The Reina Sofia Museum (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia) is Madrid's premier modern art gallery featuring mostly works by Spanish artists. Among them is Guernica, a political statement on the Spanish Civil War by Pablo Picasso, as well as a room devoted to Joan Miró's paintings and a collection of about 20 Salvador Dalí pieces.
The superb collection of art housed within the Reina Sofia Museum makes it one of Madrid’s most popular attractions. An adventure through the gallery begins with a ride up the glass elevator, which provides views of the plaza and buildings below. The second floor houses the permanent collection, broken up into about 10 rooms, while the top floor is taken up with works from artists of the 1980s, as well as those of international artists. Visitors can take a guided tour for enhanced insight into the art on display, or opt for skip-the-line or early-access tours to avoid long waits and beat the crowds. A visit to this museum is often combined with the Prado Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum; the three make up Madrid’s “Golden Triangle of Art” and are within walking distance.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The museum is a must-visit for art lovers.
- Leave yourself time to wander through the center courtyard, dotted with Joan Miró sculptures.
- Both small-group and private tours are available.
- Some city sightseeing bus tours include entrance to the museum.
- Nearly all areas of the museum are wheelchair accessible.
- Wi-Fi access is available in the Nouvel Building Cafe and in the museum library.
How to Get There
The Reina Sofia Museum is well-serviced by public transportation, and is within walking distance of Atocha and Lavapiés stations. Several bus lines also stop just outside the museum. Some Madrid sightseeing tours include hotel pickup.
When to Get There
The Reina Sofia Museum is open Wednesday to Monday from 10am to 9pm, with reduced hours until only 7pm on Sunday. The museum tends to be quietest first thing in the morning, during the lunchtime siesta, and in late afternoon.
The Reina Sofia Collection
The Reina Sofia Museum collection is divided into three time periods. The most popular collection—housed mostly on the first floor—spans from 1900 to 1945 and includes works by Picasso, Dalí, and Miró. The second-floor collection covers post-war works from Spain and around the world, while the Nouvel building houses works from 1962 to 1982.