A Monday in Madrid
Madrid never rests, not even on Mondays.
Madrid never rests, not even on Mondays. Although a number of museums and landmarks in the city do take a break on the first day of the week, many others remain open so there is no excuse not to make the most of every day of your stay. The following is a selection of everything you can see on Mondays in the city: from monuments and exhibition to all kinds of shows.
Royal Palace: Built in the 18th century, it boasts magnificent rooms, a large armory and a music room which houses five Stradivarius violins. Don’t leave without first talking a walk in the Jardines del Moro and Sabatini Gardens.
Royal Tapestry Factory: This institution, established in 1721 by Felipe V, preserves and exhibits textile goods, including carpets, tapestries and historical cloths that are true relics.
Royal Botanical Gardens: Designed in the 18th century, it is a peaceful retreat separated into three terraces, which together with a greenhouse, exhibit over 30,000 plant species from all over the world. Its beautiful rose garden and century-old trees make it one of the most romantic spots in Madrid.
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia: The museum, one of the cultural institutions which form the famous Art Walk, only closes on Tuesdays, so you can marvel at such treasures as Picasso’s Guernica or enjoy the temporary exhibitions of leading contemporary artists. You can also stop by the stunning Palacio de Cristal in El Retiro Park which also belongs to the Reina Sofia.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: you can see the museum’s permanent collection free of charge on Mondays between 12 noon and 4 pm. During the rest of the day the museum is closed.
CaixaForum Madrid: On the Art Walk you will also find this cultural center belonging to Fundacion La Caixa that stages interesting temporary exhibitions and other cultural activities. Located in a very striking edifice built by architects Herzog & De Meuron from an early 20th-century factory, its entrance boasts a stunning vertical garden, designed by French artist Patrick Blanc.
Fundacion Cultural Mapfre Recoletos: On another corner of the Art Walk, lie these exhibition rooms which host leading temporary exhibitions.
Centro de Exposiciones Arte Canal: Situated in the former pumping station at Plaza de Castilla, this cultural center also stages regular exhibitions of renowned works, recommended for all publics.
Fundacion Juan March: This center regularly stages significant temporary exhibitions, generally of contemporary art, and also offers regular concerts of chamber music.
Museum of Public Art: Among Madrid’s least known museums lies this hidden treasure for lovers of abstract sculpture. Situated in the open air on Paseo de la Castellana, under the shelter of a flyover, it exhibits a total of seventeen sculptures by great Spanish artists, including Joan Miro, Gerardo Rueda, Eduardo Chillida, Martin Chirino, Julio Gonzalez and Pablo Palazuelo.
Zoo-Aquarium Wax Museum: This museum, one of the most visited attractions in Madrid, offers hundreds of replicas of famous characters, both fictitious and real, including protagonists from horror films and books.
Zoo-Aquarium de Madrid: Situated in Casa de Campo and opening its door to the public every day, it is home to around 6,000 animals belonging to over 500 species from all over the world. Visit them in the zoo and aquarium as well as in the aviary and dolphinarium.
Parque de Atracciones: If you can go there at Easter or during the summer, from the middle of June to the middle of September, you will find it opens all week in Casa de Campo.
Warner Bros Theme Park: In San Martin de la Vega, just 22 kilometers from Madrid, lies this theme park which also opens on Mondays in July, August and the first fortnight in September. It offers a type of ticket that includes the train ride on Cercanias, the regional train which will drop you off at the gate to the park.
Teleferico de Madrid cable car: Offering unbeatable views over Madrid, the city’s cable car crosses Casa de Campo and arrives at a station with a cafe where you can have a refreshing drink. It also opens on Mondays in April and May.
Auditorio Nacional de Musica: The national auditorium has two halls, Symphony and Chamber, in which it stages a wide array of concerts all year round starring Spanish and international orchestras, chamber music groups, choirs and soloists.
La Casa Encendida: This cultural center stages fine arts exhibitions, audiovisual shows, films, concerts and dance performances, often on a Monday.
FNAC Callao: FNAC shops open every day of the week and the branch on Calle Preciados boasts an exhibition hall and a special area where they regularly host concerts and presentations.
Instituto Cervantes: The official institution in charge of disseminating Spanish culture and the language, has its main headquarters on Calle Alcala and is an important center of exhibitions, debates and other cultural events.
Ateneo de Madrid: Since the first half of the 19th century, this symbol of Madrid’s intelligentsia has been a fundamental spot for sharing knowledge. Its members have included Mariano Jose de Larra and Miguel de Unamuno, and its building, which was declared open in 1884, is now home to an important cultural center offering concerts, poetry recitals, conferences and audiovisual shows on a daily basis.
There are many other institutions which also organize exhibitions, musical shows, conferences and film showings, such as: Casa Arabe, Casa Asia and Casa de America, in charge of disseminating their respective cultures, and Blanquerna Centre Cultural, representing Catalan culture. Goethe Institut, Institut Francais and Istituto Italiano di Cultura work to promote the German, French and Italian languages while the school of design Istituto Europeo di Design stages various events throughout the week, including Mondays.