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Reina Sofia National Museum

  • Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

Last updated: 10 February, 2024

Madrid’s world-class modern art museum, housed in a vast 18th-century former hospital with an extension by Jean Nouvel, has a collection encompassing art from the beginning of the 20th century onwards. The museum is mainly dedicated to Spanish art, and is home to outstanding collections of Spain’s two greatest 20th-century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

Works by other Spanish artists such as Miro, Chillida and Tapies sit alongside international names such as Francis Bacon, Donald Judd and Gerhard Richter, and there are always a few worthwhile temporary exhibitions. No wonder it ranks 6th on the list of the world’s most visited art museums.

Don’t miss

The museum’s star attraction is undoubtedly Picasso’s mighty anti-war statement, Guernica. Also don’t miss Dali’s surreal masterpieces in room 10, which include the artist’s Cadaques landscapes.


Price from: £8
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

You’ll find the museum next to Madrid’s Atocha metro station. Take a look at the handy PDF guide that you can download from the website before you go, to get familiar with the museum and its layout.

The collection is split into sub-collections with different themes. There are numerous local operators offering expert-led guided tours (see our recommendations below) – these have the advantage of taking you to all of the masterpieces, and giving insights and background to the paintings and their artists. You can also arrange a private, after-hours tour directly with the museum (for additional cost).

Inside, there are some great restaurants: the Arola, run by famous gastro-chef Sergi Arola, serves cutting-edge cuisine in a supremely hip, theatrical space; while the fabulous outdoor café-bar on top of the Jean Nouvel building offers fantastic views (open June to mid-September).

If you’re planning on seeing lots of art, the Paseo del Arte joint ticket gives a 20% discounted entry to the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. The pass is available at any of the three museums, which can be visited on different days.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, Wednesday to Monday. Closed on Tuesday.

Arrive first thing in the morning at 10am, or mid-afternoon, and you’ll be more likely to beat the crowds. It gets very crowded between 11am and 2pm, and also after 6pm (when admission is free on most days). These free admission hours will save you a buck, but don’t expect to have the place to yourself.

Who to go with: organised tours


Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Madrid

Hit the Prado Museum as the first visitors when the doors open to the public on this 4-hour Madrid tour. This experience offers access to the museum early in the morning before the crowds arrive. An expert guide will lead you through this beautiful building and you’ll see works such as Velazquez’s ‘Las Meninas’ and El Greco’s ‘The Annunciation’. Learn about the artwork from a guide, and then after a small break, head to the Reina Sofía Museum and admire abstract and surrealist works by Picasso, Dali and more. Do not miss this chance to visit two of the most important museums in Spain!

Price €65

Min age 0

Rating 4.02 / 5 [248 ratings]

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