Palau de la Musica Catalana: Barcelona’s Music Palace
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.
Note: those using the 2, 3, 4, or 5 day Barcelona Card for discounted transport gets 25% off Palace of Catalan Music tickets as well as many more can’t-miss attractions.
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.
In 2023 expect special hours for Easter and the month of July that are still TBA. Under normal circumstances (pre-COVID) there are also extended hours in August from 9:00 am to 6:00 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.
Related: How Many Days Should I Stay in Barcelona?
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.
March 18, 2022 at 11:28 pmSpending a few days in Barcelona after a cruise and I want to see a Flamenco show. The Palau de la Musica has seats available for the July 31, 2022 show. I am wondering if the box seats are the best to get and if you know anything about this "Palau Experience" that you must get for some of the better seats?
March 19, 2022 at 6:39 pmHi Julie, Thanks for writing :) Honestly, I haven't tried the Palau Experience. It's quite new and I think they're trying to fill a vacuum as some of the flamenco/tapas shows unfortunately went out of business due to COVID. I can wager a guess though based on my experience. First is that the audio guide visit (I have done this) really does add an extra dimension to any show you'll see there and is always recommended. The second is that they've always had a sneaky good tapas restaurant at the Palau, so I imagine that whatever menu items they churn out should live up to their 'exquisite' billing. As for the box seats, I don't find them to have terribly different sight lines from the same priced tickets in the middle of the auditorium. I'd recommend them if you prefer the smaller crowds and the feeling of a wall at your back, and not a hundred other guests haha. Hope this helps,
June 20, 2021 at 10:44 amhi ash, currently there is only the self-gilded tour available? does this one allows to skip the line as well? and visit the restricted areas you mentioned? cheers
June 20, 2021 at 11:51 amHi Daphna, Apologies for this... the COVID situation really killed us so we've had to take on other jobs and so a lot of the content has been neglected :( In this case the guided tours have been suspended temporarily while the tourist situation resolves itself. The only tickets available are through their website and it's the self-guided tour you mentioned. I will update the info in the article accordingly! Cheers,
February 1, 2019 at 1:30 am¡Hola! My family and I are planning on purchasing the Barcelona Card, that comes with a 20% discount. Is there a way to book our tickets online, but also use the discount card? And if we cannot, which offer is better, online or in-person with the Barcelona Card? Thanks!!
February 1, 2019 at 11:05 amHi Vanessa, Are you referring to the Barcelona City Pass? This is the only card that carries a 20% discount on attractions... the beautiful part about this pass is that it is redeemable online and you can book everything in advance. With the Barcelona Card (more of a transport pass that has no 20% discount card) you have to line up at ticket windows... this wouldn't be preferable in high season... but again, they're totally different cards and Barcelona Card is primarily for transportation. For a comparison of the cards I suggest you check out this link. I would go with the City Pass. Ash
December 10, 2018 at 6:34 amHi. I love your site. Lots of great info for planning our trip. So, we have tickets to a concert at noon at Palau de la Musica on 12/29. Is it also worth taking the guided tour, maybe before the concert?
December 10, 2018 at 11:58 amHi Elsie, Thanks for the kind words :) Honestly if you're big music fans and are interested in Catalan modernisme the tour is totally worth it... though if you're just casual fans maybe the money would be best spent upgrading a basic ticket at Sagrada to the guided tour or something similar. My two cents! Ash
December 10, 2018 at 11:49 pmThanks, Ash. We did get the City Pass, so we have the guided tour to Sagrada booked already. Thinking of spending the day in the El Born, after the concert. It looks as though there's much to see and experience there. Maybe PARC DE LA CIUTADELLA or the Picasso Museum? What's your favorite lunch and dinner spot in El Born?
December 11, 2018 at 11:36 pmHi Elsie, That's good to hear that you booked in advance! Even now in low season it's still probably the best plan of attack. If it's a sunny day I'm partial to Parc de la Ciutadella but if not I would hit up the Picasso Museum because it's a fascinating look into the man and his time in Barcelona, his early works. For eats in El Born I would go with either El Xampanyet or Nou Celler. The dark horse if you're just looking for a little junk food would be Bacoa Burger because they've got some really tasty offerings... you can even put manchego cheese on one of them and pretend you're eating full Spanish ;) Ash
September 25, 2018 at 5:14 amHeading there last minute- next week. Need to purchase a few “basics” for my travel wardrobe. Help! Also, we are a “hang w the locals” couple, hippies with some 5 star nights in is as well. Would love one or two outdoor active adventures, bargain shopping, authentic small restaurants and one night is high end, hotel bar and a show. 3 days- help?
September 25, 2018 at 8:18 amHi Lee, For the outdoor adventures I would recommend checking out either the Bunkers of Carmel or Montserrat depending on how much time you want to dedicate. The Bunkers are much closer and more accessible. The cheapest shopping is on a street in the Gothic Quarter called Portal del Angel - virtually everything you can imagine is there! For small authentic restaurants I would check out Tasca el Corral, Arume, or Bodega Joan. My favourite hotel bar is Banker's Bar at the Mandarin Oriental but you also can't go wrong with the roof terrace at Hotel Pulitzer or Hotel Grand Central. Take your pick :) As for the show I always recommend checking out flamenco because it's a Spanish institution, even if Catalans may not particularly agree that this is part of their culture ;) Also for 3 days you really can't go wrong following my 3 day itinerary because I couldn't have worded it any better there! Ash
December 12, 2016 at 10:19 pmHi! If I buy the Barcelona Card for 3 days, how do I get the 20% discount buying Catalan Music Palace tickets online?
December 13, 2016 at 1:29 amHi Vera, Unfortunately buying the Barcelona Card doesn't give you the opportunity to redeem the discount online. You'll have to do so at ticket windows. You may consider getting a 3 day Hola Bcn card (cheaper at 18.48 per ticket) and buying tickets for the Palau de la Musica individually online. Depending on the attractions you're looking to see it might even end up saving you some money. Do some calculations and let me know what you find out. If you have any more questions fire away ;) Ashley