Things to Do

Essential museums, monuments, festivals, walks and tours in Madrid



This week and beyond

La Biblioteca Nacional de Israel

  • Free

La Casa del Lector in Matadero Madrid starts its cycle called 'Library: Geographical History of an Idea', devoting digital displays to the impressive archives kept at the National Library of Israel. This is an interactive exhibition in that through the use of tablets, mobile devices and QR codes you can access documents, maps, videos and audio files that reflect the history of the Jewish people throughout the centuries. Among the most interesting items of the collection are a letter written by Stefan Zweig dating back to 1933 that describes the anti-Semitism that reigned in Austria, as well as a diary written by the father of the Basch family, which chronicles the last days of their lives before they were deported to Auschwitz in May 1944 during the Jewish holiday, Shavuot (Pentecost).

  1. Matadero Madrid Plaza de Legazpi, 8, 28045
  2. Wed Mar 5 - Sun Sep 21
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Playgrounds

This exhibition focuses on a space that's rarely the star of shows that fill up museums: the playground. With nearly 300 pieces spanning genres (photography, film, video, sculpture, installations...), 'Playgrounds' offers a journey through these play areas and their capacity to transform society with works by the likes of Goya, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Giacometti and Xabier Rivas. From the playground’s fun beginnings to when free time started being gobbled up by consumerism, the exhibition takes on the anti-productive attitude, the right to be lazy and not do anything in the face of the frenetic pace of modern life.

  1. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Santa Isabel 52, 28012
  2. Wed Apr 30 - Mon Sep 22
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Ajoblanco. Ruptura, contestación y vitalismo (1974-1999)

The magazine 'Ajoblanco' provided the best critical look at public live in Spain for more than 20 years. In the exhibition ‘Ajoblanco. Ruptura, contestación y vitalismo (1974-1999)’, ou'll find some 180 magazines and 30 special editions that will help you take a closer look and learn about this libertarian way to enjoy culture, ideas and artistic collectives. The publication is divided into two different stages, from 1974 to 1980 and from 1987 to 1999, becoming part of the memory of four different generations of readers.

  1. Centro Cultural Conde Duque Conde Duque, 11, 28015
  2. Wed May 28 - Sun Sep 21
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Mitos del pop (Pop Art Myths)

The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza welcomes 'Pop Art Myths', the first exhibition on pop art in Madrid since 1992. Featuring more than 100 works, including pioneering British pop art, and the classic American version and its expansion into Europe, the exhibition aims to take a hard look at the myths and great artists that have traditionally defined the movement. It's the perfect opportunity to revisit pop art in Madrid, while enjoying works by such representative artists as Warhol, Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Hockney, Hamilton and Equipo Crónica, among others. This is the biggest of the big summer art shows in Madrid.

  1. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Palacio de Villahermosa. Paseo del Prado 8, 28014
  2. Tue Jun 10 - Sun Sep 14
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Le Corbusier. An Atlas of Modern Landscapes

At the age of 77, Le Corbusier went for a swim in the Mediterranean and was swallowed by the sea. It was the summer of 1965, and he'd already spent more than six decades fighting with the landscape. Although he was born in Switzerland, or perhaps because he was born in the geographic centre of Swiss timing, he became a poetic machinist who produced housing accommodation (houses and flats), he conceived enormous cities redrawing the landscape from an airplane, and he transformed reinforced concrete into the dominant material of the modern age.You can see this, and much more, in the CaixaForum, itself a modernist building apparently far removed from the theories drawn by the man born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1887 – Roquebrune-Cap- Martin, 1965) and widely known by the pseudonym Le Corbusier. 'An Atlas of Modern Landscapes', the subtitle of the exhibition, is the most comprehensive ever seen, and will explain the intention of the curator, Jean-Louis Cohen: architecture, which was less appreciated when engineering got in touch with its creative side, searches for a new space in the urban universe and ends up rooting itself in line with the saying taken from the Goya painting, 'the sleep of reason produces monsters'.Le Corbusier, as can be seen through objects, models, photographs, drawings, installations and various documents, was a multifaceted creator. His ideology was above the mainstream: he worked for Soviet communists, Italian fascists, South Ameri

  1. CaixaForum Paseo del Prado, 36, 28014
  2. Wed Jun 11 - Sun Oct 12
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Richard Hamilton

The best works of one of the pioneers of pop art finally arrive in Madrid in the form of a retrospective exhibition. Richard Hamilton (London, 1922-2011) was a British painter who left school to work in an advertising agency. There he started his artistic journey, which would end up making him the father of pop art, thanks to his unique interpretation of mass culture. This exhibition brings together more than 250 works produced between 1949 and 2010 and includes paintings, photographs, drawings and etchings, as well as works that resulted from Hamilton's experimentation with computer-generated images and collaborations with other artists. Pay special attention to the installations 'This Is Tomorrow', 'An Exhibit', 'Man, Machine and Motion' and 'Growth and Form', reconstructed for the first time for this show, which coincides with 'Mitos del Pop' at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.

  1. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Santa Isabel 52, 28012
  2. Fri Jun 27 - Mon Oct 13
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More things to do

Culture in the capital

  1. Plaza de Legazpi, 8, 28045
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Museo del Prado

  • Critics choice
  1. Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014
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  1. Paseo del Prado, 36, 28014
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  1. Santa Isabel 52, 28012
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Círculo de Bellas Artes

  • Critics choice
  1. Alcalá 42, Marqués de Casa Riera 2, 28014
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Centro Cultural Conde Duque

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. Conde Duque, 11, 28015
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La Casa Encendida

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. Ronda de Valencia 2, 28012
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Teatro Compac Gran Vía

  • Price band: 3/4
  1. Gran Vía, 66, 28013
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