Things to Do

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



This week and beyond

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Three million theatre-goers in New York, London, Sydney, Sweden, Canada, Italy and Argentina, and now the musical based in the 1994 movie of the same name arrives in Spain. It's the story of three friends who cross the Australian desert aboard a dilapidated bus that they baptize Priscilla. They're on their way to do a drag show and are also on the lookout for love and friendship. A road movie taken to the stage with 40 artists, 500 spectacular costumes, 200 fabulous wigs and one 10-tonne robotic bus. Oh, and of course, 25 of the greatest disco hits to ensure a good time is had by all. (In Spanish)

  1. Nuevo Teatro Alcalá Jorge Juan, 62, 28009
  2. Thu Oct 2 - Sat Oct 31
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El hacedor de marionetas

  • Free

The Palacio de Cristal in the Retiro park is the stage for an extraordinary scene. If you pass by, you'll find, installed in the central area of the room, an old caravan and, inside, a woman dozing alongside strange dolls and puppets. The dream world you see through the windows of this peculiar roulotte is actually one of the works of Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. 'The Puppet Maker', as this travelling exhibition is called, is a sensory installation that you can visit in Madrid until March 16, and which teases out the voyeur in all of us. 

  1. El Retiro park Plaza de la Independencia, s/n, 28001
  2. Wed Nov 19 - Mon Mar 16
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Carlos Garaicoa. Orden inconcluso

Carlos Garaicoa (Havana, 1967) is a key figure among Latin American artists of the '90s, and a reference both inside and outside Cuba to understanding the artistic discourse through the internationalisation of Cuban art from the decade, according to the curator of this exhibition, Agustín Pérez Rubio. Since the '90s, Garaicoa has maintained a loyal following interested in his work regarding the social, economic and political changes resulting from the history of the 20th century, which are encoded in the territory of the city as a field of study, with the main focus on architecture and urbanism. Garaicoa has been living in Madrid for almost nine years, and he has a studio here as well as in Havana. The exhibition Orden Inconcluso (Inconclusive Order) aims to draw a line between different decades of the photographer's work, making a precise selection of works that have the economy and architecture as a common denominator power, as well as power, control and utopia. At the same time, the exhibition offers the possibility of seeing a new series of works done expressly for this project that try and frame as well as delve more deeply into this feeling of the artist by connecting the various political and economic realities that he has had to endure.

  1. Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo Avda. Constitución, 23, Móstoles, 28931
  2. Sun Nov 23 - Sun Mar 8
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Chema Madoz

  • Free

There's no more poetic photography than that of Chema Madoz (Madrid, 1958). With more than 25 years of experience as a photographer, Madoz now shows his most recent images, shot between 2012 and 2014, at the Elvira González gallery. The exhibition is made up of 35 black-and-white photographs that create poetic and surprising metaphors from everyday objects. Madoz was recognised in the year 2000 with the National Prize in Photography and has been involved in some of the top exhibitions in the 2014 edition of Les Rencontres d'Arles (France), Europe's photography festival with the most international relevance.

  1. Elvira González General Castaños 3, 28004
  2. Thu Jan 22 - Sat Mar 14
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El poder de las canciones

  • Free

Who doesn't know a song by The Rolling Stones, The Who or Neil Young? Now you can look back on 60 historic moments of 20th-century pop culture via the songs that gave them life. Commissioned by the director of 'Rockdelux' magazine, Santi Carrillo, this exhibition (The Power of Songs) will delight music lovers. Besides being able to hear each composition and read part of the lyrics, you'll also be able to see a series of films.

  1. Matadero Madrid Plaza de Legazpi, 8, 28045
  2. Thu Jan 29 - Sun Oct 4
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Guerrilla Girls

  • Free

'Do women have to be naked to get into the Metropolitan Museum in New York?' This is possibly the most well-known line to come from Guerrilla Girls, a group of anonymous artists that emerged in the '80s on both sides of the Atlantic and that called attention to the structural nature of the difference in sexes in the institution of art. Matadero Madrid hosts this retrospective of about 70 large-format posters, a projection, books and other documents. The exhibition confronts the belief that the field of art is terrain of social vanguard and exposes its conservative nature and sexist condition. An international reference on denouncing sexism for 30 years using facts, humour and gorilla masks.

  1. Matadero Madrid Plaza de Legazpi, 8, 28045
  2. Sat Jan 31 - Sun Apr 26
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Not Yet. On the Reinvention of Documentary and the Critique of Modernism, 1968-1989

The Prado is known as always being connected with the canonical in terms of art, and the Reina Sofía for the very latest of the latest. 'The rediscovery of the experience of working photography; the emergence of a new constellation of photographic practices and groups linked to the new social movements; the emergence of self-managed projects for photography in pursuit of different forms of articulation with public policies in expansion; the discourse of the new social movements and the "urban spin" in social struggles.' Sound familiar? No, this isn't about the present day (or is it?), but about reinterpretations of the 1930s and the new documentary movement out of the 1970s. It's the description of the first big event of the Museum of Contemporary Art and we can't help but shudder when we read it. A must (even more so in such a politically charged year).

  1. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Santa Isabel 52, 28012
  2. Tue Feb 10 - Mon Jul 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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