Planning a trip to the Catalan Capital can be tough - finding the time to squeeze everything you want to see can be a difficult task, not wanting to leave anything out. Kilometres of beaches, Gothic and Roman history, UNESCO world Heritage Sites and plenty of cuisine to tickle the taste buds can be just the start. If you're an art student or scholar, Barcelona has plenty to offer.
For example, the old town neighbourhood of El Borne houses the Picasso Museum, which was the only museum dedicated to the Malaga-born artist to be opened while he was still alive. Housed in a spectacular palace, the Museum is one of the city's most-visited sights, and includes early sketches from when his father worked at a nearby art school, full-size portraits and paintings as well as pottery and more. A special tip is that the first Sunday of each month, the Picasso Museum has free entrance, and is well worth the trip.
Catalan artist, Joan Miro has left his mark all over the city, with the city's airport giving you the first taste of the artist's individual style with vibrant primary colours gracing the mural wall of terminal 2. The artist has pride of place on the cobblestones of Las Ramblas, and even a park dedicated to his work with an enormous sculpture in the Sants neighbourhood. And up on Montjüic, lies the Fundacio Joan Miro in a lofty white building with excellent gallery space and fantastic views over Barcelona.
The more extravagant art lovers might like to take a day trip from Barcelona to the Salavdor Dali museum in nearby Figueras. Dali was born in this town, and spent the latter years of his life reforming the old Theatre there to be his home and museum, calling it the most surreal object on the earth. It is indeed a spectacle to view, with dedicated rooms to his wife and muse as well as fantastically sculptured furniture and fittings. There are two more Dali museums close by, but they are a little more difficult to reach by public transport in one day, and for those wanting a quick day trip aside, the museum at Figueras will not disappoint.
Central Barcelona holds the old Roman citadel of Barcino and it was here the council decided to build the Barcelona Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MACBA). Whilst the outside might be a favourite spot for skateboarders, the inside has a dedicated space to many modern art works of different categories, and a reserved space for expositions of many different types. The museum is large and art lovers can easily spend their morning here before heading for a spot of lunch at the nearby Boqueria food market.
Within the city there are many more gallery spaces with expositions of local and international artist, both current and historical, and it's fun to wander the streets of the city and find a small gallery or warehouse which has a seasonal show or marvel at some of the graffiti the city has to offer - really some masterpieces making up the urban landscape. Or for those art historians, look no further than the National Museum of Catalan Art (MNAC), housed in the Palace at Placa Espanya just above the magic fountains. Here, there are fantastic frescos painted on wooden ceilings from Northern Catalonia which were meticulously dismantled from churches and altars near to ruin and brought for display to the museum.