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MUSEUMS OF MADRID

Madrid is a cultural capital full of museums (museos). The Paseo del Arte (Avenue of Art) is a tourist itinerary along the axis of the Paseo del Prado that includes museums, monuments and gardens. In this area you can find, very close to each other, what are considered as the three most important museums of Madrid. The Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Reina Sofía art museums, that together form what is known as the "Golden Triangle of Art".

The Prado Museum.

Prado Museum Madrid
The Prado Museum.

The Prado Museum is the most prestigious museum in Madrid and probably the largest gallery of Classical paintings in the world. It was visited by more than 2,900,000 people in 2011. The construction of the building was ordered by Carlos III in 1785 to architect Juan de Villanueva. In 1819, during the reign of Fernando VII, more than 300 works from the Spanish monarchy were assembled here. Today the museum houses more than 8,000 paintings, but because of lack of space available less than 2,000 are on public display. The collection at El Prado includes the works of El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Zurbarán, Ribera, Murillo, El Bosco, and many others.

Read more about the Prado Museum here.

Opening Times:
Tuesdays-Sundays: from 09:00 am to 19:00 pm.
Mondays: Closed.

Entrance fees:
Tuesdays-Saturdays: 6 Euros
Sundays: Free.

Museo Nacional del Prado
Paseo del Prado, s/n.
28014 Madrid
Spain

Phone: (+34) 91 330 28 00
Fax: (+34) 91 330 28 56

Nearest metro stations: Banco de España and Atocha.
Website: http://www.museoprado.es/ihome.html


Reina Sofía Museum

Reina Sofia Museum Madrid
Façade of the Reina Sofía Museum.

This museum was adapted from the former Hospital de San Carlos and houses modern contemporary art from the 20th Century. The Reina Sofía was Madrid's second most visited museum in 2011 (after the Prado) with 2,705,529 people. It features the works of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Juan Gris, and others. The greatest attraction is Picasso's Guernica which can be found in Room 6 on the second floor. Commissioned for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 World Fair in Paris, the Guernica is a huge black & white painting measuring 3.493 x 7.766 meters (11.46 x 25.5 feet) that depicts the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Also, of particular interest are the sculptures of Eduardo Chillida in Rooms 42 and 43 on the fourth floor.

Opening Times:
Mondays-Saturdays: From 10:00 am to 21:00 pm.
Sundays: From 10:00 am to 14:30 pm.
Tuesdays: Closed.

Entrance fees:
Mondays-Fridays: 6 Euros
Saturdays and Sundays: Free.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
Santa Isabel, 52
28012 Madrid
Spain

Phone: (+34) 91 774 10 00
Fax: (+34) 91 774 10 58

Nearest metro station: Atocha (Line 1).
Website: http://www.museoreinasofia.es


Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum was inaugurated in 1992 in the neo-Classical Palacio de Villahermosa which was restored into a modern museum by the architect Rafael Moneo. It contains about 800 paintings dating from the XIII Century to the present day. Collection that was acquired by the Spanish State from Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. Additionally, 220 works of art from the Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection were added in 2004. Artists included among others are Cranach, Jan van Eyck, el Greco, Caravaggio, Holbein, Rubens, Raphael, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Picasso. The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum was visited by more than a million people in 2011.

Opening Times:
Tuesday to Sunday: From 10:00 am to 19:00 pm.
Mondays: Closed.

Entrance fees: 6 Euros

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art
Palacio de Villahermosa
Paseo del Prado, 8
28014 Madrid
Spain

Phone: (+34) 91 369 01 51
Fax: (+34) 91 420 27 80

Nearest metro station: Banco de España (Line 2).
Website: http://www.museothyssen.org


Museo de Cera (Waxworks museum)

Wax Museum Madrid
The entrance to the Museo de Cera.

The Museo de Cera was inaugurated in 1972, and it contains a large collection of more than 400 wax reproductions of historical figures and contemporary celebrities. This museum is very popular among kids and it was visited by 323,500 people in 2005.

Opening times:
From 10:00 am to 14:30 pm and from 16:30 pm to 20:30 pm.
On weekends and holidays remains open from 10:00 am to 20:30 pm.

Entrance fees:
Adults 15 Euros.
Children (4-10 years old) and +60-year olds: 9 Euros.

Museo de Cera
Paseo de Recoletos, 41
28004 Madrid
Spain

Phone: 91 319 26 49
Fax: 91 308 08 25

Nearest metro station: Colón.
Website: http://www.museoceramadrid.com


Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales

The National Museum of Natural Science includes displays on paleontology, zoology, entomology, geology and mineralogy. Among many things you can find models of animals, the huge skeleton of a diplodocus and other dinosaurs. Of interest is the giant 7-meter long squid preserved in alcohol. There is also a large collection of fossils, rocks, and minerals. This museum was visited by 254,000 people in 2005.

Opening times:
Tuesdays to Fridays: From 10:00 am to 18:00 pm.
Saturdays: From 10:00 am to 20:00 pm.
Sundays and holidays: From 10:00 am to 14:30 pm.

Entrance fees:
Adults 5 Euros.
Students, unemployed, and children (4-14 years old): 3 Euros.

Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
José Gutierrez Abascal, 2
28006 MADRID
Spain

Phone: 91 411 13 28
Fax: 91 564 50 78

Nearest metro station: Gregorio Marañón (line 10).
Website: http://www.mncn.csic.es


Museo Arqueológico Nacional.

Archaeological Museum Madrid
Façade of the Museo Arqueológico Nacional.

The National Archaeological Museum was founded by the Queen Isabel II in 1867. The massive building includes the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) on the east side. It contains displays on ancient civilizations of the Iberian Peninsula and other Mediterranean areas. Prehistoric, Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Islamic cultures are covered. The major attractions of this museum are the replica of the Altamira Caves with prehistoric paintings of the Paleolithic period, and the Dama de Elche (Lady of Elche), a stone sculpture that dates from the IV Century BC. North of the Archaeological Museum is the Plaza de Colón and the Jardines del Descubrimiento (Discovery Gardens).

Opening times:
Tuesday to Saturday: From 9:30 am to 8:00 pm.
Sundays and holidays: From 9:30 to 3:00 pm.
Mondays: Closed.

Entrance fees: General: 3 Euros.
Unemployed, under 18 years old, over 65 years old: Free.
Sundays: Free.

Museo Arqueológico Nacional
Calle de Serrano, 13
28001 MADRID
Spain

Phone: 91 577 79 12
Fax: 91 431 68 40

Nearest metro station: Serrano (Line 4).
Website (Spanish language only): http://man.mcu.es/


Museo Naval.

Museo Naval Madrid
The entrance to the Naval Museum.

The Naval museum is not one of the most famous in Madrid, nevertheless a visit is highly recommended if you like naval history and warships. The museum is located at the Spanish Navy Headquarters' building in the Paseo del Prado. It covers the history of the Spanish Navy from the 15th century to the present day, including key events such as the discovery of America, the battle of Lepanto (1571), the Age of Sail, the battle of Trafalgar (1805), the Spanish-American War (1898), and the Spanish Civil War at sea (1936-1939). There are many warship models on display, as well as outstanding naval oil paintings by Spanish maritime artist Rafael Monleón, and a large collection of nautical instruments, navigation charts, dioramas, weapons, flags, uniforms, etc.

Of particular interest is the map of Juan de la Cosa (drawn in 1500) that was the first to show the American continent. Photographing and cameras is NOT permitted.

Opening Times:
Tuesday to Sunday: From 10:00 am to 14:00 pm.
Saturdays and Sundays: Guided visits at 11:30 am.
Mondays: Closed.
August: Closed.

Entrance fees: None. Free entrance.

Museo Naval
Paseo del Prado, 5
28014 MADRID
Spain

Phone: (+34) 91 523 8789
Fax: (+34) 91 379 5056

Nearest metro station: Banco de España (Line 2).
Website (Spanish language only): http://www.museonavalmadrid.com/


Museo del Aire.

Museo del Aire Madrid
Inside a hangar in the Museo del Aire.

The Air Museum, located in the outskirts of Madrid at Cuatro Vientos Air Base, has been somehow ignored by many people over the years. However, it has many things to offer and visits are FREE. The museum facilities extend over a surface of more than 66,000 m² including outdoor displays and seven hangars. Overall, there are more than 150 real planes and helicopters on display, many of which have previously served in the Spanish Air Force. Visitors will also find hundreds of miniature aircraft models, uniforms, engines, weapons, medals, emblems, and many other aviation related objects. Photographing and cameras is permitted.

Click here to see photos of the Museo del Aire.

Opening Times:
Tuesday to Sunday: From 10:00 am to 14:00 pm.
Mondays: Closed.

Entrance fees: None. Free entrance.

Museo del Aire
Autovía A-V, Km. 10,500
28024 MADRID
Spain

Phone: (+34) 91 509 16 90
Fax: (+34) 91 710 68 47

Nearest metro station: Cuatro Vientos (Line 10).

Note: Cuatro Vientos Metro station falls a bit short from the museum. It is better to take any of the Madrid-Alcorcón-Móstoles green buses of the BLAS company at Príncipe Pío station and ask the driver where to drop-off.


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