Explore Spain’s seafaring past by visiting Barcelona's Maritime Museum (Museu Marítim de Barcelona). Located just steps away from the waterfront, the museum takes visitors on a journey through one of the country’s richest areas of history: exploration at sea.
The museum experience begins with the Gothic building itself, which once belonged to the former Barcelona Royal Shipyard. Within the cavernous brick structure, which dates back to the 13th century, expect to find all manner of sea-related treasures, ranging from maps to weapons, paintings, and even surfboards. Then, of course, there are the boats, which include model-sized versions, and, most notably, a life-size galley warship replica.
If you’re in town on a Sunday, consider visiting after 3 p.m., when entrance is free of charge. Note that the museum is situated just down the street from another nautically related destination — the Columbus Monument — both of which are easily reachable on the hop-on hop-off bus tour.