CosmoCaixa Sience Museum: The beating heart of Barcelona's scientific mind

Barcelona's premier science museum, CosmoCaixa, is packed with fascinating stuff for kids and adults alike. Its mission is to make science interesting, comprehensible and fun, so it has lots of interactive exhibits to capture and hold your attention.

A special thanks to Valerie Collins, a long-time Barcelona resident who helped us write this section.

Opened in 1981, CosmoCaixa was Spain's first interactive science museum. The museum occupied a landmark modernista building perched at the top of Barcelona, just above the upper ring of the Colserolla foothills.

The building was originally built to be an asylum for the blind. Famed Catalán architect Josep Domenech designed the modernista masterpiece. The asylum closed in 1979, but was renovated to house the museum. The original façade of the building remains.

In order to maintain the splendor of the modernist building, the new museum has been built mostly underground. The generous use of glass provides an amazing amount of natural light to penetrate the interior of the CosmoCaixa.

The museum's light-laden interior can best be experienced as you walk down CosmoCaixa's five-story spiral walkway. Suspended in mid-air within the center of this winding walkway is the trunk of a giant Amazon tree, complete with its mas of woody roots spreading outward in search of water.

Perhaps the most fascinating exhibit of the museum is the Flooded Forest, an ambitious and incredible living replica of a section of Amazonian rainforest.

Completely encased in glass walls, the Flooded Forest allows you to see this rare and vanishing ecosystem from all its perspectives, including underwater.

Frogs, turtles, snakes, three-meter long pirarucu fish, steamy heat and jungle smells, can all be seen living in perfect harmony in the Flooded Forest.

You can enjoy the vista over the city from the Plaça de la Ciència, a public space donated to the city by the owners of the museum, Fundació la Caixa'.

This plaza can be accessed from the museum cafeteria, and also from the neighboring streets. It's spacious, sunny and dotted with interactive marvels, such as litho phones, a huge sundial and a sound telescope.

CosmoCaixa's Geological Wall features visual explorations of natural processes like erosion, sedimentation and tectonic movements. Chunks of rock hearken back to the prehistoric history of the Iberian Peninsula.

The Hall of Matter is an exploration in movement, physics and life. Aquariums, fossils and hands-on exhibits illustrate the diversity and complexity of life.

Science shows, films, family activities, special programs for seniors... CosmoCaixa is a fantastic experience and a must-see on any Barcelona tour.

  • The museum underwent renovation in 1998, a process that took six years to complete.
  • More than 2.54 million people visited the museum in 2008.
  • The Flooded Forest contains more than 1,000 square meters of exhibit space.

The beautiful "Modernista" facade of the CosmoCaixa, Barcelona's science museum.
The beautiful Modernista facade of the CosmoCaixa, Barcelona's science museum.

Opening Times for CosmoCaixa:

Date Opening Times
Tuesday-Sunday Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
December 24-31 & January 5 Open from 10 a.m to 6 p.m
Closed Mondays, unless it falls on a holiday, in which case it is open from 10 a.m to 6 p.m.

Location & contact information:

  • CosmoCaixa address: C/ Isaac Newton, 26
  • CosmoCaixa telephone number: +34 93 212 60 50
  • How to get to CosmoCaixa: Take the L7 FGC train from Plaza Catalunya to Av. Tibidabo. From the train station, walk left on Passeig St. Gervasi, then turn right on Carrer del Cister. It's a 10 to 15 minute walk from the station.