Art Museums to Visit in Spain

Spain is full of culture heritage, throughout the whole of the country. You will never be bored while living and studying in Spain, as there is a historical monument to admire or a museum to wander through, always within walking distance.

The following list will include the most obvious and commonly visited Spanish museums, but also, the ones you might not think of straight away.

1. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain
This is one of the most famous Spanish art museums, since it specifically is the main Spanish national art museum and located in the capital city of Madrid. El Prado contains one of the greatest and finest collections of European art in the world; the museum itself has art dating from 12th to the 20th centuries and holds several masterpieces. The best-known work on display is Diego Velazquez’s Las Meninas, though there are also many other paintings from master artists such as Francisco de Goya, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and more.

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Interior of Museo Nacional del Prado

2. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
The Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao houses a comprehensive collection of art from 12th century to the present. There are not only paintings from masters from in Spain and throughout Europe, but the museum also contains art originating from the Basque Country, as well. The museum’s extensive collection contains over 10,000 works, such as 1,500 paintings, 400 sculptures, and more than 6,500 works on paper. These works are spread over 33 rooms, ordered chronologically.

3. Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
This incredible museum is in the magnificent Palau (yes, palace!) Nacional of Montjuïc, which was originally made for the International Exhibition of 1929. In addition to this, the museum contains several masterpieces from the 11th to 20th centuries. Their most important and prize collection in the museum is their collection of art from the Romanesque period, most noted by the the series of mural paintings it includes.

I stopped by this museum when I was in Barcelona. During the first Sunday of the month, the entry was free. If you are in Barcelona during this time, take advantage of the free entry to MNAC. The museum is quite expansive, and you will probably not be able to get through everything in a single day, but it is worth entering free.

4. Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca, Spain
This museum of modern art is located in the city of Cuenca. Although the collection here is much smaller than the previously mentioned museums, its primary focus is on Spanish abstract art from the 1950s to the 1960s and provides a decently-sized collection of  around 1,500 paintings and sculpture.

800px-Museo_de_Arte_Abstracto_CuencaInterior of the Spanish Abstract Art Museum in Cuenca

5. Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
Finally, the Museum of Fine Arts in Sevilla contains a collection ranging from the Medieval period to the early 20th-century. One of the largest series in their collection is from works from the Golden Age of Sevillian painting in the 17th century, or the Baroque period, which includes works from artists such as Murillo, Francisco de Herrera and Zurbarán. Even though the museum primarily focuses on that of Baroque art, it has been adding a greater variety of art to the collection since the 20th-century.

Where on this list are you most interested visiting? Or, if you have a favorite museum that is not on this list, what is it? I would like to hear what you think.

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