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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Ferran Adrià. Auditando el proceso creativo

Want to know the secrets of the most famous Catalan chef in the world? Always wondered how his internationally renowned El Bulli restaurant operated? How about what the creative process is behind creating a restaurant of this standard? Ferran Adrià himself answers all these questions and more in the free exhibition at the Espacio Telefónica until March 2015. Three years after closing El Bulli and having raised the discipline of gastronomy to its highest level through his innovative techniques, the international award-winning chef reveals the keys to the success of his restaurant Cala Montjoi. This is not a food exhibition but a journey where you're immersed in the creative world of the chef and his team in an space that measures ​​nearly 1,000 m2 where the goal is to surprise you and invite you to reflect on your own creative side. In addition, the space is divided into different exhibition areas showing the evolution of El Bulli. From large murals, hundreds of drawings by Adrià, to objects and tools that were used in what was the best restaurant in the world, to a re-creation of the dining area and the kitchen where 1,846 dishes were prepared which revolutionised the culinary world. This is an exhibition for lovers of gastronomy and contemporary art to enjoy, and it's rounded out with workshops on creativity and innovation.

  1. Espacio Fundación Telefónica Fuencarral, 3, 28004
  2. Sun Oct 26 - Sun Mar 1
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Impresionismo americano

Following the exhibition of French Impressionism, organised by art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel in New York in 1886, American artists began to use the new brush-strokes, bright colours and fleeting effects of the French movement; many of them even decided to travel to Paris to study Impressionism firsthand. This exhibition, organised by the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny and the Terra Foundation for American Art, in collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland and Madrid's own Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, represents the first time an exhibition dedicated to the expansion of Impressionism in the USA is shown in Spain. Via more than 60 paintings by American artists, you can discover how they interpreted and adapted Impressionism between the 1880s and 1890s and its subsequent development by 1900.

  1. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Palacio de Villahermosa. Paseo del Prado 8, 28014
  2. Tue Nov 4 - Sun Feb 1
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Las Ánimas de Bernini (Bernini's 'Souls')

If there ever was a sculptor who was detailed in his work and able to represent grandeur and delicacy at once in each of his creations, it had to be Bernini. The Prado Museum is home to the first exhibition in Madrid that is dedicated and pays tribute to this amazing sculptor, architect and painter. The museum brings the sculptures 'Anima Beata' and 'Anima Dannata' to town for the occasion. Both were commissioned to Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Naples, 1598 – Rome, 1680) by Pedro Foix de Montoya. Today they are in the Palace of Spain, seat of the Embassy of Spain in the Vatican, and are on loan for the exhibition. 

  1. Museo del Prado Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014
  2. Thu Nov 6 - Sun Feb 8
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Nikola Tesla. Suyo es el futuro

The boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred in the exhibition 'Nikola Tesla. His Is the Future', which pays homage to the visionary Serbian-American genius, true founder of modern technology and father of our electrical civilisation. Nikola Tesla (Smiljan, 1856 – New York, 1943) is 'the genius they stole the light from' because his work was overshadowed by other scientists like Edison and Marconi. Not only did he conceive of AC current and the radio, but he also pioneered such visionary technology for its time as robotics, vertical aircraft takeoff, remote-controlled weapons, energy-saving lamps, alternative energies and the wireless transmission of electricity. After many years of  incomprehensible neglect, science and art have recently agreed to recognise Tesla as the true founder of modern technology. Today, Tesla has even become an icon of popular culture, making appearances in video games, comics, literature, films, songs, TV series and thousands of web pages in cross references in which reality and fiction become confused. The exhibition offers a journey through the space and time inhabited by the scientist: from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the New York of the first skyscrapers, from hotel rooms to laboratories, from fame to ruin, from genius to insanity, from loneliness to becoming a 'trending topic'. Lectures, guided tours and videos complete the programme of activities of this exhibition not to be missed.

  1. Espacio Fundación Telefónica Fuencarral, 3, 28004
  2. Thu Nov 13 - Sun Feb 15
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Paco Roca. Dibujante ambulante

Have you ever wondered how a graphic novel is created? What comes first, the story or the illustrations? Paco Roca is one of the most prestigious illustrators in Catalonia, and he'll guide you through this creative process via more than 200 pieces. You'll see sketches, notes, publications, illustrations, comics, works in the press and other more personal materials that make up this exhibition that traces Roca's career from 1995 to the present. His most famous work, 'Arrugas', is the centerpiece of the exhibition, and includes sketches of the album, the cover and the movie poster inspired by the comic. And thanks to a selection of images, you can learn how 'Memorias de un hombre en pijama' came about; the work also features in this exhibition, as Roca himself identifies with the character.

  1. Espacio Fundación Telefónica Fuencarral, 3, 28004
  2. Thu Nov 20 - Sun Feb 15
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Alvin Langdon Coburn

  • Free

Despite the fundamental role he played in the genesis of avant-garde photography, Alvin Langdon Coburn (Boston, USA, 1882 – Wales, 1966) remains one of the least-known artists of his time. The main reason is that, from 1920, and with the need to escape from London during World War I, he embarked on a new life to devote more time to spiritual concerns. Coburn intentionally withdrew from the world of photography to make art, music and religion his only occupation. However, he never fully abandoned the practice of photography.Pictorial, symbolist and innovative, Coburn was one of the leading photographers of the first half of the 20th century. Strongly influenced by Alfred Stieglitz and Fred Holland Day, two of the most important figures in the photography of his generation, Coburn's work falls at the confluence of pictorialism of late-19th-century photographic expressions associated with the avant-garde of the early 20th century.This exhibition offers a selection of 180 photographs – mostly vintage – that show the tenacity and consistency of Coburn's creative evolution. Among the institutions that have contributed include the George Eastman House in Rochester and the National Media Museum in Bradford, whose collections of works by Coburn are certainly the largest in the world. Other major works from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Galería 31 Studio, as well as an important private collection in New York are also present. This

  1. Fundación Mapfre Paseo de Recoletos, 23, 28004
  2. Sat Dec 13 - Sun Feb 8
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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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