A city with almost 500 years of history to its name, Madrid lies at the heart of Spain. One of Western Europe’s most visited cities, Madrid’s tourist hotspots include many museums. As a traveler, you will definitely wonder which are the best museums to visit. After all, you’re unlikely to visit every museum in Madrid. We have created a list of the 5 best museums in Madrid that will bring the best out of Spain for your visit.
The Golden Triangle of Art
At the top of our list is actually a group of three museums known as the Golden Triangle. The first is the Museo Del Prado; which is the main national art museum in Spain. With a grand collection of drawings, paintings and sculptures over many centuries, the Prado Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world. It contains thousands of works from the 12th Century up to the early 19th century. Over 1300 pieces are featured in the main hall while thousands of other pieces are kept away or loaned to other museums. Nevertheless, its most famous collections include pieces from Francisco Goya and other famous artists of his time.
Neighbor to the Prado Museum is the Reina Sofia Museum. She houses works of the 19th Century including pieces from the famous Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. The Reina Sofia showcases the rich and complex events in Spain’s history.
Together with these two famous museums is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Here, you can find works from very well-known artists such as Picasso, Monet, Rembrandt and Dali. The works range from medieval age paintings to modern day American pop culture art pieces. These three museums form Madrid’s Golden Triangle, a world-famous attraction for art lovers and tourists alike.
National Archaeological Museum
Second on our list is the National Archaeological Museum. With thousands of pieces containing the memories of Spain’s history, the National Archaeological Museum is definitely the museum to visit in Madrid. Among the artifacts are collections from the Spanish Monarchy as well as those from the Roman and Greek eras. First opened in the 19th Century by Queen Isabella II, the museum underwent a 6 year renovation in 2008, transforming it into a beautiful museum while retaining its historical charm. More than a thousand years of history is showcased at the National Archaeological Museum, making it a meaningful experience for everyone who visits.
One of the best museums in Madrid is the Naval Museum. Proudly showcasing one of Spain’s most famous features, the museum contains artifacts from Spain’s naval history. Spain has a rich naval history including famous explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Francis Drake. The Museum contains artifacts from these explorers as well as famous events such as the Battle of Trafalgar and the famous Spanish Armada in 1588. Containing various weapons, boats and recovered loot, the Naval Museum is an amazing experience even for children! Spanish naval history is among the best in the world, making the Naval Museum an excellent place to visit.
Moving away from historical museums, one of the best museums in Madrid is the CaixaForum. Featuring an eclectic mix of tradition and contemporary art, there are unique installations such as a vertical garden and rotating exhibitions. Although the museum was previously a factory, the thorough refurbishment and redesign has made it one of Madrid’s most advanced and modern museums. Furthermore, its queues are much shorter than those of the Golden Triangle, making it a convenient visit that will certainly be worth your time.
Rounding up our list of the best museums in Madrid is the contemporary Matadero Madrid. Formerly a slaughterhouse, it has been transformed into a museum and cultural centre. Featuring modern Spanish as well as international works, the centre is a great place to hang out and enjoy Spanish culture. The Matadero also offers quality dining and drinking, allowing visitors to spend a whole day at the cultural centre while enjoying good food. On your visit to Madrid, be sure to check out this amazing museum!
Explore Madrid with a private walking tour! Wander through Gran Via on foot, take a stroll in the Old Town district, and enjoy the popular Museums on this private walking tour in Madrid. Discover the best of the city at your own pace.