Night of the Museums: free entry and everything you need to know
Saturday, May 14 will see around 75 museums and galleries will open their doors free of charge through the night
The Night of the Museums is nearly upon us. Each year, the biggest museums in Barcelona and Catalonia open their doors to the public free of charge for a special night of science, art, history, and much more.
Saturday, May 14, will see around 75 establishments open their doors until 1 am, much later than any normal closing time, to mark this international event in celebration of learning.
Many museums and galleries offer free entrance on certain afternoons on weekends, but others don’t participate in such a promotion, offering the chance to visit for free only on special occasions such as the Night of the Museums.
The chocolate museum, the FC Barcelona museum and Camp Nou tour, as well as Park Güell are some of the most popular attractions in the city that normally always cost money to enter. However, now you’ll have the chance to see them for free, thanks to Night of the Museums.
How to visit museums in Barcelona for free
Many establishments will have queues outside their front doors for people to enter for free without reservation on the night of Saturday, May 14. However, some require prior booking on their website.
Click here to see the full list of sites participating.
Here’s how you can enjoy the best museums in Barcelona for free.
From 7 pm until 12.30 am, the Picasso Museum, located in the heart of Barcelona’s old town, will offer free admission with a guided tour answering any and all questions visitors may have about the famed cubist artist.
To enter, tickets have to be reserved in advance on the Picasso Museum’s website.
FC Barcelona offer a tour of a museum located within the grounds of their Camp Nou stadium as well as a visit to the stands of the famous stadium. Learn about the history of the club and see historic trophies and awards the blaugrana have picked up through more than a century of football.
According to the event website, no prior booking is necessary.
Visitors will be able to see one of Gaudí’s most emblematic works, Park Güell, for free on the night. Normally, much of the park is open publicly, but the most special part is reserved for those who purchase tickets, the area containing the famous salamander in a mosaic design.
The night will also feature one hour tours of the guard house within the park, a home that, despite its great richness and compositional complexity, is one of the examples of a modest work designed by Gaudí.
According to the event website, no prior booking is necessary.
Barcelona’s contemporary art museum, MACBA, situated in the Raval district of the city center, boasts its own permanent collection as well as a set of temporary exhibitions featuring universal senses, conceptual art “in real time”, an textiles as a manner of code.
To visit on Night of the Museums, one must reserve tickets on MACBA’s website.
The MNAC, Catalonia’s National Art Museum, is truly one of the most splendid works of architecture in the world, with a collection of art within it to match. Enjoy its permanent collection of Civil War art, post-war and avant-garde pieces, as well as its temporary exhibition on writer Benet Rossell.
It’s recommended that tickets be booked in advance on the MNAC website.
One of the most fun museums in Barcelona, the chocolate museum, teaches us the past and the present of one of the world’s favourite sweet treats, from the discovery of cacao to its journey around the world.
To visit, simply queue up outside the doors on the night, but get there early because the Chocolate Museum tends to be a very popular spot on Night of the Museums.
Barcelona’s Contemporary Culture Center always shares some of the most thought-provoking exhibitions with the public. Showing at the moment is an exhibit on Francesc Tosquelles, the legendary Catalan psychiatrist who fought in the Civil War and was exiled to France after it. Additionally, the CCCB hosts a two-hour poetry slam starting at 9 pm.
To enjoy either the exhibition or the poetry activity, book your place on the CCCB website.
The CaixaForum is an exhibition space that takes a look at a wide variety of fascinating topics constantly on rotation. At the moment, in Barcelona, people can visit a show on the surrealist artist René Magritte, learn about the grammatical poetry of the ‘hack’, as well as the restoration of a tapestry originally made by Joan Miró.
Joan Miró Foundation
One of the greatest Catalan artists of all time has his art foundation and museum in one of the most serene, beautiful, picturesque corners of the city, located up on the hill of Montjuïc. The Miró Foundation boasts many original works from the celebrated impressionist, as well as a selection of temporary exhibitions on show.
Strings, brass, woodwind, percussion – through music and instruments, we can learn about the history of cultures around the world. View rare instruments from the past and hear treasured historic pieces at the Barcelona Music Museum. As well as the collection, Marc Vilanova will give an experimental saxophone concert, although without using any sort of digital manipulation of the sound.
The gig begins at 8.30 pm, and according to the event website, tickets to the performance are required in advance, available on the website.
Found right in the heart of the city, just off La Rambla, Antoni Gaudí’s Palau Güell may be one of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets. An extraordinary modernist palace with intricate designs and secrets to be found in every corner, a tour will be given during Night of the Museums to uncover the “secret face of Palau Güell.”
Free tickets will be available on the Palau Güell website from May 8 and only a limited amount will be available.
International Museum Day in Catalonia
Vic - Medieval Art Museum
Open to everyone, on May 18, the Medieval Art Museum in the inland city of Vic will welcome all visitors for free. During the day, some of the museum’s workers will present the artwork of Joan Gastó, made from 1509 to 1510.
Terrassa - Model train show
A free activity, on May 14 from 7:30pm to 12am in Terrassa’s Catalan National Museum of Science and Technique. The model train show features several trains with over 400 meters of rails and over 200 wagons.
Calella - Bomb shelter visit
During the May 14 and 15 weekend, in the seaside town of Calella, visitors will be able to enter a bomb shelter from 10am to 2pm.
Badalona - Baetulo, Roman city visit
A night back in time, when visitors will go to Badalona’s Baetulo Roman city between 7pm and 1am on Saturday, May 14. A possibility to discover the Dolphins house, the Ivy house, and free entry to the Termes-Decumanus baths.
Ullastret - Iberian city visit
The Iberian city of Ullastret, north of Catalonia, will allow visitors to enter into an unknown world of those who lived in the territory in the ancient past. From 10am to 6pm, everyone, especially children, is welcomed in Ullastret.
Ripoll - Be a monk copyst
In the northern town of Ripoll, people at 8pm on May 14 will be able to become monks and copy some texts in the Santa Maria de Ripoll monastery. Visitors can learn about the importance of the monastery in the X and XII centuries.
Balaguer - Al-Andalús at night
A sensorial visit at 10pm on May 14 at the Balaguer’s Al-Andalús installations. A night visit to one of the permanent exhibitions of the museum, with a theatrical performance. It will be necessary to book an appointment by phone +34 973 445 194.
Cambrils - Tower visit
Over the weekends from May 14 to May 22, all visitors to the seaside town of Cambrils can enter the tower of Cambrils port. A free entry from Saturday 11am to 2pm and from 5pm to 8pm and then on Sundays from 11am to 2pm. The visit welcomes all kinds of visitors, from children to older residents.
Lleida - Eight museums open
Eight museums in Lleida, western Catalonia, will open from 8pm until midnight on May 14 for free. This includes CaixaForum Lleida, Water Museum (Museu de l'Aigua), the Gardeny templars castle (Castell dels Templers de Gardeny,), the Jaume Morera Art Museum (Museu d'Art Jaume Morera), La Panera Art Center (Centre d'Art La Panera), the Automobile museum (Roda Roda Museu de l'Automoció), la Seu Vella cathedral and the Lleida museum.