Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum#6 in Best Things To Do in Madrid
The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, named for the family from which the collection was bought, is housed in the intimate Villahermosa Palace. The museum has nearly 1,000 works of art, ranging widely in style, from German Expressionism to Russian Constructivism and 19th-century American art. Artists featured include Dürer, Titian, Rembrandt, Renoir, Van Gogh and more.
Most recent visitors enjoyed their time at the museum, especially the way its design leads visitors through a progression of art movements, from the classical periods on. Travelers also commend the museum's cafe. Reviewers offered mixed opinions on which museum was superior – this one or the Prado – but all were impressed that these pieces came from one family.
Admission (to both the permanent and temporary collections) is 12 euros (about $14) for adults and 8 euros (about $9.30) for students. Access to just the permanent collection is free. The museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. on Mondays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Located just west of Retiro Park, you can tour the museum by jumping off at the Banco De España metro stop. For more information, visit the museum's website.
More Best Things To Do in Madrid
#1 Plaza Mayor
This square, located in the heart of Madrid, is more a must-experience attraction than a must-see one. Surrounded by cafes and bars, Plaza Mayor practically begs passersby to take a seat, order a coffee or glass of wine (depending on the time of day) and people-watch. Not only do throngs of tourists pass through, but multiple street performers plant their feet here to entertain. The square starts getting busy around 2 p.m. and will grow increasingly busy as night falls. If you find yourself in Madrid during the holidays, locals recommend visiting the holiday markets held in the plaza.
Recent travelers acknowledge the touristy nature of Plaza Mayor – the souvenir shops, the less-than-gourmet yet overpriced restaurants, for instance – but for most travelers, Plaza Mayor still affords a lovely ambience. If you want to learn more about the history behind Plaza Mayor, which dates back to 1617, reviewers suggest you sign up for a walking tour. One of the city's most emblematic pieces of public art, the statue of Philip III on horseback, can also be found here.
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