Today we visited a couple other smaller museums, specifically coordinated with nap time. We started with the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid’s Modern Art Museum, which is housed in a renovated hospital. Between museums we also took in Madrid’s largest and most beautiful park, Parque del Retiro, where the big people alternated reading on a blanket while the other followed our little one around as she ran up to all the passing strangers and tried to follow them home. We also visited the Royal Botanical Gardens. Our last Museum was the Caixa Forum with its very small Museum in a renovated utility company building. We went mostly to check out the building but found ourselves surprised at how much we enjoyed the exhibit by Giambattista Piranesi, of his etchings, drawings and architectural works… To finish off a relaxing day of Museums and gardens we found an outdoor café with tapas and sangria.
Guidebooks – Since we were traveling light we kept our books to a minimum. For this leg of our trip we used Fodor’s Spain and were very happy with it. We never felt the need for a city specific guide. We have now used it for five trips to Spain and never needed anything more. For European travel in general Fodor’s are my go-to Travel Books.
Museo Reina Sofia – Madrid’s Modern Art Museum; it’s a modern art museum so it’s really a matter of taste. It can be toured in a couple hours. — If You Like Modern Art
Royal Botanical Gardens – A nice break from the city for a walk, but if you’re tight on time not a must do. If you do see the gardens though make sure you don’t miss the green house. This is a great stop if you are traveling with kids that need to stretch their legs. They probably won’t care about the flowers but they will be in a safe, enclosed area where they can have some space to wander about. — If Time Allows
Caixa Forum – If you have any architectural interest this is a must do, otherwise there are other things that you should probably tackle first. I greatly enjoyed it and because it was not a long stop the rest of my party was happy to tag along. — Architect Must See, Everyone Else Maybe