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Madrid: the best museums and how to visit them for free

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Visiting museums is one of the best ways to enjoy Madrid’s passion for history, art and culture. Not only will lovers of painting find an extensive collection of works by renowned artists such as Goya, El Greco and Velázquez, but they will also discover a wide variety of unique museums with activities for the whole family and workshops for the youngest.

One of the most famous aspects of the capital is the so-called Triangle of Art, formed by the iconic Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofía Museums, which can be visited on the Eco Tuk Tuk Madrid Tours historical tour. Leaving the Art Triangle in Madrid we still have many museums in which it is worth taking one of their tours, which are among the best in the city.

Be sure to take a tuk tuk tour, which is the best way to visit Madrid.

Prado Museum

The Museo Nacional del Prado, in Madrid, is not only the most famous in the city, nor in the country, it is also a worldwide reference, ranking year after year at the top of the best museums in the world. In addition, the Prado Museum is the most visited in Madrid and a pride for the Spanish capital. The Prado Museum stands out especially for its works of art from the 16th to the 19th centuries. It has the most famous paintings by painters such as Velázquez, El Greco, Goya, Titian, Rubens and Bosch. The museum has the largest collections of the latter and Goya in the world.

You can enter completely free of charge from Monday to Saturday, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on public holidays from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Reina Sofia Museum

The Reina Sofía features 20th century and contemporary art, and is based in Atocha, where the General Hospital of Madrid was formerly located, a beautiful 18th century neoclassical building designed first by José de Hermosilla and then by Sabatini (yes, the one from the gardens of the Royal Palace). The Reina Sofía was inaugurated in 1992, and in 2005 it was expanded with the Nouvel building, where the beginning of the Ronda de Atocha is located.

You can enter for free every day from 7:00 p.m. and on Sundays and holidays from 1:30 p.m.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

The third most important museum in the city of Madrid and the last vertex of the Art Triangle is this Thyssen-Bornemisza. This gallery contains the most important works of art that the Thyssen-Bornemisza family has been collecting for more than seven decades. Since 1993 it is part of the Government of Spain. In the museum we can find foreign painters dominating the walls, with references from the Gothic of the 14th and 15th centuries (Duccio, Jan van Eyck) to the pop art and figurative painting of the 1980s (Lucian Freud, Richard Estes) absent in the other two great museums in the Spanish capital.

You can enter for free on Mondays.

Sorolla Museum

It was done after the request of her wife, who in 1925 put in her will that she would donate to the Government the necessary financing to found a museum in honor of Sorolla, her husband. Since 1931 it was considered a charitable-teaching Foundation of a private nature and a year later it was inaugurated. We find him in the administrative center of Madrid, in Martinez Campos, the place where Sorolla lived and painted several of his works.

You can enter for free on Saturdays from 2:00 p.m. and on Sundays all day.

National Archaeological Museum

The MAN, or National Archaeological Museum is dedicated 100% to archaeology, with works that range from Prehistory to the Modern Age. It was made in a 19th century building in the middle of Serrano street, at the height of Plaza Colón. Apart from its huge collection of Iberian works, we can find pieces from Ancient Greece or even from Egypt.

You can enter for free on Saturdays from 2:00 p.m. and on Sundays all day.

Madrid’s Royal Palace

Perhaps many did not know it, but the Royal Palace of Madrid has an artistic collection of a very high level, with very important paintings and sculptures of great value. It is also true that many works are stored because there is not enough space (apparently) to be able to show everything. In any case, the Museum of Royal Collections is being built between the Plaza de la Armería and the Almudena Cathedral. Who knows, maybe in the future it will make merit to appear on this list. Among the highlights we can select the collection of the Stradivarius Palatinos, a set of instruments made up of two violins, a viola and a cello, acquired by Carlos IV in the 18th century. It is also said that the Palace houses the works that could not be part of the Prado Museum, and that even so, being “substitutes” it is worth dedicating a whole day to the visit.

With Tuk Tuk Tours you can visit the Royal Palace of Madrid from the outside, and they will tell you its history, quickly and easily.

You can enter for free from Monday to Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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