Reina Sofia Museum, also known as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, is a massive collection of modern and contemporary art.
Along with the Prado Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, it forms the Golden Triangle of Art in Madrid.
The Reina Sofia Museum boasts masterpieces by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, Angeles Santos, etc.
It is an ideal getaway for both art lovers and casual visitors.
Table of contents
- Where is the Reina Sofia Museum
- How to get to Reina Sofia Museum
- Reina Sofia Museum hours
- Museum’s free hours
- Best time to visit Reina Sofia Museum
- How long does Reina Sofia take
- Reina Sofia Museum price
- Reina Sofia tickets
- Combo tours including Sofia Museum
- Paseo del Arte Card
- Audio guides at Museo del Reina Sofia
- What to see in Reina Sofia Museum
- Restaurants at Reina Sofia Madrid
Where is the Reina Sofia Museum
Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid is spread over four buildings.
Sabatini Building and Nouvel Building form the main venue.
They are next to each other but have a different address:
52 Santa Isabel Street
Ronda de Atocha Street
The main entrance is in Sabatini Building on 52 Santa Isabel Street, Madrid. Get Directions
These buildings are in Parque del Retiro, one of Madrid’s largest parks.
This part of the art museum is 15 minutes by walk from the main buildings – Sabatini and Nouvel.
How to get to Reina Sofia Museum
It is best to take public transport to reach this art museum in Madrid.
Estación del Arte Metro Station serviced by Line 1 is closest to the Museo del Reina Sofia.
Estación del Arte is 250 meters (800 feet) from the art museum, and you can walk the distance in three minutes.
Lavapiés Metro station on Line 3 is 500 meters (one-third of a mile) from Reina Sofia Madrid, and you can walk the distance in six minutes.
For Metro tickets, check out Madrid Metro’s website.
If you are getting to the Museum from outside Madrid city, you can take a train to Atocha-RENFE Station, also known as Estación de Madrid Atocha.
Atocha Station is 850 meters (half a mile) from the Museum, and you can walk the distance in about 12 minutes.
For timings and tickets, check out Renfe, the company that manages trains in Spain.
On weekdays, buses in Madrid run from 6 am till 11.30 pm with a frequency of 4 to 15 minutes.
On weekends and public holidays, Madrid buses start at 7 am and stop at 11 pm.
To get to the Reina Sofia Museum of modern art, you can board bus numbers 6, 10, 14, 19, 26, 27, 32, 34, 36, 37, 41, 45, 59, 85, 86, 102, 119, C1, C2 and E1.
Parking at Sofia Museum Madrid
Sofia Museum doesn’t have parking of its own.
Plaza Juan Goytisolo is right opposite Sofia Museum while Atocha station is 12 minutes walk away.
Reina Sofia Museum hours
From Wednesday to Monday, the Sofia Museum’s main buildings (Sabatini and Nouvel) open at 10 am and close at 9 pm.
On Sundays, the art museum opens at 10 am but closes early at 7 pm.
On Tuesdays, the main venues remain closed.
Ticket Offices close 30 minutes before closing time.
Timing of Palacio de Velázquez and Palacio de Cristal
Reina Sofia Museum’s main venues and the buildings in Parque del Retiro have different opening hours.
From April to September (the peak tourist season) Palacio de Velázquez and Palacio de Cristal open at 10 am and close at 10 pm.
During the shoulder months of March and October, this part of the Sofia Museum is open from 10 am to 7 pm.
During the lean season of November to February, the two buildings in Parque del Retiro open at 10 am but close at 6 pm.
Palacio de Cristal is closed on rainy days.
When is Sofia Museum Madrid closed?
All the four Reina Sofia buildings in Madrid remain closed on 1 and 6 January and 1 May.
On 15 May, 9 November, and 24, 25, and 31 December, the main venues are closed, but Palacio de Cristal and Palacio de Velázquez remain open.
Reina Sofia Museum free hours
From Monday to Saturday, from 7 pm to 8.30 pm, free tickets are issued at the Reina Sofia Museum ticket counters.
Free tickets are not available online, which means you can’t book them in advance. You can only pick them up on the day of your visit.
On Sunday, the ticket office stops issuing paid tickets (and advance bookings) at 1.30 pm.
From 1.30 pm to 2.15 pm, they issue free tickets to Sofia Museum.
Palacio de Velázquez and Palacio de Cristal in Parque del Retiro are free for all, throughout the week.
Best time to visit Reina Sofia Museum
To beat the crowd, most of the visitors arrive at 10 am – as soon as the art museum opens – in the process crowding it.
The best time to visit the Reina Sofia Museum is from 3 pm to 5 pm on weekdays.
If you can’t make it post-lunch, the next best time is to be at the museum’s entrance between 11 am to 12 noon.
When you reach an hour later, the crowd has already seen the masterpieces and dispersed to different parts of the museum.
On bad weather days, Sofia Museo in Madrid gets a massive jump in the number of visitors because it is an indoor attraction.
Whatever time you decide to visit, it is better to purchase your tickets beforehand to avoid waiting in lines.
How long does Reina Sofia Museum take
To explore the best of what Reina Sofia Museum offers, visitors need at least two hours.
Tourists focusing only on the masterpieces on display are known to finish their tour in an hour.
If you don’t purchase your tickets in advance, you will need an additional half-hour to wait in the long ticket counter lines.
This wait is tiring and also eats into the time you can spend exploring the art museum.
Reina Sofia Museum price
Reina Sofia Museum tickets cost just 10 Euros for all visitors over the age of 18 years.
Kids up to 18 years qualify for a 100% discount and walk in for free.
However, while purchasing the ticket, you must buy a free ticket for them as well.
Small group guided tours of Reina Sofia Museum cost around 30 Euros for everybody older than 12 years.
Reina Sofia tickets
More than four million people visit the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid annually, translating to more than ten thousand visitors a day.
This is why booking your tickets online, much in advance, is a better idea.
Booking earlier helps you save up to 30 minutes of waiting time at the ticket counters.
As soon as you make the purchase, the Reina Sofia Museum tickets get emailed to you.
On the day of your visit, at the Museum entrance, you can show the tickets in your email and walk in. You don’t need to take printouts.
When you buy the Reina Sofia Museum tickets online, you pay a few Euros less. Tickets are costlier at the gate.
The Museum tickets we have recommended below are valid for the whole day – that is, you can step out and get back into the Museum again.
There are two kinds of Sofia Museum experiences you can book.
Skip-the-Line Reina Sofia Ticket
This skip the line ticket helps you explore both the permanent and the temporary Collection at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Europe’s one of the most significant Collections of contemporary art.
It is valid for the whole day – from 10 am to 9 pm.
You can cancel the ticket 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Adult ticket (18+ years): 10 Euros
Child ticket (up to 18 years): Free entry
Guided tour of Reina Sofia Museum
This is a small group guided tour limited to only 15 participants and starts at 12.45 pm.
A local art expert takes you around on a 75-minute tour of the masterpieces by Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, etc.
After the guided tour, you can hang around and explore for as long as you want.
On the ticket booking page, select ‘Small Group Tour.’
Adult ticket (12+ years): 34 Euros
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): 30 Euros
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): Free entry
If you want to start at 10 am and prefer something longer, check out this 90-minute guided tour of Sofia Museum.
Private guided tour
If you want an exclusive art expert to guide you and prefer complete control over your tour, you must opt for a private tour of the Reina Sofia Museum.
When you book a private tour, you get to choose the time of the tour.
You can cancel this tour up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.
On the ticket booking page, select ‘Private Tour.’
Tour price: 165 Euros for up to 3 persons
Combo tours including Sofia Museum
Combo tours are popular with tourists who want to save money (they are up to 20% cheaper than if you bought the tickets individually).
Travelers on a short visit to Madrid also prefer combo tours because they can see more in less time and money.
1. Bus tour of Madrid + Reina Sofia entry
The two-and-a-half-hour city tour starts at 9 am, under a local expert’s guidance.
You start your tour at Ferraz Street and then the bus weaves its way through Gran Vía street, Plaza de España, Moncloa, Mayor street, Puerta del Sol, and Puerta de Alcalá until the Bullring.
You also visit Columbus Square, Paseo de la Castellana, and Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Once the city tour is over, the bus drops you at Reina Sofia Museum with your entry tickets.
Adult ticket (13+ years): 35 Euros
Child ticket (6 to 12 years): 16 Euros
Infant ticket (up to 5 years): Free entry
2. Prado Museum + Reina Sofia Museum
If you are an art lover, this combo tour is a steal because, for just 55 Euros, you get a guided tour of two of the most beautiful art Museums in Europe.
The four-hour tour starts at 9.45 am from Velazquez’s Statue in front of the Prado Museum, where you will meet your guide.
After the expert art guide has taken you through the Prado Museum, they take you through the Reina Sofia Museum.
Adult ticket (12+ years): 55 Euros
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): 49 Euros
Infant ticket (up to 2 years): Free entry
Paseo del Arte Card
Madrid is also known as the art lover’s paradise because of the numerous art Museums in the city.
Out of these, Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Prado Museum, and the Reina Sofía Museum form the ‘Golden Triangle of Art.’
If you are in Madrid for more than three days, we recommend trying out all three Museums.
They are next to each other – within 20 minutes of walking time.
Paseo del Arte pass is one ticket for entry into all three Museums, and it is valid for one year from the date selected during your purchase.
With this pass, you save 20% on entrance tickets and skip the lines too!
It costs around 30 Euros per person.
Audio guides at Museo del Reina Sofia
Audio guides are available for purchase inside the Reina Sofia Art Museum in Sabatini and Nouvel Building.
The audio guide costs 4.5 Euros for an adult and 3.5 Euros for a student.
This optional yet useful audio guide is available in Spanish, English, French, Italian, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
Radio guides at Sophia Museum
The Radio Guides at Reina Sofia Museum of modern art is mandatory for groups guided by local art experts/guides.
You can rent the radio guides from the counter at the entrance of the Nouvel Building.
These wireless devices help all members of the group listen to what the guide is saying.
Radio guides cost 1 Euro per person, and the guide taking you around gets a free transmitter so that he/she can talk to the group.
What to see in Reina Sofia Museum
The Permanent Collection at Reina Sofia Museum is divided into three parts – Collection 1, Collection 2, and Collection 3.
You can download this Reina Sofia Museum guide or continue reading to understand the exhibits better.
We break down these Collections and share the highlights of the Reina Sofia Museum below –
Collection 1: The Irruption of the 20th Century: Utopias and Conflicts
Collection 1 at Sofia Museum consists of all of the museum’s artwork that falls between 1900 to 1945.
It is displayed on the 2nd floor of the Sabatini Building.
This Collection includes work by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Ángeles Santos, Maruja Mallo, Francis Picabia, etc.
The must-sees are:
- Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937
- Joan Miró, Portrait II (Retrato II), 1938
- Salvador Dalí, Visage du Grand Masturbateur (Rostro del Gran Masturbador), 1929
- Ángeles Santos, Tertulia, 1929
- Maruja Mallo, La verbena, 1927
- Francis Picabia, Totalisateur (Totalizador), 1922 (ca.)
Collection 2: The war is over? Art in a divided world
Collection 2 at Sofia Museum consists of all of the museum’s artwork that falls between 1945 to 1968.
It is displayed on the 4th floor of the Sabatini Building.
This Collection includes work by artists such as José Val del Omar, Mira Schendel, Francis Bacon, Ángela García Codoñer, Constant, Robert Motherwell, Eduardo Arroyo, etc.
The must-sees are:
- José Val del Omar, Aguaespejo granadino, 1953-1955
- Mira Schendel, Sin título, 1965
- Francis Bacon, Lying Figure (Figura tumbada), 1966
- Ángela García Codoñer, Divertimento, 1973
- Constant, Nébulose mécanique (Nebulosa mecánica), 1958
- Robert Motherwell, Totemic Figure (Figura totémica), 1958
- Eduardo Arroyo, España te miró, 1967
Collection 3: From revolt to postmodernity
Collection 3 at Sofia Museum consists of art created between 1962 to 1982 and is displayed on the ground floor of the Nouvel Building.
This collection includes work by artists such as Mari Chordà, Dan Flavin,
Antoni Tàpies, Juan Genovés, Luciano Fabro, Richard Serra, etc.
The must-sees are:
- Mari Chordà, La gran vagina, 1966
- Dan Flavin, The Nominal Three (To William of Ockham) (El tres nominal [para Guillermo de Ockham]), 1963
- Antoni Tàpies, Gran marró i fusta (Gran marrón y madera), 1975
- Juan Genovés, El abrazo, 1976
- Luciano Fabro, Vetro di Murano e seta indiana (Piede di vetro) 1968-1972
- Colita, S/T (portada del libro “Antifémina”), 1976
- Equipo Crónica, Espectador de espectadores, 1972
- Ivonne Rainer, Trio A, 1978
Restaurants at Reina Sofia Madrid
Reina Sofia has two retaurants in its premisis – Nuvel Cafe in the Nouvel building and Arzábal cafe in the Sabatini building.
Nubel Cafe is a quiet and cozy space created to complete the art lover’s museum experience.
It offers breakfasts, lunch, snacks, tapas, cocktails, and an exciting night menu.
The cafe also has a beautiful terrace open all year.
Wednesday and Thursday: 12 pm to 12 am
Friday and Saturday: 12 pm to 2 am
Sunday: 11 am to 12 am
Monday and Tuesday: Closed
Arzabal restaurant is both traditional and modern in its setting at the same time.
They are known for their croquettes, Cantabrian anchovies, truffle egg skillet, and dessert.
Monday to Thursday: 10.30 am to 1.30 am
Friday and Saturday: 10.30 am to 2.30 am
Sunday: 10.30 am to 5.30 pm