Visiting the stunning Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona

What’s it like to visit the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona? And is it worth visiting?

The Palau de la Música Catalana, or the Palace of Catalan Music, is easily one of the most beautiful concert halls I’ve ever seen on my travels.

Located in the heart of Barcelona, in the Ribera district, you’re very likely to pass by this incredible building on your way to other main attractions.

From the outside, the building looks intriguing. There are plenty of architectural gems in Barcelona, and this is definitely one of them. It will make you stop and look.

Is the Palau de la Música Catalana worth visiting?

Palace of Catalan Music view of the concert hall stage and organ highlighting the hall's ornate design

Yes, the Palau de la Música Catalana is worth visiting. It’s a must-see in Barcelona if you love art, design, architecture, and music.

The interior is magnificent on every level. Its highlight is the spectacular performance hall, but on the way there you’ll pass through other beautiful parts of the building.

The tour of the Palace is a great way to discover this gem with a guide who knows the history of the building and the symbolism hiding in the design elements. You can also tour at your own pace with an audio guide.

Another way to see the interior is by attending a performance. I really enjoyed going there for a classical concert. It was a real local cultural experience.

Tours in the Palau de la Música Catalana

There are two main ways you can tour the Palace of Catalan Music:

Tickets for the Palau de la Música Catalana tours

These tours are available in English and other languages and are a popular attraction in Barcelona. Reserve your tickets in advance.

On the self-guided audio tour, you can see the building’s interior at your own pace.

You’ll get access to an audio-visual guide on your own phone, so bring your headphones.

The audio-visual guide has music clips, videos, images, and stories about the building’s history and architecture.

Check availability and book the self-guided tour here:

On the guided tour, you’ll join a group of about 15 people or so. I think it’s the right size for a tour like this, it doesn’t feel too crowded.

The group tour gives you skip-the-line tickets and lets you see parts of the building that are not normally open to the public.

There’s a short film about the history of the building at the beginning of the tour.

The guide will take you through the halls, tell you about the architects who designed the Palace, and leave you enough time to take photos and videos.

Check availability and book the guided tour here:

What to expect on a tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana

The tour of the Palace is a great way to learn about its history while enjoying the rich decorations and the overall experience of this unique building.

It dates back to 1908. Architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner (a name you’ll hear quite frequently when you visit Barcelona) designed the building in the style of Catalan Modernism.

You’ll soon notice some of the elements typical of the style, such as floral ornamentation, wrought iron, ceramics, stained glass, and mosaics.

When you enter through the entrance hall, your eyes are drawn to the grand staircase, but first, you want to look up to see how the ceramic mouldings on the ceiling form the shapes of stars.

he grand marble staircase of the Palau de la Música Catalana, adorned with ceramic flowers on the walls and ceiling.

The grand staircase is made of marble and decorated with ceramic flowers on the walls and ceiling.

The modest size of the entrance hall and the stairs was a bit surprising for me at first, but they still provided a dramatic entrance.

Upstairs, before you reach the highlight that is the auditorium, there’s another gorgeous room to visit, called Lluís Millet Hall.

This is where people spend their time before the performance and during intermissions.

The design is spectacular, with an impressive iron chandelier and many small details to notice. I especially liked the columns covered in colourful mosaics and the stained glass windows.

This room is on the second floor and has a beautiful balcony that you can access during the tour.

The Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall

The concert hall of the Palau de la Música Catalana, featuring a breathtaking stained-glass ceiling that illuminates the space with natural light.

Next is the real climax of the tour – the concert hall.

It’s so easy to fall in love with this fabulous space.

The stained-glass ceiling is breathtaking. It’s the centrepiece of this hall. During the day, it lets natural light into the space. The effect is mesmerising.

You’ll spend quite a bit of time on the tour exploring the decorations in the hall.

There’s symbolism everywhere, related to Catalan culture, history, music, and mythology.

Though there are many, many design elements in this space, they all seem to blend together nicely.

It’s a space that’s quite hard to describe, the kind of place you need to experience yourself.

The muses on the stage of the Palau de la Música Catalana, depicted as half mosaic, half sculpture, embodying the rich decoration typical of Catalan Modernism

One of my favourite things, besides the phenomenal stained-glass ceiling, was the muses on the stage, half mosaic and half sculpture.

The rich decoration is typical of the Catalan Modernism architectural style but takes it to a higher level of exceptional splendour.

Seeing a Performance at the Palace of Catalan Music

The experience of seeing and hearing a live concert at the Palace of Catalan Music was a wonderful experience and certainly one of the highlights of my trip to Barcelona.

The concert hall has plenty of events, from classical music to flamenco shows.

If you’re into live music, I recommend you check what’s on during your visit to Barcelona.

I went to see a classical music concert. The place was full when I arrived, so it’s a good idea to book way ahead.

I booked my tickets online directly from the Palau website. You’ll get an email with a link to download or print out your e-ticket. I just had to show it on my phone when I entered.

The auditorium itself is large, but not too large, so most seats give you a good view of the stage. The acoustics were excellent.

You’ll probably want to take photos and videos of this amazing auditorium, so I recommend you arrive before the concert starts.

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Visiting The Palau de la Música Catalana should be on everyone’s to-do list when visiting Barcelona. When we first laid eyes on it, we were mesmerised by its beauty and colour. It’s so good we’ve visited on twice, on different visits to Barcelona.

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