An eclectic and cosmopolitan city, Barcelona has an international reputation for culture, design and innovative visual arts. This northern Spanish city welcomes tourists from all over the world to celebrate.

Barcelona, Spain

The city is well-known for its architectural landmarks, cultural history and diverse population. Thanks in part to its collection of amazing museums and galleries, Barcelona is the ideal location for a solo holiday.

When planning your trip, here are some great museums for you to think about visiting whilst in the city:

Museu Picasso

There are nearly 4,000 works in honour of the great artist. The museum is a tribute to Picasso’s early years as a young art school student. Picasso attended the nearby La Llotja art school, and returned to the city many times to hang out with the region’s well-known fin-de-siècle avant-garde.

The works of the young Picasso are spread across a five-building connected palace. Two of them are regularly used for revolving exhibits at the Museu Picasso. Currently on display – and lasting until October – the museum is also featuring “Picasso, Photography and Ceramic”, the perspective of several photographers who captured the famous artist working in various ways with ceramics.

Fundació Suñol

Opening nearly 10 years ago, this museum is the contemporary art collection of local Barcelona businessman Josep Suñol. With works including paintings, sculptures and photographs, there are more than 100 pieces of art on display. The art is rotated every six months from the collector’s archive of more than 1,200 different pieces.

Although most of the works represent the region’s Catalan and Spanish heritage, Fundació Suñol features a number of avant-garde artists including Picasso, Miró and Pablo Gargallo. They also have fantastic pieces from international artists like Giacometti, Man Ray and Warhol.

Fundació Joan Miró

Dedicated to the works of Joan Miró – a locally born artist who worked throughout the 20th century – the museum features more than 225 paintings, 150 sculptures and all of the artist’s drawings. There are also more than 5,000 of the artist’s personal drawings. The building itself has been created to be airy and light. The art is elegantly shown against clean, white walls.

This museum of modern art was designed by Josep Lluís Sert. Sert, who left the country during the Francisco Franco regime, was the dean of the School of Design at Harvard before returning home. In addition to permanent exhibitions, the Fundació Joan Miró also features a number of temporary exhibits. Lasting through into October, the museum is currently featuring an exhibit dedicated to the works of Ignasi Aballí. He is the winner of the 2015 Joan Miró Prize and has created a number of unique and calming pieces that act as representations of time and space and their relationship.

Fundació Joan Miró

Macba. Museu d’Art Contemporani

There aren’t many places that take artistic expression more seriously than at MACBA. The contemporary museum of art is well-known for its minimalist style. A mixture of permanent and temporary exhibitions, the MACBA’s impressive edifice was designed by Richard Meier. Currently, the museum is featuring an exhibition that traces the influence of the punk movement in modern art – and vice versa. The exhibition features over 60 artists and lasts through to the end of September.

The museum also offers a number of unique and enjoyable educational experiences. For more information on this artistic destination, visit the MACBA’s website.

Fundació Antoni Tàpies

In honour of artist Antoni Tàpies, this Barcelona museum celebrates the work and life of a man best known for incorporating what many consider rubbish into his art. From the 1950s, Tàpies used discarded paper, mud and rags as parts of his paintings. He eventually used parts of furniture, elements of running water, and construction girders in his art.

Still working today, he continues to be one of the city’s most beloved and well-known artists. Much of the works in the museum were donated by Tàpies himself and include paintings, sculptures, drawings, books and engravings. The museum tries to show all the different ways he created his amazing pieces.

For more information about their special exhibits and the life of the artist, please visit the museum website.

MNAC: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

This museum captures the artistic history of the Catalan region of northern Spain. The MNAC’s motto – “One museum, a thousand years of art” – is an accurate way to describe the vast artistic collection on site. There are permanent collections dedicated to both classic and modern works. There are medieval and Renaissance exhibits, as well as photography, coin collections, and local pottery.

Until the end of October, the museum is currently featuring a special exhibit on the artistry of shadows and puppets through the eyes of Ramon Casas. The exhibition includes visual elements like posters, drawings, event invitations and programmes. For more information, please head over to the MNAC website.

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona

Opened in the 1990s, the CCCB is the country’s largest cultural centre. The museum is on the grounds of a formal medieval monastery, and part of the remains of the original structure can still be seen in the museum’s façade and courtyard. The modern part of the building is a massive structure of steel and glass designed by architects Piñón and Viaplana, best-known for creation of Barcelona’s Maremàgnum shopping centre.

More than just a museum, the CCCB is dedicated to the creation and study of art and culture. They offer extensive looks at the visual arts including film and photography, as well as the importance of music, philosophy and multi-media expressions.

Museu Can Framis. Fundació Vila Casas

A converted 18th century factory, the Can Framis brings together a wide variety of contemporary paintings. The museum features nearly 300 works from local artists. Only opened in 2009, the Museu Can Framis is a visual beauty as well.

Throughout the year, the museum offers a revolving display of local artists working in all mediums. Temporary special exhibitions are held in the Espai A0. For more information, see their special events page.

Image Credit: Fundació Joan Miró, Robin Schuil