Museo Reina Sofía

A museum that plays host to some of the greatest names in 20th century art.

TravelCurious Tip

Visit on a Sunday afternoon for free entry!

Guernica and more

Dedicated to the Queen of Spain, the Reina Sofía sits at the southern end of Madrid's so-called Golden Triangle of Art, which also comprises the Prado and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Its vast and impeccably curated collection of 21,000 artworks is dedicated to the art of the 20th century, with a strong focus on Spanish artists including excellent groups of work by Dalí and Picasso, the country's two greatest modern masters (there's a substantial helping of Miró as well).

Since 1992 the museum has been home to Guernica, perhaps Picasso's most acclaimed masterpiece, which beforehand held a residence at the Prado's Casón del Buen Retiro; a controversial move, as the artist's will stated that he wanted the work to be displayed at the Prado. This moving work is a powerful protest against the horrors of war, prompted by the brutal Nationalist firebombing of the village of Guernica in 1937.

20th century showcase

The museum's central building is the old General Hospital of Madrid, which was closed down in 1969. Extensive renovations have since greatly expanded the building, with three striking glass circulation towers added in 1989 before the museum was inaugurated officially in 1992; a recent €92 million expansion was completed in 2005.

While there are few non-Spaniards represented, the museum nonetheless holds a range of important works by Man Ray, Donald Judd, Robert Delaunay, Damien Hirst, Francis Bacon and more. Excellent temporary exhibitions are held amidst the permanent exhibits, and also in the museum's outpost the Palacio de Cristal.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Madrid
The Garden of Earthly Delights
An astounding triptych by Hieronymus Bosch, portraying fantastical crowds of people and monsters in a warning against temptation.
Guernica By Picasso
This world-famous painting is Picasso's sensational tribute to victims of the Spanish Civil War.
Salvador Dalí
The Reina Sofía holds an amazing collection of work by Spain's beloved surrealist Salvador Dalí.
Joan Miró
Some of Miró's most important work can be found in the Museo Reina Sofía.
Juan Gris
Spanish paintor, Juan Gris or José Victoriano González, focused on developing cubism. We can find his amazing work at the Museo Reina Sofia.
Georges Braque
Georges Braque (1882–1963), the French painter dedicated his work to cubism. Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid displays some of his work

Related Tours

Prado Museum & Reina Sofia: Private Madrid Half-Day Guided Tour
Marvel at world-class art in two of the finest museums of Spain: the Prado, and Reina Sofia. In this comprehensive, four-hour tour, you will feel immersed in the lives of some of the most influential European artists of the Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern Art movements. 

On your private tour, you will:

  • At the Prado Museum, explore the works of Spain's most famous artists such as Bosch, El Greco, Goya and Velazquez;
  • Admire the famous Las Meninas by Velázquez, one of the most iconic paintings in the museum;
  • After a re-fuel break walk some blocks towards the Reina Sofia Museum;
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the Reina Sofia Museum, Spain's national museum of modern and contemporary art;
  • Home to a renowned collection of cubist and surrealist works, see masterpieces by Juan Gris, Georges Braque, Miró, Dalí and Picasso including the famous painting "Guernica";
  • Your tour finishes inside the museum where your guide will part ways so you can enjoy the rest of the collection at your own pace.

You will begin your artist tour at the Spanish national art museum: the Prado Museum. Founded in 1819, it is well worth a visit just for its stunning neoclassical architecture, let alone its impressive collection of some 8,000 paintings and many beautiful sculptures, drawings and prints. Here, your expert guide will endeavour to shed some light on the major art movements you will see in the museum, including the Renaissance and Baroque. 

You will also learn about the social and cultural background of some of the most iconic paintings housed in the museum, such as the Spanish masterpiece Las Meninas by Velazquez; Artwork by Fran Angelico, the gifted creator of The Annunciation; Christ Washing the Disciple’s feet by Tintoretto, and masterpieces by the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. 

After a coffee break, you will move on to the Reina Sofia Museum, hosting some of the greatest Spanish artists of all time. Here your guide will walk you through artwork such as Picasso’s Guernica, a sensational political stand on the Spanish Civil War; a fantastic collection from Dalí, as well as a section fully dedicated to Joan Miró. 

Since this is a private tour, you will be able to ask your expert guide to focus on subjects that interest you. If you are a Baroque enthusiast or want a broader taste of European art, this tour will give you a great introduction to the subject. 

Your newfound knowledge may even impress your friends and family back home! 
Explore the Reina Sofia Art Museum: Private 2.5-hour Guided Tour
Explore the Reina Sofia Museum, one of the most important museums of Modern and Contemporary art founded in 1990 with one of the finest collections of 20th-century art in Europe. Together with the Prado Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum forms Madrid’s prestigious Golden Triangle of Art. 

On your private tour, you will:

  • Explore the renowned Reina Sofia Museum, one of Europe’s greatest collections of 20th-century art;
  • Learn of the life and work of some of the greatest Spanish artists of all time;
  • Admire the most world-famous collection of cubist and surrealist works;
  • See masterpieces by Juan Gris, Georges Braque, Miró, Dalí and Picasso, including his famous painting "Guernica";
  • Experience the tranquil ambience of the vast, almost palatial complex and feel free to ask your guide any questions or to focus on your favourite artists;
  • Your tour ends at the Museum which you are free to further explore at your own pace.

When the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía opened its doors in 1990, it won international acclaim for its modernity and scale. Today the museum’s expanded space includes an extra structure, handsome paved plazas, and additional cultural space. The imposing permanent collection of 20th-century art is enhanced by ever-changing temporary exhibitions, ensuring it ranks amongst the world’s most impressive modern art museums. 

Explore the works of Spanish contemporary artists Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Pablo Serrano, José Gutierrez Solana, Juan Gris, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Other stands out artists who are not from Spain include Wassily Kandinsky, Diego Rivera, Max Ernst and Damien Hirst. 

Whilst moving through the galleries - a crossroads in objects and time - explore the museum’s style of displaying its pieces, which positions masterpiece paintings side by side with photography, film, sound, design and dance without hierarchy. Learn why certain styles and movements proliferated at different points in the 20th century and examine the impact of the socio-political climate on the lives of the artists and their art. When you reach Guernica - one of Picasso's finest works - explore why the artist would have preferred it is on display at the Prado. 

Enjoy a rich and immersive experience that brings the artwork to life with your specialist private guide. You’ll gain expert insight into the history of a vast collection of artefacts and a collection that boasts over 4000 paintings.


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