Madrid is a paradise for any museum lover. Anyone who wants to find out more about the fine art world should definitely visit a few. With over 44 museums to choose from, narrowing down the list can be a daunting task. Our local team did the work for you and chose their top six must-visit museums:
1. Caixa Forum
The Caixa Forum is easy to spot by the impressive vertical garden located on the side of the building. It once housed an electric power station. Herzog & De Meuron, one of Spain’s top architectural studios, renovated the building. Inside you’ll find modern pieces and temporary, rotating exhibits. One of our recent favorites was an exhibit on the history of Pixar animation.
2. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Located inside of a former 18th century hospital, this museum is named after Spain’s current queen. It’s also just a short walk from Caixa Forum, so we recommend visiting both on the same day. The museum features a massive collection of 20th century art from artists including Salvador Dali, Joan Mir, Pablo Picasso and more.
3. The Prado
There’s a reason The Prado is one of Madrid’s most well-known museums. You can find a vast variety of styles, artists and time periods inside their permanent collection. At any given time, there are over 1,000 works on display from artists including El Greco, Velazquez and Goya! The Prado is free to visit between 6 to 8 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sundays. However, tickets are only 15 euros so we recommend visiting during the quieter hours, which are usually between 2 and 5.
4. Planetario De Madrid
Visiting Madrid’s Planetarium is like taking a trip to outer space, except it only costs 4 euros and you can be home in time for dinner. The planetarium features a 28-meter-tall observation tower and several projection rooms. Learn about star formation, black holes, galaxies and more. This is one of our favorite kid-friendly museums. If you don’t speak Spanish, we recommend skipping the multimedia presentations and going straight to the room with the impressive astronomical projections.
5. Museo Sorolla
The former three-story mansion of Valencian artist, Joaquín Sorolla, has been transformed into a gorgeous museum immortalizing his work. Walking around his home is like taking a step back in time and getting a glimpse into his life. The museum is surrounded by lush gardens that Sorolla designed himself. Admire his work and spend time relaxing on the courtyard. Admission is free all day Sunday, and the good news is that it’s not nearly as busy as The Prado.
6. Museo Arqueológico Nacional: MAN
Time travel still isn’t possible, but visiting the Museo Arqueológico Nacional is the next best thing. Also known as the MAN, this museum just underwent a massive renovation. Their collection of artifacts includes pieces from Prehistoric era, as well as Egyptian, Celtic, Iberian, and Greek times. There’s a lot to see at the MAN, so we recommend having a plan of attack before you enter. Don’t miss the Roman mosaics or the Mausoleum of Pozo Moro, which dates all the way back to 500 BC.
Our homes in Madrid are just a few minutes away from these top museums and many others. Plus, during your stay, you’ll have access to a Sidekick who’s there in case you have any questions about what to do, see or eat. Search our handpicked homes in Madrid to begin exploring.