Must-See Museums in Madrid
Madrid’s museum scene will delight art and history fans alike, who can explore great European art collections, the home of royalty, and one of Spain’s hallowed soccer grounds. Here are just five Madrid museums you must see on your next visit to the Spanish capital.
The Reina Sofia Museum
As one-third of Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art—alongside the Prado Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum—the Reina Sofia Museum is a must-see in Madrid, especially for fans of 20th-century art, Dalí, and Picasso. Avoid the notoriously long queues by purchasing a skip-the-line ticket in advance, or consider a private tour for a more intimate experience.
Housed in the former residence of artist Joaquín Sorolla, for whom the museum is named, the Sorolla Museum is one of Madrid’s more niche offerings, which you can visit as part of a customizable city tour. The museum features works of art—principally landscapes and portraits—by Sorolla himself, and even travelers who aren’t familiar with his work will appreciate the well-preserved living quarters and studio.
Royal Palace of Madrid
Although technically the residence of Spanish royalty, the Royal Palace of Madrid is now only used ceremonially. While vacationing in Madrid, you can explore the Royal Palace’s throne room and art collection with skip-the-line privileges—ideal for those on a time budget—or take a small-group or private guided tour, during which you’ll benefit from insight you wouldn’t get alone.
Prado National Museum
Spanish art, alongside several other European masterpieces, takes center stage at the Prado Museum, one of Madrid’s most respected art museums. Don’t miss Las Meninas by Velázquez or the numerous pieces by the Italian masters when you visit. Alternatively, take a guided tour—either small-group or private—and let an expert talk you through the artwork, regardless of how much time you have.
Both stadium and museum, the Bernabeu is the home field of Madrid’s football team, Real Madrid; however, it’s also open to visitors who want to learn more about the stadium’s history during a guided tour. Take advantage of skip-the-line privileges and get access to the locker rooms, Presidential Box, and even the pitch faster than you would by lining up on the day, before exploring more of the city or grabbing lunch at the market.