Montjuïc Museums Tour (Self Guided), Barcelona

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.

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