In Madrid, enjoying the best museums is within reach of all budgets. At least, if you get to go on the days when you don’t have to pay anything or almost nothing. All major museums, such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, the Prado or the Thyssen-Bornemisza, have special schedules for free access. In addition, you can also enjoy countless exhibitions, halls and art galleries for free whenever you want. In today’s blog we will tell you how to access the best museums in Madrid without having to pay.
Which museums are free in Madrid?
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
First of all, we would have the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. It is the contemporary art museum of the capital and one of the most important in the world. In it, you can find works by famous artists such as Picasso, Salvador Dalí or Joan Miró, among others. Normally, the general admission is priced at 10€, however, if you go from Monday to Saturday (except Tuesday, because it is the day when the museum closes its doors) from 19h to 21h or Sundays from 12.30 to 14.30h, the entrance will be free. Also, this place is always free for people under 18 years and over 65 years, students between 18 and 25 years of any degree (always carrying the valid card proving that you are a student), for journalists, youth card holders and people in legal unemployment, among others. We advise you to visit their website to see what are the requirements for free admission. On April 18, May 18 and October 12 are also free admission because they are holidays.
Next, we would have the Prado Museum, one of the best art galleries in the world. Here you will find works by artists such as Velázquez, El Bosco, El Greco, Rubens, or Goya and new temporary exhibitions that will certainly please you. In this museum there are not so many days where the entrance is free, however, there are different schedules in which it will not cost you any money to access its permanent collection, although we warn you, there are usually large queues. The schedule in which you can enter for free is Monday to Saturday from 18h to 20h, and Sundays and holidays from 17h to 19h, and on November 19 (Anniversary of the Prado Museum) and May 18 (International Museum Day) is also free admission. In addition, as in the Reina Sofia, there are special categories that can enter for free at any time, such as those mentioned in the previous section.
On the other hand, there is the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. It is a private collection of the Baron Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and is considered one of the most important and influential in the world. Among its many works, you will discover works of art by Van Eyck, Dürer, Caravaggio, Rubens, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas, Rembrandt, and many more. The price to access this museum is around 13 €, however, on Mondays you can visit it for free. Here the categories with free access are also similar to those in the other museums I have mentioned, for people under 18 years, members of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and unemployed, among others. On this occasion, for students, over 65s and pensioners, admission is reduced and only 9 € must be paid.
National Archaeological Museum
Another of those that we recommend is the National Archaeological Museum. It is located on Serrano Street and is one of the oldest museums in Madrid. This wonderful museum serves to bring the public closer to the history of Spain, taking them on a journey from prehistory to the nineteenth century. To enter and contemplate the treasures that keeps this place without paying you must go on Saturdays from 14h and Sunday mornings, in addition to April 18, May 18, October 12 and December 6, or meet any of the requirements of the categories that can always access for free (under 18 years, over 65, unemployed, etc.).