Art Travel Guide

My Madrid Museum Tour – The Reina Sofia

As indicated in my last post from my visit to the Prado, Madrid is an absolutely breathtaking city, with flavors, history, style, and a dash of daring-do atmosphere.

After my disappointing visit to the Museo del Prado, I was hesitant to continue on with my museum tour and instead focus on drinking Mojitos and enjoying the many Flamenco shows and restaurants this beautiful city has to offer… after all, they don’t even let me take photos of the art in the museum!?

But the next museum on my list was an absolute must. The National Museum “Centro de Arte Reina Sofía” or as the Madridians like to call it “la Sofia”, is Spain’s most important museum of 20th-century art and considered one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world.

This gem of a museum actually resides in an unassuming 18th-century hospital building that was converted into a museum in 1992. When you are making your way on the metro over to Sofia, don’t be shy and ask where it is because as important a landmark it might be for us art lovers, it is actually well hidden from the untrained touristy eye.

The old and relatively bland building (very uncharacteristic to the city of Madrid) has an outer elevator system which gives the place a unique look that sets it apart from the other buildings surrounding it.

Immediately as I walked into the museum I felt that I came to the right place. 2000+ works of art adorn the walls of the Sofia, with the great Surrealist styles of Salvador Dali, Juan Miro, and Pablo Picasso being the focus of this beautiful spectacle of modern art. And to top it all off taking pictures with a camera is allowed (excluding flash..)

I made my way through the corridors and rooms and at almost every painting I felt emotions of sheer admiration as these are the works of the greatest artists ever. It is hard to explain what happens when you come face to face with a Dali painting, but it definitely throws you off. You can be grasped by terror, disgust, and even a mad laugh all at the same time.


The Juan Miro oil paintings that are in almost every corner give the museum a special feel with shapes and curves that turn the walls into 3-dimensional playgrounds.

But with all due respect to the 2000 plus paintings and creations in Sofia, there is one special painting that makes the whole trip to Madrid worth your while.

Next up my encounter with the Guernica

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.