Although internationally famous for many things, Madrid is certainly one of the first cities you think of when thinking about museums and art. In fact, Madrid has some of the most visited and most popular museums in the world, which is why you simply must not leave without visiting at least one of the museums in the city. Not only do they represent the artistic life of Spain’s culture, but they also some of the most famous masterpieces of art, such as Las Meninas by Velázquez, Picasso’s Guernica and many others. The museums are the hearth of the art and culture movements that cherish the master pieces created by numerous artists from Spain, as well as from abroad. As you walk around a museum, you get to experience an entire epoch that produced the remarkable art works still preserved today.
Madrid has a lot of museums, several of which are located in the central area of the city, which will be quite convenient to visit if you are planning to rent an apartment in the center of Madrid. We have made a selection of the most interesting museums to visit in Madrid.
As a general rule, most of the museums in Madrid are closed on Mondays, so you should always check the opening hours for the museum you want to visit.
Museo del Aire (The Aviation Museum)
If you are fond of aviation and want to see all of the amazing aircrafts used over the years by Spanish Air Force, this museum is a great choice. It is located in the outskirts of Madrid, so you might need a while to get there if you are staying in the apartment in the center of Madrid. The museum includes both indoor and outdoor displays, with more than 66,000 square meters of spaces. An exciting display of aircrafts and helicopters, as well as other instruments used by the Spanish Air Force, is a perfect way to spend a day out while you are in Madrid. The museum visitors can also enjoy hundreds of miniature models of uniforms, aircrafts, weapons, etc.
Location: Cuatro Vientos Airport, Madrid. You can use metro line 10 to get there.
When to visit: The museum is opened between Tuesday and Sunday from 10 am until 2 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays and special days, such as public holidays. The entrance is free for all the visitors.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Museo_del_Aire_panorama.JPG
Museo de América (The Museum of America)
This is a National museum in Madrid, featuring an extensive collection of items brought from the American continent during the colonization of the continent. The museum was founded in 1941 and its permanent exhibit is divided into five areas which all represent a certain part of American culture and society. Those areas are: the awareness of America, the reality of America, society, religion, and communication. Artistic and archaeological treasures featured in this museum date centuries back allowing us to learn interesting things about the past.
Location: Avenida de los Reyes Católicos , 6. Metro lines 3, 6, and 7 can be used to reach the museum.
When to visit: The museum is opened between 9:30 am and 3 pm every day, except on Thursdays, when it is opened until 7 pm. On Sundays, the museum opens at 10 am. The museum is closed on Mondays, and during local holidays. The general admission is 3€, while groups can pay reduced admission fee, which is 1,50€. The museum offers free admission every Sunday, and on special holidays in Spain: 18th of April, 18th of May, 12th of October, and 6th of December.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Museo_de_Am%C3%A9rica_(Madrid)_03.jpg
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The first of the three extraordinary museums, collectively called the Golden Triangle of Art, is the Reina Sofía Museum, devoted to the 20th-century modern art. The museum mainly features the artworks of 20th-century geniuses such as Picasso and Salvador Dalí, as well as other modern Spanish painters, but you will also find some works produced by international artists. Besides the permanent and temporary collections featured in the museum, there is also a library specialized in contemporary art with over 100,000 books, as well as thousands of recordings and videos.
Location: Calle Santa Isabel, 52. Metro lines 1 and 3 have stops near the museum.
When to visit: The museum consists of several venues, which sometimes have different opening or closing times. You might also need a different type of ticket, depending on the type of the exhibition and the venue. In general, the museum opens around 10 am and closes around 7 pm or 9 pm, and the tickets are between 4 and 8 Euros. The museum is closed on Tuesday, and free entrance is allowed every day between 7 pm and 9 pm and from 1:30 pm and 7 pm on Sundays.
Image source: http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/museum/venues
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum)
The second museum, in the group of the three museums generally known as the Golden Triangle of Art, is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and it features one of the largest private collections in the world. The artworks housed in this museum are mainly from the 19th and 20th century period, including many European artists. The movements such as Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Cubism are all present through the art works featured as a part of permanent and temporary collections. The museum also houses some of the North American paintings. In total, there are over 1,600 paintings stored in the museum, which you can explore during your visit in Madrid.
Location: Paseo del Prado, 8. You can use metro line 2 to get to the museum.
When to visit: The museum is opened every day from 10 am until 7 pm, except on Mondays, when the museum is opened between 12 pm and 4 pm, and during this day the entrance is free for the permanent collection. Otherwise, admission fee is between 10 and 17 Euros, depending on the type of exhibition you are going to visit.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Museo_Thyssen-Bornemisza_(Madrid)_08.jpg
Museo del Prado (The Prado Museum)
The third, and perhaps the most popular museum in the Golden Triangle of Art group, and certainly the most famous museum to visit in Madrid, is the Prado Museum. In fact, this is one of the most visited museums in the world. It contains one of the fines art collections of European art, from the period between the 12th and the 19th century, making this collection the most comprehensive representation of the Spanish history and culture and the way they changed over the course of centuries.
The collection includes approximately 7,600 paintings, over 1,000 sculptures and thousands of prints, drawings and other historic documents that are preserved in the museum and put on display to all visitors interested in seeing the imprints of the past. Artists like Francisco de Goya, Diego Velázquez, El Greco, and Peter Paul Rubens should be mentioned as some of the numerous artists whose work you will find the Prado Museum, featured in permanent or temporary exhibits.
Location: The museum is located in the Paseo del Prado, but there are four entrances to the museum. The best way to get to the museum is to use metro line 1.
When to visit: The museum is opened every day between 10 am and 8 pm. On Sundays and holidays the museum closes one hour earlier, at 7 pm. This museum is only closed three days during the year, and those are the 1st of January, the 1st of May and the 25th of December. General admission fee is 14€, but groups and special categories can get discount. Admission is free every day two hours before the museum closed.
Image source: https://www.museodelprado.es/en/la-institucion/historia-del-museo/
Museo del Traje
This museum represents a modernist view of the culture and how the fashion changed over the years. The museum is devoted to fashion and costume, and it features collection of clothing dating from the Middle Ages up to modern times. The extensive collection includes 160,000 pieces of clothing and documents relevant for this industry.
Location: Avenida de Juan de Herrera, 2. Metro lines 3 and 6 will take you to this museum.
When to visit: The museum is opened between 9:30 am and 7 pm from Tuesday to Saturday. You can visit the museum between 10 am and 3 pm on Sundays and public holidays, while the museum is closed on Mondays. General admission fee is 3 Euros, while free admission days are Saturdays after 2:30 pm and Sundays.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Museo_del_Traje.JPG
Museo Nacional de Antropología (The National Museum of Anthropology)
Another National museum, located near the Golden Triangle of Art in the Parque del Buen Retiro is the National Museum of Anthropology where you can visit the exhibits devoted to cultural anthropology allowing you to understand different cultures that influenced and came in contact with Spanish culture at some point in the past. The culture of the Philippines, the culture of Equatorial Guinea, and the exhibit of the culture of Americas are the collections of all sorts of artifacts preserved from the time when Spanish colony was spreading its influence on these cultures.
Location: Calle Alfonso XII, 68. Metro line 1 is the best way to get there.
When to visit: The museum is opened from Tuesday to Saturday between 9:30 am and 8 pm. On Sundays and public holidays, the museum is opened between 10 am and 3 pm. General admission fee is 3€. Free entrance is available on Saturdays after 2 pm, and on Sundays.
Museo Arqueológico Nacional (The National Archaeological Museum of Spain)
If you are fascinated with centuries-old objects and you want to see what has been preserved from the Pre-historic, Egyptian, Celtic or Iberian times, you should visit the National Archaeological Museum of Spain. Besides ancient times, the collection of this museum features the artifacts up to medieval times, providing a very inspirational collection of numismatic, archaeological and decorative arts dating back from different epochs that created the civilization and culture we know today.
Location: Calle Serrano, 13. Metro lines 2 and 4 can be used to reach the area around the museum.
When to visit: Opening hours between Tuesday and Saturday are between 9:30 am and 8 pm. On Sundays and public holidays the museum is opened between 9:30 am and 3 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays. General admission fee is 3€, while groups and volunteers are offered reduced admission fee. You can visit this museum for free on Saturdays after 2 pm and on Sunday mornings.
Image source: http://www.man.es/man/en/museo/historia.html
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (The National Museum of Natural Sciences)
Gathering together archaeology, botanic and zoology, the National Museum of Natural Science offers an amazing display of natural history of Spain. Apart from the exhibitions area, the museum also has a research center exploring the diversity of species around the world. The following departments are part of the museum: biogeography and global change, biodiversity and evolutionary biology, environmental biology, evolutionary ecology, geology, paleobiology. Extensive documentation, library and archive are available to the researchers. The permanent collection is divided into three main sections: natural history section (presenting evaluation, humans and their environment), Mediterranean section (devoted to biological and ecological features of this particular area), and Royal Cabinet of Natural history (showing the development of the research). The total number of specimens preserved in the museum is estimated to be over 6 million, including different kinds of birds, mammals, reptiles, etc.
Location: José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2
When to visit: If you are visiting between Tuesday and Friday, and on Sundays, you can visit the museum between 10 am and 5 pm. The museum is opened until 8 pm on Saturdays and on each Sunday before a public holiday. The museum is closed on Mondays. General admission fee is 7€, while elderly, children, groups and families can enter by paying a reduced fee.
Image source: http://www.mncn.csic.es/Menu/Elmuseo/Eledificio/seccion=1178&idioma=es_ES.do