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National Art Museum of Catalonia. Archive image.
National Art Museum of Catalonia. Photo: National Art Museum of Catalonia

Barcelona museums recover in amount of visitors

Despite health measures, museums in Barcelona have been recovering the number of visits, but are still far from their pre-pandemic performance.

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Many of the museums in the city of Barcelona confirmed that 2021 showed a significant increase in visitors compared to 2020. However, there is still a long way to go to return to the figures of 2019, as the museums of the city recover normal operations little by little.

During 2021, visits to Barcelona's museums grew compared to 2020. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the cultural sector was severely affected by restrictions and capacity limitations that tried to avoid crowds. 

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However, together with the health protocols, an hourly reservation system and people eager to return to cultural tourism, the number of visits to museums have been recovering. One of the museums with the highest growth in visits last year was the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona), followed by the CCCB (Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona), the Museu Picasso, the Fundació Miró and the MNAC (National Art Museum of Catalonia).

For its part, the MACBA registered 127.53% more visitors than in 2020. The most visited exhibitions were the 'MACBA Collection,' a permanent exhibition that occupies the second floor of the building, and "In real time." MACBA was followed by the CCCB with a 70% increase; the Museu Picasso with 53%; the Fundació Miró with 40.5%, and the MNAC, with a 40% increase in visits. 

What the health crisis has changed is the majority income streams of the museums. While in 2019 many depended on foreign tourists, in 2021, local audiences have taken vital importance for the cultural reactivation.

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