Tourist Information Guide

Review of Barcelona's Palau de la Música Catalana

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This page will review the Palau de la Música Catalana. Although it is still a fully functioning music hall it is equally as popular as a tourist attraction with guided tours around an interior renowned for its distinctive and ornate style.
The façade of the Palau de la Musica Catalana
You cannot visit Barcelona without a visit to the Palau de la Musica Catalana interior. It is like being inside a giant Faberge Egg.

Making your way through the rambling and narrow streets of the La Ribera area at the top of El Born you may stumble across the Palau de la Musica. From the outside alone it is an impressive building with its old and new sections sitting side by side in perfect harmony. On the day when I visited, the sun was shining on the building, highlighting its unique bright colours and intricate mosaics. It provided a wonderful contrast to the nondescript buildings surrounding it. It is easy to understand why the Catalan people take pride in this building and describe it as representative of their open minded and forward thinking spirit.

The Palau de la Musica Catalana
 

The building was designed by architect, Lluís Domènech i Montaner and built between 1905 and 1908. It was designed as a home for Barcelona's choir, the Orfeó Catalá. The amateur choir still perform at the venue today.

The largest and most well-known space in the Palau is the Concert Hall. This is a 2,146 seat venue with an ornate glass roof - the main setting for concerts and recitals.

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Palau de La Musica's stunningly beautiful stained glass windows will leave you feeling in awe.

The Petit Palau is a smaller space - 538 seats, with a more modern feel. Built in 2004, it does not contain the ornate glamour of the main concert hall. It is located in the modern extension to the building, which you will notice due to the image of a tree that gives an appearance of being embossed into the brickwork on the exterior. It has been specially designed for chamber music concerts, with a precise attention to the acoustics of the room.

Other spaces include the Chamber Music Hall, Lluís Millet Room and 'Segle XXI' Area and are used for private functions and small events. It is difficult to get a sense of the building's lay-out without stepping inside to find out more.


Guided Tour of Palau de La Musica Catalana

If you're not a fan of classical music or you're trying to save money, a guided tour is a perfect opportunity to view the building. It has a reputation for being more impressive on the inside so it's worth paying to see the interior.

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The beauty of the Palau de La Musica Catalana interior.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to enter the majority of the building without a ticket for a guided tour. The tours are available in Castellano (Spanish), Catalan, French and English. The English speaking tours take place on an hourly basis and last for approximately fifty minutes. See below for opening times.

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Look at the beautiful designs on this pillar inside the Palau. Small coloured ceramic tile painstakingly arranged in mosaics designs called "Trencadis".

Stained glass centra skylight in the Palau de La Musica main concert hall.
The central skylight in the Palau de La Musica's main concert hall
The tours of the Palau de La Musica are popular and fill up quickly - you are advised to purchase tickets in advance. These are available as of one week before the tour and are available on-line or at the ticket desk. On arrival at the building it took me some time to find my bearings and you may find yourself circling the building in search of the area that you need. The ticket desk is best approached from Via Laietana, where you will see it directly in front of you on Calle Palau de la Musica. It is in the more modern side of the building. If you have any questions the staff at the ticket desk are particularly helpful and fluent in English.


Tip If the guided tours are full up and you're still feeling curious, for the price of a mere cup of coffee you can enjoy the stunning Foyer area. This is the only area of the building that can be entered free of charge, so it's worth taking a look inside if you can't afford any of the tickets.


Palau de la Musica Catalana Skip the Line Ticket With Guided Tour


Facilities

It has an ornate roof and wide columns throughout. This is the site of a well-run and tasteful cafeteria area. Drink prices are reasonable and small dishes such as sandwiches and pinchos (Basque style tapas) are also available. There is the option of sitting in an outdoor terrace area, which is preferable for sunny days, but on this occasion I was enticed to stay inside, beneath the beautiful roof and twinkling lights.

The Palau Square of the Palau de la Musica Catalana
The Palau Square of the Palau de la Musica Catalana

An up-market restaurant - the Mirador, is also incorporated into the building. With views of the open-air Palau Square, this could be a good option for a romantic night out.

Situated next to the building, in Plaça de Lluis Millet, is the Palau shop - the Botiga. Contrary to typical souvenir shop offerings, this is a good place to buy gifts for your friends or maybe just a treat for yourself.

On your visit to the Palau it is worth remembering that you are close to numerous other worthwhile Barcelona spots. For example, on leaving the Palau's main entrance (where the ticket desk is located), you will step on to Via Laietana. Just a few streets down towards the beach, on your right you will find the Avenida de la Catedral and Barcelona's cathedral. On the left is the Mercat de Santa Caterina - a food market with a distinctive roof and some specialist food stalls.

Whether you decide to check out the Palau during the day or at night it will always have some appeal. The Palau Square at the back of the building is an area where I will definitely return to, simply to drink a glass of wine in the evening or sit on the steps and read a book in the day.


Concerts

If you are keen to attend a musical event at the Palau see our article on 'A Guide to Classical Concert Venues in Barcelona' for more information.


How to Get There:

metroMetro: Urquinaona (Red Line, L1) and (Yellow Line, L4)


Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop

Nearest stop for Palau de la Música Catalana is "Catedral - Gòtic" with the Barcelona City Tour "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus


Public bus

Via Laietana / Comtal: 45, V15, V17
Plaça Urquinaona: 39, 42, 55, H16


Car parking

Car Park Car parking near Palau de la Música Catalana


Opening Times:
Guided Tours
Monday - Sunday: 10:00 - 15:30
July and Easter: 10:00 - 18:00
August: 09:00 - 18:00

El Foyer Cafeteria
Monday - Sunday: 09:00 - 00:00 Midnight


Disabled Access:

Access at Carrer Palau de la Música, 4-6
Access to comfortable concert seating is provided for people with disabilities.

Tel: +34 90 244 2882
When purchasing tickets to make arrangements.


In a Nutshell

Whether you come for a concert, a guided tour, or just a cup of coffee do not miss this stunning space. Tucked away in the back streets of the old town it emanates a certain magic that sums up Barcelona's appeal.

Palau de la Musica
Carrer Palau de la Música, 4-6
08003 Barcelona, España.

Reception entrance:
Palau de la Música Catalana
Carrer Palau de la Música, 4 - 6
08003 Barcelona, España.

Information: +34 93 295 7200 / +34 93 295 7242


Palau de la Musica Catalana Skip the Line Ticket With Guided Tour


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