Madrid is a city known for its museums. Chances are, there is no person who has visited Madrid without going to at least one of its famous museums, such as the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum, etc. While these are probably the most popular museums and ones that most travelers visit, the city has a lot of smaller museums scattered around. Different themes of these museums provide a level of uniqueness and a chance to see a different side of Madrid.
Here are 8 Madrid museums worth visiting during your stay in Madrid.
La Casita Museo de Ratón Pérez
This museum is a very interesting place to visit, especially if you travel with kids. If you have heard of a Tooth Fairy, a magical being that visits children and gives them a coin for every milk tooth they lose, then the story of a mouse Alfonso is something you can relate. Ratoncito Pérez is a little mouse, a character created in the 19th century by Friar Luis Coloma. Friar Luis Coloma was paid to create a story about a character that visits children and leaves them present every time they lose a tooth. The mouse lives with his family in a box of biscuits. The box is kept in a confectioner’s warehouse near the Royal Place. Therefore, the story gives a glimpse of royal life and it has deeper historical background than the life of a little mouse.
When you visit the museum, you can visit a place where the mouse lives with this family. Along the way, you will learn about Spanish history and historical documents that are also featured in the museum. It is an exciting journey of discovery and growing up, which will both educate and entertain the kids.
It is a small museum, but you will be joined with a storyteller who will tell you more about the story and engage the little ones into a story of a famous little mouse.
Location: Calle del Arenal, 8 1ª planta, 28013 Madrid
Wax museums are very popular nowadays, especially as the museums started including figures of famous celebrities and people known globally. Travelers love “meeting” their idols and taking photos, even if that person is made of wax. Also, it completely fascinating to see how they are able to recreate people with such attention to details and replicate every little frown on people’s face.
Madrid Wax Museum (Museo de Cera) contains more than 450 wax figures of influential people from history such as Felipe VI, Carlos V, Pablo Picasso, Miguel de Cervantes, to contemporary influential people such as Sofia Vergara, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc.
The museum also has exhibitions sections devoted to different epochs which replicate more than people’s appearance. There you can explore the setting typical for that time period while learning a lot about history.
On the ground floor, you will find sections devoted to Roman Empire, Visigoths, and even the Habsburgs. You will also be able to visit the scene about the third of May by Goya. Conquests of Latin America are also featured in some exhibitions, but you can also find a literary cafe, exhibitions featuring classing writers, and scientists.
When it comes to modern history, a lot of celebrities are included, as well as influentials from politics, sport, and even the business world. There is a fantasy corner with fictional characters that are brought to life through the exhibitions. Finally, a horror train takes you on a journey inspired by classics such as Dungeons, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, etc.
Location: Pª de Recoletos 41, 28004, Madrid
Madrid Zoo Aquarium
If you love animals, visiting the Madrid Zoo would be a perfect choice. Not only will you enjoy seeing a large variety of animals with 500 different species, but you will enjoy the 22 hectares of open space with setting adapted to replicate the animals’ natural habitat.
Aquarium collects an extensive collection of species that complete the offer of the whole zoo. It is shaped like a glass pyramid, visible from the entire park. It consists of two floors with large tunnels going around taking you on an adventure. It is a fantastic scenery to visit.
Animals such as sea turtles, loggerhead turtles, knife fish, seahorse, and many marine plants are available in the aquarium. As you step furthermore, you will get to see the beauties of the ocean world with coral reefs, sandy beds, submarine plains and other mysteries that hide in the bottoms of the ocean. Some of the species in the aquarium are endangered, which makes them even more precious examples of the aquarium. Of course, the frightening creature that both terrifies and fascinates the visitors, the shark can also be found in the aquarium.
Location: Casa de Campo, s/n, 28011 Madrid, Spain
Learning about space and history at the same time has never been easier. Madrid Planetarium offers this unique blend of future and past, a combination of technology and imaginations, designed to engage visitors, to encourage curiosity and explain the ideas that have always stirred mystery. It is an institution with decades of experience with the best experts creating the exhibitions and guiding the tours for the travelers.
There are multiple exhibitions. Not only can you learn a lot from them, but you can get acquainted with the world of science and technology. Currently, there is an interesting exhibition to visit called “Climate Change: Understanding to Survive” which is designed to raise awareness of the climate changes, how they have been affecting the life and nature, and how we can make things better.
Having in mind that the institution is focused on education, there is a period of the day which is reserved for the school visits. In this sense, this museum does not have regular working hours, so it is best to check their online schedule and organize your visit accordingly.
Location: Avenida Del Planetario, 1628045
Museo del Traje
When visiting museums people are used to seeing paintings, sculptures and similar artworks. But if you decide to visit the Museo del Traje, you will mostly see clothes and costumes. It is a museum devoted to fashion that has been a part of people’s lives for centuries. It is actually very interesting to see how designs have changed, how materials and colors had an influence on the way people dressed. The impressive collection of this museum gathers items from the Middle Ages to contemporary times. In total, the museum includes a collection of over 160.000 items. Besides clothes and costumes, the museum also contains the documents relevant to the fashion industry.
The collection contains some remarkable items of clothing from the past, which is very interesting to see, even if you are not into fashion. As the collection moves forward, you can see popular designs that have marked contemporary times. Such is, for example, a famous black dress designed by Hubert de Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn to wear in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You can also discover the designs of famous Spanish and international designers including Pedro Rodriguez, Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne, etc.
Location: Avenida Juan de Herrera, 2, 28040 Madrid
Museo del Aire
Here is another a little bit different museum you can visit in Madrid. It is the museum devoted to aviation. Its impressive collection of 150 aircrafts takes you on the journey of going back to history as you watch their design and features change with each new decade the brought new technology, ideas, and procedures invested into the process of creating them. Many of the planes and helicopters you get to see as a part of the collection have been used by the Spanish Air Force. Also included in the collection are hundreds of miniature aircraft models. You will also get to see uniforms, engines, weapons and many other objects related to aviation.
If you get a guided tour, you will be taken on a walk around 7 hangars containing the aircrafts and the equipment. You will learn about flight instruments, the way they have been used, the importance of all the items for aviation and astronautics. Also, you could learn interesting anecdotes about the planes you see in the museum when they were used and what their purpose was.
Location: Highway A-5, kilometer 10.800, 28024 Madrid
Museo del Ferrocarril
The Museo del Ferrocarril (Railway museum) has one of the largest collection devoted to railroads in Europe. Delicias Railway Station is no longer used, so the building is turned into a museum. The collection contains 6300 pieces relevant to railroad development in Spain. Most relevant items are rail vehicles, steam locomotives, and they have an outstanding place in the collection. Other pieces in the museum collection include devices used for communication, uniforms, watches, lampwork, etc.
Visiting this museum is like going on the ride with a time machine. You will get to see the authentic settings of the railway used in different epochs, and the most impressive is to see the beginnings of railway traffic and how everything looked like back then. The building itself is a fantastic place dating back to the end of the 19th century. It is more than the railway station. At the time, it was the third central headquarters of a railway company in Madrid. The regular operation, reception, delivery, passenger services, arrivals and departures, all of that was handled through the facilities designed as a part of the railway station. The station was completely closed in 1971, but it remained an important piece of cultural heritage.
Location: Paseo de las Delicias, 61, 28045 Madrid
The Robot Museum
While the previous two museums take you to journey to the past, here is a museum that will take you towards the future. Inspired by the discoveries so far and the potential the technology has, you will definitely start imaging the world of the future. It is a new museum, opened in 2013. It has a large collection of robots, in fact, they say it is the largest collection in Europe. A variety of robots from the previous decades, as well as contemporary designs, are included in the collection of the museum. Visiting this museum is entertaining, educational and inspiring, all at the same time. There are guided tours which also include live demonstrations.
Location: CalleAlberto Aguilera, 1, 28015 Madrid