Madrid Art Tour

el escorial

School Art Trip to Madrid

Spanish artists have left an indelible mark on the world of art.  From Velasquez and El Greco to Picasso and Dali, a vast body of work spans over 400 years and encompasses every imaginable style from the Baroque to Surrealism and Cubism. While various Spanish cities lay claim to particular artists such as Malaga with Picasso and Figueres with Dali it is in Madrid where the country's principal art museums are to be found. Of these, none shine so brightly as the world famous Prado. The incomparable Las Meninas by Velazquez can be seen here, along with The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch. There are also significant works by Albrecht Durer and Goya.

Spain's twentieth century artists can be discovered at the Reina Sofia where Picasso's Guernica takes pride of place and at the Thyssen Bornemisza which has a wonderful collection spanning artists as diverse as Rembrandt and Hans Holbein through the Impressionists to Paul Klee and Piet Mondrian.

Suggested Itinerary

The itinerary featured here is intended to give you inspiration and an idea of what you could do on your tour. Your trip will be created individually by one of our travel advisors to match your requirements and budget.

Day 1

Flight to Madrid, Reina Sofia Museum of Art

Flight to Madrid: On arrival you are met by your guide and private transport and transfer into the city centre for a traditional tapas lunch and hotel check in.

Reina Sofia Museum: In the afternoon you visit the Reina Sofia, Spain’s national museum of 20th-century art which is home to Picasso’s famous ‘Guernica’. This vast mural, a cubist reflection on the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, was completed in 1937 and is one of the artists most famous works. There are other works by Picasso and well as those by other seminal Spanish artists including Dali, Jean Miro and Antoni Tapies. The gallery has periodic temporary exhibitions, as well as the permanent collections and is open until 9pm on several days of the week which allows for a full and unpressured afternoon to be spent here before dinner in the evening.

guernica picasso

Day 2

The Prado, Walking Tour and Gran Via

The Prado: In the morning you visit the Prado, one of the largest and most famous art museums in the world. It is the largest repository of art in Spain and contains collections from the twelfth century to the twentieth. Spanish, Italian and Dutch art is well represented here.

Walking Tour: In the afternoon you have a city walking tour. You start at the Puerta del Sol, the vast public square that has been at the bustling heart of Madrid since the 17th century. You continue to the colonnaded square of Plaza Major with its equestrian statue of Philip III dating from 1616. The tour includes the Catedral de la Almudena, Madrid’s main Cathedral and also the Palacio Real, Europe’s largest palace.

Gran Via: In the evening you can stroll along the Gran Via, one of the most impressive shopping streets in the world. Shops, theatres, restaurants, cafes and more. And the architectural beauty of the buildings takes your breath away. Walk up to the Plaza Cibeles which is another place to stop and admire the beautiful grand buildings of Madrid.


Day 3

Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, CaizaForum and San Miguel Tapas Market

Thyssen-Bornemisza: This morning is spent at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. The allure of the Thyssen is the seamless way in which it combines historical paintings dating back to the 1300’s with thought-provoking contemporary art. As well as the permanent collections, there are several temporary exhibitions each year ranging from the Renaissance to present day. All of the iconic Spanish artists of the twentieth century are represented here including Dali and Picasso, but there are also works by such varied artists as Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock.

CaixaForum: After lunch you explore the CaixaForum, a unique arts space housed in what was an old power station but has been transformed into a modern art complex. The ground level has been removed so that the building appears to float above the ground. The original brick building has been retained but has been capped with a steel framed structure and rusted steel cladding. One of the most striking features is the ‘Green Wall’, a 20-metre-high hanging garden which is dramatically illuminated at night. The centre curates modern art exhibitions which vary from season to season.

San Miguel Tapas Market: In the evening head over to the central Plaza Mayor visit the world famous San Miguel market where you can sample a tremendous range of tasty tapas.


Day 4

Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Retiro Park, Flight Home

Royal Academy of Fine Arts:  This morning you visit the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, an art academy which has seen the likes of Goya, Dali and Picasso study here. It is also an art museum which is home to works by Goya, Zurbaran, Ribera, Murillo and others.

Retiro Park: In the afternoon you can visit the Retiro Park with its ornate gardens and perfectly manicured lawns, a beautiful oasis in the city. This was a Royal Park in the nineteenth century but today is a public park. Not to be missed is the Crystal Palace which is a lavish botanical glass house built in 1887 to house exotic plants brought back from Spanish possessions around the world.

Flight Home: In the evening you transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.




The Prado


Reina Sofia Museum






San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts


El Escorial





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