CosmoCaixa is Barcelona’s science museum. It sits in a privileged location, on the side of Tibidabo, overlooking the city. It’s a great place to visit with children, but adults will enjoy it too.
In this article you will find:
- Practical info about tickets
- Opening hours
- Information about how to get there
- Personal tips
- History and architecture
What is CosmoCaixa and why should you visit it?
Cosmocaixa is one of the most interesting museums in Barcelona. As a visitor, you can test many interesting science experiments and get to know animals you’ve probably never heard of before.
Our favorite parts of the museum are the rain forest and amazonian aquarium.
It is definitely one of the most beautiful museums in the city, situated in a beautiful location.
The museum is also a great activity for a rainy day as it’s all indoors. And best of all: tickets are not at all expensive, and kids under 16 enter for free.
CosmoCaixa is perfect to visit on a rainy day or to escape the intense summer heat for a while, as the whole building is air conditioned.
The museum also has a great terrace with a view over Barcelona where you can have a coffee and relax after seeing the exhibits.
In general, the museum is busiest on weekends and during school holidays, when local families visit it with their kids. The good thing is that the museum is so big it doesn’t get too crowded.
The museum is quite large. Your visit will take around two hours, and possibly more if you want to see every exhibit.
You can combine the CosmoCaixa with a visit to Tibidabo because they are both quite close to each other, although we don’t recommend you do the amusement park and the museum on the same day as it may be a bit much.
A cool itinerary: go to Tibidabo early in the morning, explore the hill, and enjoy the view over the city. Then, as it gets later and warmer head down the hill and go to Cosmocaixa.
CosmoCaixa Tickets and Prices
- Adults: €4.00 at the ticket office, €3.80 online
- Children up to 16 years: free
Open daily from 10 am to 8 pm. The gift shop closes at 8.30pm.
CosmoCaixa does not work with a time slot: your ticket is valid at any time of the day on the day of your choice.
How to get to CosmoCaixa?
- Metro: the regular metro doesn’t stop near CosmoCaixa. To get there, you use the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC). You can get the FGC at Plaça Catalunya, next to the green line metro. Take the brown line until the final stop Avinguda Tibidabo.
From there you can walk along the beautiful Avinguda Tibidabo. Turn left at the top of the street and you’ll see the museum ahead of you.
If you don’t feel like walking uphill there is also a bus, number 196, which will drop you off almost in front of the museum. If you have a Barcelona public transport card the transfer to the bus from the FGC is free.
- Bus: an alternative is bus V13, which you can catch in the center along La Rambla and Plaça Catalunya. This bus will leave you at Plaça John F. Kennedy, from where you can walk or take bus 196 as described in the previous section.
- Walking: We do not recommend walking to CosmoCaixa or going by bike, because it is not just pretty far outside the center, but also quite uphill.
- Hop on hop off bus: The tourist bus’s blue line stops at the bottom of Avinguda Tibidabo. From there you can walk or take bus 196 as described above.
- Taxi: A taxi from the center will cost about €15.
What to see and do at CosmoCaixa?
The museum occupies over 30.000 square meter and is spread out across several floors, five of them beneath ground level.
One of the coolest features is the spiral staircase that runs in a circle around an Amazonian Acariguara tree.
The building also has a large terrace with a great view over the city. There is a restaurant, a bar, an extended library and a museum shop filled with science objects and gifts.
Once you have descended the spiral staircase, you’ll get to the science experiments hall.
As its name suggests, this area contains numerous displays of interactive science experiments that explore areas such as gravity, magnetism, electrical conductivity, erosion, and others.
The Flooded Forest
The Flooded Forest is without a doubt CosmoCaixa’s most interesting area.
It is a 1,000 square meter reproduction of a tropical rain forest, including live animals and simulated rainfall.
One of its best features is that you get to see the rich Amazonian ecosystem from above ground but also from under water in the viewers’ tunnel.
The rain forest counts 80 native plant species and 52 animal species, together with an amazonian aquarium inhabited by many types of rare fish.
A geological wall shows visitors several interesting geological structures.
Seven authentic rock surfaces reveal the secrets of the history of earth.
In the so called ‘Hall of Substances’ you can explore the world of raw materials and minerals.
A journey through the history of geology, where experiments are central, makes the visit an interactive experience.
In the planetarium you can take a comfortable seat and learn about the universe and celestial bodies.
For children, there is a special animated version, and they can also enjoy the so called ‘Soap bubble planetarium’, created to stimulate children’s interest in the fascinating science of astronomy.
In 2011, the planetarium incorporated 3D technology, making the experience even more immersive.
Looking for a nice present for a young scientist to-be? You’ll find the perfect birthday gift or souvenir in the museum shop.
Opening times: from 10am to 8.30 pm.
Personal tip: There is a bar at the museum, but you can also bring your own sandwiches and have a picnic outside. Practical and great if you are with kids.
The restaurant at CosmoCaixa has a gluten free kitchen.
History of CosmoCaixa & Architecture
The modernist building where the science museum is housed dates from the 19th century and was designed by architect Josep Domènech i Estepà.
Until the late seventies there was a shelter for blind people here, before it was bought by the Catalan bank La Caixa.
The complex was renovated respecting the original architecture and provided with modern installations by the architect brothers Esteve and Robert Terradas.
The result is a classic example of the integration of Catalan modernism with 21st century innovation. One of the main factors the architects took into account when designing the new building was sustainability.
The vision of creating one of Europe’s most modern museums was a resounding success.
After reopening in 2004, the CosmoCaixa was awarded the European Museum Forum’s highest award for its ‘renewing spirit, creativity, and beauty’.
Attractions near CosmoCaixa
There is one other major attraction near CosmoCaixa: