Europe Spain Madrid How to Buy Tickets to the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid

How to Buy Tickets to the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid

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Modern and contemporary art lovers visiting Madrid on vacation should definitely plan to stop by the Reina Sofía Museum. This world-famous museum is a sensation with tourists and locals alike, seeing over 3.5 million visitors a year and ranking ninth among the world’s most popular museums, according to Forbes. But what makes this Madrid attraction so enticing? Well, the Reina Sofía Museum is not only home to a massive collection of exquisite modern and contemporary Spanish art, but it is also located on Madrid’s Paseo del Arte boulevard with two other world-leading museums, allowing tourists to soak up Madrid’s incredible art scene on one fantastic street. Inside, several artworks can be found by some of Spain’s most famous 20th-century masters, like Salvador Dalí and Picasso, along with Catalan artists Antoni Tàpies and Joan Miró. 

The Reina Sofía Museum is truly a memorable attraction to visit, but what truly makes it memorable is how you visit the museum and what kind of Reina Sofía Museum tickets you purchase. There are several ways to buy tickets, see the museum, and experience the art, and we will lay it all out with this guide on how to buy tickets to the Reina Sofía Museum! 

Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Reina Sofía Museum: To avoid spending your holiday standing in the hot sun, we highly recommend booking a skip-the-line ticket to the Reina Sofía Museum or opting for a guided tour. The latter is generally the better choice, as it provides deeper insights into the artists and the masterpieces on display. Additionally, you can bundle a visit to the Reina Sofía Museum with the Prado Museum into one guided tour, giving you the best bang for your buck.

Queen Sofia Museum in Madrid, Spain
Takashi Images / shutterstock.com

Best Way to Buy Tickets to Reina Sofía Museum

Whether you’re visiting the Reina Sofía Museum for a weekend or a week-long holiday, you’ll want to know all your options. Reina Sofía Museum tickets can be grouped with other attractions, purchased in a tourist pass, or upgraded to include a guided tour or skip-the-line pass. Below we have outlined the best and least recommended ways to get tickets to the Reina Sofía Museum so you can find the museum that fits your itinerary and interests. 

Line-Up in Person (Not Recommended) 

The Reina Sofía Museum draws huge crowds of tourists all looking to get tickets and appreciate the museum’s artwork. We highly recommend against getting your tickets at the door, especially during high season, as the line wait times can be very long on top of it being hot and sticky in Spain. Waiting can be especially long if you are looking to see a temporary or special exhibit, as time tickets are then required and can sell out quite fast online. 

The only time we recommend lining up in person for the Reina Sofía Museum is if you are attempting to acquire complimentary tickets on one of the museum’s free days or time blocks. Free tickets to the Reina Sofía Museum can be obtained online or in person at the ticket office up to four months in advance. The timetable tourists can line up for free Reina Sofía Museum tickets and enter is as follows: 

  • Monday Through Saturday (closed on Tuesdays): From 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
  • Sundays: From 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Holidays: April 18, May 17-18, October 12, and December 6. 

Free tickets are valid for all areas of the museum, including the permanent collection and temporary exhibits. However, temporary exhibits with timed entrance tickets or specialty pricing are not included. Remember you will only have two hours for a free visit, except on holidays (the whole day is free). 

Book Online (Recommended)

For those simply wishing to visit the museum on a self-guided tour, the best option is to book tickets to the Reina Sofía Museum a few weeks in advance online either on the museum’s official website or through a third-party seller like GetYourGuide. We recommend the ladder for those who plan to pay in another currency (not in Euro) as a general admission ticket costs the same on both platforms, but GetYourGuide allows visitors to pay in several currencies. This way, you can avoid currency conversion fees from your bank or credit card company. You can purchase your ticket in advance here.

General admission tickets allow access to the entire museum’s permanent collection and essentially act as skip-the-line tickets for the Reina Sofía Museum as ticket holders will get to bypass the ticket office line and walk right in after showing proof of ticket. However, those who wish to also visit temporary exhibits will need to purchase a combined ticket, which includes access to the temporary exhibits, the museum’s permanent collection, and an audio guide. Free tickets are also available online up to four months in advance. 

Book a Guided Tour

Seeing as the Reina Sofía Museum doesn’t offer any group guided tours, the next best thing is to book this 75-minute guided tour from GetYourGuide. Not only will you get more insight into the lives of the masters behind the artwork and the artwork itself, but you’ll also get to ask questions and see the museum in a completely different way than if you were to tour the exhibits on your own. Group guided tours are held Wednesday to Saturday and on Mondays and include a knowledgeable guide fluent in English and Spanish, an entrance ticket to the museum, and the option to continue exploring the museum after the tour.  

Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain
Photo: pedro2009 | Depositphotos

Book a Private Guided Tour

Those with a passion for art and knowledge may be interested in signing up for a private guided tour so that they can get more in-depth information on the artworks and artists’ lives, as well as have a personalized experience inside. While you can book private tours through the museum, we recommend instead booking this two-hour private guided tour; and there are a few reasons for this. First, private tours through the museum must be arranged in advance via customer service and cannot be purchased quickly online. Private tours are also only held when the museum is closed to the public. While this offers a unique experience inside the museum, it means that the tour will be held during off-peak hours that may not be convenient for you or your group. 

With GetYourGuide’s private guided tour of the Reina Sofía Museum, visitors will find several tour days available (Wednesday through Monday) and can book with ease online in their own currency. Private tours are also available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., every hour on the hour, offering more convenience and flexibility for tourists planning their Madrid travel itinerary. Plus, tickets are fully refundable up to 24 hours in advance and qualify for GetYourGuide’s ‘Reserve now, pay later’ feature, meaning tourists can book in advance and pay at a later, more convenient time. 

Buy a Combo Guided Tour Ticket

Combine modern works and historical European paintings by visiting both the Museo Nacional del Prado and the Reina Sofía Museum with this combo guided tour ticket. Tourists can plan the ultimate art day in Madrid and save some money compared to if they booked each tour separately. The tour starts at 9:45 a.m. and begins at Museo Nacional del Prado with a one-and-a-half-hour museum tour where visitors will learn about the history of the museum, see the National Art Gallery of Spain, and learn about Spanish/European artworks and movements from 4500 BCE to the 19th century. The Prado tour is followed by 30 minutes of free time in the museum. After, the group will stroll along the Arte del Paseo just up the street to the Reina Sofía Museum, where they will get a 75-minute tour of the museum covering modern art movements and famous Spanish artists, followed by 45 minutes of free time to explore. 

Purchase a Tourist Pass

If you’re a real go-getter on vacation and like to see and experience as many attractions as possible, then a Go City tourist pass may be the right move. The Go City Passes are the ultimate ticket in Madrid, offering access to over 30 attractions, tours, and experiences as well as savings of up to 50%. 

The Go City All-Inclusive Pass is the best ticket in town as you’ll get access to all 33 experiences and attractions for the days you choose. The pass works not based on the amount of attractions you plan to visit, but on the amount of days you plan to use the pass. For example, you could choose a three-day pass and enjoy unlimited access to attractions for those three consecutive days. 

If you have a set number of attractions you plan to visit on your trip or are unsure if you’ll be able to make the most out of the All-Inclusive Pass, then purchase a Go City Explorer Pass instead. This is valid for a set number of attractions rather than a set number of days. Simply choose how many attractions you’d like to visit and then you’ll have 60 days (from your first attraction visit) to use the pass. 

Purchase a Paseo del Arte Pass

The Paseo del Arte Pass is perfect for art enthusiasts who want to visit the three Paseo del Arte museums multiple times. The Art Walk Pass, as it’s known in English, includes the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Reina Sofía Museum, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and visitors can purchase the pass online or in-person at any three of these museums. Once purchased, pass holders can pick it up at the museum they purchased it through and will have one year to visit all the museum’s permanent collections as much as they like! 

Visitors at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, Spain
Photo: Adriana.stapfl.yahoo.de | Depositphotos

Useful Information for Visiting Reina Sofía Museum

What’s the Best Time to Visit the Reina Sofía Museum?

The best time to visit the museum is during a weekday early in the morning right as the museum opens. Afternoons at the museum tend to be much busier, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. as this is when free ticket holders can enter and a majority of tourists plan to visit. Weekends are the busiest as locals are off of work and weekend travelers fly in for a few days. Also, remember high season will impact how many visitors are touring the Reina Sofía Museum, so if possible, opt to visit during Madrid’s shoulder season (March to May) or low season (November to February). 

What Are Reina Sofía Museum’s Hours of Operation? 

The Reina Sofía Museum’s hours of operation vary depending on the season, the day, and the exhibition. However, the hours for the main venue throughout the year are Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Visitors will be asked to exit the museums 15 minutes before closing and the ticket office closes 30 minutes before closing time. The Reina Sofía Museum is closed on Tuesdays and holidays. Dates in which the museum is closed or partially closed are January 1 and 6, May 1 and 15, November 9, and December 24, 25, and 31. 

How to Get to the Reina Sofía Museum?

This Madrid museum is broken up into four different buildings spread across the city. Most tourists will visit the main venue, which is made up of the Nouvel and Sabatini buildings on the Paseo del Arte. Madrid Station – Puerta de Atocha is located a 10-minute walk away and the Estación Del Arte metro stop is right next door to the museum. Tourists could also opt to use the old heel-toe express as the museum is centrally located near many other top-rated attractions in Madrid like Puerta de Alcalá and Plaza Mayor (20-minute walk), along with Real Jardín Botánico (10-minute walk). The other two buildings associated with the museum are located within a 25-minute walk of the main venue in El Retiro Park. 

How Do Reina Sofía Museum Tickets Work?

Reina Sofía Museum tickets work as standard museum tickets with no time limit or time restrictions. Simply purchase a general admission ticket and you’ll have access to the museum’s entire permanent collection for the day of the valid ticket. Tickets can be shown on a phone or printed. There is a need to purchase separate tickets for special temporary tickets and pricing can vary depending on the exhibit. There is also a cap on how many tickets the museum can sell each day, so if you are hoping to score a ticket at the ticket office, check their online availability first to see if they have sold out for the day. The same rings true for free tickets, if you’re unsure if there are any left, check online first. 

There is also an option to purchase a multi-entry general admission ticket through the official website, which allows visitors to enter twice on different days within one year, which is ideal for those who want to visit other buildings or break their visit up into two trips. 

How Much Do Reina Sofía Tickets Cost? 

When it comes to where to buy tickets to the Reina Sofía Museum, the pricing is pretty standard across the board. General admission tickets purchased in-person or online cost €12 per person. However, some visitors can visit for free if they can show proof of eligibility. For example, students under 25 years old can visit for free but if they are not studying in Spain, they will need to show an International Student Identification Card (ISIC). Other concessions may be required depending on the category. In general, those who qualify for free tickets are as follows: 

  • Visitors under 18 years old.
  • Students up to 25 years old.
  • Students 25+ who are studying for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Fine Arts, History, Art History, or Conservation and Restoration. 
  • Active teachers (with proof of ITIC teaching card).
  • Those with a disability degree of 33% or more. 
  • Journalists.
  • Youth Card Holders

Guided group tours of the Reina Sofía Museum are €32 for adults and children 12 years old or older and €28.80 for kids 11 or younger. Those looking to book the combo guided tour of both the Reina Sofía and Prado will find tickets for €65 per adult and €58.80 for children aged three to 11. Infants up to two years old are free on both guided group tours. For a private two-hour tour of the Reina Sofía Museum with an art expert, it will cost €170 per person regardless of age. 

For passes, a Paseo del Art Pass is valid for one year and costs €32 per person. For the Go City All-Inclusive Pass, prices start at €65 for adults and €59 for children aged three to 11 for one-day passes and vary in pricing up to €169 for adults and €129 for children for a five-day pass. The Go City Explorer Pass starts at €69 for adults and €59 for children for a three-attraction pass and goes upwards of €149 for adults and €109 for kids for a seven-attraction pass. 

What Are the Best Hotels Near the Reina Sofía Museum? 

Since the Reina Sofía Museum is centrally located and near several other museums and attractions, tourists might find it convenient to stay close to the museum. One of the best places to stay nearby is the Bob W Arte Hotel. This highly-rated aparthotel offers spacious rooms with a private kitchen, washer and dryer, and air conditioning, along with hotel services like free breakfast and luggage storage. 

Another excellent option is Hotel Catalonia Las Cortes, located just off of Calle de las Huertas in the Centro area of Madrid. Visitors will find pet-friendly contemporary rooms along with room service free snacks and sandwiches during the day. It’s also less than a 10-minute walk from Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Legends: The Home of Football Museum, and the shops and restaurants of Gran Vía.  

The Only YOU Hotel Atocha is also a great choice, especially since it’s located beside the Royal Observatory of Madrid and just down the street from El Retiro Park. Inside, tourists will find a modern hotel with funky décor and incredible top-floor views from the breakfast room. The four-star hotel also boasts soundproof rooms, an on-site café, a restaurant, and a fitness center. 

What is Security Like at the Reina Sofía Museum?

While you won’t have to go through a thorough security check, there are rules and a list of prohibited items that are not allowed inside the museum. Visitors cannot enter the museum with a backpack bigger than 30cm by 30cm (11.8 in by 11.8 in). Those entering with backpacks will have to wear them on their front to not disturb other visitors. Skateboards, rollerblades, and scooters can enter and be stored in a locker (in the main venue only) so long as they fit into the locker. 

What About Visiting the Reina Sofía Museum With a Disability?

The Reina Sofía Museum is very accessible for those with a disability as the museum offers several services like wheelchair ramps along with wheelchair-friendly washrooms and cloakrooms. Wheelchairs and folding cane seats are available at the Nouvel Building as well as personal magnetic induction loops for acoustic amplification and Spanish Sign Language interpreters. To learn more about services offered and specific building layouts, visit the museum’s accessibility page

Exhibition at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, Spain
Photo: LuckyTD | Depositphotos

Facts About Reina Sofía Museum

What is the Reina Sofía Museum?

The Reina Sofía Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum based in Madrid. It houses a large collection of Spanish works, including incredible artwork by Spanish masters like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. 

Where is the Reina Sofía Museum?

The Reina Sofía Museum is located in the heart of Madrid on the Paseo del Arte and a 10-minute walk from Madrid’s train station. 

What Not to Miss at Reina Sofía Museum?

The top three artworks not to miss out on are Picasso’s Guernica, Dalí’s Face of the Great Masterbatur, and La Ventana Abierta (The Open Window by Juan Gris. 

How Old is the Reina Sofía Museum?

The museum is a 90s baby and was inaugurated in 1992!

How Many Paintings Are Inside the Reina Sofía Museum?

There are roughly 20,000 paintings inside the museum. 

How Long Should I Spend at the Reina Sofía Museum?

Two hours should be long enough to explore the highlights and works. However, much longer is needed if you intend to visit more than one of the buildings as the walk between them is 25 minutes. 

Can I Get Free Tickets?

Yes, free tickets are available online or in person for specific time slots and days.

Why Visit the Reina Sofía Museum?

The museum is home to an impressive amount of modern and contemporary artworks by Spain’s most recognizable masters. 

Are There Audio Guides Available?

Yes, audio guides are available for rent in several languages for an additional cost. 

Can I Purchase a Skip-the-Line Reina Sofía Museum Ticket?

Technically, there is no additional option to bypass ticket check-in lines. However, a general admission ticket acts as a skip-the-line pass by allowing holders to bypass the ticket office line and go directly inside. 

Now that you know all your options for exploring this wonderful museum, it’s time to send you art lovers off to Madrid so you can stop reading and start experiencing Reina Sofía’s magic. We hope you enjoy the artwork and have a memorable time in Spain’s capital!

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