If nature is the heart of modernism then the Palau de la Musica Catalana has flowers pumping through its veins.
Just try and pass it without stopping to admire the precision of the ornaments, the depth of the mosaics in its columns, and its sensational stained glass dome ceiling.
Going in for a concert or a guided tour in English is the real magic though – let’s see how we can do it.
Palau de la Musica Catalana
The Palace of Catalan Music is the result of three converging dreams:
- Up and coming choir Orfero Catala needing to find a permanent home.
- Barcelona wanting to put another jewel in the crown of Catalan Modernisme.
- Catalan architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner challenging conventional theater building.
The result is the most sought after modern auditorium in the world with an incredible 4.5 star rating over 11,000 Tripadvisor reviews – with the word ‘breathtaking‘ in hundreds of English reviews.
Facts on the Catalan Music Palace
- Seats 2200+ spectators.
- Is an amazing example of art nouveau architecture.
- Is an explosion of colour and carefully placed, gorgeous mosaics.
- Is the only auditorium in Europe that’s completely illuminated by natural light.
- Offers golden-age type acoustics that drive music lovers wild.
- Was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
- Hosts over 600 shows a year (from opera to flamenco to symphony orchestra and more).
- Has a 500,000+ annual concert attendance.
Why Take a Palace of Catalan Music Tour?
Nearly 300,000 people a year visit the Palau de la Musica and the number is only increasing – the reasons to see the palace via a guided tour are long but I recommend doing it because:
You see more, with access to restricted areas not open to the general public during concerts.
You see better, as guided tours during the day make way better use of the defining natural light that dazzles everyone who sets foot in the place.
You learn a ton of interesting information from the entertaining and informative English-speaking guides.
And finally, you save money since it’s about 50% cheaper than seeing most concerts.
The Palau de La Musica Guided Tour
A highlight of the Palau de la Musica tour has to be the massive 3000 pipe organ looming high above you – don’t despair, they’ll be sure to do a little performance just to show you how good the acoustics are.
Even better is the stained glass sun dome (shown above) that takes a majestic three-dimensional plunge into the concert space and looks like teardrop or a portal to another dimension.
There’s not a camera in the world to do this light show justice.
The initial video presentation about the history of the palace gives you all the info you need before the guide even opens their mouth.
When they do virtually every sculpture on the wall and ceiling is highlighted and explained.
The English guided tour of the Palau de la Musica runs daily at 10:00 am and at 3:00 pm.
Each tour lasts 50 minutes.
Palau de la Musica Tickets
Basic entrance to the Palau de la Musica (aka the ‘self guided ticket’) costs €15.00.
English tours of the Catalan Music Palace are available for the discounted online price of €18.00. Additionally, child visitors under 9 get tickets for free.
Buying in advance online is strongly advised to avoid long lines and ensure you get your desired time. There are limited spots per hour and groups are kept small, especially in COVID times.
You can grab tickets an support my blog at no extra cost to you by using my link from Tiqets below:
Once you’ve got them just print out the tickets you receive via email and show up to skip the lines.
Palace of Catalan Music Tour Opening Hours
The Palau de la Musica box office is open daily from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Hours are selected at the time of purchase.
Palace of Catalan Music Concerts
To attend concerts at the Catalan Music Palace there are typically two daily performances. A cross-section of a typical monthly concert schedule finds:
- Orchestra + ballet.
- Puppet shows for children.
- Flamenco guitar.
- Star Wars soundtrack symphony.
Single tickets for all concerts can be bought in advance online at the Palau de la Musica website. You can also get them at the ticket box office but you run the risk of shows being sold out.
Wondering about dress code? Ditch the beach wear and dress smart casual.
How to Get to the Palau de la Musica
The Palau de la Musica is found in the Born District at Carrer Palau de la Música 4-6. To get there simply take the yellow or red metro lines and get off at Urquinaona. You can also get there from Jaume I (yellow line).
The closest stop on the hop on hop of bus the Bus Turistic is Barri Gotic (red line).
There is also a bus stop for buses V15, V17, and 45.
The music palace is walking distance from:
- Anywhere in the Gothic Quarter.
- The Picasso Museum (5 minutes).
- The Barcelona Cathedral (5 minutes).
- Plaça de Catalunya (10 minutes).
- Las Ramblas (12 minutes).
Palace of Catalan Music Hacks
- Buy tickets online to save money, avoid lining up, and get desired time.
- Combine your entrance with the Barcelona Card for a 25% discount.
- Book for sunny days – mornings and sunset are especially good.
- Walk all around the building – the backside is spectacular 😉
- Buy gift shop souvenirs after the tour – guides usually give 10% discount coupons.
- Take the flash off your camera unless you want an angry guide!
- One of Barcelona’s best bars is nearby at El Bar de l’Antic Teatre.
- Explore the bustling Born district while you’re there.
Palau de la Musica Catalana History
This garden of light and colour, brainchild of genius Catalan architect Lluis Domenech y Montaner, was built between 1905 and 1908 during the same period Antoni Gaudi was hard at work on his masterpiece Casa Batllo.
By 1909 the building had already been awarded art nouveau masterpiece status by the city of Barcelona and in 1971 was declared a national monument.
Over the years some major improvements and changes have been made – the most important being between 1982 and 1989 and those at the beginning of the 2000’s giving the building a library, some offices, a tiny square, and even a bar.
Ready to Visit the Palau de la Musica?
How was your Palace of Catalan music tour? Let me know how it went but more importantly make sure to get at me in the comments below for any question regarding your Barcelona holiday.