Museums in Spain
Visiting cathedrals, admiring artwork, lounging by the beach – there is no shortage of things to do in Spain. Out of the myriad of sightseeing and entertainment options, visiting its museums is definitely a quintessential activity when traveling in Spain. Spain has given the world some of the greatest art works and architectural marvels. Spain’s greatest artists have also contributed immensely to the world’s artistic development.
In these museums you will find some of the world’s best collections and most valuable displays. For those interested in the sea and oceans, you can discover their secrets in the maritime museums. Archeological and historical museums complete the list. But you will also be able to visit a special museum located in a forest and the world’s only museum dedicated to wine.
Here’s a list of some of the museums which should not be missed when you visit Spain:
Prado National Museum in Madrid
The Prado museum in Madrid contains the most complete collection of Spanish paintings from the 11th to 18th centuries, as well as Flemish and Italian paintings. Among the paintings on display you will find masterpieces by artists such as Bosch, El Greco, Goya, Rembrandt, Tiziano, Velázquez and Van Dyck.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and on public holidays from 9 AM to 8 PM. General admission is €6 (adult). Entrance is free from Tuesday to Saturday from 6 PM to 8 PM.
Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
A visit to the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum is worth even if you only want to admire the avant-garde building designed by the American architect Frank O. Gehry. The museum displays modern and contemporary art, masterpieces signed by artists such as Chillida, David Salle, Jeff Koons, Louis Bourgeois and Robert Rauschenberg.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 8 PM and is closed on Mondays. General admission is €10.50 (adult).
Naval Museum (Museo Naval) in Madrid
Within the museum you will find a collection that focuses on the Spanish naval history as well as collections comprising an overview of the navies of other countries. The museum also has an ethnographic collection which displays, in chronological order, stamps, medals, scientific instruments, weapons and manuscripts.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM and is closed on Mondays. The admission is free.
Chillida Leku Museum in Hernani
A very special museum, Chillida Leku combines art and nature by displaying the art of Eduardo Chillida in a luxuriant landscape. On a meadow covering 40 hectares / 99 acres there are 40 large sculptures and several smaller ones crated by the artist over 50 years. In the house museum there are also drawings, by the same author, on display.
The museum has different opening hours during the year but you will generally find it open any time of the year from 10:30 AM to 3 PM (much later during summer). Admission is €8 (adult).
Wine Culture Museum in Briones
The world’s only museum dedicated to wine is located in Spain (Briones). A visit here will help you discover the history of this magical drink and its history. This large museum, which includes a vineyard, is the first in the world to offer its visitors an insight into scents, tastes and colors of the wine. The permanent exhibition comprises more than 2,000 pieces, among which a 13th century BC glass from China, as well as chalices from ancient Rome and Egypt.
The museum has different opening hours during the year but you will generally find it open any time of the year from 10:00 AM to 6 PM (much later during summer). Admission is €7 (adult) for the museum, €5 (adult) for the winery (€11 if you purchase a ticket for both locations)