The Prado Museum in Madrid is one of the most important in the world along with the Louvre or the National Gallery in London. Photo: gettyimages.
The Prado Museum in Madrid is one of the most important in the world along with the Louvre and the National Gallery in London. Photo: Getty Images.

Three essential museums in Madrid

Madrid is a city that mixes outdoor activities, food and culture. The European capital also has many museums that to make art lovers fall in love.


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Madrid is one of the many European cities that can be proud of its museums

When thinking of Paris, the Louvre always comes to mind. In New York, it's the MoMA. For Madrid, there's three: the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum. 

The first two have been included on lists of the best museums in the world along with places like the National Gallery in London.

Madrid has a lot of museums for art, history, architecture and archaeology lovers, but the focus of this article is the museums, which also play a vital role in the city' global stature.

The Prado Museum (Museo Nacional del Prado)

Paintings from the 12th to the 20th century, sculptures, decorative arts, drawings, prints, and photographs are all exhibited at the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Some of the painting masterpieces found in this museum are The Descentfrom the Cross by Roger van de Weyden, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosco, The Annunciation by Fra Angélico, The Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest by El Greco, Las Meninas by Velázquez, Still life by Clara Peeters, The Three Graces by Rubens, The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808 by Goya, El Cid by Rosa Bonheur and Boys on the Beach by Sorolla.

The Prado Museum is open every day except three holidays: Jan. 1, May 1 and Dec. 25. Visit its official website to check the schedules and free visits.

Reina Sofía 

The Reina Sofía Museum is located in a neoclassical building located in Atocha. Previously, the building served as a hospital, which was finally closed in 1965. It was declared a historical monument in 1977 and several restoration processes began after. 

In 1986, the Reina Sofía Art Center was officially opened, which currently houses temporary exhibitions and permanent collections of modern and contemporary Spanish art. It brings together works by Dalí, Miró, and the most iconic painting of the museum: Guernica, one of the most important works by Pablo Picasso.

The museum has two more locations in Madrid, the Palacio de Velázquez and the Palacio de Cristal, both in the Retiro Park.


This national museum houses more than 1,000 works of European painting from the Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century. The Italian Primitives, the German Renaissance, 19th-century American painting, Impressionism, German Expressionism, and Russian Constructivism.

It also has outstanding works from the 20th century avant-garde: Fauvism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Abstract and Pop Art.

Bonus visit 'A Temple' of Football

It is not related to art like the other museums mentioned above, but it is closely related to a discipline that excites masses from all over the world: soccer. Real Madrid's stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu, is on the list because it is one of the most-visited in the entire city.

Tourists can visit the museum, learn about the history of the club, admire its national and international trophies. It is important to buy tickets in advance on the official website.


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