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MACBA, Barcelona: Art Smart

January 22, 2016

This flirty Catalonian kitty is more than just a sip, sup n’ bop spot – premier contempo art trove MACBA offers a rollicking good time of the cultural kind. ¡Vamos!

Aah, Barça. What a tough gig. With dazzling blue skies, blond sands, mind-bending architecture, bustly streetside tapas and all-day Cava-quaffing, it can be a real drag getting your sun-kissed mug to see the inside of a museum. But by golly, you’ll be rewarded with a wealth of fantastic, world-class avant-garde art when you do.

As you breeze through the charming, crumbly Barri Gòtic, MACBA (Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona) can come as a shock, straddling the Plaça dels Àngels with its Richard Meier-imagined, peroxide-white, steel and glass facade. But you’ll soon be persuaded to swap your Linda Farrows for a pair of horn-rimmed specs when you spy the outstanding line-up of local and global art that awaits within.

The permie archive boasts some 5,000 artworks, with the rotating display including Keith Haring’s iconic stick men, a mirror mural by shifting conceptual collab Art & Language, and kooky Catalonian Antoni Tàpies’… well, we’re not really sure. However, seriously curious cats should join the free tour in English (every Mon at 6pm) that promises to pull down the pants on contempo Spanish art.

If you’ve still got some juice in your caboose, skip through the inner patio to CCCB, another striking archi delight of eclectic programming, then kick back in the Insta-worthy square outside – a favourite with the yoof set for showing off skateboard skillz.

Cultural quest accomplished, you must be feeling rather smug, so it’s time for a retox. Nearby laid-back scenester Betty Ford’s (Joaquín Costa, 56) corrupts with juicy burgers and potent cocktails… Oh, go on then.

Queuing not your style? Skip past the khaki-clad hordes with a nifty Articket – six museums for €30 (includes MACBA, CCCB, Museu Picasso, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Fundació Joan Miró, and Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya). One stylish shortcut!

MACBA, Plaça dels Àngels, 1, Raval, Barcelona. +34 93 481 3368, macba.cat

For more top totterings in Barcelona, get the LUXE Barcelona guide...

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