Montjuïc Museums Tour, Barcelona (Self Guided)

Montjuïc is a hill in Barcelona, located just southwest of the city center and overlooking the harbor. Besides the great view, it also offers visitors many interesting and significant museums such as the Poble Espanyol, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport, and others. Here, you will learn many interesting facts about the history and culture of Catalonia, Barcelona and Spain in general. Don't miss the opportunity to tour the great museums Montjuïc has to offer.
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Montjuïc Museums Tour Map

Guide Name: Montjuïc Museums Tour
Guide Location: Spain » Barcelona (See other walking tours in Barcelona)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Author: RoseC
Poble Espanyol

1) Poble Espanyol (must see)

The Poble Espanyol, commonly known as the Spanish Town is basically an architectural museum which has been created as an open-air, outdoor centre atop Mount Montjuic, Barcelona. The museum was established in 1929 mainly for the occasion of the International Exhibition of Barcelona. After the exhibition was over, instead of demolishing the town, it was opened to the general public as a museum.

The mastermind behind the establishment of this museum was Josep Puig I Cadafalch. The basic idea was to preserve the culture, tradition, architecture and style of Spain in one place, and that has been achieved in a splendid way. The architects behind the creation of this model Spanish town were Ramon Reventos and Francesc Folguera. The most spectacular thing about the creation of this museum is the fact that it reached its completion in the short span of 13 months. Occupying an area of 42,000 square meters, the town comprises 117 buildings along with squares and streets that have been built resembling a quaint town.

The way that the Spanish culture and style of architecture has been preserved in this piece of land is indeed remarkable. The precision behind the creation of every structural part of the town is definitely worth appreciating.

Why You Should Visit:
Interesting view of architectural styles, and a good art gallery.

Admission is less than half the normal price in the evenings.

Opening Hours:
Mon: 9am-8pm; Tue-Thu: 9am-12am; Friday: 9am-3am; Sat: 9am-4am; Sun: 9am-12am
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

2) Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) (must see)

The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), locally known as the Museu d’Art de Catalunya or Museu d'Historia de Catalunya, is one of the most interesting museums in Barcelona. The MNAC is the centre for visual arts at the Palau Nacional. It is located on the Montjuic Hill, and was declared the National Museum in 1990 following the merger of two museums, the Museu d’Art Modern and the Museu d’Art de Catalunya. The unification of the two resulted in an impressive collection containing Gothic, Renaissance, Romanesque and Baroque art.

The museum comprises various departments including the department for prints and drawings, the numismatics department, the department for photography and the Biblioteca d’Historia de l’Art (the Library for Art History). All these departments were not present at the museum originally but were added later as a part of the expansion project.

The inauguration was held in 1995 when the museum displayed its section of Romanesque Art. The addition of the section for Gothic Art came in 1997, and the Baroque and Renaissance sections were opened in 2000. In 2004, when the building was complete with all the sections and addition of various departments, the official opening took place.

Why You Should Visit:
An absolutely magnificent museum, newly updated and modernized for the contemporary tourist.
Reasonably priced; plenty of lifts/stair lifts/toilets, and comfortable leather sofas dotted here and there when your feet ache.

The restaurant has a magnificent view of Montjuic and good price/value ratio.
Do not forget to visit the roof – the view will be multiplied!

Operation Hours:
Tue-Sat: 10am-6pm; Sun: 10am-3pm
Museo Etnologico de Barcelona

3) Museo Etnologico de Barcelona

The Museu Etnologico de Barcelona, or the Ethnology Museum of Barcelona is a space that is dedicated to the mutual cultures of the world. The structures that make up towns and cities here are used to study the basic concept of society, of how it originated and how it established as compared to how it is today. In Barcelona, it is used to study the different cultures in the various communities present in the city which provides a great deal of information on the history of these communities and of the area in general.

The museum became associated to the Xarxa de Musueus d’Etnologica, or the Ethnology Museum network in 2008. Here, the museum is teamed with eight other museums in Barcelona namely, Aneu Valleys Ecomusuem, Conca de Barbera District Museum, Montsia District Musuem, Palamos Fishing Musuem, Espluga de Francoli Rural Life Musuem, Val d’Aram Museum, and the Montseny – La Gabella Ethnology Musuem.

The Barcelona Ethnology Museum comprises the greatest collection of objects among all the museums that make up this network of museums. It also has the largest number of staff members and also the greatest budget for its own management. This makes it a must see for all locals and visitors.
Archaeology Museum of Catalonia

4) Archaeology Museum of Catalonia (must see)

The Archaeological Museum of Catalonia was the first of its kind in the city and has also pioneered the archaeological display tradition in the country. It is for this reason that it has been declared a National Museum with the task of preserving archaeological remains and findings.

These archaeological objects and findings here have played a great role in determining the history and evolution of the area from pre-historic times. The museum has been divided into various archaeological sites and museums making up a network. The divisions are as follows: Empuries, Olerdola, Centre d’Arqueologia Subaqauatica de Catalunya, Ullastret, Moli d’Espigol, Roca dels Moros, Jesso, Castelllet de Banvoles, Coll del Moro and Castell. These are all different cities, and settlements from where archaeological remains have been found indicating evidence of old settlements around the region.

The management of all these museums in the division falls under the Archaeological Museum of Catalonia. The basic purpose of creating a network was to establish a chain of museums that can preserve historical artefacts and various other findings that have been unearthed in their respective areas. These findings help in determining the background and history of Catalonia as it is today.

Why You Should Visit:
A broad collection of artefacts from prehistoric times, stone/bronze, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Iberic times found in Catalonia, all for a modest entry fee.

Make sure not to miss the excellent sculpture and mosaic displays, as well as the library gallery, on the upper floor.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 9:30am-7pm; Sun: 10am-2:30pm
Fundacio Joan Miro

5) Fundacio Joan Miro (must see)

The Fundacio Joan Miro, or the Joan Miro Foundation was established in 1975. It is basically a museum that showcases modern art dedicated to the work of Joan Miro. The museum is situated on the Montjuic Hill in Barcelona. The idea behind the creation of the museum was conceived and developed by Miro in 1968. The foundation itself was formed by Miro, in partnership with a friend called Joan Prats.

The main purpose behind the creation of the building was to encourage new and upcoming artists in exploring and creating art, who wished to experiment in contemporary art. The designer of the building was Josep Lluis Sert. This also paved the way for Sert as the building itself showcased his talent and expertise in the area. The building comprises various terraces, courtyards and paths which make every corner of the structure easily accessible to the visitors.

The foundation of the edifice was laid on Montjuic on the 10th of June in 1975. The architect of the structure was a close friend of Joan Miro. The museum was created in a way that the people of Barcelona could easily gain knowledge and inspiration from their heritage and culture of their city.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the world's best combinations of artwork and architecture. Spare, light and airy.

Please try to take the bus or use the funicular line up to Montjuic when you visit, as the climb to the museum is long.
There are two areas to relax – one with beach type chairs – to give a nice break from the art.
There is also a great view at the rooftop of the gallery with more sculptures integrated into the setting.

Opening Hours:
Tue, Wed, Fri: November to March: 10am-6pm;
April to October: 10am-8pm;
Thu: 10am-9pm;
Sat: 10am-8pm;
Sunday and public holidays: 10am-3pm
Closed on Monday, except public holidays
Museu Olimpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch

6) Museu Olimpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch

The Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch, or the Olympic and Sports Museum located in Barcelona is one of the first of its kind in all of Europe as it provides an ethical, entertaining, historical and knowledgeable aspect on the world of sports and games. Cutting edge advance technology has been utilized in order to make this museum as interactive and up-to-date with the world of sports as possible, and it is for this reason that the museum is truly a sight to behold for visitors of all ages.

Multimedia has been used to the greatest degree to provide lifelike experiences of the most prominent names in sports worldwide, a feature that gives visitors the experience of a real living museum. Every single aspect of sports as seen today has been displayed at the museum including modalities, disciplines, regulations, and history etc. The museum also has a number of interesting activities for all its visitors, including those for disabled people. The museum also specializes in the Olympics department and therefore instigates a great deal of Olympic spirit and practice.

This museum is an ideal place of learning for school going children, because this centre, along with providing an in depth history and information relating to sports will also allow children to engage in various recreational activities, which are a regular feature of the museum.

Walking Tours in Barcelona, Spain

Create Your Own Walk in Barcelona

Create Your Own Walk in Barcelona

Creating your own self-guided walk in Barcelona is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Picasso Walking Tour

Picasso Walking Tour

Pablo Picasso - the great Spanish painter, draftsman, and sculptor - developed his style in Barcelona where he spent many years of his life. This tour will take you to the bohemian sites of the city associated with the famous artist. Here you can visit Picasso Museum, the art gallery where his works were displayed for the first time to the public, and other similarly important places.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
City Center Museums Tour

City Center Museums Tour

Barcelona abounds in museums with rich expositions that are both informative and entertaining. The city's 55 museums cover a plethora of subjects, from art to history to architecture to science to sports to war. Take this tour to explore the most acclaimed museums and galleries of central Barcelona

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Shopping Walk

Shopping Walk

Set among the world's prime cultural destinations, Barcelona is en route to becoming one of Europe's top shopping spots as well. Fashionable designer stores are filling the streets of Barcelona with each new day, from well known international brands to local start ups. Barcelona is also an excellent gourmet destination, offering plenty of goodies to try on the spot or take home with you....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Barri Gotic Walking Tour

Barri Gotic Walking Tour

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona seems like a cut above the rest. It boasts a number of famous buildings, cathedrals and monuments. The area has many peaceful squares where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. Take this tour to travel back in time and discover all the secrets of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
El Raval Walking Tour

El Raval Walking Tour

El Raval is a district in Barcelona which features many worth visiting attractions. The neighborhood is known as Barri Xinés, which means "Chinatown". El Raval is very lively during the day and quite awake all through the night, so visitors will always have something to do and see here. Be one of them and enjoy yourself in El Raval.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
La Barceloneta Walking Tour

La Barceloneta Walking Tour

La Barceloneta neighborhood was originally formed during the 18th century by fishermen and their families. Today, La Barceloneta beach is one of the most active areas of the city, both during the day and night. It is an ideal place to go for a night out, be it to have dinner in a fancy restaurant or have a drink or party until the wee hours of the morning. This self-guided tour will help you...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Top 10 Spanish Foods and Drinks to Try in Barcelona

Top 10 Spanish Foods and Drinks to Try in Barcelona

In the countries like Spain, food is a national heritage and cultural attraction in its own right. The latter is even more true of Catalonia in general and Barcelona in particular. Presented here are the 10 staples of Catalan food tradition, missing which would be a gastronomical...
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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Barcelona for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Barcelona has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money getting around Barcelona and visiting the city's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as iVenture Card, Hola Barcelona: Transport Pass, Barcelona Pass, and Barcelona Museum Pass.

These city passes combine all or multiple Barcelona's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Barcelona hotels that are conveniently located: Iberostar Paseo de Gracia 4* Sup, Catalonia Plaza Cataluña Hotel, Olivia Plaza Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Barcelona, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, as a guided tour of Barcelona typically costs between around US$15 and over US$80 per person:

- Hop on a “hop-on hop-off” double-decker and enjoy sightseeing of Barcelona from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the two interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for both).

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts around 2 hours and allows you to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Barcelona on a 3-hour bike tour visiting the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each (for 5-20 minutes) to get rest, watch the surroundings, and learn much about the city from an informative group leader.

- If you're an arts and architecture buff, with a keen interest in Catalan modernism of the late 19th century, then you may definitely enjoy a 2-hour guided stroll around the Quadrat d'Or (Golden Square) in Barcelona's Eixample borough to explore in-depth the works (buildings) of the celebrated pioneers of modernism: Domenech i Montaner, Puig i Cadafalch and, of course, Barcelona's most acclaimed architect Antoni Gaudí. As an extra bonus on this tour, you will get a 20% discount on a guided tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana (Music Palace), discounted entrance at Casa Batlló, free admission to the Museu del Modernisme Català (Catalan Modernism Museum), plus savings on admission to Casa Batlló. Great value and tons of information for the money spent!

- If you don't find tales of the supernatural terrifying, and if the gruesome details of witchcraft, exorcisms and paranormal activity, told after sunset, make your hair stand but only with curiosity, then why not treat yourself to a 2-hour “ghost” walk to discover sinister secrets of Barcelona, visiting some of the city's haunted places, entertained along the way by an informative commentary from an expert guide.

- Have the taste of Catalonia’s gourmet culture on this 3- to 4-hour tour of Barcelona's tapas crawling some of the city’s most prominent bars and cafes in La Rambla, La Boqueria food market, and the Gothic Quarter led by an expert food guide. Apart from savoring a variety of traditional Catalonian cured meats, cheeses and breads, as well as drinks, you will also learn how to order these iconic bar snacks in style, like a true local!

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Barcelona, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like Costa Brava, Pyrenees mountain range, or Tarragona and Sitges. For as little as US$90+ to US$190+ you will get a chance to observe the picturesque villages and dramatic cliffs of the nearby Mediterranean coast, get high up in the Pyrenees Mountains visiting the historic town of Vic in the north of the country with optional hiking, horseback riding or boating excursions, or discover historical highlights of the Roman city of Tarragona complete with a seaside leisure at Sitges. All these trips start and end at your hotel and you'll be carried by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or minivan, accompanied by an English-speaking tour guide.