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The Genius of Spanish Painting - Exploring Madrid’s masterpieces

A tour de force of painting in Madrid’s “Big Three” – the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza.

Other fine collections include the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the recently-restored Archaeological Museum.

Two free afternoons, allowing time for temporary exhibitions or leisurely immersion in this fascinating and lively city.

All visits accompanied by an outstanding speaker, Gijs van Hensbergen.

Flights are not included.

  • Goya Frescoes in San Antonio de la Florida ©Foupic,
    Goya Frescoes in San Antonio de la Florida ©Foupic,
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Madrid is brimming with magnificent works of art. Velázquez’s Las Meninas, Picasso’s Guernica, Goya’s Third of May 1808 – these are just some of the highlights of our trip, as we explore the city’s most famous museums and several of its lesser-known treats. By no means all the painting is Spanish: thanks to the compulsive collecting of Hapsburgs and Bourbons, and of Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid is also home to masterpieces by many of the titans of European art, from Rogier van der Weyden to Vincent Van Gogh, as well as an astonishing array of work by the master of the macabre, Hieronymus Bosch.

Day 1

The trip starts at our hotel at 6pm. After introductions and a lecture, we head to a restaurant for dinner.

Day 2

We start at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (home to works by Goya, Zubarán, Ribera and Murillo), followed by an afternoon at the Thyssen-Bornemisza – one of the world’s largest private collections, stretching from medieval to modern.

Day 3

Cross the road to the Prado. One of the world’s great art galleries, the collection is particularly strong on Flemish and Italian paintings as well as Spanish, and has been much enhanced by Rafael Moneo’s recent extension. Free afternoon.

Day 4

By coach to the church of San Antonio de la Florida to see its frescoes by Goya. Then to the Archaeological Museum, for its magnificent Iberian, Roman and medieval collections. Free afternoon, followed by dinner.

Day 5

The Reina Sofia is Madrid’s main collection of modern art, home to Picasso’s Guernica as well as important work by Dalí, Miró, Gris and Chillida, among others. The trip ends at the hotel by 1pm.


£1,080 per person sharing in a double room.

£1,360 for one person in a double room.

Flights are not included.


Accommodation and meals

The hotel: Hotel NH Madrid Nacional (4 star). 

Included meals: daily breakfasts and two dinners (with wine).


Getting around

A fair amount of walking in the museums. We will be on our feet for long periods. Participants must be able to climb stairs without difficulty.


Guaranteed departure

There is no minimum number of clients required for this trip to run. 


Maximum group size

25 participants.


Joining and leaving the trip

Flights and trains are not included, you make your own way to and from the starting and finishing point of the trip. British Airways operates direct flights from London Heathrow to Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport. Iberia and Air Europa fly directly from London Gatwick. Several carriers fly from the UK with a stop in Europe. Please refer to the hotel’s website for directions from the airport to the hotel: The hotel is a five-minute walk away from Madrid Atocha railway station, the city’s primary station. Please note The Cultural Travel Company does not arrange international or domestic travel.


Travel advice

Please check before you book to make sure you are happy with the advice for the places you are visiting.

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