Barcelona is an art lover’s paradise. Every time I visit the city, I always end up stumbling upon something new and beautiful.
Barcelona can be an expensive city to visit in terms of accommodation, especially if you do not want to stay in super-cheap accommodation. This summer I was lucky enough to find a few house sits in Spain which offered free accommodation in return for pet sitting (house sitting responsibilities tend to vary but these are the normal requirements) as well as a few cool apartments and even yachts to rent out for accommodation, although this turned out to not be as glamorous as thought as the marina is party central, especially at the weekends.
In between all of this, I managed to check out some of Barcelona’s art scene. Here’s a guide for anyone else who plants to visit.
No trip to Barcelona is complete without a trip to the Sagrade Familia, although beware you’re not the only one who will have thought of this. In summer, queues to see Barcelona’s number one tourist attraction are long so booking online is recommended. This enables you to skip the queue, a very welcomed piece of information I picked up from a fellow art enthusiast I met there.
Love or hate the Sagrade Familia it is an iconic landmark from Barcelona and even though it’s a tourist hotspot, like the Casa Amatller and Casa Milá, that’s no reason to avoid visiting these places.
One building that wasn’t listed under top architectural sites of Barcelona was the Natural Gas Building. It’s twenty stories high, made of glass and the work of Catalan architect Enric Miralles and the Italian architect Benedetta Tagliabue. Although it might not have the same traditional class and creativity as some of Barcelona’s other popular buildings it’s definitely worth taking a look at and deciding what your own personal opinion of the structure is.
This year I managed to make it to two of Barcelona’s best galleries; the Picasso Museum and Fundació Joan Miró. No prizes for guessing what both contain: the Museu Picasso is home to the largest collection of Picasso’s artwork and the Fundació Joan Miró contains an impressive collection of Miro’s work dating back to 1914.
Both museums are laid out in such a way that it’s very easy to say the progression and improvement both artists experienced as well as giving other interesting insights into both of their lives.
Had I had more time I would have tried to make it to the Dali Museum which is located about an hour and a half by car outside of Barcelona in a town known as Figueres.
Other Places to Visit
I managed to make my way to quite a few of Barcelona’s other arty attractions. Here and in no particular category, are some of the best ones the city has to offer.
- CaixaForum – A redbrick and glass Art Nouveau fortress is amazing for the building alone.
- Catalan National Art Museum – Catalonia has a rich and colourful history. So much so that they’re currently trying very hard to get independence from the rest of Spain; an indication that they feel themselves to be very different and in fact their own nation. For this reason, a trip to Barcelona absolutely must include at least one visit to the Catalan National Art Museum which houses almost ten centuries of Catalan art; everything from painting and sculpture to music, coinage and photography.
- Tapies Foundation – Created by artist Antoni Tapies, this foundation and centre was set up with the purpose of studying and promoting modern and contemporary art.
- Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona – There’s always something interesting and cultural going on at the CCCB.
- Parc Guell – Another tourist hotspot, but if you can break away from the crowds this is a great place to relax and enjoy Gaudi’s artwork.This was a guest article written by James. James is a freelance travel writer currently exploring what Spain and Portugal have to offer. You can follow him on Twitter.