Spain is celebrating International Museum Day on May 18 with free entry and late night openings at many of the country’s august treasure troves. Barcelona, however, with more than 120 exhibits and 90 participating spaces to get around, has wisely opted to schedule its own night of special activities – La Nit dels Museus – for Saturday May 13, allowing culture vultures to spend the following day in bed, recovering.
Special events including guided tours, workshops and games will be taking place at museums across the wider metropolitan area between 7pm to 1am. Choosing which ones to visit is going to prove extremely difficult.
If looking around with kids, the Museum of Chocolate will not be a hard sell, and neither will the FC Barcelona Museum. There are special child-friendly tours of the Fire Department museum, Espacio Bomberos until 9.30pm, but they must be booked ahead.
Fans of the contemporary should head to MACBA, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Design and the Antoní Tapies Foundation. Those after a more ancient and classic museum experience, should be happy at the Barcelona Egyptian Museum and the Catalunya Museum of Archaeology.
To avoid a scrum, numbers are limited at arguably the most popular venues including the fabulous Picasso Museum Barcelona and Fundación Joan Miró, as well as the Catalunya National Museum of Art and Palau Güell. Links and full details are available on the Nits dels Museus website.
While there is no guarantee the exhibits will come to life as they did in the old movie classic Night at the Museum starring Ben Stiller, wandering through galleries at midnight is a pretty special experience.
But if you miss it, don’t worry: the point of the night is to spotlight the city’s diverse priceless collections, almost all of which are open to the public all year round.