Art Lover’s Guide to Madrid
Madrid is an art lover’s dream. From the Golden Triangle (and some of Spain’s most important museums) to community spaces and street murals, here are some options for making the most of your art-filled visit to the Spanish capital.
Prado Museum (Museo del Prado) - Spain’s primary national art museum
With its vast collection of European paintings—from Bosch and Titian, to Goya and Velázquez—the Prado can be overwhelming. Opt for a guided tour of the museum’s highlights so you don’t get lost in the thousands of works.
Reina Sofia Museum (Museo Reina Sofia) - A celebration of 20th-century art
Go to this modern art museum to see world-renowned works such as Picasso’s Guernica, one of the artist’s most revered paintings. Tours of the primarily Spanish collection offer a helping hand in decoding esoteric works of abstractionism, cubism, and surrealism.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza) - The Old Masters
Showcased in the Villahermosa Palace on the Paseo del Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum’s collection displays European art dating from the 13th century to the late 20th century. To avoid the crowds at this busy museum, book a skip-the-line tour before you arrive.
Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio Real de Madrid) - Spanish art in a royal setting
An ornate rococo building, the Royal Palace features a robust collection of paintings and numerous ceiling frescoes. Choose an early-access tour to beat the crowds at this popular attraction, or purchase a skip-the-line ticket if you want to browse the art on your own.
El Campo de Cebada and La Tabacalera de Lavapiés - Street art
From vibrant graffiti to commissioned murals, Madrid has a long-standing culture of street art. Don’t miss the La Neomudéjar creativity center (housed in a disused power plant) and La Tabacalera de Lavapiés (a former tobacco factory transformed into a cultural center). Art tours are the best way to see both, with a guide to lead the way.