The Spanish capital has more than 50 museums of various kinds and many of them are among the best things to do in Madrid. Knowing them all would be a very difficult task and would require a lot of time. That is why, regardless of your own tastes, it is advisable to know which are the most important museums in the city, taking into account their collection and its value.
Some of the museums in Madrid are among the best and most visited in the world, others less known house hidden gems that leave no one indifferent. Discover the 10 best in the list I share with you below.
1. Prado Museum
I couldn't start this list without recommending you, first of all, to visit the Prado Museum. Not only is it the most visited museum in Madrid and Spain, but it is also considered one of the most important in the world thanks to its collection of paintings, with more than 1,700 pieces on display by such important artists as Goya, Velázquez, Bosch and El Greco, among many others.
It forms part of what is known as Madrid's triangle of the arts, along with the two museums that we will go over in this list just below.
- Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 20.00, Sundays and public holidays from 10.00 to 19.00.
- Location: Paseo del Prado. Madrid. If you have any questions I leave you a post on how to get there.
- Main works: I leave you this article with a list of the main works exhibited in the Prado.
- Admission fee: General admission 15 €. Free for children under 18, unemployed and students between 18 and 25. Check all the detailed information about prices here.
- Complete information about the visit to the Prado here.
2. Reina Sofía Museum of Contemporary Art
In contrast to the Prado's collection of classic works, if you visit the Reina Sofia Museum you will find yourself in the home of contemporary and 20th century art. The second vertex of the art triangle has a permanent collection of authors such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí or Joan Miró.
The symbol of this museum is Picasso's Guernica, but there are many more works that deserve the recognition of visitors. The museum is also very conveniently located, as it is next to Atocha station. There are few excuses left to visit it, especially if you are a lover of contemporary art.
- Opening hours: Monday to Saturday (closed on Tuesdays) from 10am to 9pm. Sundays from 10 am to 7 pm. Check here for more info about opening hours.
- Location: C/ Santa Isabel, 52 and Ronda de Atocha (It has two entrances).
- Main works: Check the main works in this link.
- Ticket price: You can buy tickets from 12 € in Hellotickets.
- Complete the information about the visit to the Reina Sofía here
3. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Leaving Atocha station and going up the Paseo del Prado, we find first the Reina Sofía, then the Prado, and then the last point of the art triangle, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
This museum houses the private collection of the Barons Thyssen, full of great works from the Renaissance, Impressionism, Expressionism and many other styles. It is in the variety of styles that the charm of the Thyssen Museum's collection lies. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are also temporary exhibitions.
- Opening hours: Monday from 12.00 to 16.00, and Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 19.00.
- Location: Palacio de Villahermosa, Paseo del Prado 8.
- Main works: The most outstanding artists with works in the Thyssen are El Greco, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
- Ticket price: You can buy tickets from €13 at Hellotickets.
4. Wax Museum of Madrid
Another museum with a completely different style is the Wax Museum of Madrid. A place where you can discover the statues of more than 450 famous people from the past and present and learn all about the process of making and creating the figures. Very important, don't forget your camera!
- Opening hours: The opening hours are from 11am to 7pm in summer and from 11am to 6pm in winter.
- Location: Plaza de Colón, 1, 28004 Madrid.
- Main attractions: Some of the statues you can see are those of Taylor Swift, Rafa Nadal, Marylin Monroe, Barack Obama and Christopher Columbus.
- Ticket price: You can buy tickets from a price of 18 € in Hellotickets.
5. Sweet Space Museum in Madrid
And if you want to keep capturing the best pictures, don't miss the Sweet Space Museum that combines the traditional concept of art and the new digital trends. Discover its 10 interactive themed rooms with unique settings and spaces designed by international artists such as Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, Antonyo Marest and Miju Lee, among others. You will also put your senses to the test.
- Opening hours: Saturday to Sunday, from 11 am to 1.30 pm and from 3.30 pm to 8 pm.
- Location: Calle Serrano, 61. ABC Serrano Shopping Centre, 2nd floor, Madrid.
- Main works: You will admire exhibitions and modern art by artists such as Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, Antonyo Marest, Ivanna Gautier, Miju Lee and Zok Art, among others.
- Prices: You can buy tickets from €18 at Hellotickets.
6. Museum of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando
The Museum of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid is one of the most important national art galleries and houses Spanish, Flemish and Italian works of art. Specifically, it is made up of more than 1,500 paintings, 1,500 sculptures, as well as a thousand objects of furniture, gold and silver work, ceramics and much more. You can also visit Goya's Cabinet in the National Chalcography.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 3pm, including public holidays.
- Location: Alcalá 13. Madrid. 28014.
- Main works: Its collection includes works by great artists such as Goya, Arcimboldo, Rubens and El Greco.
- Ticket price: You can buy tickets from 10 € in Hellotickets.
7. Museum of Illusions of Madrid
The Museum of Illusions of Madrid brings together various exhibitions and installations full of experimental and educational visual experiences that stimulate the imagination and logic. Spend an incredible time with your friends or family playing games, puzzles and, above all, learning.
More than 80 games and several rooms with different themes and full of holograms, puzzles, rooms with 3D puzzles and optical illusions with some outstanding challenges such as the Infinity Room, the Hall of Intelligent Games or the Hall of Dilemmas.
- Opening hours: Monday to Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday from 11am to 10pm, Saturday from 9:30am to 10pm and Sunday from 9:30am to 9pm.
- Location: Calle del Doctor Cortezo, 8. 28012. Madrid.
- Ticket price: You can buy tickets from a price of 14 € in Hellotickets.
8. Museum of the Royal Armoury of the Royal Palace of Madrid
The visit to the Royal Palace of Madrid attracts thousands of people almost every day. What many are unaware of is that in addition to seeing the royal rooms, the palace itself has a small museum which exhibits one of the most important collections of arms and armour in the world.
The Royal Armoury of Madrid has a permanent exhibition of arms and armour belonging to Spanish royalty from the 13th to the 19th century, which is well worth a visit. In fact, it is recognised as one of the best of its kind.
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00. Summer opening hours until 20:00. More info here.
- Location: Calle Bailén, Ground floor of the Royal Palace of Madrid.
- Main works: Discover here everything you can see in the Royal Palace of Madrid.
- Ticket Price: General Admission 10€. Reduced 5€. Children under 5 years free.
- Complete information about the visit to the Royal Palace and its museum here.
9. Sorolla Museum
Joaquín Sorolla is an artist important enough to have his own exclusive museum. The Valencian painter spent a large part of his life in Madrid and it is precisely in what was his home and studio where his museum is located today.
Sorolla produced more than 2,000 works throughout his artistic career and the most famous and relevant ones are in this museum in Madrid. If you like the art of one of the most important Spanish painters, this is a must-see.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 9.30am-8pm. Mondays closed. Sunday and public holidays: from 10:00 to 15:00.
- Location: General Martínez Campos, 37.
- Main works: Paintings such as Swimmers in Jávea, The Pink Gown or Nude are exhibited in his studio as well as the painter's famous portraits and self-portraits.
- Admission fee: General admission: 3€. Free admission on Saturdays from 14:00 to 20:00 and Sundays.
- More info: here.
10. National Archaeological Museum
If you want to know all the cultures that have inhabited the Iberian Peninsula, there is no better place than the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid. Founded in 1867, it houses pieces from prehistoric times to the Renaissance, including the Iberians, Egyptians and many other cultures, and is recognised as one of the best archaeological exhibitions in the world.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 to 20:00. Sundays and holidays from 9:30 to 15:00.
- Location: Calle Serrano, 13.
- Main exhibits: The Lady of Elche, the statue of Harsomtus-em-hat, the Crown of Recesvinto and a replica of the Altamira cave.
- Ticket price: General admission 3€. Reduced admission for groups and cultural volunteers: 1,5€.
- More info: here
11. Cerralbo Museum
This museum is located in the palace of the Marquis of Cerralbo, a building whose interior is so spectacular that it is worth a visit.
The Marquis of Cerralbo contributed a lot to historical studies and as a good art lover he bequeathed his impressive collection of weapons, armour and various works of art that can be seen in his museum. Although it is less well known, it is a real hidden gem in the city of Madrid.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am to 3pm. Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 15:00 and Thursdays from 17:00 to 20:00.
- Location: Calle Ventura Rodríguez 17.
- Main works: Paintings by Zurbarán, Ribera, Alonso Cano and El Greco, among many others.
- Ticket price: General admission: 3€. Reduced admission: 1,50€.
- More info: here
12. Museum of Romanticism
In the heart of the Chueca neighbourhood is the palace of the Marquis of Matallana, inside which you will find the Museum of Romanticism, a building dating from 1776 which preserves the original furniture and the Marquis' art collection and which, today, you can visit to find out what daily life was like for the nobility in the Romantic period.
The palace also has a beautiful garden where you will find the Museum Garden Café, where you can enjoy sweets and coffee in a setting that will make you feel as if you were in the Romantic period.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Sundays and holidays: from 10:00 to 15:00.
- Location: Calle San Mateo 13.
- Main works: There are works by Goya, Madrazo, Alenza and the Bécquer brothers, among others, as well as original furniture and decoration from the period.
- Entry fee: General admission: 3€.
- More info: here
13. Lázaro Galdiano Museum
For most of his life, José Lázaro Galdiano devoted himself to gathering and collecting art pieces, totalling more than 12,000 pieces. After his death in 1947, his collection was donated to the Spanish state and, today, it is exhibited in the museum located in the former residence of Lázaro Galdiano, in the heart of the Salamanca district.
This museum brings together, without a doubt, **one of the most complete and valuable art collections in Madrid.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm, Sundays from 10am to 3pm. Closed on Mondays.
- Location: Calle Serrano, 122. Madrid.
- Main works: Some of the most valuable works of art in the collection include some of the best paintings by Goya, such as The Witches' Tragedy, and works by artists such as Bosch, El Greco, Murillo, Zurbarán and even Leonardo Da Vinci in his apprenticeship period.
- Ticket price: General admission 6€. Reduced admission 3€.
- More info: here.
14. Museum of the National Library of Madrid
This impressive neoclassical building, located just behind the National Archaeological Museum, houses the National Library of Spain, founded in 1712 by King Philip V. Inside is a museum that documents the entire written, graphic and audiovisual culture of Spain and also part of Latin America.
The museum is designed to show the workings of this organisation as well as exhibiting some original copies of great literary works from history.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00. Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00.
- Location: Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22.
- Main works: As a curiosity, the library has 4 copies of every book published in Spain, as well as many photographs and drawings.
- Admission fee: Free of charge.
- More info: here
Other museums in Madrid
These are just some of the many museums in Madrid and the most outstanding. But there are many others with more specific themes that can also be a good option to visit during your stay. Some of them are:
- National Mint and Stamp Factory
- Madrid History Museum
- National Museum of Natural Sciences
- Museum and tour of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
- Museum of America
- Lope de Vega House Museum
- Royal Tapestry Factory
As you can see, Madrid is a city brimming with culture and one of the cities with the most museums you can visit not only in Spain, but also in the whole world. Here is a post with the best places to visit.