Constructed for the International Exhibition of 1929, the Palau Nacional of Montjuïc is now home to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, or MNAC for short. The MNAC is perhaps the most varied and comprehensive collection of Catalan art in the world, with works ranging from Romanesque murals and religious paintings, to examples of Catalan Modernism and photography – not to mention the incredible view of Barcelona from its front steps.
This family-friendly science museum reopened in 2004 with permanent exhibits ranging in subject from constellations to rock formations and everything in between. CosmoCaixa may be off the beaten path for the average tourist, but it is beloved by locals and more adventurous tourists alike. With both a 3D Planetarium and a scaled version of the solar system for children, what’s not to like?
CosmoCaixa Barcelona, Carrer d’Isaac Newton 26, Barcelona, Spain +34 932 12 60 50
The Museu Europea d’Art Modern, or MEAM, is located next to the Museu Picasso in the oldest neighborhood of Barcelona. Almost all of the artists on exhibit in this small but well-curated space are still living and working today, and the majority of them are Spanish or based in Spain. MEAM is a museum with a purpose: to establish a dialogue and find meaning in modern art rather than making metaphorical or literal noise in the art community – and its collection of profound portraits may be doing just that.
Casa Milà – more commonly referred to as La Pedrera, literally ‘The Quarry’ in English – is one of renowned architect Antoni Gaudí’s most famous works in Barcelona. Dominating a street corner on the Passeig de Gràcia, La Pedrera is impossible to miss and has an interior just as impressive. The top floor is a treat for anyone eager to learn more about Gaudí’s designs (including those for La Sagrada Familia and Casa Battló). If the rooftop adornments remind you of Storm Trooper helmets in the Star Wars saga, that’s no accident – George Lucas is just one of Gaudí’s many admirers.
Casa Milà, Provença 261-265, Barcelona, Spain +34 902 20 21 38