Barcelona maritime museum: a look at life on the sea

Pauline
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Article updated 10 May, 2017. 0 comments

Are you fascinated by all nautical things? Then you'll love the Barcelona maritime museum. All aboard!

Maritime museum galley
Where?

Av. de les Drassanes s/n
metro: Drassanes (L3)
Raval

When?

see opening hours at end of article

How much?

ful price 7 euros
reduced price 3.50 euros

Why?

for the quality of the exhibitions

With its 5 kilometres of beach and its various ports, Barcelona is undeniably a sea-centred city. So it makes sense that the city dedicates a museum to sea life. Full, considered and fun, it is a great visit for children and sea lovers alike.

Fun exhibitions at the maritime museum

The vestibule

At the maritime museum, you don’t even need to enter the exhibition rooms to start your tour, as it starts in the entrance hall, where the vestibule houses models of boats, and touch screens for an interactive experience.

  • As this exhibition is in the entrance hall it’s free.

The exhibition rooms

diving suit maritime museum

The little exhibition in the entrance has nothing on those in the exhibition rooms, all three of which are very well set out and touch on all aspects of sea life: navigation, pirates, vikings, the Antarctic, the ocean, underwater photography, Mediterranean life…

The exhibitions at the maritime museum contain a lot of explanations in Catalan, Spanish and English, but the installations are fun and comprehensible even without them.

model maritime museum

Exhibition of period boats in the Royal Arsenal

The permanent exhibition of period boats is without a doubt one of the highlights of the museum, and it’s as impressive as it is educational.

The Royal Arsenal

The Royal Arsenal, which now houses part of the maritime museum, was designed for building and repairing the war flotilla of the Crown of Aragon towards the end of the 13th Century. It has since been remodeled multiple times and in the 18th century adopted the architectonic structure for which it is known today.

It was also in the 18th Century that the fabrication and maintenance of the galleys were transferred to Cartagena. The arsenal then changed to a military function: storing canons, barracks, officers quarters and stocking artillery…In 1935, the army handed over the management of the installations to the city who transformed the whole ensemble into museums in 1941. But it wasn’t until 1985 that it became the Barcelona maritime museum.

The royal arsenal of Barcelona is registered in the historical, artistic and scientific heritage of Catalonia since 1937. The whole lot was declared a historic-artistic monument by the Spanish government in 1976.

boat maritime museum

The impressive boat exhibition

There are many period boats exhibited in the royal arsenal, including an immense and extremely impressive galley. Be careful not to strain your neck taking in its full height…

At its sides are restored sails and other little boats. What is great is that you can walk along the boats and see them in their full detail!

Santa Eulàlia Pavilion, a museum boat moored at Barcelona port

The last part of the museum is located in the port of Barcelona. It is a large sailboat typical of the type that sailed the Western coasts of the Mediterranean many decades ago.

maritime museum santa eulalia pavilion

You just have to walk around 5 minutes to reach the Santa Eulàlia Pavilion.

  • Do not lose your museum ticket as this is what allows you access to the sailboat.

You can then visit the bridges, the sleeping quarters the hold (be careful of sea sickness!)…Although the ship is not very big it’s a very interesting tour and quite educational. It was restored in 1998 by the museum, which tried to conserve as many original parts as possible.

Don’t forget to download a QR code reading app on our smartphone, as there are many codes spread around the boat and when you scan them they give you information about the pavilion.

helm maritime museum

Useful information

Maritime museum prices

  • Free entry for under 17s, every Sunday from 3pm, the 24th of September and international museum day.
  • Full price museum + Santa Eulàlia museum: €8
  • Reduced price museum + Santa Eulàlia museum: €3.50
  • Full price Santa Eulàlia pavilion: €3
  • Reduced price Santa Eulàlia: €1

Reduced price: students under 25 on presentation of a student card, over 65s, holders of a Barcelona library card, and students over 29 on presentation of a Carnet Jove.

Maritime museum opening hours

Museum:

  • Monday to Sunday from 10am to 8pm (last entry 7:30pm)
  • Closed the 25th and 26th of December, and the 1st and 6th of January.

Santa Eulàlia pavilion:

  • Summer opening hours (from 26th of March): Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 8:30pm. Closed Monday.
  • Winter opening hours (until 25th of March): Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5:30pm. Closed Monday.
  • The pavilion sails every Saturday from 10am to 1pm. If you want to be on board, book your place by writing to reserves.mmaritim@diba.cat 

Accessibility of the maritime museum

The Barcelona maritime museum has made accessibility a priority:

  • The building is accessible to people with reduced mobility
  • The tactile models of the royal arsenal are available to visitors.
  • Exhibitions include information in braille
  • The museum has two wheelchairs in case they are needed.

Enjoy your visit!

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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?