Poble Espanyol is an open-air architectural museum located on the hill of Montjuic. Its name translates literally to “Spanish Village”, and that is precisely what it contains: a full-sized replica of different types of houses and buildings in different styles from all over Spain.
In this article you’ll find:
- Practical info about tickets
- Opening hours
- Tips for food, entertainment and shopping
- Information about how to get there
- Background information (facts, history and architecture) about Poble Espanyol
- Insider tips
What is Poble Espanyol and why should you visit it?
Poble Espanyol is an open air museum of Spanish architecture. It was built for the 1929 World Expo, which took place on Montjuic.
If your trip to Spain is limited to Barcelona, Poble Espanyol is a good opportunity to get acquainted with the architecture and the history of other Spanish regions.
This miniature village contains 117 full-sized replica buildings drawn from every region in Spain, as well as shops, bars and restaurants.
There’s also a very active community of artisans producing traditional goods from the regions they represent, which make for great gifts and mementos to take home with you.
Poble Espanyol is one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions, drawing over one million visitors every year. It’s a fantastic activity to do on your own or with kids.
Plan your visit to Poble Espanyol
Poble Espanyol is outside the city center, although it’s very easily accessible by public transport.
The village is located on Montjuïc hill, so you can easily combine your visit with other interesting activities in the area, such as the Joan Miró Museum or the MNAC.
If you come in the afternoon, it can be worth it to stay until the evening so you can see the magic fountain light show before you leave.
In total, you can see all of Poble Espanyol in an hour and half to two hours, but if you want to do some shopping and perhaps have a meal you’ll take longer.
When to visit Poble Espanyol?
During the hot summer months of July and August, we recommend you visit Poble Espanyol in the morning or in the evening.
It can get very hot at midday so you won’t enjoy your visit as much.
Our partner Tiqets offers special entrance tickets for evenings (€6.30). Keep in mind that these tickets are only available in the summer and that many shops in Poble Espanyol will be closed.
Poble Espanyol Tickets and Prices
- Basic ticket
The standard ticket to visit Poble Espanyol. Price for adults is €12.60, and children up to 12 pay €6.30.
- Basic ticket + video guide
The standard ticket with a video guide to learn more about the history and architecture of Poble Espanyol’s buildings. Price is €16.10.
A deposit of €50 must be left for the video guide tablet.
- Evening Ticket
Evening access ticket, only available during the summer. Price is €6.30.
If you have a ticket for the flamenco show at Tablao Carmen, the entrance is free.
- Monday: 9 am to 8 pm.
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday: 9 am to midnight.
- Friday: 9 am to 3 am.
- Saturday: 9 am to 4 am.
How to get to Poble Espanyol?
- Metro: L1 (red line) or L3 (green line) to Plaça Espanya. Then walk towards Montjuic between the two Venetian towers. When you get to the large fountain turn right and follow the road uphill, after a few minutes you’ll see Poble Espanyol on your left. If you want to avoid the uphill walk, you can head straight at the fountain and take the escalators up, then turn right in front of the MNAC. You’ll reach Poble Espanyol from the back this way.
- Bus: Lines 13, 23 and 150 stop at Poble Espanyol.
- Hop on hop off bus: the red line of the hop on hop off bus stops in front of Poble Espanyol.
- Funicular and zipper train: We don’t recommend using the cable cars or the zipper train to get to Poble Espanyol. They both stop on Montjuic, but they do so on a different part of the hill and you’ll have to walk quite a bit to get there. If you plan to spend the whole day exploring the area that’s fine, but other forms of transport are more practical for heading straight there.
- Taxi: A taxi from the center will cost around €12.
- Walking: Poble Espanyol is on Montjuic Hill, which is no less than 45 minutes walking from the Plaza Catalunya area. You’ll get there much quicker if you take public transport, but if you do choose to walk go straight along Gran Via and you’ll get to Plaza Espanya, which is right below the hill.
What to see and do during your visit to Poble Espanyol
If you love architecture, food, and shopping, you’ll love Poble Espanyol.
Poble Espanyol has a surface of 49.000 square meters, where you can visit 117 real-size replicas of buildings from all over Spain.
Architect Puig i Cadafalch (who for example designed Casa Amatller at the Passeig de Gràcia) had an important role in the process of developing the plans.
The project itself was overseen by architects Francesc Folguera and Ramon Reventós, in cooperation with art critic Miquel Utrillo and artist Xavier Nogués.
Don’t expect replicas of world famous buildings such as the Sagrada Família, the Alhambra in Granada or the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.
The selection mainly consists of buildings that are not especially famous, but that give an excellent impression of the different Spanish architecture styles.
Here is a list of some of the buildings:
- Puerta de San Vicente, the old city gate of Ávila (Castilla y León). This represents the entrance of Poble Espanyol.
- Plaza Mayor. Every Spanish village has a central square, so of course there is one at Poble Espanyol. The Plaza Mayor is located near the entrance.
- City hall of Sigüenza (Guadalajara, Castilla-La Mancha)
- City hall of Valderrobres (Teruel, Aragón). The original building dates back to 1599.
- Caldas de Reis (a community in Pontevedra, Galicia).
- Besalú (Girona, Catalonia). Based on one of the most charming villages in Catalonia.
- Calle Arcos (Cádiz, Andalucia). This will take you to the South of Spain, with its typical white streets and colourful flower pots on the walls.
- Casa del Águila (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria). The original house, built in the 17th century, is located on the Plaza Mayor in the community of Santillana del Mar.
- Palace of Álava-Esquivel (Vitoria, Basque country)
- Church of Santo Ángel (Córdoba, Andalusia)
- Valley of Roncal (Navarra)
Shopping in Poble Espanyol
More than twenty local craftsmen sell their handmade products in their shops in Poble Espanyol.
If you looking for a typical Spanish souvenir to bring home with you, you will definitely find it here.
There is a glazing workshop and a ‘guitar doctor’, as well as several shops selling fashion accessories. The shops are open 365 days a year.
Many of them offer personalization options, and if the items are too big to take in your suitcase, many of them ship worldwide.
In 2001 the Fran Laurel foundation was opened in Poble Espanyol, a museum from art collector Francisco Daurella.
There are permanent and temporary exhibits of paintings, drawings, ceramics and sculptures.
Because the space became too small, a sculpture garden was laid out in 2004. In total you can see about 300 works by more than eighty artists.
Restaurants and Drinks in Poble Espanyol
Do you love Spanish food? Then you’ll love Poble Espanyol.
Spanish hams and cheeses, specialties from different regions, high quality chocolate, bread, wine, olive oil… they have it all.
You can shop and take products home with you, or eat here.
There are a number of restaurants at Poble Espanyol. Our favourites are La Font de Prades (Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13-27) and Granja Rivero (C/Caballeros 15).
If you prefer to bring your own lunch, you can have a picnic in one of the picnic areas, with spectacular views over Barcelona.
Entertainment in Poble Espanyol
The village is used for festivals and concerts on a regular basis, such as the popular Brunch in the City (every Sunday in spring and autumn, on the Plaza Mayor at the Avenida Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13).
Poble Espanyol also hosts the famous open air club La Terrazza, and the burlesque club Sala Upload. During the Sonar festival Poble Espanyol holds concerts and live DJ sets.
History of Poble Espanyol
In 1927, the architects Ramon Reventós and Francesc Folguera in the company of artists Xavier Nogúes and Miquel Utrillo took an extended long road trip through Spain.
They visited no less than 1,600 cities and villages and took hundreds of pictures, made notes, and lots of drawings.
The result: Poble Espanyol, an authentic Spanish village with replicas of streets, churches and squares from different Spanish regions.
During the World Expo, between May 1929 and January 1930, Poble Espanyol held many events, such as parties, games, bull fights and shows of regional dances.
The village attracted so many visitors that the City council of Barcelona decided to not demolish it when the Expo was finished even though this was the initial plan.
But the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) changed everything. Poble Espanyol was used as a prison during these years.
After the war Franco supporters used the village to promote anti Catalan propaganda and much of the original Poble Espanyol was destroyed.
Between the late fifties and until the seventies, the city of Barcelona worked on restoring Poble Espanyol.
Renovation works were initiated and several festivals organized, but it wasn’t enough to take away the image of the decay and neglect of the previous years.
In 1986, the managers of the village decided to make some important changes.
Many buildings were renovated to their original state and new spots were created, including restaurants. The goal: attract more tourists. And they were successful.
The number of visitors increased from 600,000 in 1987 to nearly one million two years later.
Despite this success, the park’s finances were still precarious, and for a time it was at risk of going bankrupt.
A change in ownership in 1996 brought in new management, and the park underwent further renovations and expansions.
During this new phase not only brand new architecture was added, new highlights were created, such as crafts and contemporary art projects.
Attractions near Poble Espanyol
There is one other major attraction near Poble Espanyol:
- The MNAC, Catalunya’s National Art Museum