MACBA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona

The MACBA, Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art, is located in the beating heart of the Raval, a neighborhood of the city less known to tourists but reborn and enlivened thanks in part to the presence of this building. If art is your passion, MACBA deserves a place on your list of must-see museums in Barcelona, next without a doubt to the famous works of Gaudí that adorn the city with their architectural magnificence.

The architecture of MACBA: the design of Richard Meier

The architecture of MACBA, designed by Richard Meier on commission in the late 1980s from the mayor of Barcelona, is an already valid reason to admire the museum, as many visitors report. Inaugurated in 1995 in the Plaça dels Àngels, this building is a masterpiece of light and space: Meier used white concrete, aluminum, and airy windows to create an environment that is both spacious and welcoming. Natural light floods the spacious interior, playing a key role in the visitor experience and the display of artworks.

Trivia about MACBA: skateboarders and the Raval district

The Raval neighborhood, where MACBA is located, is a very characteristic area of Barcelona but one that still struggles to shake off its name as a bad neighborhood. This museum, in this context, can be seen as a seed sown to make this area flourish beautifully: it has positioned itself as an open space, a place of cultures and confrontation.

The square in front of the museum is also known for a curiosity: it is the center of aggregation for skilled skateboarders who train and perform amazing acrobatics on wheels, making the Plaça dels Àngels among the most coveted in Europe for this activity. Spending time here, admiring them, will help you capture the contemporary essence of this neighborhood.

What works to see at MACBA in Barcelona

MACBA is best known for hosting temporary exhibitions of various artists from the contemporary scene. In the permanent collection, on the other hand, there are calculated to be thousands of works covering a period from the second half of the 20th century to the present, a good portion of which have been added in recent times. These are sculptures, photographs, paintings, objects and installations (including multimedia). Among the artists are Antoni Tàpies, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ferran Garcia Sevilla, and Ignasi Aballí.

MACBA: how to make tickets

The standard ticket to MACBA Barcelona, which you can buy here, includes both the permanent collection and access to temporary exhibitions. The audio guide is currently only available in Castilian, Catalan, and English. With the online ticket purchase, you’ll just have to show the code to scan at the entrance of the museum, which you can visit during the week between 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., except on closing day, Tuesday. This ticket can be cancelled or rescheduled up to the day before your visit.

Certainly MACBA is not the only museum in the city that allows you to enter the artistic soul of Barcelona. If you plan to delve deeper into its offerings, I recommend opting for an advantageous card that gives you access to multiple museums in Barcelona, such as MACBA, the Picasso Museum, the Joan Miró Foundation, and MNAC. The advantage of this pass is that it is valid for 12 months, so you can enjoy your visits at your leisure.

If you visit the MACBA, take advantage of your stay in the neighborhood to visit the Raval with a local guide: in addition to visiting the unique narrow streets of the area and Poble Sec, you can enjoy (included in the experience) a tasty pintxo (the Basque variation of tapas) while sipping wine.

How to get to MACBA

Getting to the MACBA is really easy: if you are staying far away, the advice is to take a bus or metro line that will take you to the central Plaça Catalunya and then walk from there. Take Las Ramblas towards the port and turn at the second street on the right to get to the museum in about ten minutes.

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