As its name suggests, the main objective of Catalunya’s History Museum (MHCAT) is to conserve, exhibit and disseminate information about Catalunya’s history, from its origins to the present day. Don’t be put off by any preconceptions of history being boring, because this concept of history just doesn’t exist in this museum – the different rooms into which the exhibition is divided are presented in a very accessible way, with visual elements in order to capture the visitor’s attention.
The building in which the MHCAT is housed, which is now known as the Palau de Mar (in English Palace of the Sea), has its own interesting history, as it was the former site of the General Trade Warehouse. It’s the only building from Barcelona’s industrial port that’s still in existence today.
What is there to see?
From the first human settlings in the region that’s now known as Catalunya until the present day, each room within the exhibition focuses on a different period of Catalunya’s history. To complement the permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions are also organised that all relate to Catalunya’s history in one way or another, and these help to provide even more information about specific major historical events.
In spite of not actually forming part of the exhibition, one of the places that most attracts the interest of visitors is the wonderful terrace at the top of the museum, from which you can enjoy some panoramic views of the La Barceloneta and Port Vell (Old Port), from a privileged location. It also has a very good restaurant, called 1881.
You can directly access the terrace without paying for entry to visit the museum by taking the lift and getting off at the last floor.
The MHCAT organises all sorts of activities, many of which are talks and conferences about history and Catalunya, but others are both educational and also more accessible, in order to attract as many people as possible including children and young people.
Pl. (square) de Pau Vila 3 , Barcelona.
Tuesdays to Saturdays: From 10:00 to 19:00.
Wednesdays: From 10:00 to 20:00.
Sundays and public holidays: From 10:00 to 14:30.
Closed: Every Monday (except public holidays), 1st and 6th January, 5th june and 25th and 26th December.
Entry cost for the permanent collection and temporary exhibition
Concessions: €4.50 for retired people, children between the ages of 7 and 18, holders of a student card, holders of the ‘Carnet Jove’, groups of 20 people or more, and single parent families.
Free of charge: people over the age of 65, children under the age of 6, school groups, large families, accredited teachers and for everyone on the last Tuesday of each month (between October and June).
How to get there?
Metro: Barceloneta (Line 4).
Buses: Lines 39, 45, 59, 120, D20, H14, V13, V15, V17 and tourist bus.
By foot: You can arrive by taking a short walk from the promenade and La Barceloneta.