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Top Madrid Attractions

The first time you visit Madrid, or any new destination, the question asked isn’t usually what attractions should be scene but what attraction to see first, what to expect, how to get there, and how much time is needed. We’ve provided tips, advice, and other information about the top tourist attractions in Madrid to help with your itinerary planning.

Prado Museum Prado Museum
Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
Palacio Real Palacio Real

Prado Museum

 Admission 6Eur; 3Eur reduced entry for students with youth cards.
 Hours Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9am to 8pm. On December 24th, December 31st and January 6th it is open from 9am to 2pm only. It is closed every Monday of the year.

Madrid is home to a number of museums and galleries and the Prado Museum is certainly the highlight and a must-see. The building that houses the museum was constructed during the reign of Charles II as a means to add flair and beauty to what is today known as the Paseo del Prado. The gallery houses mainly Spanish, Flemish and Italian art from the 15th century to the 19th century and has entire rooms dedicated to three of Spain’s greatest artists: Velazquez, El Greco and Goya. Velazquez’ masterpiece, Las Meninas, is the focal point of his collection and is the work of art that many come here to see. The south wing of the first floor is devoted mainly to Goya and includes his great war masterpieces, El Dos de Mayo 1808 (May 2, 1808) and Los Fusilamientos de Moncloa, also known as El Tres de Mayo 1808 (May 3, 1808).


Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

 Admission 3 EURO. Student card holders get half-price and admission is free for those under 18 or over 65.
 Hours Monday through Saturday, from 10am to 9 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 2.30 pm. It is closed on Tuesdays.

This predominantly Spanish-art gallery is located at Calle de Santa Isabel across the Atocha train station. The most famous piece housed here is Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, an artistic protest of the German bombing of Guernica (a Basque town located in northern Spain) during the Spanish Civil War. The bombings, which took place on April 26, 1937, killed thousands of innocent civilians – both locals and thousands more that had gathered at the daily market. In addition to the tragic loss of life, the entire town – its buildings and structure – was destroyed. Picasso was living in Paris at the time of the bombings, and it was there that Guernica was created. The artist insisted, however, that the painting remain in Paris until General Franco and his army were ousted and democracy was restored. It was brought to Spain in 1981 and was moved to its current home in 1992. The museum owns more works by Picasso, as well as pieces by Salvador Dali and Joan Miro.


Palacio Real

 Admission 7Eur; 5,50 Eur for students children and senior citizens.
 Hours The palace is open to tourists daily from 9am to 6pm and on Sundays from 9am to 3pm.

Madrid's Royal Palace was built in the 18th century by the Bourbons. It is an elaborate and extravagant structure, both inside and out, that can take more than one day to view. Added up, there are more than 200 separate balconies, 44 sets of stairs and over 100 doors - all painstaking and intricately decorated. Tapestries from the Royal Factory of Tapestries and frescoes created by master artists adorn the ceilings and rooms, and the palace's gardens are immaculately groomed. The Farmacia Real (the Royal Pharmacy) has medicine jars and equipment on display for the public, while the Armeria Royal (Royal Armory) displays an impressive collection of 16th and 17th century weapons and royal suits of armor. In addition, works of art from renowned Spanish artist Francisco de Goya are also on display.
The royal family no longer resides in the palace, but because of its beautiful decor and grandeur, it is still used to host official receptions and galas.


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