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MNAC – National Art Museum of Catalonia

MNAC – National Art Museum of Catalonia


MNAC (Museum National d’Art de Catalunya) contains incredible collections of Catalan art spanning 1000 years from the Romanesque period to the mid-twentieth century. It is a must for any art lover or for those interested in learning a bit more about Catalan history.

The beginnings of the museum started in 1880 and the collection has now grown to over 250,000 pieces. In 1990 it was declared a national museum after bringing together collections from two museums (one with works from the Romanesque and Gothic period and the other with 19th – 20th century works). The museum features many pieces from some of the most famous Catalan artists including Picasso, Gaudí and Dalí.

MNAC – National Art Museum of Catalonia - Barcelona Home

MNAC is located inside the stunning building on Montjuic hill where you can also view the Magic Fountain every weekend. Inside, the pieces take you through the history of Catalan art across the region. Highlights include the Romanesque collection where you can see frescoes displayed in replicas of the churches they were originally stored in. Moreover, the modern art collection features sculptures and photography from artists including Gaudí, known throughout Barcelona for his iconic modernist architecture.

Besides, there is a lot to see so make sure you give yourself enough time to see it all so you can fully enjoy the art on display.

The Art

Indeed, the MNAC embraces all the arts (sculpture, painting, objets d’art, drawing, engraving, posters, photographs and coins) and also explains the general history of Catalan art from the Romanesque period to the mid-twentieth century.

In the case of the Romanesque and Gothic collections, this work is characterized by the Catalan provenance of most of the pieces, although, especially in the Gothic style, comparisons are made with art from other provenances.

MNAC – National Art Museum of Catalonia - Barcelona Home

Additionally, as for the Renaissance and Baroque collections, the works lead us to a more international discourse, with the work of great painters. Painters such as El Greco, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Cranach, Rubens …

The art collections of the MNAC between the end of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century are once again composed mainly of works by Catalan artists. Thus, forming a discourse that explains Modernism, Noucentisme and avant-garde, without ever forgetting all the other arts.

 MNAC – National Art Museum of Catalonia - Barcelona Home

The MNAC has an incredible collection of Romanesque art, with many murals. Many of these come from abandoned churches in the Pyrenees. The museum also has a unique collection of painted panels from the 12th and 13th centuries, as well as woodcarvings, marble carvings and ironwork.

In particular, you will find a series of religious works painted on wood dating back to the 13th to 15th centuries. Most of the pieces are from the Catalan and Valencian schools, which were largely influenced by Italian and French Gothic art.

‘Second Canvas Museu Nacional’, a new way of exploring the museum

Discover a new way of visiting the museum, by downloading the Second Canvas Museu Nacional app; with which you will be able to explore the works through for instance ultra-high-resolution images with interactive storytelling; or make an audio-guided tour. The Second Canvas application allows you to make an audio-guided tour of the museum’s 20 outstanding works; and most importanly in nine different languages: Catalan, Castilian, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese.

Opening Times

MNAC – National Art Museum of Catalonia - Barcelona Home

  • The Museum is closed on Mondays.
  • Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10am to 6pm (until 8pm during Summer months).
  • Sundays and public holidays: 10am to 3pm.


Adults € 12 (valid for two days)
Concessions get 30% discount
Free for children under 16
Admission is also free every Saturday after 3pm and the first Sunday of every month.

How to get there

MNAC – National Art Museum of Catalonia - Barcelona Home

Address: Palau Nacional Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain. Firstly, from Plaça Espanya head down Avinguida Maria Cristina. Then, you will straight away see the museum. Also, continue up via the escalators or if you’re feeling particularly fit, take the stairs.

Metro: L1, L3 (Plaça Espanya)
Bus: 150, 13, 55
FGC: L8, S33, S4, S8, R5, R50, R6, R60

For more information check the website.

Also, are you planning a trip to Barcelona and looking for somewhere to stay? Why not take a look at the AVAILABLE APARTMENT RENTALS ON OUR WEBSITE! Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

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Written by: xavi


Hello there! I love to travel, and Barcelona is a great city to live, thats why I decided to write about it and share my experiences!

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