The Best Museums to Visit on the Costa Brava
Dalí's House Portlligat | ©Ferran Pestaña / flickr
The Costa Brava is a unique region of Catalunya, known for its picturesque historic towns, beaches and rugged inlets. When you’re not on the beach or ambling around pretty villages, there are many different museums to visit too. Here’s our pick of the best museums to visit on the Costa Brava.
Museu del Mar
If you want to learn all about the sea around the Costa Brava, then visit the Museum of the Sea in Lloret del Mar. The museum is split into five sections which all focus on a different part of marine life. The first looks at the town’s relationship with the sea, the second examines the art of building boats, and the third explores sea navigation. The last two sections look at the history of fishing in the area and the heritage of historical sites and buildings in the Costa Brava.
The Dalí Theatre Museum, located in the small town of Figueres, is perhaps the Costa Brava’s most famous attraction. Converted from an old theatre and turned into a museum by the artist Salvador Dalí himself, it showcases some of his best and most iconic pieces of work. The outside is painted a pinky-red and features the local type of bread stuck onto the sides, as well as white eggs and golden statues on the roof. The museum is best visited with a local guide who will explain to you all about Dalí’s life, as well as how to look at his paintings.
Museu de la Pesca
The Fishing Museum in Palmos, is located right next to the marina, and is a fascinating space, detailing the history of fishing in the area. Even if you’re not that interested in fishing it’s well worth a visit for the excellent displays and information. It covers everything from boat building to the various methods of fishing, which fish are caught in the area and even how the women used to sit together to mend the nets. Combine this museum with a visit to the fish auction next door, where you’ll see the restaurant owners, hotels and supermarkets battle it out to get the best price.
Museu de Cadaqués
The picturesque town of Cadaqués is a must-visit when in the Costa Brava, so while you’re there, why not learn a little more about it at the museum? The Museum of Cadaqués is dedicated to the various artists who have been attracted to the town throughout history. Of course, the most famous of these was Salvador Dalí, but there have also been others such as Richard Hamilton, Ignacio Iturria, Eliseu Meifren and Josep Niebla. It also showcases exhibitions on Cadaquescan culture.
Museu de l'Anxova i de la Sal
The Museum of Anchovies and Salt is located in the small coastal town of L’Escala, which is famous for its salted anchovies. The museum details the history of fishing and salting of the fish, from the 16th century, to the present day. It also looks at the maritime heritage and history of the Catalan coast.
Casa-Museu Salvador Dalí
The other most famous Dalí museum in the Costa Brava is his house in Portlligat near Cadaqués. It was the artist’s only place of residence, where he lived and worked until 1982. Dalí converted this building from an old fisherman’s hut into a unique labyrinthine structure filled with his quirky designs and furniture, such as the iconic red lips sofa. Keep in mind you can only visit if you book tickets in advance online. They usually sell out months in advance, so plan ahead if you want to visit.
Museu del Suro
The Cork Museum, or Museu del Suro in Catalan, is located in the town of Palafrugell. It is dedicated to all things cork-related and is actually housed inside an old cork factory. Exhibitions include those on how to process cork, how cork oak forests grow and how it’s also been exploited. The museum also has exhibits about the history of the factory, which was once the largest cork factory in Spain.
Can Mario Museum
Just behind the Cork Museum sits the Can Mario – the Fundació Vila Casas Museum of Contemporary Sculptures. It showcases around 220 sculptures by various Catalan artists, which date from the 1960s to the present day. Behind the old cork factory you’ll also see a huge Modernista water tower.
These recommendations were updated on June 26, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.