The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) displays contemporary art in a modern building designed by Richard Meir. Known for its exhibitions, the MACBA is Barcelona’s premier art museum. If you want a first-hand experience of the art scene in Barcelona, the MACBA is the place to be!
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona - In A Nutshell
|⏰ Suggested Duration:||1.5 hours|
|☀️ Best Time to Visit:||Weekend mornings|
|🎟️ MACBA tickets||€10|
|🚇 Closest Metro||L1, L2|
Things to know
Constructed in: 1995
Architect: Richard Meir
Architectural style: Modernism
Opening Hours And Address
Monday to Thursday: 11 AM to 7:30 PM
Saturday: 10 AM to 8 PM
Sunday: 10 AM to 3 PM
Address: Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona.
Why Is The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona Worth Visiting?
- The MACBA focuses on contemporary art and has been declared a cultural heritage site by the Catalonian government.
- MACBA covers an area of 153,923 square feet.
- The MACBA features more than 5,000 artworks from the 1950s to the present day.
- The collection features works by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Anish Kapoor.
- The MACBA hosts many seminars, exhibitions, and events throughout the year.
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona Tickets
History Of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona opened on November 28, 1995. Though the idea for the MACBA took root in 1959, it was only in 1987 that the museum was set up. Joan Rigol championed the idea of a museum to house contemporary artworks in Barcelona and it was under his leadership that it was decided to house the MACBA in the former Casa de la Caritat.
With the creation of the Consortium of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, which included the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Foundation, the MACBA was born. Today, the MACBA is nothing short of an institution in Barcelona! The museum is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious contemporary art institutions in the world.
Architecture and Design of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
Designed by North American architect Richard Meier in 1990, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona was built between 1991 and 1995. The MACBA has been designed as a modernist building that pays tribute to the wonderful works of contemporary art that are displayed inside its white interiors.
The glazed southern elevation of the MACBA not only provides visitors with beautiful views across the plaza but also allows natural light to enter the museum. The Meier building, MACBA auditorium, and the Convent dels Àngels are the three main areas that make up the MACBA. There is also a library inside the museum that is exclusively dedicated to art books and publications. Be it the natural light, the views of the plaza, or the stunning artworks on display, the MACBA is a beautiful modernist building that is worth visiting.
Exhibits and Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
Bouchra Khalili - Between Circles and Constellations: Life stories on belonging, anti-colonial struggles and strategies for resistance of subjugated communities.
Corpus Infinitum - Film works revolving around the four elements of water, fire, earth, and air.
MACBA Collection Prelude - Putting artworks first to address their will, energy, and poetic intention rather than just viewing them as artworks displayed in a museum.
Josep Grau-Garriga's Dialogue with Light - Overview of Josep Grau-Garriga’s works, who is a major innovator in the art of tapestry.
Top Highlights Of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
1. Gran Error, Ignassi Aballi (1998)
Coming from a classical background in Fine Arts, Aballí developed multiple strategies to push the notion of painting to the limit. In the ‘Gran Error’ the elements of the artwork such as the layer of varnish, become an allusion to the non-existent painting.
2. Sterno, Jean Michel Basquiat (1985)
Basquiat’s ‘Sterno’ pays homage to heroes of Afro-American culture. These include jazz musicians and other references to American Culture. His work is characterized by vibrant lines and intense brush strokes.
3. Tejedora 91/31, Gego (1991)
Gego created the ‘Tejedora 91/31’ in the final years of her career. The artwork consists of small paper works that are woven using the textile procedure of weft and warp.
4. Iru Burni, Eduardo Chillida (1986)
Eduardo Chillida’s sculptures can be interpreted as a continuous dialogue with space, the void, and the idea of limits. Rather than the exterior space, Chillida is more interested in the space that is generated within.
5. Fluttering Hearts, Marcel Duchamp (1961)
Displayed in Room 5 at the MACBA, Ducahamp’s ‘Fluttering Hearts’ is an example of pop art and psychedelic art that became famous after the counterculture revolution of the 1960s.
6. Oiseau, Joan Miro (1946-1949).
You can find ‘Oiseau’ in Room 3 and 4 of the MACBA. Miro’s works feature a series of characters, highly stylized heads, and birds that he models in clay and then reproduces in bronze and terracotta.
7. Condensation Cube, Hans Haacke (1963-1968)
The ‘Condensation Cube’ by Hans Haacke is one of the artist’s earlier works. Most of Haacke’s earlier works focused on art in the sense of the process and the physical system. The artist’s interest in biology, ecology, and cybernetics is very evident in his works as well.
8. Aidez L’Espagne, Pere Portabella (1969)
Pere Portabella created this film using a combination of newsreels and film material from the Spanish Civil War. The film also contains prints from Miro’s series ‘Barcelona.’
9. Atomic Kiss, Joan Rabascall (1968)
Ever since he settled in Paris, Rabascall critically analyzed the limits, mechanisms, and possibilities of the media. His artworks were inspired by this study and the ‘Atomic Kiss’ is no different.
10. The Beatles, Richard Hamilton (1968)
Richard Hamilton’s works always explored the relationship between art, design, and popular culture. This is what led the artist to collaborate with the Beatles and create this iconic artwork that is displayed in the MACBA.
The MACBA Library and Bookshop
The MACBA Library boasts an impressive collection of books, magazines, and audio-visual material on contemporary art and culture. This is in line with the MACBA’s mission to support research and creation and share knowledge of contemporary art practices with the general public.
The MACBA library contains lots of informational material on artists and entities. It also gives its users access to specialized online databases that can be used for research purposes. The MACBA is more than just a museum for contemporary art-it is a museum dedicated to the research and support of contemporary art.
Best Time To Visit The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
The best time to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona is either on weekdays or on weekend mornings. If you want to enjoy free entry to the MACBA, plan your visit to the museum on a Saturday after 4 PM.
Additionally you can learn more about the Best Time to Visit Barcelona.
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona Timings
- Monday to Thursday from 11 AM to 7:30 PM.
- Open from 10 AM to 8 PM on Saturday
- Open from 10 AM to 3 PM on Sunday
- Closed on bank holidays and in August
- By Metro: You can take the L1, L2, or L3 metro to reach the MACBA.
- By Bus: Any of these bus routes-7, 22, 24, 47, 52, 54, 55, 59, 62, 63, 67, 120, V13, V15, H12, H16, D50, L94, L95, will take you to MACBA.
- By Train: Take the FGC or RENFE train and get off at the Plaça de Catalunya.
Insider Tips to Visiting The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
- Wear comfortable shoes when visiting the MACBA since you will be walking a lot.
- To avoid crowds, visit the MACBA on weekdays or weekend mornings.
- To enjoy free entry to the MACBA, plan your visit after 4 PM on Saturdays.
- Children under the age of 14 years enjoy free entry to the MACBA.
- Purchase your MACBA tickets online to easily plan your visit. While booking your online tickets, you can choose a timeslot and day that works best for you.
- You can purchase entry tickets to the MACBA 30 minutes before closing time.
- Photography, as long as it's done without flash, is permitted inside the MACBA.
Interesting Facts about The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
- The MACBA displays works of artists from the last 50 years.
- The MACBA building was designed by American architect Richard Meier.
- The exhibitions at the MACBA change every 3-6 months.
- The MACBA houses work by prominent contemporary artists such as Tàpies, Fontana, Saura, and Klee.
- The white building of the MACBA has strong references to the modernist architectural style.
- The south side of the MACBA is deliberately elevated to let visitors take in the views of the plaza. The elevation also ensures that natural light enters the museum.
Best Destinations for Contemporary
Located only 400 m away from the MACBA, the Tosca Del Carma is a stylish Spanish restaurant that serves some delicious tapas, cocktails, and craft beers.
The RAO restaurant is 400 m away from the MACBA. The rustic, brick-walled ambiance of the restaurants promises you an authentic Andalusian experience. You can enjoy this while having some scrumptious tapas and platillos.
Flax & Kale is only 350 m from the MACBA and serves healthy meals that you can enjoy. Be it their different salad options or their yummy gluten-free desserts, you can enjoy a meal at Flax & Kale without worrying about the calories.
500 m away from the MACBA, you can find the Teresa Carles restaurant. The restaurant boasts an impressive array of vegetarian and vegan dishes. It also serves traditional Spanish delicacies such as gazpacho and tacos.
Other Attractions around The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
Located 700 m away, the Plaça de Catalunya is a lively city square that is lined with trees and beautiful sculptures. You can stroll inside the square and spend your time doing some shopping or indulging in some tasty meals at the cafes.
Designed by acclaimed architect Antoni Gaudi, the Casa Mila is situated 3 km away from the MACBA. You can take a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and spend your time marveling at the beautiful art nouveau architecture of the building.
One of Spain’s iconic landmarks, the Sagrada Familia is only 4 km from the MACBA. The unfinished church has been under construction for over 100 years! Another Antoni Gaudi creation, La Sagrada Familia houses a museum and provides some of the best views in Barcelona. It’s completion is slated to take place by 2026!
Considered to be one of the best works of Antoni Gaudi, the Casa Vicens is a four-floor house that consists of modernist and Moorish influences. The Casa Vicens is only 3.6 km away from the MACBA and is worth a visit.
Hotels around The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona
The MACBA or the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona is a famous museum in the city that houses contemporary artworks created in the last 50 years.
The MACBA Barcelona is open from 11 AM to 7:30 PM from Monday to Thursday. On Saturdays, the museum remains open from 10 AM to 8 PM, and on Sundays, MACBA opens from 10 AM to 3 PM.
The best time to visit MACBA Barcelona is on weekdays or weekend mornings.
Yes! MACBA Barcelona provides free entry for visitors on Saturdays after 4 PM.
The MACBA Barcelona remains closed on public holidays and throughout August.
The best and most convenient way to purchase tickets is online. Buying MACBA tickets online gives you the freedom to choose a day and time that works best for you.
You can find the MACBA Barcelona at Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona.
For the convenience of its visitors, the MACBA Barcelona offers several facilities. These include paid cloakrooms, lifts, ramps, and free Wifi.