Art & Culture

The best theatre, art exhibitions, comedy and cabaret in Barcelona

Top art exhibitions right now
Art

Top art exhibitions right now

Art exhibitions you won't want to miss in Barcelona's museums and galleries

Masterpieces at the CaixaForum
Art

Masterpieces at the CaixaForum

Get to know works of art that help form the character of the CaixaForum

Quirky museums
Museums

Quirky museums

Find curiosities and oddities in museums to fascinate and intrigue

Gaudí Barcelona
Art

Gaudí Barcelona

See the modernisme king's unique style in these architectural wonders

10 top museums outside Barcelona
Art

10 top museums outside Barcelona

Take a break from the city and visit amazing museums just a few kilometers from Barcelona

Critics' choice • Essential museums

Fundació Joan Miró

Fundació Joan Miró

Josep Lluís Sert designed one of the greatest museum buildings in the world. Designed specifically for his friend Joan Miró, it beautifully intertwines art and architecture. Approachable, light and airy, these white walls and arches house a massive art collection, including all of Miró's graphic work. It also houses the Joaquim Gomis Archive that includes 70,000 photos and documents that give a glimpse into Miró's process as well as a library and several temporary exhibitions. It's a magnificent stop in Parc de Montjuïc.

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Museu Picasso

Museu Picasso

The permanent collection of some 3,800 pieces has now been spread across five adjoining palaces, two of which are devoted to temporary exhibitions. The Picasso Museum is mainly a record of the vital formative years that the young artist spent nearby at La Llotja art school, and later hanging out with Catalonia's fin-de-siècle avant-garde. The seamless presentation of Picasso's development from 1890 to 1904, from deft pre-adolescent portraits to sketchy landscapes to the intense innovations of his Blue Period, is unbeatable, and then it leaps to a gallery of mature Cubist paintings from 1917. Queues can be punishingly long; visit at lunch or shortly before the last entry. You can also buy your tickets online and avoid the queues.

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MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani

MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani

If you're used to being soft-soaped by eager-to-please art centres, you'll have to adjust to the cryptic minimalism of the MACBA, where art is taken very seriously indeed. Yet if you can navigate the fridge-like interior of Richard Meier's enormous edifice, accept that much of the permanent collection is inaccessible to the uninitiated, tackle shows that flutter between the brilliant and baffling, and, most important, are prepared to do your reading, a trip to the MACBA can be extremely rewarding.

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MNAC: Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

MNAC: Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

'One museum, a thousand years of art' is the slogan of the National Museum, and the collection provides a dizzying overview of Catalan art from the 12th to the 20th centuries. The highlight is the Romanesque collection. As art historians realised that scores of solitary tenth-century churches in the Pyrenees were falling into ruin – and with them, extraordinary Romanesque murals that had served to instruct villagers in the basics of the faith – the murals were 'rescued'. There is also a fantastic gothic collection that features carvings and painting by Catalan masters Bernat Martorell and Jaume Huguet. Also be sure to see their uniquely Catalan, Modernista collection that includes both paintings and furniture. 

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Fundació Antoni Tàpies
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Fundació Antoni Tàpies

You can recognise this building by its tangled crown of aluminium piping and metal netting. The museum combines the organisation of temporary exhibitions, symposia, lectures and film sessions with the activities and periodic shows of Antoni Tàpies’s work. The Fundació owns one of the most complete collections of the artist’s work, mostly made up of donations by Antoni and Teresa Tàpies. Arguably Barcelona's most celebrated living artist, Tàpies gained popularity in the 1950s by incorporating waste paper, mud and rags into his paintings, eventually moving on to the point where his works included whole pieces of furniture, running water and girders. Today, his trademark scribbled and paint-daubed pieces are sought after for everything from wine bottle labels to theatre posters.

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Attractions

Basílica de la Sagrada Família
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Basílica de la Sagrada Família

'Send Gaudí and the Sagrada Família to hell,' wrote Picasso

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Park Güell
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Park Güell

The design of what became Park Güell was to emulate the English garden cities

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La Pedrera
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La Pedrera

Described as rising dough, molten lava and a stone lung, Casa Milà has no straight lines

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Camp Nou
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Camp Nou

Seven of the Champions League-winning XI were formed at FCB's youth system

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