Visit the Thyssen Museum in Madrid: tickets, prices, opening hours

Visiter le Musée Thyssen à Madrid

Staying in Madrid? Trace the history of painting, from the Middle Ages to the present day, as you explore the impressive collection at Madrid’s Museo Thyssen!

After visiting the Museo del Prado and the Museo Reina Sofia, where can you fill up on art in Madrid? Ideally located on the Promenade de l’Art(Paseo del Arte), the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is a great place to discover new works of art. But don’t be fooled! Its impressive collection, comprising over a thousand pieces, is unique. The Thyssen Museum takes you on a journey through the different eras of European painting. The museum’s well-thought-out layout promises a smooth, pleasant visit. A must-see during your stay in the Spanish capital! Museum history, works, opening hours, prices… Here’s all you need to know about the Thyssen Museum in Madrid.

History of the Thyssen Museum in Madrid

Histoire du musée Thyssen à Madrid

Photo credit: Shutterstock / EQRoy

The Thyssen Museum, a family affair

The museum’s history is closely linked to that of the German Thyssen-Bornemisza family. Indeed, they built up one of the most important art collections of the 20th century. It all began with Auguste Thyssen (1842-1926), who developed the family empire through the steel industry. With a keen interest in the arts, he commissioned Auguste Rodin to create a series of seven marble sculptures. They marked the beginning of the collection! Unfortunately, the First World War broke out and the project was delayed…

It wasn’t until 1956 that his son, Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, took over the collection. He began in the 1920s with works relating to Impressionism, 19th-century American painting and the 20th-century avant-garde. By the time of his death in 1947, he had amassed some 530 paintings! They were then bequeathed to all his heirs. However, one of his sons bought out and reunited the entire collection. He then added a number of paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries, Flemish primitives and works from the German Renaissance. As the years went by, the Villa Favorita in Switzerland, which housed the collection at the time, became too small to accommodate the numerous works of art. Heinrich (the son) therefore decided to transfer them to the Villahermosa palace on Madrid’s Paseo del Arte! This splendid late 17th-century neoclassical building became the cradle of the collection.

Opening of the Thyssen Museum in Madrid

The Thyssen Museum opened its doors to the public in 1992 in Madrid and in 1993 in Barcelona. But how did the Thyssen-Bornemisza family transfer their impressive collection to Spain? In the 1980s, the first approach was made… under the radar! At the time, the Spanish government was looking to buy an illegally exported Goya painting, La Marquesa de Santa Cruz. Looking for sponsors, they contacted the family. But negotiations took a radically different turn. In the end, it was no longer a question of finding the funds to buy the Goya. The government offered to house the collection!

The Thyssen-Bornemisza family collection is highly coveted. However, Spain agreed to all the conditions! The agreement was signed and the museum opened its doors. Just one year later, in June 1993, the Spanish government purchased a majority of the works in the collection for $350 million. The real value of the collection? An estimated $2,000 million! The news spread around the world and even made the front page of the New York Times. The reason for the discrepancy was simple: the Baron wanted to ensure the continuity of the entire collection. In 2004, the collection was further expanded by Heinrich’s widow, Carmen. Finally, in 2017, the museum was granted national museum status, underlining the fact that the collection had become public property.

What to see and do at the Thyssen Museum in Madrid

Que voir et faire au musée Thyssen à Madrid ?

Photo credit: Shutterstock / dmitro2009

A visit to Madrid’s Museo Thyssen is like contemplating a veritable panorama of the history of European painting. No less than seven centuries of art are waiting to be explored! Throughout the rooms, you’ll find masterpieces of the very highest order. You’ll find works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Gauguin, Klee, Hopper, Duccio, Monet, Rubens, Caravaggio and many more! The museum comprises 21 rooms, each corresponding to a period, a school or a theme. All in all, it’s an ideal visit for those in search of eclecticism. Would you like to get an idea of what you’ll find when you visit the Thyssen Museum? Here are a few collections that stand out from the crowd!

Auguste Rodin’s sculptures

In the museum lobby, you’ll find the pioneers of the museum’s collection: sculptures by Rodin!

Works from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era

In the first rooms, you’ll find Italian and Dutch primitives, as well as other medieval paintings. A visit to the Thyssen Museum is like seeing history flash before your eyes. You’ll come across works by Cranach, Bosch, Titian, Rubens, Caravaggio, Fragonard and more.

The Impressionists

If there were only one reason to visit the Thyssen Museum? It’s its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. It’s the largest in Spain and one of the richest in Europe! From Monet to Renoir, via Pissaro, you’ll discover the masterpieces of this transgressive movement.

The avant-garde of the 20th century

Here, you travel back to the first half of the 20th century. The Thyssen Museum houses an important collection of avant-garde works by Munch, Delaunay, Hopper and many others.

Modern and contemporary art

On the first floor, you’ll find a collection of modern and contemporary works of art. True masterpieces await you: Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Magritte, Miro: Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Magritte, Miro… They are a perfect representation of fauvism, cubism and surrealism.

Temporary exhibitions

Visiting the Thyssen Museum also gives you the chance to admire temporary exhibitions. These cover a wide range of themes: Spanish fashion, photography, antique jewelry and more. Retrospectives are also on offer.

How to get to the Thyssen Museum in Madrid

Would you like to visit the Thyssen Museum? There are several ways to get there:

  • Metro: stop at Sol station, served by lines 1, 2 and 3;
  • Bus: routes 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15, 20, 27, 34, 37, 41, 51, 52, 53, 74, 146 and 150 serve the museum;
  • Bicycles: the nearest BiciMad station is number 29 on Calle del Marqués de Cubas;
  • Car: you can park in the Las Cortes parking lot;
  • Train: the nearest stations are Estación de Atocha and Estación de Recoletos.

Thyssen Museum opening hours and admission fees

Horaires et tarifs du musée Thyssen

Photo credit: Shutterstock / dmitro2009


  • Monday: 12:00 to 16:00 (free admission to the museum)
  • Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Please note: opening times for temporary exhibitions may vary.


Here are the ticket prices, including visits to the permanent and temporary exhibitions:

  • General rate: €12
  • Reduced rate (international students, over 65s, large families): €8
  • Free (under 18s, 33% disabled, unemployed)


– Access to the permanent exhibition is free for everyone on Mondays from 12:00 to 16:00.

– The museum is accessible to disabled visitors. Please do not hesitate to call them for further information;

Audio guides are available free of charge. These enable you to find out more about the museum’s 20 most emblematic works;

– Activities and tours accessible to all publics are organized. Visit the Thyssen Museum website to find out more.