Visit the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) in Barcelona: tickets, prices, opening hours

Visiter le Musée national d'art de Catalogne, Barcelone

Visiting Barcelona, the economic heart of Mediterranean Spain? Then be sure to visit the astonishing National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), a must-see in this metropolis of strong character!

When you come to Spain, and in particular to one of the country’s most beautiful cities, Barcelona, there’s no shortage of tourist attractions, from one end of this great country to the other! But if there’s one site you really shouldn’t miss, it’s the sumptuous Palau Nacional, home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), one of the country’s cultural jewels: and we’re here to tell you why.

To convince you to take a look at this marvel on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and to help you organize your visit, we’ve put together a complete program containing all the information you need for your stay: history of the site, must-see attractions, directions, opening hours and prices! So, are you ready to visit the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)?

History of the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)

The current museum was created by merging the collections of the Museu d’Art Moderne and the Museu d’Art de Catalunya. The location was not chosen by chance to house the works of these two museums in the same place: a majestic setting was chosen, the Palau Nacional, a palace situated on the Montjuic mountain overlooking the old town and port of Barcelona!

The Palau Nacional was inaugurated in 1929 to coincide with the International Exhibition held in Barcelona that year. In addition to the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), it houses two other museums and a library.

Over the years, other works were added to the main collections, including rare coins, famous engravings and even a department devoted entirely to photographic prints! By the early 2000s, the Museu Nacional d’Arte de Catalunya (MNAC) boasted over 250,000 works in a multitude of different collections. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the 50,000 m² space hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, and the museum acts as a conservatory for the restoration of certain works damaged by the passage of time.

What to see and do at the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)?

A visit to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Catalan art and observe its evolution over the centuries.

Let’s start with the castle: the Palais National de Montjuic, inaugurated in 1929, is a marvel of academic classicism typical of the first half of the 20th century. This immense building (almost 50,000 m²) is richly decorated with sumptuous facades, colourful domes and ornate ceilings. The main dome was inspired by that of St. Peter’s in the Vatican, while the four towers were built in homage to those of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Perched on Montjuic hill, the palace offers a breathtaking view of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea, and a roof terrace on the fifth floor lets you admire a breathtaking panorama of the region!

On the museum side, the MNAC boasts a large number of contemporary works of art, but in 1934 was exclusively dedicated to medieval art collections! It wasn’t until 1995 that Romanesque art made its entry into this grandiose space, and then in 2004, another part of the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) was allocated to contemporary Catalan artists.

If you’re lucky enough to visit the Museu Nacional d’Arte de Catalunya (MNAC), you’ll discover one of the largest collections of mural paintings in the world! The majority of the pieces on display here are « local », meaning that they were conceived right here in Catalonia. You can also admire splendid statues in wood or stone, pieces of goldsmith’s and silversmith’s art…

In other rooms,Gothic art is highlighted: countless creations show pieces made in Catalonia, which, by consulting the dates, enables us to better assimilate the artistic evolution of this small territory throughout history.

In the section devoted to Renaissance and Baroque art, visitors can marvel at panels by Bermejo, a Martyrdom by Ribera and one of the only paintings by Velázquez not held by the Prado Museum ! Originally a poor collection, this part of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) has been supplemented by generous donations from Francesc Cambó and, since 2004, a deposit from Madrid’s Museu Thyssen-Bornemisza, including paintings by Rubens, Giandomenico Tiepolo’s two Venetian scenes, and « Cupid and Psyche » by the famous Goya.

Since 2005, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) has also been home to Catalan paintings from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, including works by the famous Salvador Dalí, as well as masterpieces by Antoni Tàpies, Mariano Fortuny, Ramon Casas and Isidre Nonell. More recently, Picasso’s « Mujer con sombrero y cuello de piel » and the latter’s portrait of Edvard Munch’s lawyer were also exhibited.

How do I get to the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)?

  • By metro: Espanya station, served every quarter-hour by lines 1 and 3
  • By bus: routes 13, 37, 55 or 150

Please note: free parking is also available next to the Palau Nacional.

Opening hours & Admission fees of the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)

SCHEDULES

The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) is open :

  • October to April: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays.
  • May to September: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays.
  • The museum is closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25.

Please note: The ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time, and the exhibition halls 15 minutes before.

RATES

  • Under 16s and over 65s: free (+1€ for audioguide)
  • Adults: €12
  • Students, families (two adults and one child) and large-family cardholders: 30% discount
  • Tourist bus ticket holders: 20% discount

Please note: It’s worth noting that the MNAC offers free admission for all at certain times: Saturdays from 3 pm, the first Sunday of each month, and on May 18, September 11 and September 24.

GOOD TO KNOW

– It’s forbidden to bring your pet into the museum – only guide dogs are allowed!

– Most areas of the museum are accessible to people with reduced mobility; if necessary, a wheelchair can be lent to you at the checkroom.

– The museum offers interactive videos in sign language for the hearing-impaired.

Photos are accepted, but without flash and without using a selfie pole!