Museum of world cultures: a fascinating dive into ancient civilisations
Article updated 25 November, 2019.
If you tend to get excited about ancient civilisations, then the Museum of World Cultures will be right up your street. This way for the tour!
metro: Jaume I (L4)
Sunday and holidays 10am to 8pm
Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am to 7pm
€3.50 reduced price
€5 full price
for its rich collection
After the inauguration of the Design museum in December 2014, the Museum of World Cultures, located in a magnificent medieval palace in the historic Born area opposite the Picasso museum, opened its doors! If you have time, and you’re interested in ancient civilisations, then add it to your Barcelona to-do list!
Presentation of the museum of World Cultures
The collections of the Museum of World Cultures come from two principal sources:
- 30,000 African, Asian, American and Oceanian works of the Ethnological museum of Barcelona
- Works granted to the city of Barcelona for a period of 20 years by the Folch Foundation.
The Ethnological Museum of Barcelona, created in 1949, presented objects that most notably came from the Philippines pavilion of the 1888 World Expo. It provided a view of both the daily life and the grandeur of many since-disappeared civilisations.
The Folch Foundation was born in 1975 with the aim of managing the artworks collected by Albert Folch during his world travels, and his acquisitions from large international art galleries.
The collections of the Museum of World Cultures
The permanent collection
The collections of the Ethnological museum and the Folch Foundation are today gathered under one roof in order to preserve and disseminate this non-Western heritage. At the Museum of World Cultures you can therefore discover the cultural diversity of peoples from Africa, Asia, America and the Pacific ocean.
The museum highlights this diversity by exhibiting pieces from war, ceremonies, funerary art, religious art…
Spread over three levels, your visit starts with Africa and then takes you to Oceania and Asia before ending in America. On your route you encounter tribes, learn about their rituals and admire their art. It’s truly fascinating!
The Museum of World Cultures, an interactive experience
Explanations for each work are available in Spanish, Catalan and English and almost all the rooms have touch screens with longer explanations, photos and videos.
One room of the museum is completely dedicated to interactive experiences. You can choose a part of the world and find out more about its language, cooking (take notes, there are detailed recipes!), music or even its writing. Only a few countries are currently available but it’s still a great experience.
Free Mobile App
Before visiting the Museum of World Cultures, remember to download the official app: MCMB. It is currently only available for the latest versions of iOS and Android, but if you are up to date then there are a lot of advantages to be gained.
The (free) MCMB app is basically an audio guide and allows you to listen to explanations in English of the principal works in he collection. It offers 4 routes: 1 short for the general public (45 minutes), 1 long for the general public (90 minutes), 1 short for seeing or hearing impaired people (45 minutes) and 1 long for seeing or hearing impaired people (90 minutes).
Opening hours of the Museum of World Cultures
- Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 7pm
- Sunday and holidays 10am to 8pm
- Closed non-holiday Mondays
- Closed the 1st of January, 1st of May, 24th of June and 25th of December.
Price of the museum of world cultures
- Full price €5
- Reduced price €3.50: 16-29 years old, over 65s, families (minimum one child under 16 and maximum 2 accompanying adults including mother, father or guardian), holders of a large family card or single parent family card, or holders of a Barcelona library or BCN Cultural card.
- 20% reduction if you hold onto your Tourist bus ticket
- Every first Sunday of the month from 10am to 8pm
- Every Sunday from 3pm to 8pm
- Under 16s
- Members of the International Council of Museums
- Holders of a Barcelona Card
- The Museum of World Cultures is totally accessible to people with reduced mobility.
- Specific aids and tactile resources are available for people with hearing, visual or motor difficulties
- Wheelchairs are available at the entrance.
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