5 art museums in Madrid with free admission

Posted in: Madrid


Museo del Prado
Heading into the Museo del Prado. Photos: Tom Meyers

By Cynthia Kane in Madrid—

High on any visitor’s “must see” list when traveling to Madrid are the city’s fine art museums. The capital city is overflowing with classic, contemporary, abstract, expressionist and experimental art. What many may not know is that many of the best museums offer free admission–at least at some point during the week.

Here’s a quick overview of five of my favorite art museums in Madrid, and when you can visit them for free:

Reina Sofia

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

Museo del Prado
Paseo del Prado s/n
Metro: Banco de España
Tel: +34 91 330 2800
Web site

The permanent collection houses works by El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Murillo, Alonso Cano, Velázquez, Goya and more.

Free admission: Tuesday to Sunday 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Sundays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Other free days: Constitution Day (December 6), November 19, National Holiday (October 12), May 2, and on International Museum Day (May 18).

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
Calle Santa Isabel, 52
Metro: Atocha
Tel: +34 91 774 1000
Web site

Check out Picasso’s Guernica, Dali’s Figure at a Window, or Juan Gris’ Portrait of Josette Gris.

Free admission: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday 2:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Other free days include World Heritage Day (April 18), International Museum Day (May 18), National Holiday (October 12), and Constitution Day (December 6).

Museo Naval de Madrid
Paseo del Prado, 5
Metro: Banco de España
Tel: +34 91 523 8789
Web site

Interested in seeing treasures accumulated by Columbus, navigational instruments, or murals of routes taken by Spanish explorers? The Naval Museum is the place to feast your eyes on all things maritime at no cost.

Free admission every day. Open Tuesday–Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m

CaixaForum Madrid
Paseo del Prado, 36
Metro: Atocha
Tel: +34 91 330 7300
Web site

Located in the heart of the city center, Caixa Forum holds events and art exhibitions all year round. Read more about the CaixaForum on MapMagazine.

Free admission every day. The CaixaForum is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Museo Arte Público
Paseo Castellana, 40
Metro: Rubén Dario
Tel: +34 91 701 1863
Web site

You’ll find sculptures and installations at this completely free outdoor museum. Open since 1970, the museum offers collections from Andreu Alfaro, Rafael Leoz, Pablo Palazuelo and more. Best times to go are during the spring, summer and fall.

Free admission every day.

About the author

Cynthia Kane

About the author: Cynthia Blair Kane is a freelance writer and editor who splits her time between New York and Madrid. She is the Madrid city guide writer for Blackbook Magazine, and recently co authored Take a Hike: The Best 50 Routes in the Community of Madrid.

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3 thoughts on “5 art museums in Madrid with free admission”

  1. Rena Yechieli

    The Prado Museum website states that there is free admission EVERY day: from Monday to Saturday, 6pm to 8pm, and Sundays and holidays from 5pm to 7pm.

    Why does your blog list only Tuesday through Sunday?


  2. Pingback: Madrid Free Museums | Travel Europe with Best Travel Content Europe

  3. Love this list! I pretty much saw all these places over my 3 day stay. I will add that for young travelers – carry your student ID everywhere! I was told that the Reina Sofia line starts well before it opens so I got there early in the morning on a weekday I believe, fully expecting to pay their admission but when I got to the woman at the ticketbooth I told her “uno para studente” and passed her my American school ID. Without hesitation she let me in for free. I’m not sure if this is universal, or she just really didn’t care at 9am who walks in, but it was awesome getting to slide in to a world-renown museum and see Picasso’s Guernica for free!


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