MNAC front view

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya | The Definitive Barcelona Guide

Residing inside the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is an art collection from medieval times. The National Museum of Catalan reserves paintings, statues, drawings and photographs with narratives telling of culture, history, and heritage. Different eras of the evolution of art are stored and preserved inside the ornate walls of this Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Barcelona is full of cultural hotspots, amongst which MNAC is one. The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is a crown jewel of the city’s heritage, displaying masterpieces from various ages.

Why Visit the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya 

  • Housed in the palatial architectural marvel Palau Nacional, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is a complete cultural experience for people coming to the city.
  • The Museum provides insight into the religion, heritage, and history of Barcelona in the most creative way. A haven for art lovers and explorers, the museum is a pure delight.
  • With audio guides and commentary, the Museum’s artwork is accessible by all giving a deeper understanding of different strokes pained in different eras.
  • The Museum gives you a unique space for you to experience art to learn more about it.
  • Spend some time at this culture carnival and witness workshops, exhibitions and events that will color your day a bright shade of contentment.

Top 10 Attractions at Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Romanesque Mural Paintings
Romanesque Mural Paintings

Travel back to medieval times with the museum's large collection of Romanesque paintings. The artistic treasures of 11th to 13th centuries adorn the ornate collection of  MNAC Barcelona. You will find some of the oldest mural and panel paintings in Europe here. Exceptional metalwork, wood and stone sculpture are also worth seeing.

Renaissance and Baroque Galleries
Renaissance and Baroque Galleries

With never-exhibited-before works of art, the segment dedicated to the Renaissance and Baroque is decked with creations of great artists. As history and legends interplay in this grand section, you get to learn about the evolution of culture over time. Juan Bautista Maino, Bartolome Bermejo, Andreu Sala, and other such eminent artists are featured here.

Modern Art Display
Modern Art Display

This section will take you on a journey through the different stages of Modern art. From the birth of the modern artist to the avant-garde revival of the post-war years, this collection is a walkthrough of history. This history museum of Catalonia provides the social, cultural and political context you need to understand the artwork better.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions

From time to time, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art hosts exhibitions, inviting great artworks from around the world. With exquisite installations by renowned artists, the museum is a wholesome experience. These exhibitions are usually temporary, so don’t miss a chance to explore one while you are there.

Numismatics Cabinet
Numismatics Cabinet

MNAC Barcelona has a huge collection of coins ranging from the 6th century BC to the modern-day. The Museum boasts 155,000 varieties of coins preserved in the numismatic cabinet of Catalonia. Along with the currency, the section is also dedicated to medals, distinguished insignia and other decorations. This segment of the Museum is a real treasure chest full of doubloons.

Medieval Gothic Art
Medieval Gothic Art

Representing grim realities, two of the most powerful exhibits are Pleurants and the Mural Paintings of the Conquest of Majorca. The Museum displays the work of 13th to 15th-century famous painters - Jaume Huguet, Lluis Dalmau, Bernat Martorell and many more. Along with paintings, you’ll find sculptures and other decorative pieces. Altarpieces, liturgical work, and the parchments are also paid attention.

Photography
Photography

Take a look at exclusive photographs taken from the inception of the technology. In this section, you can trace the evolution of photography with over 40,000 items from the 19th to 20th century. The section traces the journey of many stages through which photography went through. Some notable photographers include Pere Casas Abarca, Joan Colom, and Agusti Centelles.

 Gallardo Collection
Gallardo Collection

The famous art collector Antonio Gallardo’s acquired artwork is showcased in the museum. The exquisite pieces include Romanesque murals and Gothic pieces. This lover of archeology and art has built quite an impressive collection which will surely enthrall you all.

The Gift Shop
The Gift Shop

Take back a souvenir from the museum's gift shop. Get for yourself artistically inspired stationery, sheets, glasses, ceramics and so much more. Carefully curated and chosen to maintain originality and quality. You can also get postcards and send your loved ones these souvenirs.

Rooftop Viewpoint
Rooftop Viewpoint

The rooftop viewpoint is a beautiful attraction at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. The rooftop has a picturesque view of the magic fountain at the Montjuic. The rooftop is also a great location to book the venue for events and festivities.

Essential Info

Timings
Best Time Visit the Museum
Getting There
Hotels Near the Museum

The museum’s timings vary depending upon the season. In the winter months from October to April, the Museum is open from: Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sundays and public holidays: The museum closes early at 3:00 PM

In the summer months of May till September, the timings are:
Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Sundays and public holidays: The museum closes early at 3:00 PM

The Museum is closed on Mondays.

The art museum is a delight to visit at any time of the year. You can expect lesser crowds while school is off in Barcelona. Early September brings balmy sunshine and lesser crowds making it an ideal month to visit the Museum. On Catalonia’s National Day, September 11, the entry to the museum is free. 

Taking a tour of the Museum in the opening hours of the morning is advisable as the crowds are thin and you can take your time exploring the Museum which takes around a couple of hours.

Taxis

A plethora of black and yellow colored taxis do rounds on the street of Barcelona. Hail any taxi with a green light signaling vacancy and direct it towards the Museum. Taxis’ main hub is the taxi ranks situated at prominent locations. Always take the first taxi as that is a queuing system they follow. All the taxis run by the meter, check that it is running once you start your journey.

Metro

You can hop into a metro and reach the destination pretty conveniently. By taking Metro lines 1 or 3 you can head to the Las Arenas shopping center through Espanya. After a short walk, you can climb the escalators to the Palau Nacional.

Trains

Taking trains R1 from Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona, R11 from Passeig de Gracia or S2 from Cerdanyola del Valles will take you to your destination.

Bus

The closest bus you can choose is 55 which takes you directly to your chosen destination. Many other buses run that will get you near the Museum - 150, 13, 37 or any bus heading towards Espanya. The Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona is well connected throughout the city and it is very easy to go from one place to another.

From The Airport

With a distance of 13.8 km, you can reach the museum by hailing a cab or using public transport. Direct shuttles from the airport run to the Palau Nacional taking just 13 minutes. A direct bus departs from terminal B and arrives at Pl. Espanya - FGC every 20 mins.

Guided Tour

Booking a tour through the city to Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya will save you a lot on transport. Hop-On Hop-Off tours give you a lot of flexibility to explore the attractions of Barcelona. You can book these tours online at Barcelona-tickets.

Parking

You can drive your car to the attraction without worrying about parking too much. Next to the museum is a free parking space where you can leave your vehicles and explore the museum taking your own sweet time.

Choose to stay at a hotel near the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya at the cultural hub of Parc de Montjuïc.

Luxury Hotels

Crowne Plaza Barcelona - Fira Center
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Nobu Hotel Barcelona
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MH Apartments Liceo
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Mid-Budget Hotels

H10 Casanova
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Gallery Hotel
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Hotel Brummell
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Budget Hotels

Garbi Millenni
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Expo Hotel Barcelona
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SERHS del port Hotel
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Know Before You Go

  1. Palau Nacional costs around €12. Food around and you can carry around €20 for a proper meal. The Gift Shop makes for a good splurge time while you are there.
  2. Book an audio guide online before going to the Museum, to get insight into the artwork displayed.
  3. The Palau Nacional is a smoke-free zone.
  4. It is prohibited to touch the artwork and objects displayed.
  5. Shouting or running inside the Museum is not allowed.
  6. You will get free Wi-Fi in most places inside the MNAC Barcelona.
  7. Outside food and drinks are not permitted in the complex. A cafe is there to snack as you go about exploring.

FAQs

Q. How much time does it take to explore the museum?
A. There is no time limit for your visit. Usually, it takes around 2 hours to see the Museum.

Q. Is the entry to the Museum free?
A. No, the Museum charges a small fee for entry but the first Sunday of every month, the Museum allows entry for free.

Q. Which is the nearest train station from the Museum?
A. The Barcelona-Sants is the closest Museum which is just 3.1 km away.

Q. Is the Museum open throughout the year?
A. The Museum remains closed every Monday, December 25th, January 1st, and May 1st.

Q. Does the Museum have a car park?
A. There is free parking for cars adjacent to the Museum.

Q. Is it allowed to click photographs inside the Museum?
A. Yes. Photographs can be clicked inside the Museum except during temporary exhibitions. Tripods and selfie sticks are not allowed.

Q. When does the library open?
A. The Library inside the Museum during Winters is functional from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM on Monday and Friday. Tuesday to Thursday the closing extends till 6:00 PM. During Summers the Library is accessible from Monday to Friday at 10:00 AM and it shuts at 3:00 PM.

Q. What is the cost of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya tickets?
A. The entry ticket into the Museum costs €12 lasting for 2 days and valid until a month after the booking. The audio guide and rooftop point is €2 each.

Q. Is there any place to eat around the Museum?
A. There are tons of good places to have a meal near the Museum. Kino is an interesting and cool place to get some tapas and croquettes. You can head to Taps for some authentic European food. Petit Montjuic, just half a kilometer away, serves fantastic Arabic and Mediterranean food.

Q. What are the must-see attractions of the Museum?
A. Some of the must-see attractions at the museum include the Renaissance and Baroque galleries as well as the modern art displays.