Barcelona Museums to get the creative juices flowing

It can only be Barcelona… Home to Gaudí – one of the most creative geniuses of the 20th century, winner of the innovation capital 2014, 4th most creative …

1979
1979

It can only be Barcelona… Home to Gaudí – one of the most creative geniuses of the 20th century, winner of the innovation capital 2014, 4th most creative city in the world, and holder of ambitions such as becoming an energy self-sufficient city through projects like building apartment blocks that produce more energy than they consume. If you consider yourself a creative person, then you won’t help but notice very quickly during your visit that this is a city of lateral thinkers hurtling into the future on the backs of small businesses and individuals with big ideas. It would be silly not to use that energy and drive to bolster your own creativity, so here are some brilliant (and fun!) museums to get your own creative juices flowing while you’re here.

Barcelona Museum of Design

Barcelona Design Museum
Barcelona’s Design Museum Facade

One of the newest additions to Barcelona’s museums scene, the Design Museum of Barcelona covers all the major design industries including product, graphic, textiles, decorative items, and even architecture, the latter via a tour of a 1930’s apartment building that focuses on the transition into modern architecture. It hones in on the Catalan and Spanish contributions to the world of design and the selection here has been made to be purposefully inspiring.

To give you an idea of how you might be inspired, the product design section is divided into; referential products – those of historical or cultural importance, materiality – those of innovative materials and techniques, and context – those which stand out when compared to their peers through function or aesthetic. The other sections, at the time of writing, take a more historical and chronological approach to demonstrating the most inspiring graphic, textile, and artistic innovations through our ages.

  • Website: http://www.museudeldisseny.cat/en
  • Address: Pl. de les Glòries Catalanes, 37-38
  • How to get there: Metro station Glòries (L1)
  • Standard price: €5. Free under 16s. Free Sundays 15:00 to 20:00. Free all day on the first Sunday of the month, February 8th and 12th, and September 24th.
  • Opening hours:
    • Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00
    • Closed Mondays (except public holidays), January 1st, May 1st, June 24th, and December 25th.

Museum of Ideas and Inventions Barcelona

MIBA Museum Barcelona
MIBA Museum Barcelona

Let’s begin with complete honesty on this one, it’s by no means the best museum in Barcelona for the standard tourist, but it’s certainly one of the most quirky and creative. The whole experience likely won’t last you more than 30 minutes, which is why you might prefer to opt for the “timed ticket” (see details below). Nevertheless, it can be a fun adventure with a couple of friends and is a demonstration of creativity through products and ideas like you’ve never seen before. There are silly ideas like, for example, “The most pointless invention in the world” and a “Can of SHH” that will make you laugh, shown alongside commercial products that you can actually buy, and serious ideas that will make you wonder why you didn’t come up with it first.

Many visitors probably misunderstand this museum, because the whole idea behind MIBA is to present people with the alternative thinking that the designers and inventors of the products on display used, so that they can be related to more serious applications (…or not, that part is really up to you!). So while for the average passer-by this place might not be so interesting, creative thinkers with a block will definitely get more value here!

… Oh! And don’t forget to use the toilet while you’re there…

  • Website: http://mibamuseum.com/en/index
  • Address: Carrer Ciutat 7
  • How to get there: Metro station Jaume I (L4) or Liceu (L3)
  • Standard price: €8 Or €0.20 per minute (first 5 minutes free).
  • Opening hours:
    • Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 19:00
    • Saturdays from 10:00 to 20:00
    • Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 to 14:00
    • Closed Mondays, December 25th, 26th, and January 1st.

CosmoCaixa

CosmoCaixa
CosmoCaixa – The Barcelona Science Museum

Sometimes that eureka moment comes from observing the world in which we inhabit. Sonar technology from bats, Velcro from burdock plants, and practically all technological advances from scientific progress. Even artists like Catalan Salvador Dalí – the human embodiment of imagination itself – frequently quoted principals of physics and biology in his works, something you’ll run into often at this museum. There is no need to sit down and study here though, because your inspiration will come through interacting with the fun and exciting displays.

You can easily spend an entire day at this museum, what with the main exhibition space measuring in at over 3500 square metres! In addition there is a rainforest ecosystem that you can explore, but be careful, because it actually rains in there! Alas, if nothing here on Earth inspires you, then that’s okay because in the planetarium, the stars certainly will…

  • Address: Carrer d’ Isaac Newton, 2
  • How to get there: FGC to Avinguda Tibidabo (L7). Buses 17, 22, 58, 73, 75, 60, and 196.
  • Standard price: €4. Free for under 16s. Free first Sunday each month.
  • Opening hours:
    • Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 – 20:00
    • Open from 10:00 to 18:00 on 24th December, 31st December, and 5th January.
    • Closed Mondays (except public holidays), 25th December, 1st January, 6th January.

El Rei de la Magia

Rei de Magia
Rei de Magia – The Magic Museum

From rationale and logic, to irrationality and illusion. The origins of this museum are as old as some parts of Barcelona that you might visit. Being founded in 1881 puts it amongst one of the oldest stores dedicated to magic in the world…  And who doesn’t love a good magic trick? The great thing about magic is that for centuries and even today, we ask ourselves in bewilderment “How did they do that?”. As you look at the objects used throughout history, not many clues are given as they tell their own story, but with a bit of imagination you could come up with ideas on how they might be used. There are also graphic display posters used by magicians, which have that distinctive style that elates mystery and intrigue.

After absorbing some of the memoirs of magic, you can take a seat in the theatre and be astounded and amused by a live magic act on stage before your very eyes. If you’re an artist, the whole spectacle of the show may evoke ideas… And if you’re a writer with writer’s block, then the magician might just make it disappear! (Well it’s worth a try anyway…)

  • Website: http://www.elreydelamagia.com/en
  • Address: Carrer Jonqueres 15 (museum and theatre), Carrer de la Princesa, 11 (shop)
  • How to get there: Metro Station Urquinaona (L1 and L4) for museum, Jaume I (L4) for shop.
  • Standard price: €3 museum, theatre shows vary in price – around €15 and half-price for kids.
  • Opening hours:
    • Museum: Tuesday – Sunday from 11:00 – 14:00 and then 16:00 – 18:00
    • Shop: Usually Monday – Friday 11:00 – 14:00 and then 17:00 – 20:00. Saturday 11:00 – 14:00.

MACBA

Inside MACBA
Inside MACBA

Art inspires art, and with aeons of art already behind humankind, today’s artists have never had it so tough on them to do something creative and original. From the resonating imagery of works by legendary Antoni Tàpies to temporary exhibits that play with your senses. There are over 5000 pieces in the MACBA collection, which is ever-rotating because there is simply not enough space to display them all at once.

That’s really the biggest strength of MACBA; they are not afraid to update their displays to reflect the current trends in modern society and even allow you to touch the art and really get to know it in the way that inspires you. Even the building itself, which is by Richard Meier, will galvanize the architects among you. Viewing art promotes both creative and critical thinking, so MACBA is certainly one to put on your list.

  • Website: http://www.macba.cat/en/
  • Address: Plaça dels Àngels, 1
  • How to get there: Metro Station Universitat (L1, L2), Sant Antoni (L2), Catalunya (L3), or Liceu (L3)
  • Standard price: €10 once, €15 for a year. Temporary exhibits free on opening day.
  • Opening hours:
    • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – 11:00 to 19:30
    • Saturday – 10:00 to 9:00
    • Sunday and public holidays – 10:00 to 15:00
    • Closed on Tuesdays

Of course, these are simply the museums of Barcelona. Depending on the type of person you are; the city has something that can get you thinking around practically every corner. Gorgeous architecture, stunning street-art, amazing performers, natural parks, breathtaking live-concerts… You get the idea. So, get out there and get thinking!

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