It’s no secret that some of the world’s most beautiful buildings take the form of ornate concert halls. That’s definitely the case with this Barcelona gem.
Tucked away in the charming, historic neighbourhood of Sant Pere, Palau de la Música Catalana is one of the city’s most magnificent structures. It’s also a must-visit if you’re a classical music or architecture fan.
Getting to Palau de la Música Catalana
The exquisite concert hall couldn’t be in a handier location! You’ll find it on Carrer Palau de la Música Catalana, just a short stroll away from both El Born and the Gothic Quarter.
If you’re heading to the hall from a little further afield, you may want to get to grips with Barcelona’s excellent public transport. A good chunk of it – including the trams, metro and buses – are run by TMB, and you’ll be able to buy tickets to use on all three modes of transport on their website or on the TMB app. Single trips cost €2.40, or you could purchase a T-Casual ten-journey travel card for €11.35.
Palau de la Música Catalana is within easy walking distance of two metro stops. Jaume I is a primary stop on line 4 (yellow), while Urquinaona is served by line 4 and line 1 (red).
There’s also the option of catching a bus to the hall. The nearest stop is around the corner on Vai Laeitana and serviced by 47, N8, N28, V17 and V15 buses.
Hoping to bag tickets for an evening performance at Palau de la Música Catalana? The metro runs until the following times:
- Monday to Thursday: 05:00 to midnight
- Friday: 05:00 to 02:00
- Saturday: 05:00 to midnight
- Sunday: Nonstop
What to see at Palau de la Música Catalana
The UNESCO World Heritage Palau de la Música Catalana was designed in the early 1900s by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and has become one of Barcelona’s top music venues. While the programme at Palau changes seasonally, you can expect to see some of the same genres on repeat.
Want to enjoy an authentic taste of Spanish culture? Book tickets for one of the Palau de la Música’s flamenco shows. Numerous events occur throughout the year, with upcoming options in 2022, including the Tribute to Paco de Lucia and the Gran Gala Flamenco shows. Both are set to run on various dates between February and July.
Perhaps the most popular reason for visiting the Palau de la Música is to enjoy a music concert. These run throughout the year and range from live string quartets to rock cover bands and even full-length operas!
You might also be lucky enough to witness a choral performance by the Orfeó Català. The musical society was behind the concert hall’s creation back in 1905. Their primary mission is to preserve and promote Catalan culture.
Palau de la Música Catalana’s touring concerts are easily some of the venue’s most notable performances. These vary from year to year, although you’ll spot the following on the hall’s programme in 2022:
- The Best Cinema Music by Hollywood Symphony Orchestra
- The Beatles, Queen, ABBA and other pop greats cover bands
- James Taylor
In addition to watching some of the best musical and creative talent from around the world perform on its stages, you’ll have the chance to admire Palau’s gorgeous Art Nouveau interiors. You don’t need to buy tickets for a performance to see inside this beautiful Barcelona attraction, either! It’s open to the public for both self-guided and private tours during the day.
Joining a tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana gives you the ideal opportunity to admire its exceptional Art Nouveau and Modernist interiors. The best examples of both styles are seen in the main Concert Hall and in the smaller, yet no less attractive, Petit Palau performance space.
Pay special attention in the Concert Hall, where you’ll spot pillars and skylights decorated with colourful mosaic – a favourite design technique of Antoni Gaudí. There’s also the Orfeó Català Rehearsal Room with smooth, curved edges and stained-glass windows.
Palau de la Música Catalana history and facts
This charming concert venue has been a permanent fixture in Sant Pere for over a hundred years. It’s currently one of the best spots in the city for cultural entertainment. Want to know more about its creation? Here’s our quick history of the Palau de la Música Catalana.
The Orfeó Català
The idea to build a grand concert hall came about by the Orfeó Català, a choral society leading the way for a revival of Catalan culture. They needed somewhere for rehearsals and performances, so they decided to approach Lluís Domènech i Montaner to help design a suitable space.
Planning the Palau de la Música Catalana
The location for the concert hall was chosen in Sant Pere, and the building work took place between 1905 and 1908. Domènech i Montaner’s plans included Catalan Art Nouveau and Modernist styles.
The idea was to create a building that looked like a music box from the inside and out. Thanks to the concert hall’s detailed décor, this is easy to visualise now; wrought ironwork and golden sculptures, vibrant mosaics and colourful windows all add to the effect.
After several decades of performances, parts of the concert venue were closed in the 1980s for restoration work. This was done sympathetically using the same techniques that Domènech i Montaner used 80 years prior.
At the same time, parts of the building were expanded to provide more space for dressing rooms, in addition to a brand-new library and archive centre. In 2004, another addition was made – this time the breath-taking Petit Palau. It may not be as old as the rest of the hall, but it was carefully designed to reflect the style of Domènech i Montaner.
UNESCO World Heritage status
The Palau de la Música Catalana’s extraordinary architecture and reputation for promoting Catalan culture meant it deservedly earned UNESCO World Heritage status in 1997. It’s the only concert hall of its kind to be included on the list, making it a true treasure for both Barcelona and the entire musical world.
Over the years, the venue has played host to hundreds of talented musicians, singers, dancers, and composers. The bottom line? If you’re keen to go to a concert during your Barcelona city break, make a beeline for the Palau de la Música Catalana!
Restaurants, bars and shops at Palau de la Música Catalana
Not just a destination for shows and guided tours, the Palau de la Música Catalana also packs a punch with its onsite facilities. Whether you want to tuck into a delicious meal before a performance or you’re searching for some musical memorabilia to take home, there’s plenty to enjoy here.
This chic yet casual café is in the concert hall’s foyer, and it’s a lovely spot for a meal. The menu changes regularly to reflect the seasons but typically includes mouth-watering Mediterranean fare. Enjoy your food in the stylish indoor dining room or soak up some sun on Café Palau’s outdoor terrace on Plaça del Palau.
Make a reservation at Pizzicato, Palau’s own oyster bar, for something a bit fancier. The menu mainly focuses on delicacies from the sea. Not a fan of fish? No worries! Pizzicato also has numerous options for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans.
You could also pair your food with some expertly made cocktails, whether that’s a classic martini or something inventive.
The Palau Shop
If you can’t resist a good gift shop, you’re in for a treat. The Palau Shop is tucked away in the foyer, filled with an array of fantastic items that make ideal gifts for loved ones. Check out jewellery and home accessories inspired by the unique architecture of the building or browse books that shine a light on Barcelona’s fundamental Modernist structures.
The shop also sells a range of CDs by the Orfeó Català choir and many other performers who have graced the Palau de la Música Catalana’s stages over the years. Visiting the venue with kids? Don’t forget to take a look at the shop’s excellent collection of musical-themed toys and activity books!
Palau de la Música Catalana opening times and tickets
Hoping to visit the Palau de la Música Catalana during the day to explore its beautiful performance spaces? The concert hall is open for self-guided and private tours at the following times:
- September to June (excluding Easter): 10:00 to 15:30
- July and August: 10:00 to 18:00
If you’d rather experience the venue during a musical performance, take a peek at the upcoming programme for individual events and timings.
Tickets for the Palau de la Música Catalana can be bought online or at the Box Office in the foyer. Here’s a rundown of the current prices for both guided and self-guided tours.
General admission: €15
Children (under 100: Free
Over 65s: Free
Disabled visitors: €12
General admission: €19
Children (under 10): Free
Over 65s: Free
Disabled visitors: €12
Guided tours are available in Catalan, Spanish, French, English and Italian.
Taking the train to Barcelona?
You can travel to Barcelona from most Spanish cities as well as a number of European cities. Spain's extensive rail network is operated by Renfe and some of the most popular routes to Barcelona include Valencia to Barcelona (2h 40m), Alicante to Barcelona (4h 25m), Malaga to Barcelona (5h 32m) and Seville to Barcelona (5h 37m).
Looking for more information about travelling to Barcelona by train? Check out our expert guide to trains to Barcelona.