ART AND MUSEUMS WALK
Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía make up an exceptional artistic triangle in Paseo del Prado. This area, added with El Retiro, has been declared UNESCO World Heritage, a must-visit spot you can't miss during your stay in Madrid.
If you are an art lover, follow the cultural agenda of the Region of Madrid in order to be at the forefront: http://www.madrid.org/agenda-cultural/
Knowing how a city works, watching collections of old suits, enjoying the Aeronautical and Astronautic museums, getting astonished with wax sculptures... all of this and much more is possible by visiting the museums. Choose which one you are most interested on through our guide and you will be "one step to the art".
The Art Walk (Paseo del Arte)
Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Reina Sofia National Museum are three of the most important museums in the world and they are located close to each other, creating a magic triangle called "The Art walk" (Paseo del Arte). The Art Walk should be a "must attend" appointment if you are in the capital.
The Prado Museum was an idea of Carlos III, but it came out with Fernando VII in 1819 when a wide range of artworks from the most important artist of that time was exhibited. Currently, the museum is a worldwide reference and it is a "must attend" visit in Madrid. It possesses more than 8.000 paintings, 5.000 drawings, 2.000 engravings, 700 sculptures and many more items of great value.
It contains collections that go through the history of paintings, from Romanic murals from the 12th century to artworks from the ending of 19th century. The most remarkable collections are great expositions of Spanish painters like Ribera, Zurbaran, Velazquez or Goya, among others, and the collections of European artists like El Greco, Tiziano, Rubens and El Bosco.
There are 15 art pieces that you should see in your tour: "The Cricifixion" of Juan de Flandes, "Gentleman with his Hand on his Breast " of El Greco, "Las Meninas" of Velázquez, "El Sueño de Jacob" of Ribera, "Los fusilamientos del 3 de Mayo" of Goya, "La Anunciación" of Fra. Angelico, "El Cardenal" de Rafael, "Carlos V en la Batalla de Mühlberg" of Tiziano, "La Inmaculada Concepción" of Tiépolo, "El Descendimiento" of Weyden, "Judit en el Banquete de Holofernes" of Rembrandt, "Autorretrato" of Durero, "The three Graces" of Rubens, "The Garden of Earthy Delights" of El Bosco and the sculpture of "Orestes y Pílades" from 10 b.C.
The Thyssen Bornemisza Museum travels through the history of paintings between the 13th and the 19th century, from the Gothic style of Jan van Eyck to the pop style of Roy Liechtenstein.
The museum, which is located in the Palace of "Duque de Villahermosa", is a superlative framework for the collections of the Baron Hand Henirich Thyssen-Bornemisza and Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Within the most outstanding artworks you will find "Mujer en el baño" of Roy Liechtenstein, "Sueño causado por el Vuelo de una Abeja alrededor de una Granada un Segundo antes del Despertar" of Salvador Dalí, "Bailarina Basculando" of Edgar Degas, "Retrato de Giovanna Tornabuoni" of Domenico Guirlandaio, "La Anunciación" of El Greco, "Les Vessenots en Auvers" of Vincent Van Gogh, "La Casa Gris" of Marc Chagall, "Joven Caballero en un Paisaje" of Vittore Carpaccio, "Retrato de una Dama" of Hans Baldung Grien, "El Puente de Chairing Cross" of Claude Monet, "Habitación de Hotel" of Edward Hopper and "El Sueño" of Franz Marc
The Reina Sofia National Museum is an iconic art gallery located in the San Carlos Old Hospital in the vicinity of the Atocha Station. It contains one of the best Spanish Contemporaneous Art collections, with a style similar to Pompidou or the Tate Gallery.
The permanent collection revolves around "El Guernica" of Pablo Picasso, completed with more art pieces of the own Picasso, Spanish artists of great interest as Miro, Oteiza, Julio Gonzalez o Tapies, and international artists as Barnet Newman or Soto.
The museum is organized by pictorial collections, finding spaces dedicated to Representations/Figurations; Cubism. First frontier: Picasso. The context of Guernica and Surrealism.
Other iconic museums in Madrid
There are more museums in Madrid and the surrounding areas. You will find below a list of the most important ones.
National Archaeological Museum: Located in the 13 of Serrano Street and recently refurbished in order to transform its space in one of the most stunning. The museum offers a great collection of items from the Prehistory to the 19th century, going through cultural representations of the people that have lived in Spain and other civilizations, especially from the Mediterranean. The most outstanding items are the "Dama de Elche" (Iberia Art) and a reproduction of the "Cueva de Altamira". Learn more: National Archaeological Museum
National Anthropological Museum: Located in Alfonso XII Street, number 68. The building is an art piece of the architect Marques de Cubas. It is the first museum with anthropological style ever created in Spain. It offers a global vision of the different civilizations in the world by making an analysis of the similarities and differences. In this museum you will find collections of documents and items from the 5 continents. Learn more: National Anthropological Museum
National Decorative Art Museum: Located in the 17 of Montalban Street. It contains a collection of almost 65.000 pieces of different periods and styles. You will be able to find ceramic and porcelain "fondos", wall hangings, carpets, furniture, jewelry, etc, with pieces inclusive from the fourth century. Learn more: National Decorative Art Museum
Romanticism Museum: Located in the number 13 of San Mateo Street. The building is from 1776 and it contains a great collection of paintings, furniture and items focused in the Romanticism time. Learn more: Located in the number 13 of San Mateo Street. The building is from 1776 and it contains a great collection of paintings, furniture and items focused in the Romanticism time. Learn more: Romanticism Museum
National Library Museum: Located in the great building of the National Library in the Recoletos Walk. It has eight rooms with expositions that highlight the importance of libraries through history. Learn more: National Library Museum
House of the Coin Museum: In the headquarters of the National Factory of the Coin and Bell, in the 36 of the Street Doctor Esquerdo. You will get to know the history of the money, the process of creation and an important collection of numismatic, philately, banknotes and other items. Learn more: House of the Coin Museum
Wax Museum: In Colon square it is located a museum with a wide range of wax sculptures representing important characters of the Spanish and international scene. It is worth to watch the Kings and Head of State of Spain and the "Crime Room", in which there is a section about the Inquisition. Learn more: Wax Museum
Cerralbo Museum: Located in the old residence of the nineteenth century of the Cerralbo marquees, in the 17 of Ventura Rodriguez Street. It follows the neoclassic and eclectic architectural style of that time with French style interior, as well as a garden with romantic style. Recently, the original spaces of the palace have been refurbished. The collections contain more than 50.000 of art pieces: paintings, ceramic, crystals, archeological items, armors, wall hangings, furniture, clocks... that the marquis obtained during his life. By then, it was considered the most important private collection of Spain and now it constitutes a precious example of aristocratic residence, giving the visitor a vision of the daily lifestyle in Madrid, with its literature based on social gathering, the dances, the secret confidences... Learn more: Cerralbo Museum
Railway Museum: Located in the Delicias train station, one of the oldest stations in Madrid. It constitutes one of the most important examples of iron buildings in the nineteenth century. It is the origin of the historical and famous "Tren de la Fresa". Inside this museum you will see steam engines, diesel, auto motors and cars from the beginning of the railway in Spain to the modern ages. Enjoy a cup of coffee in a classic car while you admire these iron giants. Learn more: Railway Museum
Lazaro Galdiano Museum Foundation: Located in the Florido Palace (Serrano 122). It opened its doors to the visitors on the 27 of January 1951 following the desire of Jose Lazaro Galdiano of allowing future generations to learn and enjoy with his collection of near 5.000 pieces and temporal expositions. We will find and get astonished with a great sum of art works from Velazquez, Goya, El Greco, Sánchez Coello, Zurbaran, Murillo, Carreño or Madrazo and Cranach beneath other great artists. In the garden you will enjoy different spectacles and concerts like the flamenco nights. Learn more: Lazaro Galdiano Museum Foundation
Sorolla Museum: we find it in the number 37 of Paseo del General Martinez Campos. The legacy that the wife of the painter Joaquin Sorolla left is exhibited. Her name was Miss Clotilde Garcia and she, with her sons, donated continuously art works to the State, which created the museum in 1932. In the museum it can be visited the house-workshop of the painter, which brings together all the items that belonged to the artist and a collection of painters and drawings from the own Sorolla considered the broadest and more representative of the painter. Learn more: Sorolla Museum
Suit Museum: It is located in the "Ciudad Universitaria", in a building whose architect, Jaime Lopez de Asiain, won the National Architecture Award in 1969. The museum´s collection offers a panoramic view of the history of the suit in Spain from the eighteenth century to the haute couture of nowadays. Despite the museum was created quite recently, its collections comes from 1925, which was the year of the creation, enriching itself with new acquisitions over the years. Come to a different museum with temporal expositions which is also the Ethnological Heritage Investigation Center. Learn more: Suit Museum
Navy Museum: In the Paseo del Prado it is located a collection of maritime ítems, tools, maps, models and documents with a great historical value of the Spanish Marine since the fifteenth century until nowadays. It is an investigation, conservative and diffusive center of the marine Spanish history, the visit is recommended for everyone. There are several programs organized and adapted for adults and children, who will be able to feel like sailors for a while. The museum has an archive center, a library and it organizes several activities during the year, like the guided tours which include the fabulous staircase of the Army Headquartes, one of the most beautiful in Spain. Learn more: Navy Museum
Natural Sciences National Museum: In Jose Gutierrez Abascal Street it is located the museum dedicated to natural sciences created by Carlos III in 1771. However, the building was created by the end of the 19th century, and it was also used as the Palace of Arts and Industry. It is not only a museum, but also one of the most important scientific investigation centers of the State. Within its collections, we can highlight the combination of meteorites, dinosaurs, items and fossils of dinosaurs and other prehistorically animals. You will have great time learning how it was and how has changed our planet and the huge diversity that it has hold since the origin of life until our days. Learn more: Natural Sciences National Museum
Royal Academy of Arts of San Fernando: In the 13 of Alcalá Street we can find one of the best art galleries of Spain. It is headquarters of one of the oldest and most recognized institutions in Spain. The building was turned into an exposition space when it was introduced to the Art Faculty of Universidad Complutense in 1975. The museum contains an artistic collection that runs through the history of art from the Renaissance to the current forefront, with pieces created by the students of the own Art Academy and also with collections given by famous characters as Carlos II, Godoy or Fernando Guitarte. Together with the painting collections of Goya, Zurbaran, Tibera, Leandro Bassano, Rubens, Mengs y Van Loo, it is worth to highlight other pieces as Chinese terracotta, Oriental jades, Persian ceramics, etc. Learn more: Royal Academy of Arts of San Fernando
Royal Tapestry Museum: In Fuenterrabia number 2 it is located this factory founded in 1721 by Felipe V. The headquarters are located in a building declared Industrial Good by Historic Heritage. Inside we will find one of the best collections of wall tapestries, being specially worth to mention a collection based on the 63 painted by Goya. Do not miss the opportunity of visiting this museum, in which the workers continue creating wall tapestries and carpets with the same sweetness and tradition of three centuries ago. These tapestries are part of our historic heritage. Learn more: Royal Tapestry Museum
Tifological Museum: In Coruña Street, number 18, you will find the first museum in Spain created so the visitors can touch everything that is exposed. It was initially thought for blind people, the typical physical barriers of other museums are saved in this one, exposing a collection of great learning value. Inside, the heritage of ONCE is exhibited, and there are also temporal expositions of blind artists. The museum is divided in three areas: one focused in models of architectural monuments, another with plastic works from blind and limited vision artists, and the last one offers an explosion of tifological material, in which you will find a huge collection of books focused on music and blind limitation, ONCE cupons and a section dedicated to the tools used by blind people along history. Learn more: Tifological Museum
Lope de Vega Home-Museum: It is located in the house where the writer lived the last 25 years of his life, within Barrio de Las Letras (Cervantes Street, number 11). You will find a place full of memories of Lope de Vega, as well as furniture and items from the time that will bring you back to the daily life of the Golden Spanish Century. In this place several activities are performed, like the theatre routes, workshops or theatre plays during the whole year. Check the agenda if you do not want to miss it. Learn more: Lope de Vega Home-Museum
Bullfighting Museum: Located in the Horses Parade Ground of Las Ventas Bullring (Alcala Street, 237), you will find a museum dedicated to the bullfighting. Inside you will be able to access to collections of bullfighting boarding, in which it is worth to mention the inaugural board, sections dedicated to the bullfighting in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, carvings of Goya, bullfighting suits, sculptures and an exposition area dedicated to the bulls. Learn more: Bullfighting Museum
National Museum of Science and Technology: The past December 12 opened to the public the new National Museum of Science and Technology in Alcobendas. Its main objective is to bring science to society, for it possesses a temporary exhibition rooms covering topics related to microscopy, cinema, photography, medicine, transport, communications, technology of everyday life and the Spanish innovation, and some activities to invite public participation in science as camps or workshops. Come and find out by yourself! National Museum of Science and Technology
History museum of Madrid: After ten years of work, Madrid has recovered its History museum situated at Fuencarral street, on the old Municipal Museum of Madrid and Hospice since the reign of Felipe V. Collect the history of the city since his election as the capital of the monarchy by Felipe II, in 1561, until the first decades of the twentieth century. As for the collections that you will see, highlight the Madrid miniature of Leon Gil de Palacio, made in 1830 and the "Allegory of the Villa de Madrid", by Goya, but also find 13,000 prints of very different technique in the areas of painting, drawings, and photographs, among other pieces. History museum
Carlos Amberes Madrid Museum. Flemish and Dutch Masters: From now Flemish painting in Madrid, has a new museum in Madrid: the Museum Carlos de Amberes in Madrid. Flemish and Dutch masters. In it you can see masterpieces of the main flamenco artists: Rubens, van Dyck, Jordaens, Brueghel the Elder, David Teniers II, etc. The Martyrdom of St. Andrew, Rubens, late work, and high magnitude of Flemish baroque master, commissioned for the Carlos de Amberes Foundation, presides a collection that has been possible thanks to gather long-term loans from other important art galleries, as the Prado Museo, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Amberes, or National Heritage. The Carlos de Amberes Museum was created with the idea of offering to the visitors a relaxed and focused artistic experience as a review of the main genres of Flemish painting. Located in what was the first church of the Salamanca district, the Museum is in the middle of a shopping area, surrounded by the most exclusive brands, which perfectly combines cultural and commercial alternative. Carlos Amberes Madrid Museum
Do not miss out other museums in the region
The museums offering are not exclusive from the city center. All around the Region you will find interesting proposals that are worth to visit.
Regional Archeological Museum: Opened since 1999, this museum is located in the Dominic Convent of the Mother of Jesus, in the historical center of Alcala de Henares. The building is one of the biggest convents of the Complutense city. In its interior there are archeological material exposed which were found in different sites of the Region of Madrid, that will allow you to make a trip through the history of our region, since the Paleolitical workshops of Manzanares and the Jarama to the Modern Age. Inside the museum, you will enjoy temporal expositions in the "Crystal Ground", a claustro transformed in an auditorium and a multi-functional room. Learn more: Regional Archeological Museum
Cervantes Home-Museum: It is located in the Main Street of Alcala de Henares, in the house were, according to the experts, Miguel de Cervantes was born. In this space, opened since 1956, you will find a recreation of a house of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. With rooms dedicated to the social and familiar life, a traditional pharmacy, a kitchen, bedrooms and an old wine cellar. You can visit us the whole year and assist to different activities organized that will increase your knowledge of Miguel de Cervantes´s figure, art and time. Learn more: Cervantes Home-Museum
Picasso Museum: In the Town Hall of Buitrago del Lozoya, it is located a peculiar collection of 60 art pieces of Picasso. The museum was created in 1982 thanks to the donation of Eugenio Arias, barber and close friend of the great painter, who wanted to create a space dedicated to Picasso in his home town. The nexus of this collection is composed by art pieces dedicated and given as a present from Picasso to Arias. It is worth to mention the barber toolbox fire graved with bullfighting scenes by Picasso, "El Picador" in water paint, "Plazo de Toritos Fritos" or "La Litografía, El Prisionero y la Paloma". Learn more: Picasso Museum
Lunar Museum: In Fresnedilas de la Oliva, you will find a museum that pays tribute to the importance that Fresnedillas had in the landing of Apollo XI. This location was a key in the communications with the astronauts of the space mission. Amongst other curiosities, the first footprint in the moon can be seen, as well as a model of a space capsule, astronaut suits, tools which belonged to Neil Armstrong and much more. Currently, the museum incorporates items of private collections from NASA missions, old URSS and the space suit of the Spanish astronaut Miguel Lopez Alegría, who is the godfather of the museum. The museum organizes guide tours, children games; it has audiovisual media and adapted spaces in order to camp in the open or also realizing observations. It has, definitely, an agenda for all. Learn more: Lunar Museum
Cinema Museum: In Villarejo de Salvanés you will find one of the most amusing, funny and learning museums of the Region of Madrid. It is the first professional and technological cinema museum in Spain, which is located in the old cinema París. This extensive project of the old cinema entrepreneur and collector Carlos Jimenez, contains a collection of items rescued from different exhibitions that will allow you to understand the evolution of "the seventh art". In its rooms we will see the first projectors installed in Villarejo de Salvanés, an exposition about the beginnings of the cinema with tools of the nineteenth century, cinema cabins of different times, billboards and finally, an exposition about the technological evolution of the seventh art with more than 100 years of history. As a curious fact, the museum also offers an area dedicated to the sport biography of the cyclist Mariano Diaz. Learn more: Cinema Museum
Wine Museum: In Navalcarnero, one of the main wine areas of Madrid, it is located the Museum of the Wine, in an old wine cellar of the ending of the nineteenth century. This museum offers a new point of view, more oriented in the sensorial perception of the pleasure of tasting a good wine, through the five senses. If you pass by, you will be able to make a trip through the different phases and tools used in order to elaborate wine. Inside, there is a space to tribute the people who have made Navalcarnero relevant in the wine culture. Before going inside this museum, you can also visit the Passage of the Constitution, in which you will see several wall paintings of Alberto Pirroquelli related to classical mythological episodes of the wine and artworks of the field work based on engravings of the nineteenth century. Learn more: Wine Museum of Navalcarnero
Ulpiano Checa Museum: In Colmenar de Oreja, his hometown, it is located the museum dedicated to Ulpiano Checha. It was an artist specialized in orientalist and historical paintings. In 1945, the museum was opened in the home where he was born (the house of the "seven grounds"), established in 1960. The museum is divided into zones, where you will discover this unknown painter and his relation with Colmenar. Inside, it is worth to mention the art piece of 20 square meter "Ultimos días de Pompeya". Learn More: Turism Colmenar de Oreja
Icons-Home Museum: In the Big House of Torrejon de Ardoz, you will enjoy the biggest collection of icons in the Occidental Europe. It is a collection with a great variety, with more than 1200 copies from the fifteenth to the twentieth century and from all of the schools of religious art: Moscú, Kiev, Nóvgorod, Monte Athis in Greece and byzantine art. The collection has been declared an Asset of National Interest. The works come from the Otzoup-Onieva collection, created by the lieutenant of the tsars Mr. Sergio Otzoup. If you prefer there are also guide tours available or visit which include lunch, in this way the experience is much more complete. Learn more: Big House Museum.
Royal Riverboat Museum: In the Prince Garden of Aranjuez you will find a museum dedicated to this recreational craft that will transport you to the time when Aranjuez was the summer residence of the Royal Family, where the Kings used to navigate through the Tajo River and Ontígola Sea. The oldest and most spectacular vessel is the golden gondola ordered in Napoles by Carlos II in 1683, to be used in the Retiro. The collection is completed with other five vessels and masts that belong to diverse Spanish Royal dynasties. Inside, you will also find paints of the Spanish fleet of the nineteenth century, navigation tools and canyons of the time of Fernando VI reign. Learn More: National Heritage.
Carriage Museum: In the Royal Garages of San Lorezno de El Escorial, it is located a curious museum dedicated to the carriage world. Located in the buildings of "House of the Regalero", where the King´s regalero attended the collection of flowers and fruit from the Royal Gardens, the "cuadra of the Regalero", where the favorite horses of the King lived and the "House of the Travel" where the carriage were cleaned and fixed. By walking around through this emblematic locations, we will see a collection of the items needed to travel through the roads, "relevos de postas", professions related, suits, royal activities, etc. And of course, we will also find a great collection of carriages of different ages, in which there are worth to mention a berlin coupé of the nineteenth century, "the carretela", and a passenger diligence of the eighteenth century. Learn more: Royal Carriages
Atazar Reservoir Territory Museum: Around the Atazar reservoir there are eight museums distributed in the different villages. These museums recreate the traditional life style of the villages, its habits, its professions and of course the importance the water has had for all the territory. The museums that are part of it are the Water Museum and the Hydraulic Heritage in El Berrueco, the Geological Classroom Museum in Patones de Abajo, the Senses Museum in Cervera de Buitrago, the Past Forms of Life in Robledillo del Jara, the Traditional Games Museum in Serrada de la Fuente, the Forge Museum in Paredes de Buitrago and the Stone Museum in Mangirón. Learn more: Atazar Reservoir Territory Museum.
Learn more: Museums and Collections Guide (PDF)