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Best art museums to visit during your stay in Madrid

If, like me, you are an art lover, I am sure you have already wondered what are the best museums to visit in Madrid (and you have probably already checked them out online). However, if you are not that passionate about it, it’s always useful to know some facts about the most important museums of a city, and specially, how to get the best deals!

In Spain, just like in many other European countries, there are a lot of discounts for students under 25 in all things regarding general culture. Therefore, many museums offer discounted rates or even free entries for students. Interested? Let’s take a look!


“Art is Art. Everything else is everything else” – Ad Reinhardt.


Museo del Prado

I’m sure you have heard about this one. It’s the biggest museum in Madrid and hosts artwork from highly recognized international artists. Amongst these painters we find Velazquez, el Greco, Rubens, Goya, and many others. It’s definitely one of the museums you NEED to visit. My recommendation is that you try to go a couple of times. It is really big, so get a map the first time you go and try to divide it in two or three sections. This way you won’t end up as exhausted.

With your student ID you can enter freely AT ALL TIMES if you are under 25 years old! Just bring it along with your Passport/Driver’s License so that they can verify that it’s yours. If, however, you are not a student, the museum also offers some free entry periods. From Monday through Saturday you can enter free of charge between 18:00 and 20:00, and the same applies for Sunday’s, but from 17:00 to 19:00.

Appart from the amazing permanent collection, there are always one or more temporary exhibitions taking place. You can also enter for free with your Student ID if you are under 25, however, if you don’t qualify, you can enter with a 50% discount at the times when the permanent collection is free.

You really can’t miss it! Get lost in it’s many halls, enjoy it as much as you can and be amazed by the outstanding works of some of the world’s most renowned artists.

Location: Paseo del Prado, s/n,28014 Madrid. Metro Atocha Renfe or Banco de España.

Regular price of permanent collection: 14€ / 7€  reduced
Captura de pantalla 2018-02-12 a las 17.10.57


Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Have you ever heard of Picassos’ Guernica?

Besides the Prado, there are many other museums to discover around Madrid. One of them is the Reina Sofía (although the official name is longer, it always comes down to that). This national museum hosts some amazing works as well, and you can enjoy it for free under the same conditions as the Prado. The timing for the days where you can go for free no matter your age is a bit different.

Mondays: 19:00 –21:00.

Wednesday-Saturday: 19:00 – 21:00 p.m.                                                                                 

Sunday: 13:30 – 7:00 p.m.                                                                                                               

April, 18, May 18 and October 12, December 6: Open and free all day

Although it’s not as big as the Prado, it has outstanding works of art, and you may be able to see it all in one day. You will find pieces by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró among others, but you cannot miss the Guernica, by Pablo Picasso. It is one of the most visited masterpieces at the museum.

Besides the permanent collection, there are numerous temporary collections and exhibitions that take place throughout the year. These exhibitions (in contrast with those from the Prado) are far more modern on a general note, so if you are not in love with the ones from the Prado, maybe you’ll enjoy some of these.

Location: Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, Madrid. Metro Atocha Renfe.

Regular price of permanent collection: 8€

Regular price of temporary exhibitions: 4

Captura de pantalla 2018-02-12 a las 17.11.08

Source: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía


Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

Along with the Prado and the Reina Sofía, this museum completes the so-called Golden Triangle of Art of Madrid. It is also one of the “musts” when it comes to museums in this city. We can find the extraordinary work of Caravaggio, Rubens, van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Franz Marc, and many other international artists.

This museum is not entirely public, since most of the art pieces are from the private collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, and therefore the free entry is far more restricted. However, you can enter without charge on Mondays from 12:00 to 16:00 to visit the permanent collection. Otherwise you will have to pay for your ticket.

This museum is far smaller that the Prado, and therefore you can also visit it in a single day if you put your mind to it. It also hosts some magnificent temporary collections, so make sure you take a look if you decide to stop by.

Location: Paseo del Prado, 8, Madrid. Metro Banco de España.

Regular price of permanent collection: 12€ / 8  reduced


Museo Sorolla

This museum reflects mostly the works of Joaquín Sorolla throughout his life. Is a quite small museum, established in the house of the painter in Madrid. Although it does not have much variety from other authors (only 164 paintings out of 1458), it is a beautiful museum that you can visit in a few hours. Have any free time? Well, you have a plan then.

Everyone can enter for free from Saturday at 14h, to the closing time on Sunday. Again, you can always enter for free with your Student ID and some other form of identification to verify that you are the owner if you are under 25.

Location: General Martínez Campos, 37, Madrid, Metro Rubén Darío.

Regular price of permanent collection: 3€ / 1.50 reduced

Captura de pantalla 2018-02-12 a las 17.11.24

Source: Sorolla Museum Webpage. Painting by Joaquín Sorolla


Although there are many other museums in the city, it would take too long to go through all of them, but make sure to investigate if you are passionate about art, Madrid has a lot to offer in that field. Spain as a whole counts with many other internationally recognized museums, such as the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Picasso Museum in Málaga, or the Archaeological Museum in Madrid. But let’s leave those for another post.

Lucía Pérez
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