See paintings by top Spanish and European artists without the crowds.
There are loads of first-class artworks in this museum, which very few people visit. It's right in the centre, and really cheap to get in. What more do you want? It's worth going in just to see the Goya paintings - 13 of them! - which include two self portraits, and if that doesn't float your boat, there is work by El Greco, Picasso, Sorolla, Ribera, Murillo and Zurbaran too. European artists include Rubens, Van Dyck, Tiepolo, Tintoretto and Arcimboldo.The building is interesting in itself, as the museum is housed in what was a grand residence designed in the 1720s by Jose Benito de Churriguera and adapted for its new use 50 years later by Diego de Villanueva. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts was founded in the mid-18th century and started out by collecting works by artists from Spain and other countries who were working in Madrid at that time.There is usually at least one temporary exhibition on too.