Museu d’Història de Catalunya

Museum in Barceloneta, the Waterfront & El Poblenou

Inside the Palau de Mar, this worthwhile museum takes you from the Stone Age through to the early 1980s. It's a busy hotchpotch of dioramas, artefacts, videos, models, documents and interactive bits: all up, an entertaining exploration of 2000 years of Catalan history. Signage is in Catalan, Spanish and English.

You'll see how the Romans lived, listen to Arab poetry from the time of the Muslim occupation of the city, peer into the dwelling of a medieval family in the Pyrenees, and try to mount a knight’s horse or lift a suit of armour.

Afterwards, descend down to learn all about the Spanish Civil War and watch a video on post-Franco Catalonia, or head upstairs to the first-rate rooftop restaurant and cafe, 1881. The temporary exhibitions (€4) are often as interesting as the permanent display. The museum shop, Bestiari, stocks nifty Catalan gifts.

Outside the museum, you'll find a string of elegant open-air restaurants with harbourfront views serving classic seafood dishes.