The Art Scene in Barcelona

Authored By:

Savannah S.

Like many cities abroad, Barcelona has an incredible art scene. Whether it’s museums or street art, you can find so many beautiful and inspirational pieces throughout the city. I wanted to share some of my favorite spots in Barcelona with you (and a few outside of Barcelona)!

Banksy Museum

The permanent Banksy exhibit is located in Espacio Trafalgar. For those of you who don’t know who Banksy is, Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based street artist whose real name remains unknown. In this museum, the building is set up as if it is a city itself, with an urban ambiance and backdrop. I thought this was really cool because you feel like you are seeing the art authentically, in real time, when people all across the world discovered these pieces. Each piece of artwork is accompanied by a small paragraph that gives some history and context about it. Overall, the exhibit includes more than 130 pieces of Banksy’s artwork, including some lesser known ones, but also his most popular ones, like Flower Thrower, Balloon Girl, and Kissing Coppers. 

Moco Museum

After Banksy, the Moco Museum was my favorite art museum in Barcelona! The Moco Museum is an independent museum that features Jean-Michel Basquiat, Banksy, JR, KAWS, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Yayoi Kusama, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Studio Irma and many more. Overall, it has a focus on modern and contemporary art that includes sculptures, paintings, graphic, as well as interactive pieces! 

Picasso Museum

The Picasso Museum shares many of Picasso’s paintings and his life story. While it was super cool, it was quite a bit shorter than the others I had visited. I would suggest doing the audio tour to make it worth the time and cost. 

Street art

There is a lot of street art in Barcelona. For one of my classes, we took a field trip to a nearby neighborhood specifically to look at some street art that was concentrated near a skate park. This was one of my favorite class field trips - the art was so beautiful, some of them were making political statements, while others were just making personal statements. I’ll include pictures of some of them in this post!

El Prado in Madrid, Spain

The Prado is one of the most popular and recognized places in the world of art. It houses many of Spain’s most important pieces of art connected to its history. They also have many activities for visitors, but you could spend an entire day here just looking around at all of the art! 

The Belvedere in Vienna, Austria

The Belvedere is home to one of the most famous paintings ever: The Kiss. This museum has three buildings, all with very different exhibits and experiences. The Upper Belvedere is a baroque palace with 800 years of art history. The Lower Belvedere has art exhibitions from the Middle Ages. Finally, Belvedere 21 is a venue for contemporary art, film, and music. Similar to the Prado, you could spend an entire day, if not two, at this museum. 

Don’t forget: most, if not all, of the museums abroad tend to have student discounts if you can show them your student ID!