The importance of a city is often measured by its museums and, in this regard, Barcelona can be considered one of the richest cities in the world as it is home to first class art and history museums such as the MACBA, the MNAC and the Picasso Museum, among others.

Aside from major art centres, however, Barcelona also offers visitors a wide variety of museums devoted to original and surprising activities. Here we offer three recommendations for Barcelona museums that don’t always appear in travel guides and which should not be missed.

MIBA: Barcelona Museum of Ideas and Inventions

The MIBA (Museu d’Idees i invents de Barcelona in Catalan), opened in March, 2011 by the inventor, designer and writer Pep Torres, is the first permanent space devoted to the world of invention and creativity. The museum’s mission is not just to promote more unusual and original inventions, its principle objective is to awaken visitors’ latent creativity and foster innovation and spirit of enterprise. The MIBA is located at Carrer Ciutat, 7, just a few metres from Plaça Sant Jaume and very close to the centrally located Hotel España.

For more information, see the website: MIBA.

Barcelona Wax Museum

At the bottom of La Rambla, also just a short walk from Hotel España, is one of the most emblematic museums in the city: the Barcelona Wax Museum. This museum opened its doors in the early 1970s and is housed in a neoclassical mansion built in 1867 that was originally the head office of the Bank of Barcelona. The museum boasts a collection of over 200 wax figures of historical and fictional characters including the biggest names in international art, politics, science and sport, such as Pablo Picasso, Yasser Arafat and Luke Skywalker. Furthermore, it offers dramatized evening shows, a fabulous experience for the more daring visitor.

For more information, see the website: Museo de Cera de Barcelona.

Barcelona Chocolate Museum

Since its discovery in the 15th century, chocolate has played an important role in the economic and social fabric of Barcelona, home to the sea port from where the product was shipped throughout Europe. The Chocolate Museum (Museu de la Xocolata in Catalan) offers visitors tours explaining the origins, history, legends and traditions associated with this sweet, nutritious product. The museum has interactive areas, an exhibition space featuring chocolate figures, a tasting zone, as well as an extensive range of workshops and activities related to the world of chocolate. The museum is located in the former San Augustí convent and is sponsored by the Gremi Provincial de Pastisseria de Barcelona (the Confectionery Makers’ Association of Barcelona). A truly finger-licking visit.

For more information, see the website: Museu de la Xocolata de Barcelona.

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