The Catalan museums dress up this coming May 18. As every year, the Night of the Museums is celebrated, now in its 16th edition, in which it is already one of the most anticipated cultural events in Catalonia. Barcelona and seven other municipalities in the metropolitan area—L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Badalona, ​​Cornellà de Llobregat, Esplugues de Llobregat, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Sant Joan Despí and Santa Coloma de Gramenet—will open the doors of several museums from the afternoon to the afternoon from midnight

In total, 87 cultural spaces can be visited from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., and will offer more than 171 activities that go beyond their exhibitions or collections: concerts, workshops, itineraries or theater performances, and much more . However, although the museum spaces and activities can be carried out free of charge, in some cases it will be necessary to make a prior reservation to access them. By the way, an important detail: the fact that many spaces open exceptionally at night does not exclude that they can be visited throughout the day.

The options are multiple and varied, so they will suit all tastes. The art museums will of course be open, such as the MNAC, the MACBA, the Picasso Museum or the Miró Foundation, to name some of the most well-known. There will also be an important offer for history lovers, who will be able to enjoy the set of 13 MUHBA museums spread throughout the city, the Catalan History Museum in Port Vell or the Egyptian Museum. There will also not be a shortage of emblematic heritage spaces such as Montjuïc Castle, the former Model Prison or Palau Güell. And, finally, scientific options (CosmoCaixa, Museum of Natural Sciences…), gastronomic (Chocolate Museum) and even sports (Barça Immersive Tour).

This time the Night of the Museums coincides again, after five years, with the International Museum Day. In fact, it is not an event that only takes place in Catalonia, but is also celebrated throughout the world.

Its beginnings must be found 27 years ago, in the first Lange Nacht der Museen (Long Night of the Museums in German) in the city of Berlin in 1997. Today the festival has spread to up to 120 European cities.

In this way, scenes of queues in front of the museums like those of last year will be repeated on Saturday, in an edition that was a success despite the weather conditions. The Night of the Museums then broke its record of spaces involved, having the collaboration of 90 museums that offered a total of 121 exhibitions and 86 activities.

More than 100,000 people visited a cultural center or space on May 13, even though it coincided with a major media event such as the Eurovision Song Contest. However, the outstanding pre-pandemic figures have not yet been reached: up to 203,060 people visited museums at night in 2018.

On the other hand, the change in the profile of visitors during the last edition did not go unnoticed by the members of the organization. The outstanding attendance of young audiences, even with the Eurovision competition, surprised many and dismantled one of the most typical stereotypes about the new generations.

Below, in alphabetical order, is the list of museums or museum spaces that can be visited for free in Barcelona and other municipalities in the metropolitan area on May 18: