A trip to Madrid is incomplete without visiting some of the city’s museums. Madrid museums give visitors a firsthand look at many world-famous artifacts, masterpieces, and fossils, while permitting travelers to gain a deep understanding of the Iberian Peninsula’s past and cultural development from prehistory to modern times. Madrid’s art museums provide a selection of art works, representing Spanish and international artists, that is among the world’s finest. However, as there are more than 50 museums are to be found in the city, most travelers will not have the opportunity to enjoy all of them. Below are our 5 Madrid museums that are quintessential to understanding the natural history and cultural contributions that have come from the region.
#1 Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
Location: Calle José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2, Madrid.
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 10AM-5PM ; Sat & Sun 10AM-8PM ; Closed Monday.
The Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales also known as The National Museum of Natural History of Spain is a great museum for the whole family to visit during your time in Madrid. At this Madrid museum, you can see displays of fossils, walk through a stone garden featuring petrified tree trunks, view exhibits illustrating the diversity of the region, and (of course) see dinosaurs! The imaginations of young and old alike will be stirred by the museum’s impressive collection of cast dinosaur skeletons; these include Allosaurus, Stegosaurus and Diplodocus. While these represent specimens from North America, each of these types, or very close relatives, would have been plodding around on the Iberian Peninsula in the Late Jurassic Period.
#2 Museo del Prado
Location:Paseo del Prado, s/n, Madrid
Opening Hours:Mon-Sat; 10AM-8PM ; Sun 10AM-7PM
Now Museo del Prado is one of Madrid’s museums that you need to add to your list straight away, this Madrid museum contains the world’s best collection of Spanish art, including classical and religious artwork dating from the 12th through to the early 20th century. Among the most notable of the great artists represented here are El Greco and Francisco Goya. It is interesting to note that while both produced works that heavily influenced later styles and artists, the former’s convention-defying style was met with confusion by his contemporaries, whereas the latter’s work was held in high regard during his lifetime.
#3 Museo Reina Sofía
Location: Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, Madrid.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat; 10AM-9PM ; Sun; 10AM-7PM ; Closed Tue
From the Museo Del Prado, a continuation of visitor’s Spanish art education into the rest of the 20th century can be found less than a kilometer away at Museo Reina Sofía, Spain’s national museum of 20th-century art. Works here include iconic masterpieces such as ‘Guernica’ by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali’s ‘Great Masturbator,’ both of which are guaranteed to simultaneously fascinate and unsettle viewers.
#4 Sorolla Museum
Location:Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 37, Madrid.
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat; 9:30AM-8PM ; Sun 10AM-8PM ; Closed Mon.
The Sorolla Museum was previously the home of painter Joaquín Sorolla. Today, it serves to display his artworks among the original furnishings of each room of the house. Perhaps the two most informative rooms are Room I and Room III. Room I is a former study where a selection of canvases are used to illustrate the development of Sorolla’s style. Room III, his studio, preserves his tools in-place as well as sources of inspiration among some of his best-known works.
#5 The National Archaeological Museum
Location:Calle de Serrano, 13, Madrid
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 9:30AM-8PM ; Sun 9:30AM-3PM ; Closed Mon.
The National Archaeological Museum showcases artifacts of the Iberian Peninsula from the Paleolithic age to the Renaissance. It also houses international collections, including those representing Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. Included among the permanent exhibits is a replica of the Altamira cave with its Stone Age paintings; the actual cave has been closed to the public since 2002. Another notable exhibit here is the Iberian Art Hall which houses the most famous examples of statues from the eponymous culture dating back to the 6th century BC.