History Museum of Catalonia (Museu d’Història de Catalunya)

As its name implies, The History Museum of Catalonia is entirely dedicated to explaining the history of Catalonia. The museum is located in the Port Vell harbour and is housed in the only remaining building from the original nineteenth-century dockyards, built during the height of the Industrial Revolution.

The museum is divided into two floors. The first floor is dedicated to the period from the Stone Age through the times of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, and up until the fall of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession. The upper floor covers the eighteenth century, the times of the Industrial Revolution, the twentieth century, and up to the present day.

The museum’s displays are modern and are laid out in chronological order. There’s a good mix of written text, infographics, historical objects and replicas. There is, however, a lot of information to absorb in one go, so if this is your first visit, I highly recommend you download the free audioguide, which concentrates on a dozen key points from the history of Catalonia.

The museum’s roof terrace offers excellent views of the Port Vell harbour and is home to a restaurant and bar, which are very popular, especially in the evenings and at the weekend.

The Palau de Mar building in Barcelona
The Museum of the History of Catalonia is located in the Port Vell harbour

Visiting the History Museum of Catalonia

Upon entering the museum, you arrive at a large open foyer with a ticket desk. At one end of the counter, you will find leaflets and a QR code that opens a page on the museum’s website with two audioguides.

I recommend selecting the first guide, “La memòria d’un país” available in English, Catalan, Spanish, and French. This audioguide provides an explanation of the most significant moments in Catalonia’s history and guides you to key points in the museum.

Internet coverage is poor in some parts of the museum, so it’s worth connecting to the museum’s WI-FI network. At the time of writing (2024), the password was as follows:


Beyond the ticket desk, there is an elevator that takes you up to the exhibition floors. The museum’s permanent collection is on the second and third floors. The first floor hosts temporary exhibitions, although it was closed when I visited. The fourth floor is home to the roof terrace and restaurant, and you don’t need a ticket to visit this level.

A replica of a boat in the Museum of Catalan History
Exibits include a mixture of infographics, maps, antiques, archealogical items and replicas

Time needed to visit the museum

You should allow at least an hour to visit the museum. By following the audioguide and stopping at a few of the other minor exhibits, you can expect to spend about ninety minutes. If you were to stop and read all the display boards, I estimate that it would take about three hours.

Information in English

All information boards, labels and infographics are in English, Catalan and Spanish. The Audioguide is available in several languages, including English, French and German.


The Museum of Catalan History is located in El Palau del Mar, in the Port Vell Harbour.

Address: Plaça de Pau Vila, 3

The nearest metro station is Barceloneta, which is on Line 4, the yellow line.

Exhibits in the MHCAT museum, Barcelona
The museum covers the history of Catalonia from the Stone Age until modern times

Opening times

DayOpening times
Tues – Sat10:00 to 19:00
Wednesday10:00 to 20:00
Sun & public holidays10:00 to 14:30
Mon (except public holidays)Closed
Opening times

*The museum remains closed on the following days: January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.


General admission (check availability)€8
Under €16FREE
Over 65 years€6

Barcelona Card

The History Museum of Catalonia is covered by the Barcelona Card which includes free entry to twenty-five museums, discounts at many of Barcelona’s top attractions and unlimited travel on public transport.

More information in this post >>

Free admission days

The History Museum of Catalonia can be visited free of charge every Saturday after 15:00 and all day on the first Sunday of each month.

Other attractions nearby


Pça. de Pau Vila, 3, Barcelona

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