Madrid is world renowned for the quality of its art museums: their impressive collections, their modern buildings, and their cultural impact. In fact, for many visitors, Madrid is synonymous with art museums. That doesn't mean art is the only thing worth cataloguing and preserving in Madrid however. The city has a surprisingly wide range of other types of quality museums too.
The Archaeology Museum (Museo Arqueológico) is a truly fascinating place. Its emphasis is on cultures and treasures from the Spanish territory, although the museum does dedicate a good amount of space to other civilizations like the Romans or the Egyptians. Museum highlights include Egyptian mummies, Visigothic jewelry, a reproduction of the Altamira cave paintings, medieval Gothic objects, and Roman mosaics.
A majestic royal palace built in the 1700s with almost 3,500 rooms, Madrid's Palacio Real is a sumptuously decorated artistic achievement. Since it is the King's official residence, though he is not often there, visitors are only allowed in a fraction of the palace's rooms. However, the King's Chamber and the Porcelain Room are exquisite, the Throne Room and Gala Dining Room grand, and the Royal Armory is fascinating. (State dinners are still held in the Gala Dining Room.)
As the former major colonial power in the Americas, Spain managed to amass a wealth of cultural and artistic treasures from the New World's indigenous cultures. On the flip side, the result of that, the Museum of the Americas, is an intriguing examination of and homage to pre-Conquest and colonial cultures in the New World.
Calle de Serrano 13
Calle de Bailén
Plaza de Oriente
Av. de los Reyes Católicos 6
History of indigenous American cultures... read more
Paseo de las Delicias 61
Calle de San Mateo 13
Middle-class customs in 19th-century... read more
Plaza de San Andrés, 2
Madrid as it was before becoming capital... read more
Paseo Pintor de Rosales 2
A piece of Egyptian history in Madrid, the temple itself is the star of the museum... read more