Each year, millions of visitors flock to Spain’s impressive portfolio of galleries. For good reason. Once the strongest empire in the world, Spain’s influence once extended from Peru to the Philippines, Cuba to Ceylon, across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. With such a wide reach, it is no wonder that an abundant wealth of arts and culture came under its control.
From the small and intimate to the enormous and inspiring, galleries across Spain touch every genre including modern to classic, romantic to rustic. For a taste of the arts, here are a few of the best museums in Spain, all reached on our small group tour to Spain.
The Four Best Museums in Spain
The Guggenheim, Bilbao
Half the fun of this museum is taking in the architecture. The Canadian-American designer named Frank Gehry crafted a 50m high atrium that leads to American and European Art of the 20th century.
What was built in a decrepit port area of the city, has transformed Bilbao into one of the most art-centric centres of Europe. Now the curved titanium walls of the building give way to the river and large outdoor art features such as the flower-filled Puppy, or the 9m tall spider named Maman.
Cave at Altamira
The museum that was erected on the site of the ancient petroglyphs is an impressive yet intimate look into cave art of this region. Dating back to 12000 BC, the caves are full of prehistoric paintings of wild animals and impressions of human hands.
When discovered in the 1870s the vivid and evocative paintings were nearly perfectly-preserved. Even Picasso commented on the paintings here: “After Altamira, everything is decadence.”
Picasso Museum, Barcelona
Speaking of Picasso, to witness his transformation as an artist is truly inspiring. Thousands of pieces are displayed across five adjoining medieval palaces in the heart of Barcelona.
Built during the time of dictatorship, it was Picasso himself that suggested Barcelona be the place of a museum dedicated to his work, as over the years he had grown an intimate relationship with the city. After being founded by his friend, Picasso donated over 900 pieces to the project in 1970, many of which his family had been keeping since he was incredibly young. This is a true gem and a rare look at the progression of Picasso’s genius.
The Prado, Madrid
Originally opened to the public in 1819, the Prado houses all of the finest works collected by Spanish Royalty as well as Spanish paintings gathered from other sources over the past two centuries.
The Prado is one of the most important repositories of art in the world, including a vast collection of Italian paintings. A real highlight for those visiting Spain, is to spy the creations of Spanish legends such as Velasquez, Goya, Ribera, El Greco, and Zurbaran.
Join us for guided tours of each of these museums during an impressive look at the Iberian Peninsula. Learn more about our small group tours to Spain.
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