Reviewed by Tansy B.
"My take: After passing this museum several times and admiring the front façade, I finally got round to visiting it. I went on a Sunday when it is free ..." more
Calle San Mateo, 13
Info Museo Nacional del Prado is Spain’s premier art museum. Founded in 1819 as the Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures, the museum originally largely consisted of works of art belonging to the Spanish Crown. Museo Nacional del Prado now houses over 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints, and 8,200 drawings. In ... more
Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23
Info CentroCentro, located within the symbolic Palacio de Cibeles, is a unique museum devoted to the city of Madrid. Palacio de Cibeles originally opened in 1919 as home to the City Hall Postal and Telegraphic Museum. In 2007, it was renovated and became Madrid’s official City Hall. In 2010, the building again underwent renovation ... more
Plaza de Cibeles, 1
The people of Madrid love to party, but they also take their art very seriously.
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy art in Madrid, and by far the easiest way to do so is to head to the Paseo del Arte. This is Madrid’s central avenue of art, and it includes the famed Prado museum, Reina Sofia, the CaixaForum, and the Thyssen Museum. The Prado alone is one of Europe’s most important art museums, and includes an incredible collection of sculptures, drawings, paintings, and more, covering centuries of history.
The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, meanwhile, was originally the private collection of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, but the state took over his more than eight hundred paintings…maybe because the state got sick of trying to pronounce his name. Those into post-modern art should head to the CaixaForum, which took an old abandoned electrical station and added floors encased in oxidized cast iron. It’s a pretty amazing-looking building, and next to it is an equally cool art installation of green plants growing on the wall of the neighboring house.
The city usually sells special discount tickets good for entry to several of Madrid’s museums – look for the Abono Paseo del Arte or Tarjeta anual multiple, which lets you visit the museums as many times as you want over the course of a year. Of course, smart tourists and art lovers in Madrid would be wise to snag a Madrid Tourist Card, which covers pretty much all of Madrid’s top sights, including the Prado, Reina Sofia, Thyssen, and more than fifty other museums and attractions.
No matter how you slice it or what kind of art you’re into, the plethora of museums and cool galleries in Madrid will keep you busy for a long time.