A Day at the Reina Sofia and Chocolateria San Gines

There are so many thing to do in Madrid and the museums are a DEFINITE MUST! The Reina Sofia holds a lot of more modern pieces of art. If you time it right, you can get into the museum FREE. In this case, I got in for free after 2:30 P.M. Check the schedule for Reina Sofia to see when their free days are. GRATIS! I had to kill some time so I decided to go into the Reina Sofia Cafe. They had free wifi, so I was able to check my emails on my iphone and write to people which was a bonus. The inside of the cafe is super SPACE SHIPPY! Total Avantgarde feel for a cafe. I had tortilla and a coffee.


To get into the Reina Sofia, I took a glass elevator up to the collections. It reminded me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

List of days in 2012 on which access to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is free of charge

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 2:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Sunday
  • April: 18
  • May: 18
  • October: 12
  • December: 6

Guernica, one of Pablo Picasso’s masterpieces hangs proudly in the Reina Sofia. I don’t want to explain it in detail because you have to see it. Guernica is a large painting that covers an entire wall. One of the surprise highlights is being able to see all the pre-sketches of Guernica before it was finally completed. The original bull’s directions in the pre-sketch was facing a completely different direction than from the original completed work! Had it not have been for the Spanish Civil War, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and Oscar Rodriguez may have never been inspired to paint the way that they did.

Source: http://www.pablopicasso.org/images/paintings/guernica.jpg (Pablo Picasso.org)

The museum will take you a good three hours or more. There are benches along the way and video segments where you can sit down and look at clips of the Spanish Civil War. There were placards in English which made the experience much more enjoyable. The museum does a fantastic job of discussing the affects of the Spanish Civil War on artists. Bring a sketch pad to take notes if you are interested in the topic.
A few snapshots of some famous Salvador Dali’s Paintings at the Reina Sofia:
The Great Masturbator – Salvador Dali (1929)
 There was a Kusama Yayoi exhibit going on at the Reina Sofia. I was ecstatic to see some of her works because I lived in Japan and saw her super COOL exhibit at the famous Mori Art Museum at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. I was super disappointed by her exhibition as it was a small hallway with some of her famous polka dots. The traffic from people’s feet made some of the polka dots on the ground seem tacky and worn out.
After the museum, I decided to go and get a small bite to eat before a big dinner. Tortilla espanola is a great snack to tie you over until dinner. It is made of egg, potato and has bits of onion in it. It usually comes with a piece of local bread. Pairs great with orange fanta or a tinto de verano (lighter version of sangria) Cost me only 4 Euros for the whole ordeal and tasted great!
Took a nap at my bed and breakfast until 8:30 PM and then went out for dinner around 9:00 P.M. The Madrilenos love to eat late into the evening. I planned on having Japanese food, and there was a recommendation in Rick Steves for a restaurant called Sakura. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PLACE. The book said it was Japanese owned, but I can tell you that it was not. And if it was, it may have been run by a Japanese Yakuza (mafia). I got bad vibes from the place and left. By the way, LO SIENTO means, sorry.  I felt like Italian food, so I found a chain restaurant called Ginos. I purchased tomato/basil pasta for 9 euros and I bought a pellegrino for 2 euro 50. Totally filled me up and was a great refresher from eating all the jamon iberico on a daily basis. I thought the service was great and the food tasted good. The only thing that I had a bit of a problem with, was the screaming kid that was sitting next to me. After dinner, I popped into Chocoloteria San Gines where they are FAMOUS for Chocolate con churro. It cost 7 euros and came with several strips of churros and a large cup of chocolate. For those of you not used to chocolate con churro, the churros are deep fried and the chocolate is THICK. I felt funny eating by myself, but I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. They were open at 10:14 PM
 Gino’s in Madrid (If you are on a budget, it was reasonable)
 Chocolateria San Gines (A must go for getting a SWEET glimpse of Spanish culture)
 Walked home through Plaza Mayor. Gay pride was going on so there was some funny activity going on in which I spotted several men walking home in their underwear. Also saw a man playing as a baby in a stroller crying (typical) and saw kids playing soccer in Plaza Mayor. Walked down Calle Cava Baja which happens to have tons of cool bars and tapa bars with lots of people laughing and having fun. Saw some whippits, a funny guy playing rock guitar, blood on the streets (scary) and smelled wafting smells of urine. Gotta love the city!  Walked back home to Abracadabra. Almost went to La Vaca (Argentine Restaurant) close to my bed and breakfast. Had a great day in Madrid!
Works Cited:
“Guernica, 1937 by Pablo Picasso.” Pablo Picasso: His Artwork, Quotes & Bibliography. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. <http://www.pablopicasso.org/guernica.jsp&gt;.

2 thoughts on “A Day at the Reina Sofia and Chocolateria San Gines

    • Hi Jessica! Thanks for reading my story. Glad that you also love tortilla! The best tortilla I had though was in Cordoba, Spain at a placed called Bar Santos! I’ll definitely try to write a story about that!

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