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Top 5 museums on Ibiza

Art and history around the island

Ibiza might not seem like a rich centre of cultural delights, though as you'll see the island punches well above its weight with world-class art and historical museums. You should check out our page Galleries and museums on Ibiza as well as our recommendations for culture in Dalt Vila for a start and don't forget a trip to Sa Caleta's ancient and modern history.

Here are our selection of some of the best museums to visit island-wide.

(Note: all opening times are generally for summer only. Please consult the appropriate museum website or contact directly for winter opening times.)

Contemporary Art Museum, Dalt Vila, Ibiza Town

Seemingly small from the outside at least, this museum contains the contemporary works of artists from all over the world. The building used to house the old weapons room and military storerooms of the town. Today, you will find several large airy rooms over four levels. As well as pictures and sculptures by artists from Madrid to Malmo, there is good deal of work by young artists from across the island. This global and local focus comes about from the museum's annual art show, Ibigrafic, from which it sources new works.

When it opened in 1964, it was among the first of its kind and is truly world-beating. Belgian artist and Ibiza resident, Gilbert Herryens, is featured in a temporary exhibition until 5 July. Entitled 'El bosc i les mans', it is inspired by the forests and natural landscape of Formentera, from which the artist has used pine needles and tree branches to show the wild nature around us. This cool inviting space is a great place to escape the heat of summer whilst grabbing some culture.

Address: Ronda Narcís Puget s/n. Dalt Vila

Opening times: daily (except Monday's and public holidays); Tuesday to Friday 10am - 2pm / 5pm - 8pm. Weekends 10am - 1.30pm

Admission: free

Ethnographic Museum, Santa Eulalia

In Puig de Missa in the Santa Eulália district you will find an old country house, typical of the Ibiza rural style of architecture. There are typical representations of the islands former more pastoral way of life, with all manner of utensils, farming equipment. There's also jewelry, musical instruments and even weapons. Typical costume of the island is featured too – the kind you see around in shops in the form of figurines – here though it is the real deal. The house itself is very educational: you can kind of drift away and imagine life on the island a couple of hundred years ago.

As well as the permanent exhibitions there are some small-scale temporary ones as well as craft workshops on offer. There's some good video footage too, so make sure you ask to see that as well.

Address: Can Ros des Puig de Missa, Santa Eulália des Riu

Opening times: daily (except Mondays and public holidays) Monday to Saturday,10am – 1pm / 5pm – 8pm

Admission: €2.60

Archeological Museum, Dalt Vila, Ibiza Town

To get a perspective on Ibiza's rich cultural heritage, go and experience the Archeological Museum. You will need to climb to the summit of Dalt Vila, though the uphill walk is well worth it when you get there. Here you will find a permanent exhibition with artifacts found across the island and covering three thousand years of history. A lot of the items on display come from necropolis sites, including in Puig des Molins, where there is a sister museum. Starting from prehistoric times, the museum takes in the various periods of history on the island from Phoenician, Roman, Punic, Moorish and Christian re-conquest.

You can also take advantage of an educational journey around the history and techniques involved in archeology, if this is a subject that gets you excited. Also, there are regular workshops, for example a recent one on the Phoenicians during Easter this year and a very recent one on Roman cooking. It's truly a place to live and breathe the past.

Address: Plaça de la Catedral, Dalt Vila

Opening times: daily (except Monday´s and public holidays) Tuesday to Saturday: 10am - 2pm / 6:30pm - 9pm. Sunday

Admission: €2.40

For more information, please click here

Es Moli Gallery, Santa Gertrudis

Housed in an old mill, this little gem features painting, sculptures and photography by international artists, who either live or have lived in Ibiza. It started life as an antiques and art shop in the late seventies and is now a must for those who have an amateur interest in art and decoration. There is still a small bookshop and the owners live in the rooms upstairs. It is perhaps one of the most interesting galleries here, since it gives you an idea of the kind of crucible for creativity that Ibiza has become over the past three decades. It's great to take in a bit of art before dinner, since it opens only in evenings.

Address: Carretera San Miguel, Santa Gertrudis

Opening times: daily 5.30pm – 8.30pm or by appointment

Admission: free

Puget Museum, Dalt Vila, Ibiza Town

Dedicated to works by two famous artist sons of the island, Puget Viñas and Puget Riquer. Set in a fine old palacio, the museum divides up the works of both painters in different galleries. This is a visual art apercu of the old rural life of the island; it shows Ibiza's ancient customs and the role of women as the centre of the family, amongst other depictions. The house itself is situated on the street where the Christians first entered following the fall of the Moors. Interesting to note is that some of the works by Puget Viñas were completed after he was almost blind during the last years of his life. You will also see temporary exhibitions, such as a recent one featuring photographs from the 1950's, where the development of Ibiza and change to a more modern lifestyle was instantly apparent. Look out for a new timetable of such exhibitions for this summer.

Address: Carrer Mayor, Dalt Vila, Ibiza Town

Opening times: daily (except Mondays and public holidays) Tuesday to Friday, 10am - 2pm / 5pm – 8pm. Saturdays and Sundays: 10.00 am - 2.00 pm

Admission: free

WORDS | Julian Heathcote

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