The majority of the museums in Barcelona, including the most popular sites, offer a free entrance option on certain days of the month or during specified hours. In addition to the open days on 12 February, 18 May, and 24 September, on which entrance is free throughout the day, you also can visit some museums for free on Sundays. The museums in Barcelona provide many opportunities to save on tickets. For example, if it is impossible for you to visit a museum during its open daytime hours, there are alternatives; you can purchase either the Articket BCN or Barcelona Card, passes that provide discounts not only for visits to the key city sights, but that also allow you to cut back on transport, restaurant, and shopping costs. Students can receive discounts as well as the benefit of visiting some museums that are free for students in Barcelona. The ISIC international card will allow visitors to save up to 70% on ticket prices and will grant access to some destinations for free. Of course, this pass does not include such iconic places as Sagrada Familia and Gaudi’s masterpieces. However, there are so many other interesting sites in the city to discover!
In contrast to those museums that feature free entrance on Sundays and select additional days, the best free museums in Barcelona offer their guests free entrance daily to the main exhibits. Undoubtedly, museums like these are few in the city, but it would be a mistake to assume that their collections are worse or less impressive than those in the paid museums.
In any case, guests should remember that when planning to visit a museum during its free day, it is important to be ready for long lines. Many tourists to Barcelona are informed about theses days and do their best to take advantage of this special opportunity.
Below, you can find a list of some museums extending free entrance on certain days of the week and during specific hours:
- Picasso Museum: Like the legendary Dali Museum, this place is an extremely popular cultural hub in the Catalonian capital. This museum is already 55 years old. It is nestled in an ancient castle in the Gothic quarter of the city. Here, visitors can admire some 3500 works by Pablo Picasso, most of which represent the early period of his creative life. You can see the legendary series of “Menina” paintings (1957) free of charge each first Sunday of the month for the whole day and every Sunday after 15:00. When proper ID confirming a child’s age is presented, children under 16 years of age can enjoy free entrance to the museum. On Sundays, especially, the Picasso Museum sees long lines. Therefore, on these days, it is highly recommended that you arrive earlier to be among the first visitors.
- The National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC), is one of the top museums of Barcelona that feature free entrance. This museum is a consortium of the city of Barcelona and the Ministry of Culture of Catalonia. Its headquarters are located in the national palace at the foot of Montjuïc mountain. It opened in 1929 in preparation for the World Fair hosted in Barcelona that year. Here, you can view collections with unique contributions from the Romantic, Baroque, Renaissance, and Modernist periods. If you plan a visit to this museum, remember that this free museum is closed on Mondays. Entry is free every first Sunday of the month and every Saturday after 15:00.
- The Museum of History of Barcelona (MHCB) houses under its roof a collection of documents and archeological evidence from different periods in the city’s history, beginning with its ancient origins. Inside, visitors will also see the remains of an ancient square, a factory, a laundry, and Roman baths. Since the 1980’s, the museum collection has been updated consistently with significant new artifacts. The Museum of History of Barcelona is one of the best museums in Barcelona that offers free access. It is closed on Mondays. The museum opens its doors for free access on the first Sunday of the month throughout the day and every Sunday after 15:00.
- The Museum of the Natural Sciences of Barcelona (“Musee Blau”) – is an ideal place for families with kids. Here, guests will have a chance to touch and see representatives of the flora and fauna of Barcelona, get to know its natural resources, and admire the huge whale skeleton situated at the center of this museum. The Museum of the Natural Sciences of Barcelona consists of 4 sections divided into three large, symbolic areas: Ciutadella, Montjuïc, and Forum. Like other museums in Barcelona that offer free entrance, this museum has the same working hours every Sunday after 15:00 p.m.
- The Museum of Music of Barcelona is already 100 years old, with 20 years of its history in the headquarters of the symphonic orchestra of Barcelona. Here, according to estimates, there are over 1000 items either directly or indirectly related to music. The peculiar feature of this museum is the fact that here music is perceived not only from the point of view of sounds and notes, but also in the context of politics, society, history, and various social phenomena. Guests can visit this museum free of charge on the first Sunday of the month, as well as on the festive days of 12 February, 18 may, 20 May, 21 June, 24 and 25 September, and 22 November.
- The Museum of Frederic Marés is tucked into the heart of the Gothic District in the former duke’s castle. Under its roof, this museum has united the sculptural heritage of the city from the XII century to the modern day. One of the most prominent museums in Barcelona with the option for free entrance, this museum traces its history back to the 1940’s, when the famous Spanish sculptor Frederic Marés donated his vast collection of sculptures to the city. The entrance is free on Sundays in the afternoon and on the first Sunday of the month throughout the day.
The best free museums of Barcelona
Barcelona has several museums that offer absolutely free entrance for the whole day, any day of the week, during the establishments’ working hours. These museums are not as famous as their more popular counterparts. Nevertheless, they contain many curious details that are sure to surprise you. We have chosen the three best free places of Barcelona that are really worth visiting:
- The gallery of portraits of great Catalonians: The distinctive feature of this museum is its constantly growing collection. This establishment frequently hosts guest exhibitions related to specific events. This place cherishes portraits of all the people who have impacted the development of Barcelona and Catalonia in positive ways. The museum itself was opened in 1871 under the initiative of the city municipal authorities. The doors to the museum open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 14:00.
- The Museum of Science CosmoCaixa: This amazing place enchants visitors with the extreme abundance of light during the night hours, while during the daytime hours, it resembles a space station. All the museum items are linked to the exploration of the world around us and geared toward learning the latest scientific trends. This museum is a perfect option for those who easily become bored within the walls of more traditional galleries or when surrounded by the art of the Romantic and Baroque periods. Among the best free museums in Barcelona, this place grants free access only if you are a client of the “Caixa” bank, which is the museum’s main sponsor. The adult ticket for other visitors costs approximately 3 euros.
- The museum of funeral coaches. This is really a unique place, with nothing like it in all of Europe. Here, you will encounter 19 “catafalques” from the XVIII – XIX centuries. For a long time, this building housed a funeral agency until its manager, Cristopher Torro, opened a museum in its place. Wednesday through Sunday, from 9:00 am to 14:00, you can visit this museum for free and view all the old funeral coaches.
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