9 Best Entry-Free Museums In Madrid, Spain

free museums in madrid
| 5 min read

When traveling in Madrid, you’ll find yourself lost in a maze of narrow streets, surrounded by Neoclassical buildings with people buzzing here and there. Installed as the national capital of Spain in the 16th century, its history actually dates back to prehistoric times. In a city that is almost as old as time, expect to visit museums and cultural centers that are just a stone’s throw away from each other. But before you step foot on any of them, we’ve got the perfect compilation for budget travelers. Check out our list of the best entry-free museums in Madrid, Spain. Scroll down to find out more.

1. Fundación Canal

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Fundación Canal on Sunday, January 24, 2021

Deemed as the most underrated museum in Madrid, the Fundación Canal is located in the northern region of the city and it serves as an exhibition space. It was founded in 2000 by Canal de Isabel II, the company that manages the city’s water supplies to raise awareness for the environment and water through artistic expression. When you enter the 2,500-square-meter (26,910-square-foot) canal system, you’ll be greeted by bare brick arches that were laid in the 19th century. To get there, take the Metro to Plaza de Castilla and be in awe of the architecture and the exhibitions on display.

Fundación Canal

Address: Mateo Inurria, 2, Madrid 28036

Website: Fundación Canal

Opening hours: Thu - Tue: 11am - 8pm; Wed: 11am - 3pm

Price: Free

Visited this place?

2. Museo de Historia de Madrid

Museo de Historia de Madrid (España) 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Zaqarbal used under CC BY-SA 3.0

History buffs, don’t start anywhere but the Museum of History of Madrid, also known as Museo de Historia de Madrid. It tells the story of the city from 1561 up until the first world war. Located on Fuencarral Street, take the Metro to Tribunal Metro Station and be greeted by a grand Baroque doorway. Take a journey back in time as you view over 60,000 paintings, documents, photographs, sculptures, and other historical pieces on display. Expect to spend a few hours here as you walk through three sections of the museum covering history from the 16th to 18th century, from the 18th century up until the War of Independence, and the 19th century up until the First World War.

Museo de Historia de Madrid

Address: Calle de Fuencarral, 78, 28004 Madrid, Spain

Website: Museo de Historia de Madrid

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 8pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free

Visited this place?

3. San Isidro Museum

San Isidro Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Guillermo Ramos F... used under CC BY 2.5

History and art lovers will enjoy Museo de San Isidro. The new building is located on the grounds of a 16th-century Renaissance courtyard and a 17th-century chapel. It is said to be where Saint Isidore, the patron saint of Madrid, lived in 1080. The museum hosts a permanent exhibition that displays the archaeological and paleontological heritage of the city. It spans 600 square meters (6,458 square feet) of the home space. Outside, there is a water well where the saint performed the miracle of the baby, an incident where the water rose and lifted Saint Isidore’s master’s son when he fell in. Because it is relatively ‘under the radar’, you won’t find a crowd here even during the peak season.

San Isidro Museum

Address: Plaza de San Andrés, 2, 28005 Madrid, Spain

Website: San Isidro Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 8pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free

Visited this place?

4. Madrid Blind Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

You don’t have to be blind to enjoy every aspect of this museum. Crafted by the blind about the blind, the Museum for the Blind was inaugurated in 1992 to showcase art installations made by the visually impaired, tools used, and other temporary exhibitions that depict topics related to being blind. Here, you’ll focus on your sense of touch instead of your vision, as most art pieces require. As you stroll about the four rooms, you’ll be guided by a recorded voice tour. As you feel the art, your eyes will be opened to how much we take our gift of sight for granted.

Madrid Blind Museum

Address: C/ de la Coruña, 18, 28020 Madrid, Spain

Website: Madrid Blind Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 3pm, 4pm - 7pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

Price: Free

Visited this place?

Madrid Tour Guide

sandra lopez

Sandra Lopez

Hi! I'm Sandra, a tour guide from Madrid. I was born and raised in the city center of the capital, so I know every single corner of my favourite city in the world. I have two years of experience as a guide and I love my job, I am very sociable and I am passionate about showing Madrid to everyone. I love history and I am an art expert thanks to the Prado Museum courses.

Tours by Sandra

Madrid Tour Guide

Patricia Knabe

Patricia Knabe

Hi! I am a photographer that’s triying to go ahead in filming as a cinematographer. Very social person that has experienced the Madrid during the transicion, Movida madrileña and the LGTB movement. Love to show my city in a special way with all the history and improvements that are happening today. I love to show my city with a different personal perspective. Meeting people from all over the world is amazing.

Tours by Patricia

5. Casa Museo Lope de Vega

Casa Museo de Lope de Vega. Estudio (02)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Turismo Madrid Co... used under CC BY 2.0

If you are a fan of the works of Lope de Vega, the “golden age” writer, also known as the “Shakespeare of Spanish literature”, you must pay a visit to Casa-Museo de Lope de Vega. This 16th-century house was where he resided for a while. You have to make a reservation by email or telephone before visiting. Choose between an English or Spanish 30-minute guided tour that covers the writer’s study, library, kitchen, and his servants’ rooms. The decor and layout of the home are reimagined by designers to depict how he would have lived. However, some of the objects on display did belong to him.

Casa Museo Lope de Vega

Address: Calle Cervantes 11, 28014 Madrid Spain

Website: Casa Museo Lope de Vega

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free

Visited this place?

6. Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo

Patio del Cuartel del Conde Duque en Madrid
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Airin used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Ignite all your five senses at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, translated as Museum of Contemporary Art. We suggest popping in to check out lesser-known artists showcasing magnificent work in these spacious quarters. It covers two to three floors depending on how many temporary exhibitions are on display. The museum is located within the Cuartel del Conde-Duque building, which used to be an army barrack that is now refurbished. Even if you are not a fan of contemporary art, pay a visit to take in the building’s architecture. There are not many visitors even during peak hours, so you can thoroughly enjoy yourselves without feeling rushed as you gaze at the beautiful art installations.

Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo

Address: Calle del Conde Duque, 9, 28015 Madrid, Spain

Website: Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 2pm, 3pm - 9pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm, 5.30pm - 9pm; Sun: 10.30am - 2.30pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free

Visited this place?

7. Panteon de Goya

Francisco de Goya, Madrid. Tumba
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user José Luis Filpo C... used under CC BY 4.0

Whether it is a pilgrimage or a casual visitation, Panteon de Goya must not be missed when you are in Madrid. Although it is a little further out from all the other touristy sites, it is considered one of the “worth-your-time” freebies in this city. Renowned Spanish artist Francisco de Goya is buried here, close to where he painted his magnificent frescoes at a record time of 120 days. This museum now stands to remember the painter and the painted Saint Anthony of Padova. Gaze at the frescoes and try to tell yourself that it is actually a painting, not a live scene. Don’t be confused if you see two identical buildings on site. One still functions as a chapel and the other, a museum. Goya’s tomb is located at the foot of the chapel.

Panteon de Goya

Address: Glorieta San Antonio de la Florida, 5, 28008 Madrid

Website: Panteon de Goya

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9.30am - 8pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Free

Visited this place?

Museums with donation as entry fee

8. ABC Museum

Madrid - Museo ABC 5
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Zarateman used under CC0

If modern architecture puts a smile on your face and geometrics thrill you, then a visit to the ABC Museum is a must! Located close to the Conde Duque Center, this 1891 building housed Madrid’s first Mahou beer factory. Now, it stands unrecognizable as the facade has been reimagined and transformed to be one that exudes modernity. The six-floor building accommodates function rooms, offices, and a bookstore. These amenities are fused with 200,000 pieces of drawings, prints, graphic designs, and illustrations from the late 19th century to the present. It also hosts temporary exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and even concerts. There is hardly ever a dull moment here.

ABC Museum

Address: Calle de Amaniel, 29, 28015 Madrid, Spain

Website: ABC Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 12pm - 5pm; Sun: 10am - 1pm (closed on Mon)

Price: By Donation

Visited this place?

Museums that are free on certain days

9. Museo Archeológico Nacional

Mosaicos, Museo Arqueológico Nacional
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Emilio J. Rodríg... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Museo Archeológico Nacional is translated to the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid. Considered a world-class museum, you have the chance to visit it for free on Saturdays and Sundays. Founded in 1867, it is the oldest museum in the country. The museum was later moved to where it stands now in 1895. The latest renovation was complete in April 2014. It displays artifacts dating back to 200BC up until the recent past. Most of the collections here are from the Iberian Peninsula, from prehistoric times to the early modern age. There are also other collections with pieces from Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, and a few historically significant items from the east.

Museo Archeológico Nacional

Address: Serrano 13, Madrid 28001

Website: Museo Archeológico Nacional

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9.30am - 8pm; Sun: 9.30am - 3pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 3.64 USD (Free on Saturday and Sunday)

Visited this place?

10. Sorolla Museum

Museo Sorolla, Madrid. Spain
Source: Photo by Flickr user Juan Antonio Segal used under CC BY 2.0

A visit to Museum Sorolla feels very much like a personal introduction to who artist Joaquín Sorolla was. He and his family lived here until he died in 1923. The home and its collections were then donated to the state. As such, you can be embraced by the largest collection of Sorolla’s works here, today. It is considered to be one of the better-preserved house-museums in Europe. Sorolla spent the latter part of his life painting its surroundings. It was opened to the public in 1932, showcasing his personal items such as letters, clothes, and ceramics. However, the private sections of the house located on the upper floors are not open to the public.

Sorolla Museum

Address: Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 37, 28010 Madrid, Spain

Website: Sorolla Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9.30am - 8pm; Sun: 10am - 3pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 3.64 USD (Free on Saturday and Sunday)

Visited this place?

Get cultured at no cost

Who says you have to spend a bomb getting to know a city intimately? With this list of museums to visit, you’ll get to know bustling Madrid at almost no cost at all. From art, history, and the city’s perspective, checking off museums on this list is the best way to travel smart.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Rachel Yeoh, a blend of oxymoronic attributes, identifies herlself as a lazy overachiever. Her profession involves writing, and she engages in singing when the sun sets. Additionally, Rachel...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Madrid
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.