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When are the Madrid museums free?

Sightseeing does not need to be expensive if you know how to save money. Sadly all too many tourists fall into the trap of paying sky high prices at every ticket booth, and turnstile. New to Madrid? Not to worry here's a few ways you can get into these treasure troves without breaking a window or pretending you're under three.

Madrid is famous for having some of the world’s foremost museums and art galleries, spanning a wealth of genres and styles be it Renaissance painting, cubism, audiovisuals, or Latin American history. Sadly all of this comes at a cost and just visiting the Big Three (Reina Sofia, El Prado, and the Thyssen) can amount to a whopping 31€ a head (8€, 14€, 9€ respectively), a real sucker-punch to your wallet. We at Mad4Madrid believe that culture should wear a price tag. Check out cheetsheet and find out how to get into these hallowed halls absolutely free of charge!

First though, just between us, did you know that on three days; April 18 (World Heritage Day), May 18 (International Museums Day), October 12 (National Holiday), and December 6 (Day of the Spanish Constitution), most museums scrap their entrance fees? Not going to be in town on those days? Not to worry, scroll down and find out how you can skirt around those nasty ticket fees.

 

El Prado Museum

Madrid museums - Museo del Prado
Prado Museum. Photo: Museo Nacional del Prado

 

El Prado Museum features inside art from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. It contains the world’s largest collection of Velázquez, Goya, Rubens and Tiziano along with El Bosco, El Greco, Zurbarán and Tintoretto.

This museum is always free from Monday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., also on Sunday and holidays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., in addition to November 19, anniversary of its inauguration.

– Address: Paseo del Prado, s / n
– Opening hours: Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Sundays and holidays from 10 p.m-7 p.m.
– Phone: (+34) 913 302 800
– Web: www.museodelprado.es
– Price: General admission: 14 €. Free: Monday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., also on Sunday and holidays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; children under 18; unemployed and students between 18 and 25.
– <M> Banco de España or Atocha

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

This museum is located in Palacio de Villahermosa. Here you can visit  the Thyssen Barons’ oldest collection: the Early Netherlandish paintings, a large number oFree museums in Madrid - Thyssenf Impressionist and Expressionist works and the twentieth century. You will recognize on its walls the Bailarina basculando (Bailarina verde) – Swaying dancer (Dancer in Green)- by Edgar Degas and Habitación de hotel -Hotel room- by Edward Hopper.

Access to Thyssen Museum is free of charge on Mondays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

– Address: Paseo del Prado, 8
– Opening Hours: Monday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.. Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
– Phone: (+34) 902 760 511
– Web: www.museothyssen.org
– Price: General admission, 10 ; temporary collections, 9-11 €. General admission for guests 65 and older and students, 7€; reduced for temporary collections, from 6.50 to 7 €.
– Free: Monday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and children under 12 years.
– <M> Banco de España

Centro de Arte Reina Sofía National Museum

Museums of Madrid - Reina Sofia

The contemporary and twentieth century large quintessential museum keeps works related to the history of Spain, as Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, about the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Dalí and Miró also find their place here together with rooms dedicated to video art or sculpture.

You can go without paying on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

– Address: Santa Isabel, 52
– Opening Hours: Monday and Wednesday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (the whole museum), 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Collection 1 and temporary expositions).
– Phone: (+34) 917 741 000
– Web: www.museoreinasofia.es
– Price: General Admission8 €; temporary collections, 4 €.
– Free: Monday and Wednesday to Saturday: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and
Sundays: 3:00 p.m.-19: 00 pm.
– <M> Atocha

National Library

This is probably the place of Spain with more culture inside: it harbours a copy of every book published in the country, ancient manuscripts, relics and written graphic and audiovisual material. The visit to the National Library is always free.

Madrid National Library
Bible illustrated by Dalí. Photo: BNE

– Address: Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22
– Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
– Phone: (+34) 915 807 800
– Web: www.bne.es
– Price: free
– <M> Colón or Banco de España

Archaeological Museum

Madrid Archeological Museum
Prehistory. Photo: Mika Cartier

Do you know the cave of Altamira in Cantabria (North of Spain)? If you do not have the chance to go there, check the reproduction of this prehistoric wonder. In addition, you will discover the roots of the rich Spanish culture: Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, etc. A stroll through our history.

Admission has no charge every Saturday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., neither on Sundays. It is free as well on November 16, i.e. the World Heritage Day.

– Address: Serrano, 13
– Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– Phone: (+34) 915 777 912
– Web: www.man.es
– Price: General Admission: 3 €; over 65, holders of a youth card, college students, children up to age 18: 1,5 €.
– Free: Saturday: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday
– <M> Serrano or Retiro

Cerralbo Museum

Cerralbo Museum
‘Chaflán’ lounge. Photo: Cerralbo Museum

This house-museum is a beautiful palace of the late nineteenth century, home of the Marquis of Cerralbo until 1924. Therefore it is a great reflection of that aristocratic society. There is a collection of weapons, valuable furniture, paintings by Zurbarán and El Greco, ceramics, jewelry and a large library.

Free admission on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

– Address: Ventura Rodríguez, 17
– Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– Phone: (+34) 915 473 646
– Web: www.museocerralbo.mcu.es
– Price: General Admission 3 €; reduced price for groups of 5 or more (15 days prior request needed), 1,5 €

– Free: Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (only day when it opens in the evening) and every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., also for persons over 65, up to 18 and university students

– <M> Plaza de España

Sorolla Museum

It was Sorolla’s residence and working place. Nowadays, the building contains the largest collection devoted to the painter and his great work, including El Niño de la barquita, Nadadores or Paseo a orillas del mar. It displays paintings dedicated mainly to the sea, full of color, light and movement.

Access to Sorolla Museum is free of charge on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday.

– Address: General Martinez Campos, 37
– Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– Phone: (+34) 913 101 584
– Web: www.museosorolla.mcu.es
– Price: General Admission: 3 €; over 65, holders of a youth card, college students, children up to age 18: 1,5 €.
– Free: Saturday: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday
– <M> Iglesia

Museum of Romanticism

Romanticism Museum
Dining room. Photo: Paola di Meglio

A tour through art and everyday life during the nineteenth century thanks to the furniture, pictures and even weapons is possible in this museum, filled with objects that connect visitors directly with Spanish Romanticism. This museum has no charge on Saturday from 2 p.m. and on Sunday.

– Address: San Mateo, 13
– Winter time (1 Nov. at 30 April): Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m..
– Summer time (May 1 to October 31.): Tuesday-Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m..
– Phone: (+34) 914 481 045 and (+34) 914 480 163
– Web: www.museoromanticismo.mcu.es
– Price: General Admission: 3 €; over 65, holders of a youth card, college students, children up to age 18: 1,5 €.
– Free: Saturdays from 2 p.m. and Sundays
– <M> Tribunal

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