Best Museums in Madrid

There are so many museums in Madrid that not even locals have visited all of them and as a result, there is a rich variety of subjects to be seen.

The “museo” is either state-owned or private and the latter tend to have slightly better facilities, although you may have problems trying to find information in English.

A ‘museo’ in Spanish is not just a place to view historical relics but is also an art gallery.

Also, be aware that not all the sections of a Museo will be open as there are constant renovations going on – and many are closed on Mondays.

Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain

Here is a list of my favourites:

Museo de America

Avenida Reyes Catolicos, 6

Telephone – 91 543 94 37

Opening Hours – Tue- Sat; 9.30am – 3pm, Sun & public holidays; 10am – 3pm.

On the edge of the University area, this fascinating museum chronicles and explains pre-Columbian and Hispanic artefacts brought over from Latin America. 

There is a small information guide in English and you follow a suggested route around the building. 

Make sure you keep a look out for the shrunken heads and ‘Day of the Dead’ artefacts.

Museo Cerralbo

Calle Ventura Rodriquez, 17

Telephone – 91 547 36 36

Opening Hours: Tue – Sat; 9.30am – 3pm, Sun; 10am – 3pm. Closed on public holidays and during August.

A highly original and absorbing house that was donated to the public in 1922 by the Marquis de Carralbo, a flamboyant politician, a man of letters and collector.

He wanted the contents of the building to be displayed exactly how he left them and, as a result, the museum is an accurate insight into how the nobility lived 100 years ago. 

Information is in Spanish only and highlights include the grand staircase and ballroom.

Madrid street
Madrid street

Museo de Ciencias Naturales

Jose Gutierrez Abascal, 2

Telephone – 91 411 1328

Opening Hours: Tue – Fri; 10am – 6pm, Sat; 10am – 8pm, Sunday & public holidays; 10am – 2pm.

A favourite with kids, this well-laid out and informative Natural History museum contains cases of stuffed animals accompanied by audio-visuals. The prize element in the collection is the first extinct animal ever to be scientifically classified – it was a Megatherium Americanum brought back from Argentina in 1788.

Detail in Madrid
Detail in Madrid

Museo Municipal

Calle Fuencarral, 78

Telephone – 91 701 18 63

Opening Hours: Tue – Fri; 9.30am – 8pm, Sat, Sun; 10am – 2pm, closed on public holidays

Museo Municipal which traces the history of the city through the ages complete with archaeological discoveries, paintings and maps. 

The exhibitions include paintings by Goya and a model of Madrid made in 1830.

Museo Romantico

San Mateo, 13

Telephone – 91 448 01 63

Opening Hours: Tue – Sat; 9am – 3pm, Sun & public holidays; 10am-2pm.

This little museum in the city centre is a tribute to faded Romantic life and contains a selection of eighteenth century Spanish art, furnishings and decorative objects. In the chapel there is Goya’s Saint Gregory the Great painting and its central location makes it a good starting point for visiting other sights.

Museo Sorolla

General Martinez Campos, 37

Telephone – 91 310 15 84

Opening Hours: Tue – Sat; 9.30am – 3pm, Sun & public holidays; 10am – 3pm.

The artist Sorolla’s house has been preserved in its original state and contains a mixture of post-impressionist and Spanish School art. Most of the rooms are open to the public and make sure you stroll around the lovely gardens before you leave. 

Another essential museum to visit in Madrid is Prado, I will write the details in my next post.

Here is a good video introduction: