International Museum Day in Spain
Visitors in the Prado Museum in Madrid
Museums are in party mood throughout the month of May. 18 May marks International Museum Day, and Museums Night –an original initiative featuring thousands of cultural institutions all over around Europe– usually takes place on the Saturday immediately before or after. Come and experience this major festival of art in Spain.
International Museum Day is an event promoted by the ICOM (the International Council of Museums) in 145 countries. Its main objective is to make museum collections easily accessible to visitors of all ages, and to raise awareness among the public of the essential role played by museums in our cultural life.
On 18 May art galleries and museum venues in Spain celebrate their open doors day. You'll have the chance to visit all the museum spaces you wish for free, and to enjoy a close-up view of unique creations from a range of different periods and styles. If you're in Madrid, then don't miss the Prado National Museum, with the best of the Spanish, Italian and Flemish schools; the Thyssen-Bornemisza, with paintings by the great universal masters of all time; and the Reina Sofía National Art Centre, dedicated to contemporary art with works by brilliant artists such as Miró, Dalí and Picasso, amongst others. Other spaces not to be missed include the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and the Picasso Museum in Malaga –both dedicated to the work of the master of Cubism–; the Dalí Museum-Theatre in Figueres in the province of Girona; the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) in Valencia, both of which showcase the latest artistic trends.
Besides free admission and guided tours, there is much, much more to enjoy. You'll have the chance to see works that are not usually on display, be given access to rooms that are generally closed to the public, attend lectures and talks, take in concerts and theatre performances, film screenings, workshops, competitions, games for children, dance shows...
Would you like to visit a museum by night? You can usually do so on the Saturday before or after 18 May thanks to an interesting idea, known as Museums Night, when numerous venues extend their cultural activities beyond normal opening times. Some of them even stay open until 1 am, free of charge, and provide a range of activities including concerts, games, storytellers, audiovisual installations, special visits, theatre... This is a different way to enjoy Spain's museums and their collections, and to make the most of all the possibilities they have to offer. Sound interesting?
May is a the best possible time of year to visit Spanish museums, as this is the time they celebrate their very own festivity with a host of special events.