Travel: Madrid Spain

For travelers who adores art, head to Madrid Spain as your next destination.

Museo del Prado

The world’s premier art galleries are Museo del Prado which caters more than 7000 paintings collection. Of the said number, only around 1500 are currently on display. This museum is like a window onto the historical vagaries of the Spanish soul. At once grand and imperious in the royal paintings of Velázquez, darkly tumultuous in Las pinturas negras or The Black Paintings (English translation) of Goya, and outward looking with sophisticated works of art from all across Europe.

Going to the Prado needs enough time to grasp everything in here. It is best to plan to make a couple of visits because it can be a little irresistible if you try to absorb it all at once.

Via the eastern Puerta de los Jerónimos is the entrance to the Prado. The tickets on sale are located beneath the northern Puerta de Goya. Pick up the free plan from the ticket office or information desk once inside. The plan lists the locations of 50 of the Prado’s most famous works and gives room numbers for all major artists so you’ll know where your heading to or you can roam around the Museo without getting lost.

Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Arguably Spain’s most famous artwork is the home to Picasso’s Guernica. Madrid’s premier collection of contemporary art is the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Other major attractions are works by Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró in addition to lots of paintings by Picasso. Spanning the 20th century up to the 1980s for the principal collection. It also makes an appearance including Francis Bacon’s Lying Figure; 1966 for the occasional non-Spanish artist, but most of the collection is rigorously peninsular.

Displayed on the 2nd and 4th floors of the main wing of the museum, the Edificio Sabatini is the location of the permanent collection. You’ll find Guernica’s collection in Room 206 on the 2nd floor as the location never changes. However, the location of specific paintings can be a little puzzling. Ensuring that you’ll find works by Picasso or Miró, for example, spread across the two floors, the museum follows a theme-based pathway. Pick up the latest copy of the Planos de Museo (Museum Floor Plans) from the information desk just outside the main entrance is the only solution if you’re looking for something specific. This Floorplan lists the rooms in which each artist appears but not individual paintings.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

One of the most extraordinary private collections of predominantly European art in the world is the Thyssen. The Thyssen is the place to immerse yourself in a breathtaking breadth of artistic styles, where the Prado or Reina Sofía enable you to study the body of work of a particular artist in depth. The Thyssen’s gift to Madrid and the art-loving public is to have them all under one roof as most of the big names are here, sometimes with just a single painting. Best to start your tour on the top floor and work your way down.