If you love art as much as I do, Madrid is the right place. The Spanish capital houses many great pieces of art: from Picasso to Goya, passing trough Velázquez and Miró, the choice is endless!
For me, it was a delightful surprise to find out that most of Madrid’s museums are free for students between 18 and 25. To be precise, some are free every day, and others only on specific days and times. Be sure to carry a valid student photo ID to get in.
My current internship at RGNN is part-time, so I make the most of my free time to visit Madrid’s museums. Walking around through the corridors and filling my eyes with the masterpieces of the greatest artists of the world is one of my favorite leisurely activities. At least once a week I go to a museum before or after heading to work (what a life!).
If you are asking yourself what museums in Madrid you can visit for free, and how to reach them, in this list you are going to find all the answers!
1. Museo Nacional del Prado: the most famous
The Prado is very big and impossible to see it all in a single visit. I recommend going two or three times at least in order to be able to truly enjoy your visit.
Don’t miss the room devoted to the Black Paintings of Goya; it’s incredible. You must also see the Garden of Delights of Hieronymus Bosch and Velazquez’s Las Meninas and…ok, you must see the whole museum! Every work of art hosted there is golden.
Metro: Banco de España (Line 2) y Atocha (Line 1)
2. Museo Sorolla: a gem!
Personally, I had never heard of Sorolla before coming to Spain. Yet, this museum has surprised me a lot. It’s the former house of the artist known as “the painter of the light.” It’s little and cozy, but full of masterpieces (After the Bath is the one that I prefer). At the entrance there is a garden where, in on sunny days, you can sit and relax.
Metro: Iglesia (Line 1), Rubén Darío (Line 5) and Gregorio Marañón (Line 7 and 10)
3. Biblioteca Nacional de España: more than a library
You can visit both the Library Museum and various temporary exhibitions for free. I was there to see an exhibit dedicated to the Flemish artist Van Dyck and I found it reach in pieces and very looked after.
Metro: Colón and Serrano (Line 4)
Cercanías RENFE: Recoletos
4. Museo Nacional de Antropología: for anthropology lovers
The Museo Nacional de Antropología is the oldest anthropological museum of Spain. It has three floors, each devoted to a different subject: culture of the Philippines, the Africa Hall and culture of the Americas.
Metro: Atocha Renfe (Line 1)
Cercanías RENFE: Atocha
5. Museo de Historia de Madrid: travel into the past
Do you want to discover the glorious past of the capital? Go visit this museum situated in the Barrio de Justicia! The building is considered one of the most representative examples of the Spanish baroque.
Metro: Tribunal (Line 1 and 10)
6. Museo del Romanticismo: for the Romantic ones
If you have a romantic soul and love this era, you can’t miss this museum. The collection hosted in this museum is unique.
Metro: Alonso Martínez (lines 4, 5 and 10) and Tribunal (lines 1 and 10)
7. Museo Lázaro Galdiano: the home of an art collector
This museum contains valuable works from the prehistoric period to the XIX century. The building was the residence of José Lázaro Galdiano (a financier, journalist and art collector). When it was converted into a museum, the original interior has been respected. There you can admire paintings of Goya, Zurbarán and Bosch.
Metro: Rubén Darío (Line 5), Gregorio Marañón (Lines 7 and 10), Núñez de Balboa (Lines 5 and 9), Avenida de América (Lines 6, 7 and 9)
8. Museo de América: something different
If you want to broaden your knowledge of the New World, this is your place. The museum’s collection is formed by more than 25,000 objects.
Metro: Moncloa (Lines 3 and 6), Islas Filipinas (Line 7)
9. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia: Picasso and more
How can I define it? It’s one of the best museums that I’ve ever seen!
If you are in Madrid, you cannot miss Picasso’s Guernica. It’s a powerful work of art that perfectly describes the pain provoked by a war.
The museum is composed of four different buildings. The Sabatini and the Nouvel Building are located near to the Atocha Station. You can visit them for free on Mondays (1:30 – 7:00 p.m.), on Wednesdays and on Saturdays (7:00 – 9:00 p.m.) and on Sunday (1:30 – 7:00 p.m.). The Sabatini Building has three glass elevators with an amazing view (I discourage to take it though if you suffer from vertigo).
The other two buildings are situated in the Retiro Park and their entrance is free of charge everyday.
Metro: Atocha (Line 1) and Lavapiés (Line 3)
10. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: the unmissable one
My favorite museum in Madrid! It could sound strange but, in my opinion, it’s better than the Prado. It hosts masterpieces from every period from Tintoretto to Rothko.
Free entry on Mondays between 12.00 and 16.00.
Metro: Banco de España (Line 2)
What is the museum that you love most? Let us now!