Ash
Written by Ash

The Picasso Museum Barcelona and How to Visit in 2020

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Update 13/03/20: The Picasso Museum is closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For updates please check out my group I’m Off to Barcelona.

If you’re like me the name Picasso really rings a bell.

Not everybody though has such a great understanding one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century – luckily one of the best ways to learn is right here in Barcelona.

By visiting the world’s largest collection of Picassos.

Whether you’re just stopping in for a couple hours or going for the full Picasso Museum Tour you’re going to want to do this right with local tips. Without lining up.

Here’s my guide to the Picasso Museum Barcelona.

What You’ll See

Though the building alone is worth the price of admission, you’ll find a permanent exhibition of more than 4,000 Picassos. Most of the works are from his early years and showcase the maturation of an artist.

The majority were donated to the museum by Picasso himself as a thanks to his friend Jaime Sabartés, the founder of the museum.

The Barcelona Picasso museum is located in a historic building off Calle Montcada in the trendy Born district and its many rooms are each dedicated to a stage of Picasso’s youth.

Picasso’s Formative Years

It begins with a fascinating cross-section of Picasso’s first academic years, featuring some of his darkest works created over the winter at the Madrid Academy.

You’ll also see more cheerful work created during his vacations to the village of Horta de San Joan.

There is some very impressive academic demonstration of light and shadow that’s hard to believe he created while still just a boy. The adolescent age continues to be told later in other joyous paintings from his hometown of Malaga.

The Blue Period

The financial difficulties experienced by Picasso in this era meant he couldn’t even afford to buy colours. His solution? Not using them!

Here you notice the economical approach to his frescoes of the time – and it’s clear his state of mind made it impossible to create anything cheerful.

The period was prompted by the death childhood friend Carles Casagemas. Casagemas shot himself because of an unrequited love for one Germaine Pichot – later one of the five subjects of Picasso’s The Young Ladies of Avignon.

The Barcelona connection? All the ladies were all prostitutes on the city’s famous Carrer d’Avinyó.

Under the Influence

Continuing the tour you’ll see and admire copies of Velazquez, who Picasso considered a blueprint of sorts, and many other copies of the old masters who influenced Picasso.

You’ll especially see the artistic kinship between Picasso’s work and that of Velazquez, though Picasso always maintained his own personal touch.

The Barcelona Years

During his stay in Barcelona Picasso’s paintings would absorb the latest trends of a modern city. You’ll even find some humour, like the fake newspaper clippings depicting his friend Sabartes in erotic exploits with several women.

The Rose Period

Here Picasso used cheerful reds, oranges, and pinks to depict clowns, harlequins and circus performers. Professional growth and maturity marked his move to Paris.

It was there that he realized he needed to use a stage name and his signature (which normally included two first names) became simply PICASSO. This is Picasso’s Pink Period.

You’ll end the tour passing through the Pigeon Room (which apparently Picasso painted because his terrace in California was infested) to the Meninas Room, where you’ll find an extravagant variety of works from Velazquez.

a tourist holds 3 barcelona discount passes in front of the arc de triomf in barcelona spain a tourist holds 3 barcelona discount passes in front of the arc de triomf in barcelona spain
City Pass, Hola Bcn, or Barcelona Card?

How Much Does the Picasso Museum Cost?

A word of advice: if you plan on visiting more than one of Barcelona’s museums it’s worth it to grab yourself an Articket BCN discount pass to save up to 45% on museum ticket window prices.

  • General admission (adult): €12.00.
  • General admission (18-25 and 65+): €7.50.
  • General admission (under 18 + university students): free.
  • Audio guide in English: €5.00.

General admission tickets include access to the regular collection + any temporary exhibitions.

For all discounted tickets ID must be shown – visitors under 14 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

I recommend booking your Picasso museum tickets in advance online – more info below.

All tickets are non-refundable and single-entry.

You can print your tickets or show them on your phone.

Temporary Exhibition Prices

Again, the Barcelona Picasso Museum is home to some interesting temporary exhibitions which are included in the general admission ticket.

Some examples of past temporary exhibitions include Mythologies, Cubism and War, Jacqueline (Picasso’s wife), and Picasso: Photography and Ceramic.

You can also see the temporary exhibitions independently for the following prices:

  • Temporary exhibition only (adult): €7.50.
  • Temporary exhibition only (18-25 and 65+): €4.50.
  • Temporary exhibition only (under 18): free.

Again, make sure to bring ID for discounted Picasso Museum tickets.

How long should you leave for the visit? Expect to spend about 20-30 minutes on the temporary exhibition.

Audio Guides

A full audio guide in English is available describing 51 of the works in depth and giving great context to the collections and the eras they were created.

The prices are as follows:

  • General collection audio guide: €5.00.
  • Temporary collection audio guide: €4.00.
  • General + temporary combo: €7.00.

General collection audio guides are also available in Catalan, Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, German, Italian, and Korean.

Temporary audio guides are also available in Catalan, Spanish, and French.

Picasso Museum Free Days

If you’re in town at the right time you’ll be happy to know that the Picasso Museum Barcelona participates in free museum Sundays – in my opinion the best of all the free things to do in Barcelona.

You’ll find the museum free of charge on the following dates:

  • The first Sunday of every month from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
  • Thursday afternoons from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
  • Open Door Days (February 12th, May 18th, and September 24th)

Careful! Starting in 2017 free day entrance times must be booked in advance.

Free tickets are subject to availability and can only be booked up to 4 days in advance.

Picasso Museum Advance Tickets Online

Since tickets often sell out before closing it’s recommended to buy them in advance online.

Just select your type of ticket, a date, and your entrance time (times are staggered about every 15 minutes) to guarantee your spot at the museum.

An added bonus: if you’ve already got your Barcelona Picasso museum tickets you won’t have to wait in line. You’ll go straight in at the Calle Montcada 17 entrance.

Book your advance tickets clicking the button below:

PICASSO MUSEUM
Book my tickets now!

University students looking for free entry cannot book online. They must present their student IDs at ticket windows.

Careful! Online advanced tickets can be made for up to 9 people. For groups bigger than 10 you’ll need to contact the Picasso museum directly at museupicasso_reserves@bcn.cat.

a pan of seafood paella at bodega joan restaurant in barcelona spain a pan of seafood paella at bodega joan restaurant in barcelona spain
Get a paella tasting menu at the legendary Bodega Joan!

The Barcelona Picasso Guided Walking Tour

Sometimes a basic ticket just isn’t enough and it’s better to have a licensed local guide take you through.

There’s no better way to trace Picasso’s Barcelona life than with this 90 minute tour in English. Along the way you’ll stop at some of Picasso’s favourite haunts like the Els Quatre Gats Café.

You’ll become an expert with a super-informative presentation on the private life and career of Picasso.

You’ll finish the tour with a tour of the Picasso Museum.

  • Adults: €36.00.
  • Children (11 to 16): €12.00.

Tours run at 5:00 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.

This is an exclusive offer that’s not even offered at the museum itself. For more info click the blue button below:

PICASSO WALKING TOUR
Book my tickets now!

Once you’ve bought the Picasso Walking Tour tickets you’ll receive an initial email confirmation from tour legends Ticketbar followed by a second email with your tickets and tour departure information.

Picasso Museum Hours

All hours listed below included holidays. Keep in mind that the ticket office closes 30 minutes before the museum so if you haven’t booked online make sure you show up in time.

Updated hours for 2020 TBA.

  • Monday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 am to 8:30 pm.
  • Thursday: 9:00 am to 9:30 pm  (open doors 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm)
  • Closed: January 1, May 1, June 24, December 25 .

Free entrance: Thursday afternoon from 6:oo pm till 9:30 pm, the first Sunday of the Month from 9:00 am till 8:30 pm, and during the Open Doors free museum days on May 18th and September 24th.

Tickets for these dates can only be bought 4 days in advance using the the official website.

There are reduced hours on December 24 and December 31 – the museum closes at 2:00 pm. On January 5th it closes at 5:00 pm.

How long should you leave for a good visit?

Leave around 90 minutes for the Barcelona Picasso Museum and 120 minutes if you’re including the temporary exhibition.

Where is the Picasso Museum in Barcelona?

The museum is located at 15-23 Carrer Montcada in the Born neighbourhood and just a stone’s throw from the legendary Gothic Quarter.

The nearest metro stations are Jaume I (yellow line L4) and Arc de Triomf (red line L1)

Buses: 120, 45, V15, V17, 39, 51, H14.

Picasso Museum Hacks

  • Always book your museum tickets in advance to avoid lines and rejection.
  • If you’re visiting more than one museum use the Articket BCN discount card.
  • Go very early in the day to avoid the biggest crowds.
  • Grab an audio guide unless you’re a complete Picasso expert.
  • Combine your visit with a look at the nearby Catalan Music Palace.
  • Grab a drink or coffee nearby at the great outdoor bar Antic Cafe.
  • Talk to a member of staff about exclusive entrance for kids with strollers/prams.
  • Lockers can be rented on site for €1.00 (bring exact 1 euro coin change).
  • There are shops near the museum selling similar souvenirs for much cheaper.
  • Drinks are not allowed in so drink them up before you enter!

Where to Eat Near the Picasso Museum

You can have some great tapas nearby at El Xampanyet or Cal Pep. Both of these restaurants can only be described as high quality, homemade, and traditional.

Another great option is Nou Celler, a place serving traditional Catalan food at affordable prices. The lunch set menu costs just €12.00 with a starter, main, dessert, and drink.

I would personally go for the escalivada (a grilled veggie dish), buttifarra (a local sausage), or gazpacho (a cold tomato soup).  Another option for €20.00 is the tapas tasting menu where you’ll get about a dozen different tastes.

You’ll find Nou Celler in Carrer de la Princesa 16 just two minutes away from the Picasso Museum.

Hit Me Up in the Comments Below

If you still haven’t got enough information on the Picasso Museum Barcelona or anything else related to your vacation then why not harass me with a little message below? I’d be happy to help.

Also! Any compliments or criticisms about the blog are greatly appreciated since I am always striving to make this resource better and better – fire away!

And don’t be afraid to join the Picasso museum discussion by first giving me a like on Facebook and then joining my group I’m Off to Barcelona – here you can ask any questions, air out grievances, and chat with thousands of Barcelona travelers.

Anything goes!

69 comments
  • February 26, 2020 at 8:00 pm
    Courtney
    Hi! Thank you so much for all of the information you've provided me prior to our trip in May! We would like to visit the museum prior to embarking on a cruise, so we will have our luggage with us that morning. Is this something that the museum can handle? The website mentions a cloakroom that is free of charge, but I am not sure if checked size luggage as well as carry-ons are allowed. Thanks!
    • February 27, 2020 at 11:34 am
      lucile
      Lucile
      Hola Courtney, I've contacted the museum to ask them directly, they have a special cloakroom for suitcases, so it's allowed ;) Cheers, Lucile
  • February 24, 2020 at 7:14 pm
    Rose P
    Can I apply my Barcelona City Pass discount on Picasso Museum General Admission tickets? There is not a place to enter the discount code on the payment page.
    • February 25, 2020 at 10:25 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Rose, Unfortunately with the City Pass the discount can only be applied to the guided tour. Cheers, Ash
  • February 1, 2020 at 5:15 am
    Christine Hamayasu
    I reserved a Barcelona Card and Museu Picasso is free; but the card states that I need to make reservations in advance? How do I do that? Thanks!
    • February 1, 2020 at 3:49 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Christine, Unless you're trying to go on one of the free days (listed above) you won't need to. Simply present the card at the Montcada 23 entrance and you'll be let right in :) Cheers, Ash
  • December 8, 2019 at 2:20 am
    Sheila
    Hello! Thank you for such a great site - it’s been extremely helpful. I’ve just booked three guided tours for 7 pm on Thursday night for 12 Euros (two adults, one child). It doesn’t look like the free admission tickets are available yet (its 2 am on the Sunday prior to the free admission day). Do I need to also get three free admissions when they become available (that is, have I just purchased the tour, but not the admission)? Thanks, Sheila
  • November 11, 2019 at 1:36 am
    Rozelle Vogelman
    If I buy a BCN discount pass, am I able to book a specific time slot for entrance to the Picasso Museum and other museums?
    • November 11, 2019 at 12:40 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Rozelle, Unfortunately with the Barcelona Card the discounts cannot be redeemed online and must be done at ticket windows. That said, for most museums unless you're going on a free day (not possible without booking) or at peak hours on weekends in high season there shouldn't be any problems with queues. Cheers, Ash
  • October 28, 2019 at 9:37 pm
    Carol
    Hello: wondering if there are any benches as you go through the huge exhibit of Picasso's lifetime of work?
    • October 29, 2019 at 8:12 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Carol, If my memory serves me correctly there are plenty of benches! :) Ash
  • September 29, 2019 at 10:52 pm
    Gordon Smith
    Hey Ash, I'm trying to book tickets for the Picasso Museum on Thu Oct 3rd and, after completing all the fields and clicking the Finish button, I keep getting pop box with an error message "It is not allowed sales with zero amount". I tried adding in an audio guide for €5 but still get that message. I also tried using a different browser but still get the error. Am I a day early in trying to book? Any thoughts? Thanks
    • September 30, 2019 at 2:02 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Gordon, I've never heard of this message before so I'm assuming that it's either because it's already sold out or it's too early... have you tried today? I just tried for my friend and it worked! I'm using Chrome and a windows laptop. Cheers, Ash
      • September 30, 2019 at 6:34 pm
        Gordon
        We just tried again on my wife's Ipad and it worked! Immediately afterward I tried on my Mac & got that same weird "zero amount" error message. Can't figure it out but we have tickets now. Gordon
        • October 1, 2019 at 10:43 am
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Wow! That's very strange and sorry to hear you're having such troubles... but all is well that ends well eh? Technology confuses me sometimes. Enjoy the visit :)
      • September 30, 2019 at 5:57 pm
        Gordon
        Ash, Yes, I have tried repeatedly today, even at 4am on my Android phone, but I still get the same result (Using a MAC & Safari & Firefox browsers). I can't figure out what, if anything I am doing wrong. I can tell by the calendar on the Museum site that others are seemingly having no problems booking as the time slots are filling up and the earlier ones are now closed. When my son comes home at lunch I am going to get him to try on his VPN to see if that makes any difference. Thanks Gordon Smith
  • September 19, 2019 at 6:01 pm
    John L Baran
    Should I purchase tickets in advance if I'm going during a non-touristy time in early December?
    • September 20, 2019 at 10:28 am
      lucile
      Lucile
      Hi John, I always recommend buying tickets in advance online for several reasons. You'll be able to skip the line, you'll be sure to enter in the attraction and sometimes you can even save money buying online ;) If you're only talking about Picasso museum tickets, I think it won't be too busy at this period of the year and don't forget that you can have free ticket on the first Sunday of the month and on Thursday's afternoon, you'll have to "buy" your ticket in advance online even if it's free!
  • September 10, 2019 at 9:37 am
    Anna Paik
    Hello, I found your site extremely detailed and useful. Thank you. I made several restaurant bookings through your site already. Just have a quick question if you have the time to answer, I would appreciate it. I'm traveling with my mom, and she's a senior. So, I'm sure at museums, they will ask to see her ID. I really don't want to carry around my passport when sightseeing. Do photocopies work in Barcelona? Can I use them to for VAT, museums, AVE trains...? Still pouring through your site every chance I get~ Really appreciate all the great info!
    • September 10, 2019 at 11:43 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Anna, Thanks so much for your kid words, I am glad to help :) I totally understand the not wanting to carry passport thing... honestly I wouldn't worry about them checking IDs too much as I've heard it isn't so strict. I would definitely just take a snap of them on your phone and even a photocopy and it should be fine. Cheers, Ash
  • August 17, 2019 at 9:39 am
    Estela Tsai
    Hi Thank you so much for the info! I was trying my luck to book the Thursday ticket for 5th of Sept. (that's the only day I'm free), and the booking went through, I got a confirmation for free admission, and paid $6 for the audio guide ( think). It's 7pm guided tour. So you could actually book it a few weeks ahead? Not sure if my booking is the same as what you mentioned? Thank you
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