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Museum Guide for Madrid

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Madrid is a city of culture: its Museums, galleries, churches and convents are all the legacy of Spain’s long, rich history. Everyone knows about the Prado and Reina Sofia Museums, but there are many other lesser-known collections that are definitely worth a visit. This list combines both the big, well-known attractions and some hidden gems that will fill a culture enthusiast’s heart with joy.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

11 Places

4 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

Prado National Museum

Speciality Museums

Museo Arqueologico Nacional

Art Museums, History Museums

Museo Del Romanticismo

Speciality Museums

Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales

Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Art Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

Speciality Museums

Museo de America

History Museums

Museo Sorolla

Art Museums

Museo Cerralbo

Historic Sites, Art Museums

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

Art Museums

Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande

Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites

Casa Museo Lope de Vega

History Museums, Speciality Museums

Ines R's City Tips

  • Tipping is not compulsory in Madrid, but it is nice to do. Feel free to tip any amount you want to.
  • Although Madrid is a very safe city, pickpockets are common, and they target tourists. Simply stay aware of your surroundings and you'll be fine.
  • Prices are quite cheap, so eating out will always feel like a bargain.
  • Madrid's historic center is relatively small and easily walkable, and getting around on foot is the best way to enjoy this city.
  • Save
    Prado National Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Renowned as one of the world’s largest art galleries, the Prado Museum opened in 1819 and contains more than 9,000 works. Admission prices are rather high for Madrid, but the museum is well worth the price. Spain’s art history lives here - you will have the chance to enjoy masterpieces by Goya, Velazquez, El Greco and Rubens in the permanent collection, along with impressive temporary exhibitions featuring prestigious international artists.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Free educational itineraries (in Spanish only) take place daily. Sign up for them at Jeronimos building, a minimum of 15 minutes in advance.
    • The museum is free to visit Monday-Friday after 6 pm, and Sunday after 5 pm, but you will probably have to queue.
    • To avoid the crowds, visit the museum on a weekday before 5 pm.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing place. One visit is not enough 21/09/2018
    • There can never be enough time in this place 21/09/2018
    • Prado National Museum
    Address:
    Calle Ruiz de Alarcon 23
    28014 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 902 10 70 77
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Arqueologico Nacional
    Art Museums, History Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Recently renovated and reopened to the public in 2013, the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid contains thousands of years' worth of Spanish history in its fascinating artefacts. Here you can find curious prehistoric objects, Greek pottery, Roman mosaics, Visigothic votive crowns, and the Dame of Elche - a famous Iberian sculpture. The museum is also the home of Egyptian mummies, Mesopotamian reliefs and a collection of three hundred thousand coins dating back as far as the 6th century BC.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • Don't miss the replica of the Altamira Caves in the gardens!
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Wonderful Museum 20/09/2018
    • Excellent vast museum 20/09/2018
    • Museo Arqueologico Nacional
    Address:
    Calle Serrano 13
    28001 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 915 77 79 12
    Hours:
    Sun
    9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Tue - Sat
    9:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Del Romanticismo
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    This lesser-known museum contains a vast collection of Spanish 19th century life: paintings, furniture, dinner sets, dolls, drawings, fans, clothes and even photographs... At Museo del Romanticismo, you'll find yourself immersed in the daily life of balls, formal dinners, visits and gossiping.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is free to visit on Saturdays after 2 pm and all day on Sundays.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #44 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • NICE MUSEUM WE LOVED IT 28/08/2018
    • You can take pictures here! 30/07/2018
    • Museo Del Romanticismo
    Address:
    Calle de San Mateo 13
    28004 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 914 48 10 45
    Other:
  • Save
    Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
    Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Art Museums, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Built on the foundations of a former royal palace, the Convent of the Royal Barefoot Nuns dates back to 1559 and is home to a vast collection of art, gathered by generations of nuns from aristocratic (even royal) families who made major donations to the convent when their daughters professed here. Don’t be fooled by the stark exterior - the staircase and vaulted ceiling leading up to the second floor are stunning, and the tapestry collection is not to be missed! Eighty percent of the convent is enclosed and out of bounds, which adds mystery to the visit (what treasures may hide in there?).

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is open by guided visit only.
    • The number of entries per day is limited! To secure a visit, take your place in the queue before the opening time (10 am).
    • If you have time, the nearby Convento de la Encarnacion is also worth a visit.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #96 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Excellent visit 12/09/2018
    • Disappointing as all tours were in Spanish 04/08/2018
    • Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
    Address:
    Plaza Descalzas s/n
    28013 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 914 54 88 00
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    Tue - Thu
    4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Tue - Sat
    10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Sat
    4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    One of the richest art galleries in the world, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is a private collection of paintings that was converted into a museum in 1992. Here you can enjoy almost 1,000 exquisite works by painters such as Fra Angelico, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh and more. Along with the Prado and Reina Sofia Museums, this is part of Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Art devotees should purchase an Abono Paseo del Arte, which grants access to the three major art museums - Thyssen, Prado and Reina Sofia.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good Exhibition of Monet and Boudin 20/09/2018
    • Best Art Museum in the World 20/09/2018
    • Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
    Address:
    Paseo Prado 8
    28048 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 917 91 13 70
    Price range:
    US$16 - US$16
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Mon
    12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Tue - Fri
    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo de America
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    The Museum of the Americas holds more than 25,000 pieces, including a vast collection of pre-Columbian objects (Incan and Mayan pottery and metal artefacts dating back to 10,000 BC), colonial art and ethnology. Its art and archaeological pieces come not only from Spanish American countries, but also Brazil, the U.S. and Canada.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Don’t miss the replica of the Sun Stone! The original Aztec calendar is in Mexico, but this one is equally as impressive.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #114 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • GREAT MUSEUM BUT ONLY IF YOU SPEAK SPANISH 25/08/2018
    • Misleading answers by their director of public relations caused me to waste a lot of time. 25/07/2018
    • Museo de America
    Address:
    Avenida Reyes Catolicos 6
    28040 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 915 49 26 41
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$5
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Tue - Wed
    9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Thu
    9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Fri - Sat
    9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Sorolla
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Housed in the beautiful former home and studio of impressionist painter Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923), the Sorolla Museum showcases many paintings by Sorolla himself (many of them featuring beautiful scenes of women and children at the beach), as well as other works he collected throughout his life, including pottery paintings and Rodin sculptures.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Museo Lazaro Galdiano, with its great collection of paintings, is just 10 minutes away by foot.
    • Don't leave without visiting the tranquil haven of a garden - you won't want to leave.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Exhibition of Sorolla's Gardens 20/09/2018
    • Not to be missed if you love art. A real gem. 19/09/2018
    • Museo Sorolla
    Address:
    Paseo General Martinez Campos 37
    28010 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 913 10 15 84
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$5
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Tue - Sat
    9:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Cerralbo
    Historic Sites, Art Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    The Marquis of Cerralbo built this palace in the 19th century, as a gallery to showcase his collection of paintings and antiquities. The building is a work of art in itself: prepare to be awestruck by the succession of rooms and halls decorated with marble walls, silky curtains, crystal lamps and beautiful furniture. The ballroom, library, staircase and balustrade are all breathtaking too.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • After exploring the museum, head over to the Egyptian Debod Temple, only 5 minutes away.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Should Be Rated Higher - Go! 03/09/2018
    • Excellent step back in tome 28/08/2018
    • Museo Cerralbo
    Address:
    Calle Ventura Rodriguez 17
    28008 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 608 25 71 83
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Tue - Sat
    9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Thu
    5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    One of the three museums that make up the Golden Triangle of Art, the Reina Sofia is devoted to modern art. Famous 20th-century Spanish painters Picasso, Dalí and Miró are well represented here, the most famous of all its paintings being Picasso’s masterpiece, El Guernica. The museum also houses a fantastic collection of surrealism, cubism and expressionism by other painters, and frequently holds temporary exhibitions.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • For a traditional Spanish restaurant with “menu del dia”, head to Huertas street.
    • You will find excellent, cheap international cuisine in nearby Lavapies.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Modern art and Spanish Politics 21/09/2018
    • Contemporary Spainish Art 20/09/2018
    • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
    Address:
    Calle de Santa Isabel 52
    28012 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 917 74 10 00
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Mon
    10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Wed - Sat
    10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Save
    Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    A great example of 18th-century Spanish baroque architecture, the basilica’s impressive vaulted ceiling is the third largest dome in the world. The Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande also houses a nice collection of fresco paintings (one of them by Goya) and a museum.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Take a 35 minute stroll along the river to visit the Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida, famous for its Goya frescos.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #29 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Very Beautiful Church 20/09/2018
    • Beautiful 19/09/2018
    • Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande
    Address:
    Calle San Buenaventura 1
    San Buenaventura, 1
    28005 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 913 65 38 00
    Other:
  • Save
    Casa Museo Lope de Vega
    History Museums, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Ines R Says:

    Located in Barrio de las Letras, the quarter where many famous authors lived during the Spanish Golden Age, this cozy museum is the former home of prolific playwright and poet Felix Lope de Vega (known for writing thousands of poems and hundreds of plays). The rooms of Casa de Lope de Vega have been furnished to recreate what the house must have looked like in the 17th century - here you’ll be transported to the Madrid of the Austrias and its baroque literature.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Visit the cultural center Ateneo de Madrid, on Calle Prado 21, just 2 minutes' walk away. It's a hidden gem where you'll find lots of history and culture for a small fee.
    • Visits are by guided tour only, and tours are free and last 45 minutes. Book in advance at casamuseolopedevega@madrid.org.
    • Check out temporary exhibitions at CaixaForum, a few blocks away.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 877 things to do in Madrid
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Historical and literary gem! 25/08/2018
    • Second Time's A Charm!!! 27/07/2018
    • Casa Museo Lope de Vega
    Address:
    Calle Cervantes 11
    28014 Madrid
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 914 29 92 16
    Hours:
    Tue - Sun
    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Other:
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