The Picasso Museum in Barcelona is well worth a visit, both for the building itself, with its gothic architecture, and for the impressive collection which it contains, offering a great way to (re)discover the work of a truly remarkable artist.
In the heart of the Born quarter, the Barcelona Picasso Museum, inaugurated on 9th March 1963, occupies five large and prestigious town houses along the carrer de Montcada. Dating from the 13th and 15th centuries, the buildings provide an excellent example of the Catalan gothic style.
The origins of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona
The Picasso Museum, brainchild of the artist’s personal secretary and friend, Jaime Sabartés, takes a chronological approach to Picasso’s life and work.
Picasso himself wanted the museum to be located in Barcelona, where he arrived at the age of 14 to study fine art: the city always held a special place in his heart.
The permanent collection of the Picasso museum in Barcelona
The museum houses over 3500 original works. Some, taken from the artist’s personal collection, are not widely known. The museum holds the largest collection of work from the artist’s formative years anywhere in the world.
Portraits of Picasso’s father, which he painted at the tender age of 15, demonstrate a prodigious talent. Other key pictures, marking important steps in Picasso’s artistic life, such as Science and Charity (1896), are based on surprisingly conventional and religious themes, showing a very different side of the artist to that which is generally seen.
Whether or not you’re a fan of cubism, you’re bound to be impressed by the Las Meninas series: 48 artworks derived from Picasso’s analysis of a work by Velazquez. This part of the museum is almost certain to be the busiest. During our visit, we overheard groups of complete strangers discussing Picasso’s various interpretations of the original work.
Guided visit of the Picasso Museum and the gothic quarter in English
Fascinating guided visits of Picasso’s favourite haunts and of key pieces in the collection are also available in English: see our article on the subject for further details.
Ticket prices for the Picasso Museum in Barcelona
Picasso Museum opening times
- Open Mondays 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday, 9am – 7pm, with late night opening on Thursdays until 9.30pm.
- Closed on the following public holidays: 1st January, 1st May, 24th June and 25th December.
Best time to go
- The Picasso Museum is always busy, but it tends to be quieter first thing and in the evening (allow around 90 minutes to visit).
- Photography of the artworks is strictly prohibited, and visitors are requested to turn off all mobile phones before entering the exhibition spaces.
- The Picasso Museum is fully accessible, with a lift available on request (simply ask at reception). It’s also possible to borrow a wheelchair for the duration of your visit.
- Top tip: entry to the Picasso Museum is free on the first Sunday of the month, and every Thursday from 7.30-9pm.
- Watch out! You may have to reserve a schedule to enter for free. Look carefully at the conditions (may vary depending on the season), you can check them on their website.