The CosmoCaixa, a science museum that was opened in 2005, is one of the most exciting and largest (encompassing an area of more than 30,000 m²) museums in Barcelona and of all Spain.
The construction costs of the CosmoCaixa amounted to 100 million euros. It is one of the most renowned science museums in Europe and run by the social foundation “la Caixa”. The caixa can be compared to a mutual savings bank.
The CosmoCaixa is not about looking but a hands-on museum with many things to try out in every corner. Different scientific disciplines are being explained didactically and interactively. Care to explore physical, technical, geological, chemical and mathematical relations all by yourself in hundreds of experiments? Not only children enjoy discovering topics in the museum that are probably not the most popular ones in school.
No less a figure than Albert Einstein welcomes visitors in the entrance hall of the modernisme (the Catalan art nouveau) building that once served as a factory. His statue by the information desk looks almost real.
Visitors are taken 30 meters down into the 5th basement floor in a gigantic spiral that winds around a tropical tree from the Amazon region, an Acariquara.
Once you are down in the basement floor, the first thing you see is an escalator that leads to a higher floor. But the CosmoCaixa wouldn´t enjoy such a good reputation world-wide if you could not already see the first attractions: the escalator is glassed-in so that you can look right into it and see how it works.
You probably have heard of the Foucault pendulum back in physics class? The more than 40 m long thread pendulum with a heavy iron ball demonstrates the earth´s rotation. The pendulum moves and below it the earth rotates while the pendulum keeps swinging in a straight arc. This way, every couple of minutes the pendulum knocks over one of the little steles that are arranged around it in a circle. An original bob of the kind that Foucault used is exhibited as well.
In the lowest hall in the basement visitors can try out experiments from a wide range of scientific disciplines. In a vivid way you learn which kinds of waves exist and which kinds of waves there are in the sea. A wave simulator illustrates how waves form the shores.
Or you might want to produce a sand storm and see how all of a sudden sand dunes develop and move. Or you produce a tornado the eye of which you can even touch with your hands! There are many more interesting experiments with water and lots of optic and acoustic experiments.
The next section is all about geology. A model shows how the shape of a volcano develops. On the “mur geològic", the geological wall, you can examine different types of rocks, such as folded rock formations that can also be found in the Alps. In addition to that, there are numerous experiments that demonstrate how the respective rock formations develop.
In the 1,000 m² jungle greenhouse there are not only 30 m tall trees from the Amazon region but you can also see and hear animals from tropic regions, some of which are even free-roaming. Don´t worry - the dangerous snakes are locked behind glass. Sometimes it rains heavily in this jungle.
There are also temporary science exhibitions in the museum CosmoCaixa. Anyone who wants to find out more about our cosmos can look up to the stars at the planetarium (which costs 2€ extra). Ask about show times at the information desk.
On the spacious outside grounds you can picnic or experience some more physical experiments. The largest one consists of two satellite dishes, about 80 m away from each other, which show how easily sound waves are transmitted: one person talks into the satellite dish on one end and the other one can hear the words despite the distance between the two.
For good reasons the museum enjoys an excellent reputation. Not only children will enjoy the experiments. The museum is really worth a trip, but you should arrange enough time for it (at least 2 to 3 hours).
Take the FGC Line L7, the Catalan train that is integrated in the metro system of Barcelona, from Plaça Catalunya to the last stop "Av. del Tibidabo". On the other side of the street you will see the stops of the Tramvia Blau and two bus stops next to each other. From there, get on bus 196 and get off at the next stop. There is a veteran submarine displayed in the middle of the road by the stop, so you can´t miss it. Behind it there is the striking building of the CosmoCaixa.
If you don´t want to wait for the bus (which drives in regular intervals) you can also walk the 800 meters from the stop to the museum. Follow the tracks of the Tramvia Blau uphill. After about 500 meters a road branching off to the left leads to the tram depot. Follow the tracks and walk past the depot on the right side. After another 200 meters you will see the museum.
Here you'll find the CosmoCaixa on the road map.
Teodor Roviralta, 47-51
Phone: +34 932 126 050
Metro: FGC, L7, Av. del Tibidabo, dann 800 Meter zu Fuß oder mit Bus
Bus: 196 ab Av. del Tibidabo
Bus Turístic: Tramvia Blau - Tibidabo, weiter mit Bus 196
Closed on Mo. (except on holidays)
Regular: € 3.00, reduced: € 2.00
Planetarium: € 2.00
Free admission with the Barcelona Card.
The backside of the modernisme building seen from the terrace.
The movement of the Foucault pendulum presented in a video on YouTube.
Here you see the typical shape of a volcano developing.
In this tropical rainforest it sometimes starts raining.
The largest experiment with sound waves on the terrace of the CosmoCaixa.