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Best Museums in Madrid
15.01.2024

Madrid is one of the great European cultural capitals. It has a large number of cultural centres, foundations, exhibitions, galleries and, above all, museums.

It is on the latter that we are going to focus today, as we bring you a complete list of the best museums in Madrid. We not only bring you the best ones, but also the essential ones, the ones you can't miss and some that are really curious and surprising.

 

Best Museums in Madrid

Museo del Prado

To start talking about museums in Madrid and not mention the Prado Museum as the first obligatory stop is an almost impossible task. Not to say, completely impossible.

Its collection of great masters; Goya, Velázquez, Rubens, Rembrandt, El Bosco, Rafael, El Greco, or Titian among others, is a journey through the best pictorial expression in the world. 

The great Spanish artist Antonio Saura said of the museum; "This museum is not the most extensive, but it is the most intense", and one of the great cultural figures of the Spanish 20th century was absolutely right. It is a piece of art itself and an essential atracttion to visit in your stay in Madrid

 

Museo Reina Sofía

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, known as the Reina Sofía Museum, is a building known as the Sabatini building, in honour of the Italian architect, which is located in the Atocha area.

Within its walls are exhibited some of the best works belonging to contemporary art, with great names of this discipline such as Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso or Joan Miró.

We cannot pass up the opportunity to talk about the magnificent Palacio de Velázquez, which is used for temporary exhibitions by the Reina Sofía and is located in the Retiro Park. Its design is inspired by the Crystal Palace in London and was built in 1881. A visit to the Retiro Park is one of those activities that you must do without excuses before leaving Madrid. 

 

Museo Thyssen – Bornemisza

The last point in what is known as Madrid's art triangle, it is joined by the Prado Museum and the Reina Sofía Museum, described above. 

Its large collection is housed in the incomparable setting of the Villahermosa Palace, and is mainly made up of portraits from the Renaissance, Expressionism, Impressionism and the main European and North American art movements of the 20th century.

 

Museo Sorolla

Located in what was the painter's studio and home in his last years, the Sorolla Museum houses the most complete and richest collection of the painter's work. Its incredible garden, designed by the painter himself, is particularly noteworthy.

If you want to visit other museums dedicated to great historical figures, we recommend the Lope de Vega House Museum and the Leonardo Torres Quevedo Museum, which houses apparatus, models and documents of his inventions.

 

Museo de Bellas Artes

Within the walls of its headquarters in Calle Alcalá, the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts exhibits more than 400 years of pictorial history. Works by Zurbarán, José de Ribera, Murillo, Rubens, Pereda, Sorolla and Goya can be seen in the permanent exhibition section.

The view of the façade of the Palacio de Goyeneche, where the museum is located, is a real architectural pleasure.

 

Museo Lázaro Galdiano

This is a state museum, with private origins, which houses the enormous collection that José Lázaro Galdiano, publisher and collector, left to the Spanish state for its care and exhibition.

It has an impressive library of more than 20,000 books and among its most outstanding pictorial works are drawings and paintings by artists such as Goya, El Bosco, El Greco, Murillo and Zurbarán.

 

Museo Cerralbo

Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, 17th Marquis of Cerralbo, collected a large number of antiques and archaeological objects of great value during his lifetime, as well as numerous paintings, drawings and sculptures.

In his collection, great names in the history of art such as Zurbarán, Van Dyck, El Greco, Bronzino and Ribera stand out above the rest.

 

Museo Arqueológico

This museum is a real treasure trove for the history of humanity and the evolution of mankind. It has archaeological finds dating back as far as the Egyptians, the Renaissance and even discoveries in the caves of Altamira.

It is a fantastic way to review the history of the great civilisations that once settled on the Iberian Peninsula.

 

Museo Nacional de Antropología

However, if you want to see what the cultures that once set foot and put down roots in our country were like, the perfect place is the National Museum of Anthropology.

It focuses mainly on showing the richness and diversity that exist within the many cultures that make up the human being.

 

Museo de América

It has a collection of more than 2,500 pieces spanning both pre-Columbian and colonial times, giving us an unparalleled overview of the continent. 

Witness the evolution of the enormous people of the American continent through their customs over more than twelve thousand years of history.

 

Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales

One of the most visited places and museums in the Spanish capital. It houses a huge collection of stuffed animals as well as a wealth of interesting facts and information about the fauna and flora.

 

Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas

Focusing on design, the museum exhibits ornamental elements dating from the 15th to the 19th century. We can see the evolution in the design of objects such as toys, tapestries, furniture, glassware and ceramics.  In this way we take a look at the past to see how our way of thinking, living and approaching our reality has changed.

In addition, it is possible to enjoy such appreciated and well-known objects as elements belonging to the Ming and Qing dynasties.

If we are talking about tapestries, we cannot forget the obligatory stop, if these are your tastes, at the Real Fábrica de Tapices, where you will find an unrivalled collection of these objects, as well as carpets and some paintings. The objects date from the 18th to the 20th century and some of the most outstanding designs are by Goya himself.

 

Museo del traje

Without leaving behind a similar point of interest, we can visit the Costume Museum, where we can appreciate the evolution of clothing from the 16th century to the present day. Thanks to it, we can discover fashions, customs and social practices of the past.

If we talk about how clothing marked our way of living and expressing ourselves, we cannot miss the opportunity to visit the Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares, where we can see evidence of what daily life was like in our past.

 

Museo de la Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre

If you are a coin and banknote collector and consider a printing error to be a real find, you should not miss a visit to this museum, considered one of the most complete and best in the sector worldwide.

 

Museo de la EMT

Let's change our hobby. If what you like most about cities are their means of transport, this is the museum for you. It has a collection of old buses and trams from the city of Madrid.

In addition, you can't miss the Railway Museum and the curious Andén Cero, where you can see a metro station that has remained intact since 1966.

 

Real Armería de Madrid

On your visit to the Royal Palace in Madrid, don't forget to stop by this museum, which has one of the most complete collections of arms and armour of monarchs in the world. It spans from the 13th to the 19th century.

 

Museo del Romanticismo

If you are a lover of this period and a visit to the great museums and their paintings has not been enough for you, come to the Museum of Romanticism and enjoy its engravings, objects and paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

 

Museo del Ratoncito Pérez

If you're visiting Madrid with the little ones, you'll be happy to know that the only tooth fairy museum in the whole museum is in Madrid, and a visit is highly recommended. (In Spain, it is known as Ratoncito Pérez since it is a mouse who collects the teeth)

 

Museo Tiflológico (ONCE)

To finish our list, we would like to highlight the ONCE Typhlological Museum where you will find works and materials focused on the sense of touch, making it accessible to people with visual disabilities.

 

 

 

Done