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
Las Meninas by Velázquez
This enigmatic painting is one of the crown jewels of the Prado collection.
Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet
An incredible representation by Tintoretto of the events before the Last Supper.
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.

Related Tours

The Best of Madrid's Art Museums - Private Tour with tickets
Discover world class art in two of the finest museums of Spain: the Prado, and Reina Sofia. In this comprehensive, five 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.

  • Immerse yourself in the architecture of and artwork inside Prado Museum.
  • Learn about major art movements and gaze at masterpieces.
  • Re-fuel with a swift coffee break.
  • Visit the Reina Sofia Museum.
  • Hear about renowned artists such as Picasso, Miró, and Dalí.
World Class Art

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 house in the museum, such as the Spanish masterpiece Las Meninas by Velazquez; Artwork by Fran Angelico, gifted creator of The Annunciation; Christ Washing the Disciple’s feet by Tintoretto, and masterpieces by the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. 

Spanish Art and Beyond

After a coffee break, you will move on the Reina Sofia Museum, hosting some of the greatest Spanish artists of all time. Here your guide will walk you through artwork such 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! 
Private Guided Tour of the Reina Sofia Art Museum
On your private guided tour of the Reina Sofia Museum, you will trace the development of 20th century art through one of Europe's finest collections. 

  • With a private guide, enjoy a rich and immersive experience that brings artwork to life.
  • Gain expert insight into the history of a vast collection of artefacts and paintings.
  • Discover the context of some of the artworks and impact of the socio-political climate on the artists’ work.
  • Relish an unrivalled collection of Spanish contemporary artists, including 4,000 paintings.
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. Together with the capital’s two other major museums – the Prado Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum – it forms Madrid’s prestigious Golden Triangle of Art.

Explore the works of Spanish contemporary artists Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Pablo Serrano, José Gutierrez Solana, and Juan Gris, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.  Other stand out artists who are not from Spain include Vasily 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. When you reach Guernica - one of Picasso's finest works - explore why the artist would have preferred it be on display at the Prado. 


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