museums in barcelona

15 Museums in Barcelona that Open for Free on Sundays

Sunday is a good day to go to museums and visit exhibitions in Barcelona. There are centers that open for free on the first Sunday of each month and others that offer free access on Sunday afternoons, in addition to other free periods that vary according to the institution.

Due to the health crisis please, check their websites for updated capacity conditions, special hours and advance tickets.

1. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

MNAC opens its doors for free on the first Sunday of each month and on Saturdays from 3:00 p.m. It's also free on September 11th and International Museum Day.

The National Palace, emblematic building of the 1929 International Exhibition, is the headquarters of the National Art Museum of Catalonia, which contains all kinds of art: sculpture, painting, drawings, engravings, posters, photography and more. Their mission is to showcase the magnitude of Catalan art from the Romanesque to the mid-20th century. Also on display is part of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, which was in the Convent de Pedralbes, and the legacy of Francesc Cambó.

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2. CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona

Free admission on Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (with limited capacity, prior reservation recommended), International Museum Day, Museum Night and La Mercè.

The CCCB cultural center opened in 1994 in the Casa de la Caritat, a former hospice built in 1802 in what was once a medieval monastery. The façade and part of the patio of the original building are preserved, the rest was rebuilt with glass and steel by the architects Piñon and Viaplana, known for also designing the Maremagnum shopping center. The CCCB organizes and produces exhibitions, debates, festivals, concerts, program film cycles, courses and conferences, and encourages creation based on new technologies and language.

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3. MUHBA Museu d'Història de Barcelona

Admission to the museum is free every Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on the first Sunday of the month you can enter without paying for the whole day (valid in all Muhba venues, except Park Güell). In addition, it celebrates an open day in Santa Eulàlia, on September 24 and May 18.

From the Plaza del Rei to the cathedral there are about 4,000 m2 of underground Roman excavations: streets, villas and oil and wine warehouses, which were discovered by chance in the late 1920s, when part of the Barri Gòtic was built to build the Via Laietana. This underground labyrinth can be accessed through Casa Padellàs, a merchants' palace from 1498, which was moved stone by stone to the Plaza del Rei. It includes the centers of Plaza del Rei, Pedralbes Monastery, Vil·la Joana, Park Güell, Santa Caterina and El Call.

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4. Museu del Disseny de Barcelona

The Design Museum is open for free every first Sunday of the month, and every Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Installed in the DHUB building, popularly known as 'the Stapler', the Design Museum houses around 70,000 objects - such as tableware, ceramics, corsets, chairs, mailboxes and advertising posters - that explain the evolution of decorative arts in design and contemporary arts.

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5. Picasso Museum

Free access on Thursday afternoons, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (prior reservations are recommended), and the first Sunday of each month, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Open house on May 18 and September 24.

Opened to the public in 1963, the Picasso Museum houses a collection of more than 3,800 works that make up the permanent collection and offers an extensive program of temporary exhibitions. The museum was created by the artist and his friend and secretary Jaume Sabartés, who donated his collection. There is a room dedicated to Picasso's portraits of him - the best known is that of the Blue Period - and Sabartés's scribbles. The best part is the complete series of 58 canvases based on Velázquez's Las Meninas, donated by Picasso himself after Sabartés' death. The exhibition ends with linoleographs, engravings, and a wonderful collection of ceramics donated by Picasso's widow. It is located in five Gothic palaces that represent one of the best examples of civil architecture from medieval times.

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6. Music Museum

Free entrance on the first Sunday of each month (all day), every Sunday from 3:00 p.m., on Thursdays that the museum is open (from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.), through Santa Eulalia, on May 18 (International Day of the Museums). Also on June 21 (Music Day), September 23 and 24 (la Mercè) and November 22 (Santa Cecilia).

In 2007 the Museum of Music reopened to the public at L’Auditori. The new permanent exhibition has about 500 instruments from different eras and cultures and is considered one of the most important in Spain. The main tour, Orpheus, begins in the ancient civilizations and covers the birth and spread of polyphony, baroque, classicism and Romanticism, new colors and the sound industry to the 19th century as well as new styles and new technologies of the twentieth century. Noteworthy are the keyboard instruments and the guitar collection as well as the Sala de los Musicos Catalanes.

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7. Museo Frederic Marès

Free entry on the first Sunday of the month (from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and every Sunday from 3 p.m. Open day for Santa Eulàlia, Corpus, and on May 18 and September 24.

The sculptor Frederic Marès collected everything that fell into his hands, from brushes to glasses and gargoyles. In 1944 he donated his collections to the city and two years later this museum was inaugurated located in a part of the old Royal Palace of the Counts of Barcelona, of which the patio is preserved. The collection is made up of tens of thousands of objects - some very curious, such as fans, pipes, watches, jewelery and photographs - that document ways of life and customs from the past, especially from the 19th century.

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8. Maritime Museum of Barcelona

Admission is free on Sunday after 3 pm, for Santa Eulàlia, International Museum Day and coinciding with La Mercè.

With more than 75 years of history, The Maritime Museum's task is to preserve, study and disseminate one of the most important collections of maritime heritage in the Mediterranean. The arches and vaults of the old drassanes (shipyards) represent one of the best-preserved examples of civil Gothic architecture in Spain. They were declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1976.

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9. Botanical Garden

You can enter for free on Sundays from 3pm, the first Sunday of the month (free all day), through Santa Eulàlia, on May 18 (Museum Day) and September 24 (La Mercè).

Situated on gently sloping terrain in Montjuïc Park, Jardí Botànic de Barcelona (Botanical Garden of Barcelona)  offers visitors a different walk in each season of the year as they observe vegetation from the five regions in the world with a Mediterranean-type climate. The park has magnificent views over the Llobregat delta, the Olympic Ring and the metropolitan area of Barcelona.

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10. Museu Blau. Natural Science Museum

Free every Sunday from 3pm and the first Sunday of each month (all day). Doors open for Santa Eulàlia, on May 18 and September 24.

The Museu Blau was inaugurated in 2011 in the Parc del Forum and is part of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona. It occupies 9,000 square meters distributed over two floors and in the large hall we are welcomed by the skeleton of a whale that washed up on Llançà beach in 1862 and now shines in all its splendor. Among the novelties, the green roof stands out; the hours are from mon. to Sun, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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11. Museu Etnològic i de Cultures del Món - Montcada

Open for free on Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and every first Sunday of the month, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Museu Etnològic i de Cultures del Món's collections cover a wide range of aspects concerning the way people live and the symbolic representations of a wide variety of cultures from around the world. The collections are made up of contextual physical and documentary evidence generated during the collection campaigns that the museum has undertaken.

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12. El Born Cultural Center

Free access to the enclosure. The first Sunday of the month the exhibitions are free; The site can only be accessed with guided tours, which are paid.

The old Born Market was the first market in the city created following the fashion of Parisian architecture. Under the glass and iron structure built by Josep Fontserè in 1876, the archaeological remains of the Vilanova de Mar neighborhood from 1700 are on display.

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13. Pabellón Mies Van der Rohe

Free entry every first Sunday of the month (from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.).

The Barcelona Pavilion, an emblematic work of the Modern Movement, has been exhaustively studied and interpreted as well as having inspired the oeuvre of several generations of architects. It was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich as the German national pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. Built from glass, steel and different kinds of marble, the Pavilion was conceived to accommodate the official reception presided over by King Alfonso XIII of Spain along with the German authorities.

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14. MACBA. Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona

The MACBA Collection focuses on art from the second half of the 20th century to the present day. However, it begins with selected works from the avant-garde of the 1920s to establish its central core around 1968, a date that radically transformed the paradigm of contemporary art. The Collection builds a model that allows us to understand today’s world and shape a critical memory of the art of the last ninety years, without losing sight of the specific cultural and political reality of Barcelon

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15. Foto Colectania

Opens for free on the first Sunday of the month, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Foto Colectania is a non-profit organisation, founded in Barcelona in 2002, with the aim of disseminating photography and introducing it within the social, artistic and educational field of the country. The programs undertaken at the Foundation, from exhibitions to activities and publications, are based on the creation of an innovative, participatory and inclusive project focused on thought around image and its basic foundations, enhancing its communicative capacity and its suitability to generate critical thinking.

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