Culture 2023, record year in visitors for the Prado Museum, the Guggenheim and National Heritage

Museums and art centers in Spain have begun to publish figures for public attendance in their rooms during 2023

Culture 2023, record year in visitors for the Prado Museum, the Guggenheim and National Heritage

Museums and art centers in Spain have begun to publish figures for public attendance in their rooms during 2023. The first notable news comes from the National Prado Museum, which has received 3,337,550 visits in 2023, 3,241,263 of them at its main headquarters in Madrid, the busiest museum in Spain. The figure is the highest in the history of the museum and represents an increase of 33.51% compared to 2022. Holy Week 2023 (April 3 to 9) was the busiest, with 81,724 visitors. The daily average in 2023 rises to 8,954 people. The museum's audience has an average visitor age (45 years), higher than last year (38 years in 2022). The female audience predominates (57%), with higher education (81%) and with stable employment (56%). The recovery of international tourism has also been noted in the balance of the year, since 49.7% of tickets were sold to foreigners, the highest figure since 2019. The Prado highlights the presence of visitors from Japan (9%). , Mexico (5%), Italy (4%) and France (3%). The presence of Asian visitors is the highest in history. Another interesting fact: a high percentage of the public made their first visit to the Prado in 2023 (48% compared to 53% the previous year).

For the Reina Sofía National Museum, the balance is more complex: its main headquarters has received 1,409,113 visitors, 20% more than last year. However, the temporary closure for works of the Crystal Palace, the space it runs in the Retiro Park and which has free access, has made the overall balance negative: the total number of visitors to the Reina in 2023 was 2,530. 560 visitors, almost a sixth less than in 2022 (3,063,092 tickets sold). On the other hand, the museum has increased its ticket collection, which has grown by 29% compared to 2022. 64.2% of visitors to the main headquarters entered during the free access time slot. The Reina's audience has been the most international of all, with 73% of foreign clients. The most frequent nationalities have been those of Italy, France and the USA.

National Heritage also breaks its historical record of annual visits thanks to the opening of its new room, The Gallery of Royal Collections of Madrid. In 2023, 6,370,770 people have visited the palaces, monasteries and green spaces in six autonomous communities managed by the public entity. This figure is more than a million more than the visitors registered the previous year and is also 19% higher than 2019, the year of its previous record. In the annual count, the Royal Palace of Madrid stands out with 1,421,428 people. Following as the most visited spaces of National Heritage are the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (445,166) and the new Gallery of the Royal Collections (336,058, since its inauguration six months ago).

The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum has announced that in 2023 it will receive 1,012,660 visitors, almost the same number as in 2022 (1,073,183 people). The museum has highlighted that the quota of one million tickets sold is a milestone that has only been surpassed seven years in its history. 60.9% of the visitors were of national origin (40.3% from Madrid and 20.6% from the rest of Spain) and 39.1% were international. Visits to the permanent collection have increased by 17.6%, to 715,395. The most viewed exhibitions have been Lucian Freud. New perspectives (180,014 people), In the eye of the hurricane. Avant-garde in Ukraine, 1900-1930 (158,241) and Picasso. The sacred and the profane (117,200).

In the private sector, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has closed the best year in its history with 1,324,221 visitors received (35,074 more than in 2022). 1,152,072 of these visitors came from outside the Basque Country. The museum management recalls that this increase is especially relevant if one takes into account that in 2022, in the year of the Museum's 25th Anniversary, tens of thousands of Basque citizens had free tickets thanks to the commemorative program Opening to the territory and Denontzako BBKartea for all . As a notable fact, in 2023 the Museum has recovered the level of foreign visitors prior to the pandemic, with 60% of the global count (10% more than in 2022). France, Germany, Great Britain, the United States and Italy have been its main markets.

The "la Caixa" Foundation, the entity that manages 11 centers in nine cities, has announced that 8.1 million people will have visited its rooms and the temporary exhibitions it has shown in 73 cities in 2023. The CosmoCaixa Science Museum was the most visited of all, with 1,266,989 visitors; followed by CaixaForum València (899,339) and CaixaForum Madrid (655,422). The CaixaForum network plans to present 34 exhibition titles in 2024 that can be visited in its centers and that will travel to more than 80 cities in Spain and Portugal.