Madrid

Madrid is one of those European capitals that offers a little bit of everything. The city is filled with art, history, culture and fun.

A visit to the Prado Museum is a must, as is exploring its surrounding “Golden Triangle” of art museums. The Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofia are also worth checking out if you have time to spend.

Prado Museum

The Prado Museum is one of the world’s top art museums, boasting a superb collection of European artworks based on the former Spanish royal collection. The museum was founded in 1819 and is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in Spanish or European art history.

Aside from paintings, the Prado also houses drawings and sculptures. These are from a variety of sources, including a large number that were donated by patrons since the museum’s opening.

Key works include the dark intensity of Goya’s Black Paintings, painted directly on the walls of his home at the end of his life and depicting a disillusioned artist battling illness, depression and his own death. In addition to these, the museum is home to masterpieces by Velazquez, Zurbaran and Ribera.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is one of the three points composing Madrid’s ‘Golden Triangle of Art’ along the Paseo del Prado (Art Walk). With its vast collection of over 1,500 paintings, this is an impressive addition to any trip to the capital.

This collection showcases the evolution of European painting throughout eight centuries. It includes works by renowned artists such as Dali, Rembrandt, and Renoir.

While most museums in Spain have a strong focus on religious and historical paintings, this museum showcases art from different eras that are often underrepresented. This includes 13th and 14th century Italian, German and Flemish religious art as well as paintings from mid-century Spanish masters Zurbaran and Murillo.

Reina Sofia Museum

One of Madrid’s most impressive art museums, the Reina Sofia Museum is a must-visit for any art lover. It features a collection of some of Spain’s most famous modernist artists, including Pablo Picasso.

It’s also the only place in the world where you can see Picasso’s iconic painting Guernica. The work, a powerful representation of the horrors of war, has become a symbol of the Museum and plays a role in its artistic discourse.

The museum was originally a 19th century hospital that underwent renovations and expansion in 2005 by French architect Jean Nouvel. It now includes two massive exhibition spaces, a library, and an auditorium.

Cibeles Palace

The Cibeles Palace is a huge neo-classical building that sits on a neo-classical square in the heart of Madrid. It’s surrounded by four of the city’s most iconic buildings: The Bank of Spain, Linares Palace and Buenavista Palace.

The square’s centerpiece is the Cibeles fountain, a sculpture of the Phrygian goddess Cybele on a lion-drawn chariot. It attracts locals for libation and merriment, especially when Real Madrid win a match.

The palace was originally a post office and telegraph headquarters until it became the city’s official city hall in 2007. It was built by young Spanish architects Antonio Palacios and Joaquin Otamendi, who designed a Neoplateresque style of architecture.

Chamberi Ghost Station

Chamberi Ghost Station in Madrid has been frozen in time since 1966 and is an eerie spot to visit. This old metro station is located between Bilbao and Iglesia stations on Line 1.

The curved platform made it difficult to extend the train length, so the city closed Chamberi station permanently in 1966. It is now known as a “ghost station” and is open to the public as part of the Anden Cero museum project.

It is a unique opportunity to walk inside a historical landmark of the capital and see how the metro looked in 1919. The interior is adorned with beautifully preserved original tiles and advertisements, as well as a recreated spiral staircase.