Madrid’s Hidden Museums


Madrid is renowned for its art. It is the home of some of the most famous museums globally: The Prado and The Reina Sofia. These are two museums that pop on every “What to do in Madrid’s” list. Therefore, it is safe to say that we have all been to them at one time or another as IE students. 

However, Madrid has so much more to offer in terms of art and history museums.  No offence to The Prado and The Reina Sofia. Here I’ll show you all my favourite off the path museums in Madrid and why you’ll enjoy a visit to them!

  1. Plaza de Toros 

The first one on my list is the Plaza de Toros in Ventas. We can all disagree on bullfighting and its ethics; however, it is undeniable that bullfighting has been a massive part of Spanish culture. Therefore, despite the moral arguments, we should recognise the art around bullfighting. The Plaza de Toros itself is a stunning building, and it is littered with art. If you don’t want to see the plaza during a bullfight, you can visit during the museum hours. They have a student discount, and it will allow you to tour the plaza and the museum at the end of the visit, where you can see many famous bulls, alongside paintings and matador costumes. 

  1. Naval Museum 

The Naval Museum in Banco de España shows the history of the infamous Spanish navy dating from the 15th century until now. The museum has live models of many of the boats, details of the ships’ voyages and uses. Also, the museum covers who were the monarchs at the time and what their rule was like and live in the former Spanish colonies.  

  1. Palacio de Gaviria 

The Palacio de Gaviria is a building located in Calle Arenal, just off the metro stop Sol. Palacio de Gaviria is a temporary exhibition museum showcasing different exhibitions every other month. When I went, they had an exhibition on the Czech painter Alphonse Mucha. Regardless, the building itself is an architectural beauty. Since its completion in 1851, the inside has been preserved and has remained as a centre of art! 

  1. Museum of the History of Madrid 

The museum of Madrid’s history is located just outside of the metro stop Tribunal, and entry is entirely free. Inside, you will find maps, paintings, and sculptures that tell the story of Madrid’s creation as a city. The museum is enormous in comparison to other small museums in the city. Still, it is fascinating and provides you with a whole new perspective about this city we call home. 

I hope you all get to enjoy the perspectives provided by these museums, and don’t forget to take your IE student card for a discount or even free entry!

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