Ash
Written by Ash

The Picasso Museum Barcelona and How to Visit in 2020

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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): €6.50.
  • 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, September 24th and 18th, 19th, 20th of December)

Careful! 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 Tiqets 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 2021 (until 15th March) .

  • Monday: closed
  • Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
  • Thursday: 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm (open doors)
  • Closed: January 1, May 1, June 24, December 25.

Free entrance: Thursday afternoon from 6:00 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, September 24th and 18th, 19th, 20th of December.

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!

71 comments
  • 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
  • August 14, 2019 at 1:14 am
    Beth
    Hi Ash, Great site. Tons of good information. It's been suggested to me to get a "live" tour guide for the Picasso. I was told that I can grab one at the front of the museum. Is this true?
    • August 14, 2019 at 4:39 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Beth, For the live guided tours you must book the ticket in advance. More info here: http://www.bcn.cat/museupicasso/en/visiting/guided-tours.html Cheers :) Ash
  • August 4, 2019 at 10:55 am
    Leyla Kazim
    Hi Ash, amazing website! Thanks for all the great insights :) Regarding securing a time slot for the free Thursday evening visits, when it says you can do so 4 days in advance, does that mean doing it on a Sunday? Because I've just tried at 10.54am today (Sunday) to secure a ticket for Thursday evening, and it says they're not available. I'm not sure if it's because they've all already gone and I was too late! Or is it because they actually become available to secure tomorrow, on Monday? Thanks so much :)
    • August 4, 2019 at 11:39 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Leyla, Thanks so much for your kind words :) To my knowledge it was on Sunday that they come available... but we're in peak high season at the moment so it very well could be that it's sold out for this week :( I would check back tomorrow morning early just in case, but it's probably not available due to a sell out. So many tourists! I hope the rest of your trip isn't spent jockeying for ticket position :) Cheers, Ash
      • August 5, 2019 at 9:31 am
        Leyla Kazim
        Hi Ash, thank you for your speedy response! I have some good news :D I went back online this morning and the free tickets for this Thursday are all there and I managed to secure one! So either they've moved the release date to Mondays (which to me is 3 days before Thursday, not 4! - maybe the Spanish count it differently?) Or perhaps yesterday there was just a problem with their website. Either way, I'm pleased to be saving some money :) Thank you again!
  • June 25, 2019 at 9:06 pm
    b
    hi, i am still unsure if i am actually purchasing a ticket to the museum as a whole or just the temporary exhibit. i picked permanent collection, and then it takes you to another screen that shows temporary, but after i've clicked on permanent. then at the checkout, it only shows temporary in my basket. wouldn't it say permanent if it also included that?? please help. i did read that temporary is included with permanent, but have i somehow bypassed permanent which is clearly not what i want. thanks! b
    • June 26, 2019 at 8:34 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      This is very strange! I can't really comment on it without seeing a screenshot or something like that... but, what I can do is tell you that you need to click on the combo package 'The Collection + Temporary Exhibitions' and not click on two different ones separately as it will simply override the original product. Please let me know how you get on, Ash
  • June 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm
    Julie
    I have a 16 year old and see that kids under 18 get in free. Do I need to do anything to get her in if I buy tickets for myself? I don't see any way on the website to "buy" a free ticket.
    • June 22, 2019 at 11:47 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Julie, If you click the ticket button above and then select your date and 'collection' and then press continue... you'll be lead to the area where you can add tickets, including the 18 years old and under guests for free. Are you sure you're using the button above? Ash
  • June 18, 2019 at 7:10 pm
    Jennifer Sullivan
    Hi there! I love the information that you've shared. Very helpful! We'll be in Barcelona on a Thursday (flying in from Boston) and we were hoping to try for free tickets for that Thursday. I know I can't try until 4 days earlier, but do you happen to know if it's a "right at midnight" sort of thing to sign in and try to get the tickets then (do they sell that that fast?) And if so, should I change my laptop time to match Barcelona time so that I'm signing in at midnight Barcelona time? I'm currently Eastern Standard time. Thanks so much for any tips!!
    • June 19, 2019 at 10:59 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Jennifer, As far as I know it's a right at midnight thing so on the east coast you'll have to try for the tickets in the evening. That said, it's not like an iPhone X type of thing where everybody and their dog is clicking away at midnight... you should be fine buying them at your convenience at any point in the evening. But again, earlier the better never hurts ;) Ash
      • June 19, 2019 at 2:21 pm
        Jennifer Sullivan
        Gotcha! Thanks so much! We love your writings about Barcelona - so helpful and enjoyable to read!
        • June 19, 2019 at 3:29 pm
          ashley
          Team Member
          Ash
          Hola Jennifer, Thank YOU for your kind words... any more questions I am here :) Ash
  • June 15, 2019 at 8:07 pm
    Kelly Homan
    My husband & I are looking to book a walking tour of the Goth District that includes a couple of bars, tapas & a guided tour of the Picasso Museum on Sunday, Oct 6th. Can you point us in the right direction or do you have any recommendations? Since it’s the first Sunday of the month, it looks like entrance to the museum is free. Can tickets be reserved ahead of time for a specific time of day to avoid the long lines? Thank you!
    • June 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hello Kelly, I've unfortunately never heard of a walking tour that includes all the things you've mentioned, though the one above is quite similar though not offered on Sunday... what I would do is take the free Runner Bean walking tour of the Gothic Quarter and then simply ask the guide for recommendations. When I took it they actually had a deal with one of the tapas bars to get discounts for the guests. You could also combine it with a food tour that includes Gothic Quarter sights - my favourites are Devour and Wanderbeak. If you're going on the free day know that it can only be booked 4 days in advance... so you'll have to wait until October unfortunately, but not to fear as it generally won't sell out if you're diligent with the time :) Keep in mind though that this is not a guided tour and is simply the independent one... Please let me know if you have any more questions! Ash
  • June 4, 2019 at 6:58 pm
    Bev
    Does a 13 year old need an ID to get in free?
  • June 1, 2019 at 4:25 am
    Fred
    I WILL be at Barcelona on august 2019،I heard the weather is too hot. .can be alright?only time that I have for travel.thanks for any answers. Fred
    • June 1, 2019 at 11:58 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      Hi Fred, I guess it depends what your definition of hot is :) Around 28-32 with a seabreeze for me is OK... it's only intolerable down in the south when it pushes 40 and it's inland! I wouldn't worry too much, just make sure your hotel has air conditioning. Ash
  • April 25, 2019 at 5:21 pm
    Blanche
    How many hours do I need at the Picasso Museum
    • April 26, 2019 at 9:52 am
      ashley
      Team Member
      Ash
      I would say 90 minutes or at the most 2 hours if you're a really big fan.
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