Like most major cities, there are many Madrid Museums to visit. Two of the world’s top-rated art museums are in Madrid, the Prado and the Reina Sophia. With limited time to see everything we wanted to see in this beautiful city, we had to make some difficult choices.
The Museo Nacional del Prado is filled with brilliant Spanish artwork from 14th to the 19th centuries from the likes of Velázquez, Goya and El Greco, as well as other famous artwork from Ruebens and so many others. We absolutely loved our time here, regretting only that photos were not allowed inside.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (from the 19th century to today) is the other world class art museum in Madrid, but we chose not to visit as we can’t do it all.
Are you wondering about how to get into either of these two Madrid museums for free? It’s easy, however, it requires patience, a long wait, and a shortened visit. The Prado offers free entry from 6-8 pm and the Riena Sophia has free entry from 7-9pm, and a warning – the queues for these entry times are very long.
As we were walking back to our hotel, we passed a lesser known of the Madrid museums – the Museo de Jamon (In English: the Museum of ham). It turned out not to be a museum at all, but we thought it was pretty funny, and a bit gross to see all that ham just hanging around.
An interesting Spanish law: Alcohol must be served with food, so if you have a beer, you get a starter snack for free. It was originally put in place by one of the kings hundreds of years ago, as workers spent their days pay on booze with none left for food. Now, I think it might have the opposite effect as so many people seem to go from one tapas bar to the next having a drink and enjoying their free food.
The museum of ham was right across from our hotel and one of the only kitchens open at 5pm. Most dinner restaurants don’t open until about 8pm.
We always carry Lonely Planet Spain as we travel through the country. I am pretty sure the Museum of Ham was not in there.
Note: Based on world conditions, we advise checking official channels including cancellation policies prior to booking. Also, with often reduced capacity, booking ahead becomes more important.
Which is your favourite of the Madrid Museums?
All photos on this page © Rhonda Albom 2012