Madrid may not have a beach to soak up the sun on, but what it lacks in waves it more than makes up for in museums and history. It’s absolutely full of them!
If you’ve got some time to spend in between trips to the Plaza Mayor and the Retiro, here are some of our favorite museums where you can see everything Madrid has (and had) to offer. Still looking for an apartment in Madrid? Don’t forget to visit Spotahome Madrid for a selection of apartments and rooms for rent.
Guide to best museums in Madrid
1. El Prado
You can’t come to Madrid and not stop by the Museo del Prado. You just can’t! Filled to the brim with Goya, Velasquez, and El Greco, this is the Mecca of Castilian art. And speaking of staples in Spanish art…
2. La Reina Sofia
…since you’re already at the Prado, you may as well take a quick walk over to the nearby Reina Sofia. Home to Picasso’s world-famous Guernica, as well as a massive collection of Dalí works, the Reina Sofia is more than a must-see– it’s a list topper.
3. El Museo del Romanticismo
Looking for something a bit more off the standard tourist path? Head over to the Museo del Romanticismo, or the Romanticism Museum, in the Chueca neighborhood.
The museum itself is housed in an eighteenth-century palace, and it is home to a delightful collection of 19-century works.
Even better? The museum has a charming cafe on the first floor, including a garden terrace, where you can sip tea and ponder the luxurious building.
4. Museo Thyssen
Often overlooked, the Thyssen Museum is one of Madrid’s gems. Located just down the road from the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum boasts a collection of over 1600 paintings, and it was once considered the 2nd largest private art collection in the world.
In the Thyssen, you’ll find a refreshing variety of renaissance, baroque, and rococo works from all across Europe. So, if you’re not into the overload on Spanish art that you get at the Prado, the Thyssen is a good alternative.
Metro: Banco de España or Antón Martín
5. Casa Museo Lope de Vega
Fan of literature? Head over to the Casa Museo Lope de Vega, the 17th-century home of famed Spanish playwright and poet, Lope de Vega.
Here, among the personal items of the writer, you’ll be transported back to 17th century Spain. And with free admission it’s definitely a sight worth seeing!
Metro: Antón Martín
6. El Neomudéjar
Not so into stuffy old museums? Not a problem. Head over to the Neomudéjar and enter something completely different. This is by far one of the best museums in Madrid for anyone looking to get creatively inspired.
El Neomudéjar is a center of art, experimentation, and creativity where artists are encouraged to take unused urban spaces and transform them into something culturally significant.
And it’s not just urban art: the center also promotes cinematography and video art, performance arts, sound art, and even parkour. Cool!
Metro: Atocha Renfe or Menéndez Pelayo
7. Andén Cero
Sometimes, the most peculiar places are hiding where we would never think to look for them. This is especially true for the Andén Cero Museum, one of the most unusual museums in Madrid you’ll ever see.
Andén Cero is an out-of-service metro station, which, after being shut down in 1966, has been completely frozen in time. With posters, advertisements, and even garbage cans still full of artifacts from a long-gone moment in time, Andén Cero has preserved 1960s Spanish life in a delightful, unexpected way. It’s worth a look!
Metro: Iglesia or Bilbao
So many museums, so little time. You’re going to need to plan a longer trip to Madrid!