Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

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52 Calle Santa Isabel, Madrid, Spain

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Madrid Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
621 reviews
Madrid's Museum of Modern Art Sep 28, 2013
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is Madrid's museum of 20th and 21st century art. It is the home of Picasso's Guernica, which means it is a must-see stop in Madrid.

Madrid's interest in exhibiting Modern Art goes back to the 1890's. Reina Sofia opened in 1990 as the successor to previous modern art museums. The museum is housed in two adjoining buildings, one old and one very new. The Sabatini Building dates to 1781. Designed by José de Hermosilla and Francisco Sabatini as the Hospital de San Carlos, it was intended as part of a much larger complex. Thus, the main entrance is rather plain, as it was planned as an interior courtyard wall, not a main facade. The Edificio Nouvel opened in 2008. Designed by Jean Nouvel, it is a work of contemporary architecture and presents quite a contrast to the Sabatini Building. Visitors can enter via either building.

Guernica and its accompanying exhibits on the art of Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 World's Fair and the art of the Spanish Civil War era are a top priority. The gallery is in the Sabatini Building. Guernica is a powerful statement and simply breathtaking. Picasso painted it in response to the bombing of Guernica in 1937. But it is not frozen in time. The figures seem to be in motion and to be crying out to us today. We recognize these figures from contemporary war zone news footage. Accompanying exhibits tell the story of the painting and its journey before coming to Madrid in 1980.

Reina Sofia also has extensive displays of well-known Spanish 20th century artists like Salvador Dali and Juan Gris in addition to international contemporary artists. The collections are arranged progressively in themes, like Cubism, Surrealism, Postmodernism, with the most modern works of the present located in the Nouvel Building.

Photography is permitted, except in the Guernica galleries. (I present an image of Guerncia downloaded from Reina Sofia.)

Admission is 8 Euro. Closed on Tuesdays.
Sabatini Building (1781/1988)
Guernica, by Pablo Picasso (1937) …
Cabeza de mujer - Head of a Woman …
Retrato de Josette Gris - Portrait…
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Vikram Vikram
309 reviews
Madrid's answer to Tate Modern and Centre Pompidou, only not so much! Oct 21, 2012
** You can read more about my Madrid journey here: It also has more pictures of the gallery.

Over the years, what I've come to love about Europe is the variety of museums and art galleries - every country, every major city is a cultural centre and rightly so. Every city proudly displays its cultural embodiments, and Madrid was no exception. Leaf through tourist books and every single one talks about the trifecta - the Prado, Thyssen and, well Reina Sofia (called the "Golden Triangle of Art").

All these are paid museums, but God bless Reina Sofia for making it free on Sundays after 1pm. So when I was planning my Madrid trip, even though this is covered by the Madrid Pass, I was thinking why waste Pass time on this, might as well go in when it's free.

So it's very easy finding Reina Sofia. If you're lost - follow the crowds! The funny thing is that there's an old buliding, and a new extension and both have entrances. So when I went to the old/regular entrance, I was told to go to the "other side" which I had hard time finding, and eventually did. They run a security check through your baggage, and like all museums, store your overcoats and bags in a locker but you can take your camera with you (sans flash).

My main issue with this musuem (unlike Centre Pompidou and Tate Modern that I've compared this to) is that the layout of the museum is a bit confusing. You have rooms that kind of lead into one another, mysteriously take you into an indoor quadrangle, some to the old building and you find yourself at the exit. It was hard keeping flow of what's going on.

Having said that, I think the art was impressive. Nothing we've not seen before, but I liked the various pieces on display - a mix of old and modern. There's mostly Spanish art, and supposedly the biggest draw is one of Goya's "ugliest paintings" which I sadly missed. Other than the fact that I was feeling a bit jetlagged and tired, I did enjoy it somewhat. I've always liked modern art - it's very easy on the eye, easy on the mind and it's work for those that appreciate art, not for the hoity toity.

Visit Reina Sofia if you must, just go on Sunday afternoons!
At the "new" entrance
The new entrance
The "old" building and entrance
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Vlindeke Vlindeke
142 reviews
Spanish art (20th and 21st century), temporary exhibitions Feb 26, 2010
Some practical information about the Reina Sofia (Feb. 2010):

• Opening hours: Monday and Wednesday to Saturday 10 am – 9 pm, Sunday 10 am – 2.30 pm

• Closed on Tuesdays

• Admission € 6 (including temporary exhibitions)

Attention: free admission at the Reina Sofia for visitors (among others) under 18, citizens of EU over 65 years, students under 25.

Also free admission for all visitors Monday and Wednesday to Saturday 7 pm until closing time, Saturdays 2.30 pm until closing time and Sunday 10 am – until closing time and April 18, May 18, October 12 and December 6.

It is allowed to take photos (without flash), except from Picasso’s famous “Guernica”.

See my Madrid blog for more photos.

For more information:

You can buy a combined pass (‘Paseo del Arte’) for Museo del Prado, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza at € 17,60 (pay attention at hours of free admission!).
Elevator (outside the building)
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Chokk says:
I loved this museeum - I was there while Taschen were displaying their Modern Art collection which were totally impressive.
Posted on: Mar 09, 2010
Pearl510 Pearl510
162 reviews
Jul 11, 2007
This is a great museum for any one who likes modern art (mainly conceptual works, surrealism and cubism). As I've written in my travel blog I'm a great Picasso fan, so I loved la Guernica! It is such a marvelous work that you simply can't afford to miss it when you're in Madrid. But almost all the works that are shown at the second floor (permanent collection) are beautiful.

I personally didn't like the fourth floor collection, except for some photography, but the second floor was remarkable. You'll need quite some time to watch everything that is to be seen, but it is worth it.

Besides, the prices here are great. Adults pay 6 euro, students only 3. That is really cheap considering the masterpieces you can admire, and the size of the collection.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
fran2011 fran2011
24 reviews
Apr 03, 2007
This is one of Madrid's most popular museums. It mainly concentrates on contemporary and modern art. It costs 6 euros for one adult ticket. I consider this type of art my favorite, so I really enjoyed this museum. One of the most reknown paintings in the world resides here: "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso. The museum also has a good collection of Salvador Dali's paintings, one of my favorite painters. It has a splendid courtyard with modern sculptures, fountains, and vegetation. The museum surrounds the enclosed courtyard, so it is seen from most parts of it. If you like contemporary art, then this museum is a must!
In front of the Reina Sofia museum.
The courtyard at the musem.
One of the modern sculptures in th…
sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Guernica, etc Jun 18, 2006
Reina Sofia has a lot of modern/ twentieth century art, as opposed to the old masters in the Prado. I prefer this sort of art, so I'm a little biased.

The most famous work in Reina Sofia is Guernica by Picasso. Even all this time after the bombing, the pain in people's faces, the screaming horses, adn the woman searching the rubble are striking, and a powerful symbol of the consequences of war. When I was there, there was a separate Picasso exhibition, so I don't know how many of the preparatory sketches are normally there, but the whole work is stunning and well worth a trip.

The rest of the museum is interesting too. There are several Dalis, and a focus on Spanish, Catalan and Basque artists that I enjoyed a lot. The building is well laid out and airy, and the staff were friendly, even when it came time to kick us out.

There are lots of cafes nearby. I think all the exhibitions would be accessible my wheelchair or buggy if you wanted.
nyprne nyprne
52 reviews
Museo Reina Sofía - Madrid, España Apr 12, 1999
Being in Spain was already amazing but getting the chance to tour the Reina Sofía and see the greats such as Picasso, Miró, Velazquez and more was incredible. I've personally studied Picasso's Guernica for years but seeing the huge piece in person left me awe struck. I must have stared at that piece like an austistic child. Forever one of my cherished highlights.

Opening Hours

Sabatini and Nouvel Buildings

Monday to Saturday: 10:00 – 21:00 h

Sundays: 10:00 – 14:30 h

Tuesdays: Closed

General Admission (Collection + Temporary Exhibitions): 6 €
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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