Famous not only for its beautiful beaches and modernista architecture, the Catalan capital has long attracted vanguard artists who’ve left behind incredible work. To explore the city through the lens of art, here are Barcelona’s don’t-miss museums and galleries.
Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso)
This museum in El Born chronicles the works of Barcelona’s famous native son from his youth through his notable periods. Skip-the-line tours help you beat the queues so you don’t miss important works such as Woman with Bonnet or Glass and Tobacco Packet.
Dalí Theatre-Museum (Teatre Museu Dalí)
It’s well worth taking a day trip to the nearby town of Figueres if only to tour the quirky Dalí Theatre-Museum, designed by the surrealist artist himself to showcase his works. Many guided day trips include a stop at nearby Girona or the Gala–Dalí Castle (Pubol Castle).
National Art Museum of Catalonia (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya)
The majestic palace that houses this museum is an attraction in and of itself. Inside, you’ll find one of the region’s largest collections of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque art. Highlights include works by Gaudí, Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, and Rubens.
Joan Miró Museum (Fundació Joan Miró)
While not as renowned as Picasso, Joan Miró ranks among Barcelona’s most famous 20th-century artists, and his best works are on display at this airy modern structure within Parc de Montjuïc.
Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona)
Among Barcelona’s newer art museums is this collection of some 5,000 pieces, displayed in a rotating series of temporary exhibitions in the quickly gentrifying Raval neighborhood. It’s one of the city’s hidden artistic gems, well off the beaten tourist path and worth seeking out.
Gardens of the Three Chimneys (Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies)
Those with an interest in street art won’t want to miss a visit to this urban park, purpose-built for graffiti. Located in Poble Sec, the artwork changes weekly and is easy to see on a street-art bicycle tour of Barcelona.