The cornerstone of the Big Three museums, the Prado Museum is actually ground zero for art in Madrid, as in addition to the Big Three, a number of the city's art museums and galleries are concentrated nearby. The surrounding area is also an historic one, where gardens, significant buildings and churches, as well as those excellent art museums are all within easy reach.
No visit to Madrid is complete without a stroll through the Parque del Retiro. This beloved city park is full of greenery and recreational space, and is well known for its monumental columns and rowing lake, but it outstands for its more hidden features: stone statues, a rose garden, small exhibition spaces, a few walled gardens, and a pond inhabited by swans and turtles.
Former house of the famed Spanish writer Lope de Vega, the Casa Museo del Lope de Vega gives the visitor as much insight into life in Madrid during the early 17th century as into the life of the writer. Guided visits are free.
A treasure trove of European painting from the 13th to the 20th century, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (formerly Villahermosa Palace) lives up to its fame as a world-class temple of art. The former private collection of the Thyssen family is now owned by the Spanish State.
Bordered by the Prado Museum, Caixa Forum Museum, and Observatory, the royal botanical garden (El Real Jardín Botánico) houses thousands of species of trees, flowers, and herbs. Try to visit when the flowers are in bloom.
Plaza de la Independencia, s/n
Calle de Alfonso XII
Paseo del Prado, 8
Palacio de Villahermosa
Masterpieces of European painting... read more
Plaza de Murillo 2
Plaza Santa Isabel, 52
Calle Moreto 4
Historically valuable works of art... read more
Cervantes 40 Calle de Jesús 2