This guide of best museums in Madrid It will help you to know the extensive cultural offer that this essential European city has, in which some of its most important and visited museums are the Prado, the Reina Sofía or the Thyssen, which gather more than 8 million visitors a year and are located in the same area, around the Paseo del Prado in the known as the Art Triangle or the Golden Triangle.
Based on the experience of our numerous trips to this city and the visit to its museums, in the last we wrote this guide of Madrid in 4 days, we have made this list of what we believe are the 5 essential Madrid museums, according to our criteria. We start!
1. Prado Museum
The Prado Museum, opened in 1819, has one of the most important art collections in the world in which the paintings made between the 16th and 19th centuries by great European masters such as Velázquez, Goya, el Greco, el Bosco, Rafael stand out , Rubens or Titian, which are only a small part of the more than 1,000 exhibits and 8,000 of inventory.
Although you could spend whole days in the museum, among the best works to see in the Prado Museum are Las Meninas de Velázquez, May 3 in Madrid and La Maja Nude de Goya, The three graces of Rubens and above all, the Garden of the Delights of El Bosco.
To get to the Prado you can take line 1 of the subway, which crosses the entire center of Madrid, getting off at the Estación del Arte stop and to avoid the queues that form in the access it is highly recommended to book the fast ticket online in advance, by the same price (15 euros) as at the ticket office.
Once inside you can take an audio guide or a free brochure with the map of the main paintings, which will help you not to miss anything important during the 2 hours that the museum tours last. You have to keep in mind that you can't take pictures of any painting.
Another more interesting option with which you will know better the history of each masterpiece is to book this guided tour with an expert in art and history or take this offer that also includes the guided tour of the Reina Sofía Museum.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays and holidays, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free in the last two hours.
2. Reina Sofía Museum
Reina Sofía is the most visited museum in Spain with almost 4 million visitors a year and another of the best museums in Madrid.
This 1992 museum, specialized in Spanish contemporary art, is located in the old General Hospital of Madrid, now known as the Sabatini building and the great jewel of its collection is the Guernica painting, one of Pablo's great masterpieces Picasso and the history of world art.
In addition to running out of words when you are in front of this huge painting of 3.49 × 7.77 meters, the museum has other interesting works by great painters such as Dalí and Miró, among many others, that we recommend you not to miss so that the experience of The visit to the museum is as complete as possible.
To get to the Reina Sofía Museum, one of the most essential places to visit in Madrid, you can get off at the Art Station (metro line 1) and you can save one euro on the ticket price (10 euros) if you book on-line.
A more interesting way to learn more about the history and curiosities of the main pieces of the museum is to book this guided tour in Spanish with an expert in art and history.
You can find more information in this exclusive post about the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.
Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm (Tuesday closed) and Sundays, from 10am to 7pm. Admission is free in the last two hours and on Sundays from 1:30 p.m.
Reina Sofía, one of the best museums in Madrid
3. Thyssen-Bornemisza, one of the best museums in Madrid
The Thyssen-Bornemisza completes the Triangle of Art and is another of the most visited museums in Madrid with almost a million visitors a year.
The set of most valuable works of this pinoteca left the private collection of the wealthy Thyssen-Bornemisza family, subsequently acquired by the Government of Spain, and another large part provided by Carmen Cervera, widow of Baron Thyssen.
The museum, located in the Villahermosa Palace, has works by great masters of painting such as Picasso, Van Eyck, Rubens, Monet, Van Gogh, Munch, Rembrandt, Jackson Pollock and Monet, forming one of the most important collections in the world.
The closest metro stop is the Bank of Spain (line 2), although you are not far from the Station of the Art (line 1). The ticket price at the ticket office is 13 euros and you can book it here online for the same price.
If you prefer the interesting option of visiting the museum accompanied by an expert in history and art you can book this guided tour and if you plan to visit the Prado Museum, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza you can take this offer that includes the guided tour in Spanish and skip-the-line entry into each of them.
Visiting hours: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm. Admission is free on Mondays from 12 noon to 4 pm.
4. National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum of Madrid (MAN), with more than half a million visitors a year, is another of the best museums in Madrid.
Founded by Queen Elizabeth II in 1867, this museum brings together an impressive collection of objects found in Spain that range from Prehistory to the Modern Age complemented by other important ones from outside the country such as that of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt .
One of the great jewels of the museum is the sculpture of The Lady of Elche, a bust made of limestone between the 5th and 4th centuries BC. C. In addition to Guarrazar's treasure, the Boat of Zamora, the Monument of Pozo Moro, the Statue of Livia, the Lady of Baza, the Reliefs of Osuna and the Orante of Gudea, among many others.
To get to this museum you can get off at the Retiro metro stop (line 2) or the Colón stop (line 4). The entrance fee is 3 euros and is free on Saturdays from 2pm and Sunday mornings.
Visiting hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
5. Sorolla Museum
The Sorolla Museum located in a beautiful building that served as the last dwelling and workshop for the fantastic painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, is another of the most essential museums in Madrid.
During a tour of this palace with a garden and Andalusian patio you can see more than 1000 pieces that this renowned artist gathered throughout his life, as well as personal items.
To get to the museum you can get off at the Iglesia metro line (line 1), Rubén Darío (line 5) and Gregorio Marañón (lines 7 and 10). The price of admission is 3 euros, although it is free on Saturdays from 2pm to 8pm and on Sundays.
Visiting hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Other museums in Madrid that could be included in this list are the Naval Museum, the Cerralbo Museum, the Madrid History Museum, the Romanticism Museum or the Railway Museum.
Map of the museums of Madrid
If you feel like helping us complete the list of the 5 best museums in Madrid , add yours in the comments.