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Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA)

The Museu d’Història de Barcelona, abbreviated MUHBA, displays the history of Barcelona through various museums and archaeological sites spread across the city. Of all the museums, the most famous and important one is located at Plaça del Rei, where the history of the city from its Roman foundation to the Middle Ages is narrated. Thanks to numerous excavations and archaeological treasures from bygone eras, this museum is a treasure trove of knowledge about Barcelona’s past. It is recommended for historians, students, history enthusiasts, or anyone interested in learning more about Barcelona.

Visiting the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA)

The Barcelona History Museum has conducted excavations throughout the city and manages multiple history museums. Therefore, the MUHBA is divided into several museums. The most significant and interesting excavations can be found at the base of Plaça del Rei, but depending on your interests, you can also visit other special museums, such as Barcelona’s Jewish museum, the remains of a Roman forum, or the bomb shelters from the Civil War.

MUHBA Plaça del Rei: Underground Museum

Among all the museums and excavations that comprise MUHBA, you should especially visit MUHBA Plaça del Rei, which contains the largest and most impressive archaeological findings. MUHBA Plaça del Rei, also known as Conjunt Monumental de la Plaça del Rei or Museu d’Història de la Ciutat, offers visitors an impressive tour among the underground remnants of Roman Barcino, telling the city’s history up to the Middle Ages.

The museum also has an extensive collection of excavated items from the city’s former inhabitants and is filled with archaeological treasures such as a second-century laundry, remnants of Barcelona’s first Christian community, and parts of the ancient city wall.

A tour of this museum, with more than 4,000 square meters of archaeological excavations and remnants, starts with the foundation of the city, Roman Barcino, followed by the Visigothic Barchinona and finally Medieval Barcelona. The visit also includes the Palau Reial Major, the Royal Palace, where you can see the impressive Saló del Tinell, the hall where, according to Barcelonans, the meeting between the Catholic Monarchs and Columbus after his first voyage in 1493 is believed to have taken place.

In the Casa Padellàs, the medieval palace where the museum entrance is located, temporary exhibitions are also organized, and the monumental Plaça del Rei and the museum itself regularly host events and classical music concerts. Keep an eye on the agenda if you want to be informed. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and on Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. It is closed on Mondays.

MUHBA Santa Caterina: Oldest Archaeological Finds

MUHBA Santa Caterina or Espai Santa Caterina is the name of the excavations within the Santa Caterina market in El Born. During construction work, remains from more than 4,000 years ago, from the Bronze Age, were found. At the Centre d’Interpretació Arqueològica, you can find an overview of some of the most important events in Barcelona’s history from the Bronze Age to the latest examples of contemporary architecture.

MUHBA Santa Caterina is relatively close to MUHBA Plaça del Rei and can always be visited for free. Note that MUHBA Santa Caterina is always closed on Sundays.

MUHBA El Call: Jewish Historical Museum

MUHBA El Call or Centre d’Interpretació del Call is Barcelona’s Jewish Historical Museum, where you can learn all about this community, which lived here in the Middle Ages but was expelled from the city by the Spanish Inquisition and the Catholic Monarchs in 1492. The museum is located in the heart of the former Jewish quarter and is a great starting point to explore El Call, the name by which the Jewish quarter is known. Follow my walking tour through Barcelona’s Jewish quarter to discover all the secrets of El Call.

MUHBA Refugi 307: Shelters

MUHBA Refugi 307 offers an impressive tour of the bomb shelters in Poble-sec, at the foot of Montjuïc. The nearly 400-meter-long tunnels, with a height of 2.10 m and a width between 1.5 and 2 meters, were built by local residents during the Civil War to protect people from bombings. Refugi 307 is one of the best examples of bomb shelters in Barcelona and a tangible reminder of the struggle for survival and the tragedy of war.

MUHBA Vil·la Joana: Literature Museum

MUHBA Vil·la Joana, also known as Museu Casa Verdaguer or Casa Verdaguer de la Literatura, is where the writer Jacint Verdaguer spent his last days. Some rooms are still dedicated to the Catalan writer, while the rest of the museum focuses on literature in general. Formerly one of the most prosperous farms in the area, it was reformed in the 19th century into a residence and later into a school and museum.

Due to its location in the mountains near the Collserola Natural Park information center, your visit to the museum can be perfectly combined with an excursion in nature.

MUHBA Temple d’August: Roman Temple

Within the Centre d’Excursionistes de Catalunya on narrow Carrer Paradís lies a very impressive find: the four Corinthian columns of a Roman temple dedicated to Emperor Augustus. The temple was built in the 1st century BC but was later built into the houses of the ever-growing Barcelona.

Now you can visit these impressive remains in peace for free. It is advisable to visit them before or after your visit to MUHBA Plaça del Rei.

MUHBA Temple d'August
MUHBA Temple d’August

MUHBA La Porta del Mar i les Termes Portuàries: Gate to the Sea

Another free excavation of the MUHBA that not many people know about are the remains of an old city gate and the Roman baths in the Centre Cívic Pati Llimona. Here you see, among other things, a part of the old city wall and a small city gate that led to the sea. This was actually one of the two pedestrian gates that formed the main entrance to the city, where all goods were brought in. The baths were probably for merchants and sailors. The excavations are partly visible from the outside, but it is best to look inside Pati Llimona; it costs you nothing!

You can visit the excavations for free from Tuesday to Friday between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm and on Saturdays from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. They are closed in August.

MUHBA Via Sepulcral Romana: Roman Cemetery

At Plaça de la Vila de Madrid, the remains of the old Via Sepulcral have been exposed. From a viewing platform, you can see this old road that led to Roman Barcino well. On both sides of the road are the graves and tombstones of the city dwellers who were buried here at the time. A very impressive place that not many people know about but is definitely worth seeing in my opinion!

The MUHBA has a small museum here where you can see various objects found from the Via Sepulcral and learn more about this cemetery. Entrance fees for the museum are €2; viewing from the platform is free, however.

MUHBA Via Sepulcral Romana
MUHBA Via Sepulcral Romana

MUHBA Domus Avinyó: Roman Domus

Visit MUHBA Domus Avinyó, where the remains of a Roman domus (house) from the 1st century AD can be found, including the largest and best-preserved wall paintings. The house can only be visited during guided tours, and you need to reserve in advance. The tour is free, however, and for history enthusiasts, it is a real experience.

MUHBA Domus de Sant Honorat: Roman Domus

In addition to Domus Avinyó, MUHBA has a second domus, that of Sant Honorat. Here lie the remains of a Roman domus and various shops from the 4th century, owned by an important resident. The six silos from the 13th-14th century that were also found here are a beautiful example of the commercial vitality of Barcelona in the Middle Ages.

MUHBA Sant Honorat can only be visited on Sundays between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (weekdays are also possible, but only with a reservation). Entrance tickets cost €2 per person, and with this, you can view the small museum, the excavations of the Roman domus, and the medieval silos.

MUHBA Park Güell: Exhibition about Gaudí

At the main entrance of the monumental part of Park Güell lies the Casa del Guarda, a modest house designed by Gaudí between 1901 and 1903 as a gatekeeper’s lodge. In the small space, designed for the use of a humble family, MUHBA presents the exhibition “Güell, Gaudí i Barcelona,” which further explains the urban ideal of Gaudí and Güell. You don’t need to buy special tickets for this exhibition as it is included in your visit to the paid part of Park Güell.

MUHBA a Fabra i Coats: Old Factory

The MUHBA also manages a small exhibition space within the old Fabra i Coats factory, where various rooms such as the machine room, the archive, and various objects are preserved.

MUHBA Fabra i Coats is open only on Sundays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, but you can also visit during the week if you reserve in advance. Entry is free.

MUHBA Fabra i Coats
MUHBA a Fabra i Coats

MUHBA Oliva Artés: Old Factory

In the former metallurgical factory Oliva Artés, the MUHBA analyzes current society by showing the industrial heritage of the Poblenou district. At the beginning of the 20th century, this was one of the most productive factories, manufacturing parts for the industry, and during the Civil War, it produced machines for the war.

MUHBA Oliva Artés is open on Wednesday (4:30 pm-8:00 pm), Saturday and Sunday (11:00 am-3:00 pm and 4:00 pm-8:00 pm). Entry is free.

MUHBA Turó de la Rovira: Viewpoint with History

One of Barcelona’s most striking and beloved viewpoints, Turó de la Rovira, is remembered by the MUHBA through informative panels. For instance, during the Civil War, an anti-aircraft gun was stationed here to defend the city. And until 1990, the so-called “barri dels Canons” existed here, where hundreds of people lived in relatively primitive conditions.

The MUHBA also organizes various guided tours at Turó de la Rovira and is working on further expansion of the museum there.

MUHBA Casa de l’Aigua: Water Lift Station

The Casa de l’Aigua in Trinitat Vella, literally translated as the ‘house of water,’ is a true hidden gem. The water lift station was built between 1915 and 1919 following the typhus epidemic that hit the city in 1914. The epidemic occurred due to pollution of tap water, so the municipal water company urgently needed to renew the city’s water supply system.

The new system, designed by municipal engineer Felipe Steva i Planas, consisted of various external installations and underground pipelines. The water came from the mines and pits of Montcada and was transported via this lift station to the tanks in Trinitat Nova, where chlorine was added before being gravity-fed to the city.

This system operated until 1989, and the MUHBA is currently working to turn it into a museum. The permanent exhibition in the underground gallery shows the different water supply strategies of Barcelona over time since the Romans. It is free to visit but requires a reservation.

History of Barcelona’s Historical Museum

The monumental Plaça del Rei has been the core of the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA) since its founding in 1943. The historical museum of Barcelona actually emerged as a result of the opening of Via Laietana.

When the Casa Padellàs was brought here stone by stone, remains of an important part of old Barcino were found. This led to more archaeological excavations under Plaça del Rei.

With the dismantling of the Museu Provincial d’Antiguitats in the chapel of Santa Àgata in 1936 and the renovation of the Saló del Tinell in the Palau Reial Major, the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA) was born.

Meanwhile, the MUHBA manages several history museums in the city, as a result of the many new excavations and archaeological findings made in recent years.

Tickets for the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA)

As mentioned, the MUHBA consists of several museums; some fall under the same entrance ticket, others have different prices if you want to join a guided tour, or they are completely free. Of all the museums and excavations, MUHBA Plaça del Rei is the most well-known.

When you buy tickets for the MUHBA, you get free access to all other MUHBA museums in the city with the same ticket; such as MUHBA Plaça del Rei, MUHBA Vil·la Joana, MUHBA Santa Caterina, MUHBA El Call, and MUHBA Refugi 307.

Tickets for guided tours can be purchased at the counter on site or you need to reserve in advance via reservesmuhba@bcn.cat. For groups, a reservation should be placed at least two weeks in advance using this form.

Visiting the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA) for Free

All MUHBA museums are free to visit on Sundays after 3:00 pm (except MUHBA Refugi 307, MUHBA Santa Caterina, MUHBA Sant Honorat, and MUHBA Fabra i Coats). Additionally, all MUHBA museums offer free access on the first Sunday of the month (if they are open). The only disadvantage of a free visit is that you don’t get an audio guide.

Some MUHBA museums and excavations are always open to the public and don’t require an entrance ticket: MUHBA Temple d’August, MUHBA La Porta del Mar i les Termes Portuàries, MUHBA Via Sepulcral Romana, MUHBA Oliva Artés, MUHBA Santa Caterina, and MUHBA Turó de la Rovira.

Getting to the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA)

The main address of the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA) is located at Plaça del Rei. In the old Casa Padellàs is the entrance to the historical museum of Barcelona, which largely runs underground from Plaça del Rei to the Palau Reial Major. This is known as the Conjunt Monumental de la Plaça del Rei (or MUHBA Plaça del Rei) and can be reached within five minutes on foot from the Jaume I (L4) metro entrance.

The other museums and excavations of the MUHBA are located in various places in the city.

In total, there are 14 museums that are part of the Barcelona Historical Museum that you can visit:

  • MUHBA Plaça del Rei of Conjunt Monumental de la Plaça del Rei (Plaça del Rei) Metro: Jaume I (L4)
  • MUHBA Santa Caterina of Espai Santa Caterina (Carrer Joan Capri) Metro: Urquinaona (L1 en L4)
  • MUHBA El Call of Centre d’Interpretació del Call ;(Placeta de Manuel Ribé) Metro: Liceu (L3) en Jaume I (L4)
  • MUHBA Refugi 307 (Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 175) Metro: Paral·lel (L2 en L3)
  • MUHBA Vil·la Joana of Museu Casa Verdaguer (Carretera de l’Esglèsia, 104) Metro: Baixador de Vallvidrera (S1 en S2)
  • MUHBA Temple d’August (Carrer Paradís, 10) Metro: Liceu (L3) en Jaume I (L4)
  • La Porta de Mar i les Termes Portuàries (Carrer Regomir, 7-9) Metro: Jaume I (L4)
  • MUHBA Via Sepulcral Romana (Plaça De la Vila de Madrid) Metro: Catalunya (L1, L3, L6 en L7)
  • MUHBA Domus Avinyó (Carrer Avinyó, 15) Metro: Liceu (L3) en Jaume I (L4)
  • MUHBA Domus de Sant Honorat (Carrer de la Fruita, 2) Metro: Liceu (L3) en Jaume I (L4)
  • MUHBA Park Güell (Carrer d’Olot) Metro: Lesseps (L3)
  • MUHBA a Fabra i Coats (Carrer Sant Adrià, 20) Metro: Sant Andreu (L1)
  • MUHBA Oliva Artés (Carrer d’Espronceda, 142-146) Metro: Llacuna (L4)
  • MUHBA Turó de la Rovira (Carrer Marià Labèrnia) Metro: Alfons X (L4)
  • MUHBA Casa de l’Aigua (Torrent de la Perera) Metro: Trinitat Vella (L1)
Useful information

Price: Combination ticket for all MUHBA museums from €7 per person; guided tours not included.

However, some museums are entirely free. Free access for children under 16 years old.

Other forms of discounts for students, seniors, etc., are also available. Free on Sunday after 3:00 pm and every first Sunday of the month.

Always free for Barcelona Card holders.

Opening Hours: The main museum is open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Each museum has its own opening hours.

Address: Baixada de la Llibreteria, 7 08002 Barcelona

Public Transport:

Metro: Jaume I (L4)

Bus: 47, 120, N8, N28, N70, V15, V17