The Reina Sofia Museum, the complete guide

Find out in this article why the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid attracts so many visitors.

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The Museo Nacional Centro Reina Sofia is part of the famous Golden Triangle of Madrid’s art. It is one of the largest museums in Madrid after the Prado Museum and the Thyssen & Bornemisza Museum.

It is known all over the world for its contemporary art and for the famous paintings on display such as Picasso’s Guernica and his masterpieces.

Located in downtown Madrid in front of the Atocha train station in an old hospital, the Reina Sofia National Museum will surprise you with its unique cultural offer.

In order to answer any questions you may have about visiting the museum we have prepared a comprehensive article to prepare you for your experience and have a great time during your stay in Madrid.

Table of Contents

  1. What to see at the Reina Sofia Museum
  2. Where the Reina Sofia Museum is located
  3. How much does the entrance to the Reina Sofia Museum cost?
  4. The museum’s schedule
  5. Visit the museum with a French-speaking historian guide
  6. Why visit it with Madrid Discovery
  7. Organize a visit with your EC
  8. Visit the museum without a guide
  9. Visit the Reina Sofia Museum for free.

1. What to see at the Reina Sofía Museum

The museum is composed of 3 floors, a garden, a small terrace and more than 20,000 works of art are on display.

The period covered by the Reina Sofia Museum is complementary to that of the Prado Museum, they are two museums that deserve to be visited one after the other to get a chronological view of Spanish art and movements.

You will find a bookstore as well as a locker and toilets. For lovers of beautiful views we advise you to go up to the second floor to have access to a magnificent terrace.

Count 2 hours for a visit of the museum with a French-speaking guide, you will have the opportunity to study nearly 18 works. If you make the visit alone you will be able to discover up to 25-30 works (quick passage without explanations).

2. Where the Reina Sofía Museum is located

The museum is located in front of the Atocha train station and not far from the Retiro Park. The imposing building (former hospital) is quickly recognizable.

Museum address: Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid

If you come from the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum or the Prado Museum then you will only have to follow the paseo del arte to get to the National Museum in the Reina Sofia Center.

The crystal palacio of Velasquez palace are an extension of the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, we advise you to visit them, they are located in the Retiro park just behind the Prado museum. To get there, go up the paseo del arte.

Extension of the museum: crystal palacio and Velasquez. Here you will find unique and high quality temporary exhibitions exhibiting the works of renowned artists.

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Museum Terrace

3. How much is the entrance fee to the Reina Sofia Museum?

Admission to the museum is 10€. If you are over 65 years old then you will get a discount. By comparison, the Prado museum costs 15€ per person and the Thyssen Bornemisza museum costs 12€ per person.

Subject to proof of age, persons meeting the following conditions will be admitted free of charge:

  • To be under 18 years old.
  • Student from 18 to 25 years old.
  • Journalists, people with reduced mobility, people without work.

4. Timetable of the Reina Sofia Museum

The museum opens every day at 10:00 am, it is also one of the busiest hours, you may have to wait 30-40 mins before you can enter the museum.

The solution is to come earlier to have a good place in the queue or to come later when the 10:00 am visitors have finished visiting the museum.

We advise our clients to book their visit for 3:00 pm, it is a low hour and the number of visitors is very low, which will allow you to enjoy the museum’s collection.

Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm
Sundays and holidays from 10am to 7pm

The Reina Sofia Museum is closed on the following days:

January 1st
May 1st
December 25th

The centro de arte reine sofia is also closed on January 6th.

5. Visit the museum with a French-speaking historian guide

The visit to the Reina Sofia Museum is one of the most surprising visits in the city, many of our clients had not thought about visiting the museum and finally chose to visit it with a guide following recommendations they got from friends.

A true cultural heritage, the National Museum Reina Sofia Center partly retraces the Spanish Civil War (with Picasso’s Guernica as the main canvas) and the history of modern Spain with the feminist movement.

One part is dedicated to Cubism and its history, you will have the opportunity to contemplate paintings by the famous painter Juan Gris and his masterpieces.

The visit of the museum without a historian guide is quite complex, cubism and contemporary art is not as descriptive as the paintings that can be found in the Prado Museum or the Thyssen Museum.

The museum visits that we offer at Madrid Discovery are developed to offer you more added value than the classic visits.

In order to offer you an exclusive and complete service, we take care of the organization of your visit as well as the purchase of the fast tickets. Your guide will pick you up directly at your hotel and take you to the Reina Sofia Museum. If you plan to visit the Museo Nacional Centro Reina Sofia with young children or teenagers, the private tour will be an excellent way to capture their attention and avoid boredom.

Don’t waste any more time and discover our tour of the Reina Sofia Museum with our English speaking guides.

6. Why visit it with Madrid Discovery

Visiting the Reina Sofia de Madrid with Madrid Discovery will allow you to live a unique and authentic experience.

Most of the guided tours that you will find in Madrid are not private and you will have to buy the tickets by yourself.

To save you from having to manage the organization of your visit we will take care of it.

Being transparent with our clients is a priority, once the reservation is made on our website you will not have to pay anything, we do not ask you to pay any cash or buy the tickets yourself.

Included in the price is a series of exclusive services such as the purchase of fast tickets, the departure of your visit from your hotel, the cab ride from your hotel to the museum and a dedicated customer service that can be reached at any time.

Can’t make the tour? Had to cancel your stay in Madrid? Don’t worry, contact customer service to get a full refund of your purchase*.

* Refund conditions are indicated in the general conditions of sale.

7. Organize a visit to the Reina Sofía with your company

The museum adapts very well to group visits and especially to company visits. We regularly organize visits to companies that come to Madrid for a seminar or during vacations organized by the EC.

Our services for companies have been developed to offer a stress-free turnkey experience. Once the visit is booked we take care of all aspects of the visit to ensure that you have a unique experience.

For more information on group tours or team-building organization please do not hesitate to contact us directly by email.

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Main entrance of the museum

8. Visiting the museum without a guide

It is not an easy museum to understand and many of the works require an explanation to decipher their meaning.

It is important to understand the context of each of the works in order to appreciate the visit. Its imposing size may lose the visitor and not allow him to enjoy the experience to the fullest.

There may be some waiting when buying tickets to visit the Reina Sofia Museum. During the high season it is possible to wait more than 30 minutes to return. This is a constraint that you will not have when visiting the museum with a private guide.

9. Visit the Reina sofia museum for free

t is possible to visit the Reina Sofía Museum free of charge, for this you will have to wait for the end of the day slot between 18:00-20:00 during the week and 17:00-19:00 on weekends and holidays. You will have access to the entire collection of the museum.

Is it interesting to visit the museum for free?

Visiting the Reina Sofía Museum during this time can be interesting if you have a small budget and want to visit Madrid economically.

However, to be able to visit it you will have to start waiting from 5:00 pm or even 4:30 pm on busy days.

To be sure to return during the free schedule some people start waiting very early. In general the number of people who enter for free is quite high and you will not be able to visit the museum in the best conditions.

To sum up, visiting the Reina Sofía Museum for free may be interesting but requires some sacrifice of time and comfort. It is important to note that temporary exhibitions are not open to the public for free.

This article was first published on May 25, 2020. It is regularly updated with news and new activities.

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