The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, or MNAC, opened in 1934 and is Catalunya’s home to the best art the region has ever produced. Located inside the world famous Palau Nacional on Montjuïc mountain, the museum is a celebration of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and contemporary visions. But it’s not all about the art at this museum. There is another beautiful sight to see: The rooftop of the Palau Nacional, which offers breathtaking, panoramic views of Barcelona.
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A view from the rooftop
“The Viewpoint of the MNAC,” didn’t open to the public until 2013, after the entire foyer of the building was renovated extensively and the direct access to the rooftop was constructed. There are two viewpoints on the MNAC rooftop that allow for panoramic, 360-degree views of Barcelona. This means you can see the downtown, standing monuments, the Sagrada Família, the Magic Fountain, and the surrounding buildings that were part of the Olympic Village. The Palau Nacional stands in close proximity to the Olympic Park, so viewers can take in what it was like 1992, the year Barcelona held the Summer Olympics.
Enjoy a drink
To make things even sweeter, on the terrace facing Avinguda de María Cristina is a cocktail bar with plenty of options to quench your thirst. The 1881 Per Sagardi bar is open only in the summertime on weekends, public holidays, and after hours when the museum closes, while the terrace remains open for more panoramic views at night. Its cabanas provide a lot of shade to cover visitors on those hot summer nights and its Caribbean-themed plants provide viewers a more tropical feel while overlooking Plaça d’Espanya and staring out over the rest of the city.
Rooftop access comes with the general MNAC admission or Rooftop Viewpoint admission; entry is through the side door of the main façade. Now until April, from Tuesday to Saturday, it’s open from 10 am to 6 pm, while it also opens on Sundays and public holidays from 10 am to 3 pm. In the summer, from May to September, it opens from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 11 pm and on Sundays and public holidays from 10 am to 4 pm. It’s closed every Monday except on public holidays and it always closes on New Years Day, the 1st of May, and Christmas Day. For just the Rooftop Viewpoint, admission only costs €2.
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The Viewpoint of the MNAC is something to behold and absolutely worth spending a couple of euros to see. Come for a drink on a summer night and you will see Barcelona at its most magical. You can’t get a view like this anywhere else in the city. It may not be the tallest point in Barcelona, but it sure does offer an expansive view from above, looking down over beautiful Barcelona.
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