection of exceptional paintings and sculptures and offers a beautiful view of the Plaça Espanya. It is free every Saturday from 3pm, as well as the first Sunday of every month and the 11th and 24th of September.

Museums free on Sundays

Many museums are free on Sundays from 3pm: the CCCB, the design museum, Montjuïc castle, some spaces in the city’s history museum or the natural science museum, the maritime museum  and the Frederic Marès museum.

Take a look at our article Museum top tips: free tours on Sunday afternoons.

  • All of the museums that are free on Sunday afternoon also have free entry all day on the first Sunday of every month.

Museums free one day of the year: museum night

Generally, museum night takes place the weekend closest to the 18th of May, international museum day.

More than 60 museums open their doors to the public for free for just one night. From 7pm to 1am you can see the museums from a different perspective 🙂

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About the author

Pauline

Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?