Top tip: free museums in Barcelona on Sunday afternoons!
Article updated 25 November, 2019.
It's Sunday afternoon, and you fancy a spot of culture. What to do? Here's the answer - and what's more, it's free!
Sunday from 3pm to 8pm
for a budget-friendly afternoon
Sunday afternoon is the perfect moment for a stroll around a museum, and it’s even better when it’s free! Many museums offer free entry every Sunday from 3pm, and all day long on the first Sunday of the month.
- Note that not all museums participate in free opening. Choose one (or more!) from our list.
Free museums in Barcelona, looking for… history?
Castle of Montjuïc
Perched high on a hill, this fortress offers spectacular views over Barcelona. Wander its passageways and explore the varied temporary exhibitions.
- Where? Carretera de Montjuïc, 66 (take the funicular from the Paral·lel station on line L2)
Barelona History Museum
Plaça del Rei
This museum offers an immersion into ancient Barcelona. The basement of the museum is an archaeological crypt, built over the ruins of the Roman city. Streets, shops, the baths and even houses can be clearly distinguished. Fascinating!
The museum also houses a permanent exhibition on medieval Barcelona.
- Where? Plaça del Rei (métro Jaume I, L4)
The El Call centre belongs to the city’s history museum, and focuses on the history of Barcelona’s Jewish population.
- Where? Placeta Manuel Ribé (métro Liceu, L3)
In a similar vein, the Via sepulcral romana (tombs from the 1st – 3rd centuries) and the Domus de Sant Honorat (a Roman family home) are also free on Sunday afternoons.
Born Cultural Centre
This former market was due to be turned into a library, but important relics of historical Barcelona were uncovered during the conversion process.
The library project was abandoned in favour of a cultural centre, focusing on the history of the Born quarter and 18th Century Barcelona.
- Where? Plaça Comercial 12 (métro Jaume I, L4 or Barceloneta, L4)
Pedralbes Monastery is well worth a visit, not least for its picturesque setting. It’s located off a small square, in a neighbourhood of small, paved streets with a village-y feel.
Inside, visitors can discover the cloisters, cells, a variety of liturgical objects and temporary exhibitions.
- Where? Baixada del Monastir 9 (Bus 22, 63, 64, 75, 78)
Free museums in Barcelona, looking for… art?
Painting, photography and sculpture
Virreina image centre
This gallery houses photographical exhibitions year-round. For more information, see our article on the Palau de la Virreina.
- Top tip: entrance to the gallery is always free.
- Where? La Rambla 99 (métro Liceu, L3)
Frederic Marès Museum
This museum is mostly devoted to sculptures, some created by Frederic Marès, others taken from the artist’s private collection.
The museum also houses a collection of curios, including tens of thousands of 19th Century objects, such as fans, pipes, clocks, jewellery, photos and games.
Design and other arts
Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture (CCCB)
The CCCB is a cultural institution dedicated to the promotion of urban art and culture in all of its forms. Varied and educational, the program of exhibitions includes music, dance, independent and alternative films, drama, etc.
Take time to admire the building, which combines the façade of a former convent with immense glass walls, producing a surprising but harmonious effect in keeping with the theme of the museum.
This museum only opened in late 2014. Housed in an impressive futurist building, it includes several floors of exhibition space covering design in all of its many forms. For more information, see our article on the Design Museum.
The aim of this museum is to show visitors how music has been used across the ages as a means of expression and communication. It includes a notable collection of almost 500 instruments from different eras and cultures.
Free museums in Barcelona, looking for… a brush with nature?
Natural History Museum
Only two of the museum’s four centres offer free entry on Sunday afternoons: the botanical gardens and the Museu Blau (Blue Museum).
The botanical gardens
Set in the hills of Montjuïc, the botanical gardens play host to a wide variety of mediterranean plants and flowers. The best time to visit is in Spring.
The Museu Blau
Set over more than 9,000 square metres, the Museu Blau holds over three million exhibits. Mineralogy, petrology, paleontology, zoology and botany are all represented.
The common bond? All of these exhibits reflect the natural history of Catalonia.
Barcelona’s Maritime Museum is housed in a 13th Century Gothic edifice. Under its vaulted ceilings, you’ll find replicas of different vessels from across the ages. Very interesting!
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