When it comes to culture, Madrid is a treasure trove. Spain’s vibrant capital city flaunts an eclectic collection of museums — one of the world’s finest — that is rich enough to satisfy everyone, from art lovers to history buffs.
Experience the whole breadth of Madrid’s art scene by exploring the famed Golden Triangle of Art, which includes the iconic Museo del Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Reina Sofia museums, or delve into the history of humanity while visiting the National Archaeological Museum.
Whatever your interest or curiosity, you’re sure to find a stellar museum to quell it in Madrid. Sounds like a plan? Then read on to discover our top picks on the 10 most amazing museums in the city.
The Top 10 Museums In Madrid
The Prado Museum (Museo Nacional del Prado)
The Prado Museum is a precious gem among Spain’s dazzling collection of cultural institutions. Dating back to over 200 years, this is the country’s main national art museum, drawing a staggering number of visitors — approximately 3 million — every year.
Set within a stunning Neoclassical building commissioned by King Charles III and designed by architect Juan de Villanueva in 1785, the museum is home to an awe-inspiring collection of drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures. Not by chance, it’s considered one of the best things to do in Madrid.
So, while snooping around Prado’s eye-popping galleries, expect to come across masterpieces by European old masters like El Greco, Francisco de Goya, Velazquez, Rembrandt, and Pablo Picasso spread across four floors.
Iconic artworks that are worth seeing in Museo del Prado include “Las Meninas”, by Diego Velázquez, “La Maja Desnuda”, by Francisco Goya, and El Greco’s “The Nobleman with his Hand on His Chest”.
Adress: C. de Ruiz de Alarcón, 23
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, from 10 AM to 8 PM | Sundays and holidays, from 10 AM to 7 PM
Tickets: General: 15 € | Reduced: 7,5 € | General + La Guía del Prado: 24 €
Free Access: Monday to Saturday, from 6 PM to 8 PM | Sundays and holidays, from 5 PM to 7 PM
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Reina Sofia Museum is guaranteed to keep culture-vultures happy with its dazzling array of modern and contemporary art from Spain. Housed in the 16th-century San Carlos Hospital, founded by King Felipe II and designed by Francisco Sabatini, the museum’s collection is divided into three sections: Collection 1 (works from 1900-1945), 2 (1945-68), and 3 (1962-82).
And while is impossible to view the entire Reina Sofia collection in just one visit, there are a few artworks you can’t miss. These include Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica, Man With a Pipe by Joan Mirò, and Visage du Grand Masturbateur, by Salvador Dalí.
Address: C. de Sta. Isabel, 52
Opening Hours: Monday from 10 am to 9 pm | Wednesday to Saturday, from 10 am to 9 pm | Sundays from 10 am to 2:30 pm
Tickets: General box office/online: 12 € | Two visits, on different days over one-year box office/ online: 18 € | Paseo del Arte Card box office/0nline: 32 € (valid for visits to Museo Reina Sofía, Museo Nacional del Prado, and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza)
Free Access: Monday 7 am to 9 00 pm | Wednesday to Saturday 7 to 9 pm | Sunday 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm | Holidays April 18, May 18, and October 12
Thyssen Bornemisza Museum
A tour of Madrid’s “Golden Triangle of Art” is not complete without a visit to the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. The museum started in the 1920s as a private collection by Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his son Hans Heinrich, and it’s housed in the dreamy Villahermosa Palace — one of the finest examples of Madrid’s palatial architecture.
Assembled over the course of two generations, the collection was acquired by the Spanish state in 1993, and still to the present day dazzles visitors with its glorious range of artworks. Among Thyssen’s selection of almost 1000 paintings spanning from the 13th right up until the 20th century, you’ll find works by Van Eyck, Dürer, Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Dalí, and Pollock, just to name a few.
While discovering the museum’s collection, be sure to stop by the ground floor, which now houses a new installation of 180 works of the Carmen Thyssen Collection, including treasured Old Master paintings such as Jan Brueghel I’s Garden of Eden and Portrait of a Young Woman by Fragonard.
Address: Paseo del Prado, 8
Opening Hours: Monday from 12 pm – 4 pm | Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 7 pm
Tickets: Full-Access Ticket General €13 | Ticket + audio-guide Fee + €5 | Ticket + menu at the museum cafe fee + €15,50 | Visitors over 65 and pensioners €9 | Students €9
National Archaeological Museum
Ancient wonders and vivid remnants of the past are the great hallmarks of the National Archaeological Museum (MAN), which is home to one of the most noteworthy antique collections in the world.
While meandering through MAN’S antique-filled rooms, expect to come across an eye-opening number of artifacts and artworks from the Mediterranean cultures, spanning from prehistory to the 19th-century. Think of Palaeolithic materials from the Manzanares River Terraces and San Isidro (Madrid), assorted Mudejar pieces representing the Muslim presence in Christian Spain, bronzes from Mesopotamia and Persia, and Greek vessels from the Mycenaean period to the Hellenistic era (16th-3rd century BC).
The museum also houses a show-stopping Numismatics collection that dates from the sixth century BC to the 21st century, and it’s the finest of its type in Spain.
Address: Calle de Serrano, 13
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 8 pm | Sundays and public holidays from 9:30 am to 3 pm
Tickets: Saturday from 2 pm and Sunday mornings
Museo Sorolla is one of the best-preserved house-museums in all of Europe. Dedicated to Valencian painter Joaquín Sorolla, the museum is set within the house where the artist lived and worked in the Chamberi neighborhood, in Madrid, with his wife and muse, Clotilde García del Castillo.
The museum opened to the public following the death of Sorolla’s widow, and it harbors a precious collection of nearly a thousand objects. A tour of the museum will take you to uncover rococo mirrors, Spanish ceramics, alluring sculptures, jewelry, a 19th-century day bed, and other relics that once belonged to the artist.
There’s also a selection of more than 1200 paintings and drawings by Sorolla, which became famous thanks to its representation of the Spanish people and landscape transformed by the effect of the Mediterranean light.
After browsing through the museum’s collection, make sure to see the garden that Sorolla designed himself by mixing Italian and Andalusian styles as a tribute to the Mediterranean.
Address: P.º del Gral. Martínez Campos, 37
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 8 pm | Sundays & public holidays from 10 am to 3 pm.
Tickets: Entry: €3 | Reduced entry: €1.50 | Annual pass: €25
Museo Lázaro Galdiano
Once the residence of prolific collector José Lázaro Galdiano, the Parque Florido mansion, in Madrid, holds some of the most exquisite artworks in the country. Galdiano is often regarded as “one of the greatest patrons of culture in nineteenth-century Spain”, and at the time of his death, his collection numbered over 11,000 pieces, mostly from the Old Master and Romantic periods. He also gathered treasured documents, such as letters written by Lope de Vega as well as many medieval manuscripts.
The neo-Renaissance style estate where Galdiano lived and hosted several literary gatherings was transformed into a museum — Museo Lázaro Galdiano — following his death, in 1947. Inside, you’ll find a myriad of masterpieces by Goya, El Greco, Zurbarán, and Hieronymus Bosch, aside from collections of fabrics, weapons, coins, medals, ivory, bronze, enamelwork, ceramics, and more.
Address: C. Serrano, 122
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sun from 9.30 am to 3 pm
Tickets: General admission: €7 | Reduced Entrance Fee: € 4
Free Access: Tuesday to Sunday from 2 pm to 3 pm for all visitors | Children under the age of 12
Located in a classical-style mansion that used to be the stately home of the 17th Marquis of Cerralbo, the Cerralbo Museum is a hidden gem in Madrid’s cultural scene. This impeccably preserved 19th-century mansion is fully decorated with Neo-Baroque and Rococo elements, which creates the most gorgeous setting for exploring one of the most important private collections in the country.
Spread across four floors, there’s a jaw-dropping selection of thousands of artworks, antiques, and curiosities collected by the Marquis of Cerralbo during his many trips to Spain and Europe. Among the collection, you’ll find treasured items such as an 18th-century marble bust of a Roman woman, a 16th-century German helmet made of engraved steel, and an Opium smoking set from China’s Qing dynasty.
Address: C. de Ventura Rodríguez, 17
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 9:30 am to 3 pm | Thursdays 5 pm to 8 pm | Sundays and holidays 10 am to 3 pm
Tickets: General admission 3€
Free Access: Saturdays from 2 pm | Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm | Every Sunday
Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas
Inspired by the former South Kensington Museum (nowadays known as Victoria & Albert Museum) in London, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas is one of the first of its kind in Europe.
While catching a glimpse of the museum’s precious relics, you’ll be taken on a fascinating journey through the history of several geographical regions, spanning from the 4th century BC to the present day. The collection encompasses over 70.000 objects from around the world and includes textiles, metalwork, furniture, ceramics, glass, costumes, silver, ironwork, ivory, and prints.
Make sure you don’t miss the oriental art collection, which was initiated by King Carlos II and includes gorgeous ceramics and porcelain, gold and silverware, and intricate metalwork.
Address: C. de Montalbán, 12
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 3 pm | Sundays and holidays from 10 am to 3 pm
Tickets: General admission 3€ | Reduced entry 1,50 €
Free Acess: Sundays and Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm | Saturdays from 2 pm to 3 pm
Museo del Romanticismo
The neoclassical palace once owned by the Marquis of Matallana is home to a splendid collection of 19th-century paintings, furniture, and decorative art, which will take you to uncover the glory days of Madrid.
Some of the most striking features displayed at the Museo del Romanticismo include a selection of legendary works from the romantic movement from artists like Goya, Leonardo Alenza, and Federico de Madrazo, aside from ebonite jewelry, 15 pianos, and imperial furniture.
The museum’s permanent exhibition also includes some macabre items, such as the pistol that writer Mariano Jose da Larra used to kill himself.
After marveling at the treasure-filled rooms of the museum, head outside to catch a glimpse of the Magnolia Garden, carefully landscaped in the style of the 18th-century French model.
Address: Calle de San Mateo, 13
Opening Hours: Winter: Tue to Sat from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm | Summer: Tue to Sat from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm | Sundays and public holidays from 10 am to 3 pm
Tickets: General admission €3 | Reduced price €1.50
Free Acess: Saturdays after 2 pm and Sundays
After a masterful renovation project led by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, an old power station from the 1900s turned into a beguiling cultural center, and one of Madrid’s most prominent urban landmarks.
Boasting a lush façade featuring a vertical garden by the French botanist Patrick Blanc, the museum hosts a variety of events, such as music and poetry festivals, debates on current affairs, and workshops. CaixaForum also houses a myriad of rotating art exhibits covering everything from pop art to surrealism and art from ancient Egypt.
Address: Paseo del Prado, 36
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday and holidays from 10 am to 8 pm
Tickets: General entry 6€
Free Acess: May 15, May 18, November 9
What are the two main museums in Madrid?
The Prado Museum and Reina Sofia are the two main museums in Madrid.
Which famous museum is located in Madrid, Spain?
The 10 best museums in Madrid, Spain:
- The Prado Museum;
- Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía;
- Thyssen Bornemisza Museum;
- National Archaeological Museum;
- Museo Sorolla;
- Museo Lázaro Galdiano;
- Cerralbo Museum;
- Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas;
- Museo del Romanticismo;
- CaixaForum Madrid.
Does Madrid have great museums?
Yes, Madrid is home to some of the world’s best museums, including Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen Bornemisza.
How many museums are in Madrid?
There are more than 44 museums in Madrid, Spain.
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