Art tour in Spain travel plan: Madrid, Granada & Seville

Here’s another travel plan from Kiwi Collection that features a few of their fancy hotels. They did one on California not that long ago.

One of my all time favorite things to do, regardless of where I am in the world, is to spend long afternoons in art galleries and museums. Exploring the art scene in a new city gives a tourist a good feel for the local culture and also helps you get a new perspective on the world around you.

I always feel inspired after a day well spent soaking up the local culture. This short trip is going to take you through Central and Southern Spain, tasting the local flavor and culture though art.

Day 1 & 2:

Land in Madrid. Anytime of the year is a good time to be here Jim went to Madrid in winter) and after visiting you soon may adopt this city as your new favorite place on earth! Characterized by intense cultural and artistic activity (and a very lively night life), Madrid is the kind of city where you look up, not down, to make sure you’re not missing any of the details on all of the beautiful buildings.

Even though this is the first stop on your trip, I’d recommend giving yourself some leeway so if you choose to stay longer than just a day or two, you can. The Westin Palace, Madrid is probably the best spot to drop off your luggage and get your art tour going. Beautifully designed and not too pricey, this centrally located hotel is the perfect starting point for your adventures.

There are three must see galleries in the city all located close to each other and first on the list is El Museo del Prado. Only five minutes away from the hotel on foot, this galley is on the top of every art lovers’ list when visiting Madrid. The Prado’s list of treasures is so huge that it can only display about a tenth of its collection at one time.

The next gallery to visit should be The Renia Sofia, better known as the home of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’. This gallery gives you a great taste of almost all of the best Spanish artists of the 21st century.

And finally, head over to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. This fun museum has works from almost every major European artist installed in chronological order. You can go on a walking tour taking you though European paintings from the 13th century to the present.

Just a few tips – don’t plan your tour on a Monday or you will be out of luck as all of the galleries are closed. A good way to save some money is to purchase the “Paseo del Art Ticket”, which will grant you access to all three galleries.

Day 3 & 4:

Head South to the breathtakingly beautiful city of Granada. This trip is about a 4 hour drive, if you have a rental car, or you can take a bus which is usually about a 5 hour trip and shouldn’t cost you more than about 30 Euros.

Granada is rich in history and is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year. The Albaicin is an old Arabic quarter of the city full of cobble stone streets and white washed houses. This area often described as an oil painter’s paradise as there is a wonderful view at almost every turn here….make sure to bring your art supplies!

You will also want to spend one of your days here exploring the famous Alhambra (a Moorish palace which sits on top of a big hill in the southeastern part of the city). The Islamic architecture is mixed with Christian 16th century buildings and gardens, making for a fascinating day of wandering and enjoying the best of both cultures. This is not only Granada’s biggest attraction, but is one of the biggest attractions in the country – so don’t miss it.

A great place to stay during your travels here is the Hospes Palacio de los Patos, which is located right in the heart of the city’s commercial district and is perfect for this trip as it fosters the cultural and artistic scene for its guests and residents in Granada.

The city offers a fair selection of art galleries and museums but if you have to visit one, the Museo de Bellas Artes is the one you should see. It’s only about a one minute drive from the hotel and showcases a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures and plasters, with many that date back to the 1500s.

At night, you’ll really want to take advantage of the flamenco shows, and the lively tapas scene here, so make sure you save some energy.

Day 5 & 6:

Seville is the next and final stop on the list, and is only about a three hour drive away from Granada. If you brought your camera along with you get ready to use it. This laid back, friendly city has some of the most stunning architecture and is home to the famous Alcazar, the 10th century Moorish fortress which was converted into an intricately designed sprawling palace.

Food is also a treat here, and any Sevillano will tell you that the art of tapas had its beginnings in Seville. There are over 1,000 tapas bars in the city, all serving a variety of dishes making sure that it’s pretty much impossible to not be satisfied.

In terms of museums, the Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla is the place you are going to have to definitely go. This is Spain’s second most important art gallery after the Prado in Madrid. The museum’s collection of amazing works comes from a wide range of famous artists and is housed in a 13th century former convent which is quite a work of art in and of itself.

And after the this long inspirational tour you should defiantly rest up at the EME Fusion Hotel. Located right in the heart of the city and less than a 10 minute drive to the museum, this chic and urban hotel is a perfect contrast to its easy going surroundings. Like the city itself, your experience here will truly be one of a kind.

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  1. Melissa says:

    Great ideas on things to do in Spain in this blog, and quite an extensive list of some of Spain’s higher-end hotels.

    Thanks for sharing this! My friend is going to Spain next year, so I’ll be sure to forward this to him.

  2. Andrea says:

    Great article, although if art is what your traveling to Spain to see I would not miss Barcelona. The city is booming with art and architecture. Gaudi’s architecture is all over the city. The Picasso Museum is there, as well.

  3. Dan says:

    This looks like a great itinerary. It’s quite fitting that you would start an art themed Spanish holiday in Madrid. It is without question one of the most important cities in Eueope for art lovers.

    Another type of tour I would suggest would center around Spanish architecture. For this one, I would start in Barcelona, as Gaudi’s creations there are not to be missed when visiting Spain.

    Keep up the great holiday travel suggestions!


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