The 6 Best Art Spots in Barcelona

Find the best art in the Spanish city with our top tips...

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  • 25 July 2017
  • • 5 min read

Barcelona is a city filled with diversity and energy, understandbly its art scene is no different. Spending an afternoon exploring the greats; Picasso, Dali and Gaudi, come easily when wandering this Catalan Capital. Many forged their careers in the city and its museums, galleries and art scene tend to focus on their progress and Catalan art. Here’s the best art in Barcelona, from amazing museums to street art.



Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona

Las Meninas Room. Credit: Caterina Barjau

The acclaimed  Picasso Museum  is often at the top of art lovers must-see list. Reflecting the artist's time in Barcelona, it is a record of his formative years. Opened in 1963 with the help of his friend and personal secretary, Jaume Sabartés, the museum originally had a limited exhibition from Sabartés personal collection. Decades later the permanent collect has nearly 3,800 pieces and is spread across five adjoining spaces. By no means an overview of Picasso’s work, instead the museum extensively explores his studies at art school. Starting here, the work moves into his blue period and then jumps into paintings from the mature Cubist era and ends with a fantastic collection of linocuts, engravings and a collection of ceramics. For Picasso lovers this is the perfect place to lose an afternoon.

Palau Berenguer d'Aguilar provided by Museu Picasso


Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, sales d'art modern. Tàndem de Ramón Casas. 2014

For art history buffs the  Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya  (MNAC) is the place to visit in Barcelona. Housing an impressive collection of Catalan art from the 12th to the 20th centuries, the museum is a strong overview of Spanish art through the ages. The highlight is certainly the Romanesque collection, which has be hailed among the best in the world. Recently the museum added an extra floor to include the famed Thyssen-Bornemisza collection (Fra Angelico’s ‘Madonna of Humility’ is pictured), as well as the Modernista work which was previously held in the Museum of Modern Art. The MNAC offer an impressive collection and is a must see when exploring Barcelona’s art scene.

Art modern, moble Gaspar Homar, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. 2014


Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona

MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Joan Brossa Fund. Joan Brossa Foundation Deposit  © Fundació Joan Brossa, VEGAP, 2017. Photographer: Martí Gasull

Known for its cryptic minimalism, the Museu d’Art Contemporani is for art lovers who want to be surprised, encapsulated and who are ready to read. This not a gallery to dip into for an hour or so, it is best enjoyed when you have the time to immerse yourself in it. MACBA will pick up from where MNAC left off, bringing the Spanish and Catalan story up to date with art created since 1945. A power player in the city’s contemporary art scene, it’s an essential when exploring the city’s diverse art.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Architettura dello Specchio, 1990. Col·lecció MACBA. Dipòsit de la Generalitat de Catalunya. ©Michelangelo Pistoletto, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2017. Fotògraf: Rocco Ricci



08024 Barcelona

Credit: Alice Dundon

Originally intended as a housing development,  Park Güell  is the genius of Eusebi Güell and Antoni Gaudí. The end result is a public park system comprised of colourful parklands, gardens and architectural elements. It was officially opened in 1924 and received UNESCO World Heritage site status in 1984. With fanatical and trippy aspects, this park is like nothing else and the architectonic elements reflect Gaudí’s artistic plentitude. A stroll through this mountainous garden will give you some of the best views of the city and let you explore some truly rare artistic gems.

Credit: Alice Dundon


Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona

Credit: Alice Dundon

Gaudi’s  Sagrada Familia  has rightly received masterpiece status, a UNESCO World Heritage site and impeccably designed, it is as stunning outside as it is in. Combining Spanish late Gothic and Catalan Noucentisme styles, Gaudí spent his last years working on the church. Its intricate facades, astounding stained glass windows and unique design cement Sagrada Familia as a work of art that must be seen when in Barcelona. Did you know it’s one of the longest on-going construction project in history?

Credit: Alice Dundon


Credit: Alice Dundon

The streets of Barcelona have long been adorned by artists, erupting with music, laughter and a meld of multilingual chatter, it is no mystery why. When searching for the best art one doesn’t have to look much further than the streets itself. There are a number of stunning murals dotted around the city, check out the corner of c/Sant Pau and c/Der la Riereta or walk down La Carbonería, for some crowd favourites. Alternatively, you can head to the heart of it and wander to the  Three Chimney Urban Park on Jardins de les 3 Xemeneies. This is where amateurs and professional street artists unite, to paint in the purpose-build graffiti park. Frequented by some big names, it’s the place to be when checking out the city’s freshest street art.

Credit: Alice Dundon

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Article by Alice Dundon - a Berlin based editorial freelance journalist with a strong focus on travel, culture and social-impact pieces.

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