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Prado Museum

Last updated: 10 February, 2024

One of the finest museums in the world, the Prado was originally meant to be a museum of natural science. However, by the time it was completed in 1819, its purpose had shifted to that of a grand art exhibition space. Today, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, it is the single best collection of Spanish art and arguably the world’s finest collection of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century.

Its vast galleries are packed with household-name masterpieces and heavyweight artists – the stars of the show being Velazquez, El Greco and Goya. The hugely impressive permanent collection comprises around 8,000+ drawings, 7,600+ paintings, 4,800+ prints, and 1,000+ sculptures – though at any one time, only 1,300 works are displayed in the main building due to capacity constraints.

There are usually also several world-class temporary exhibitions running alongside the permanent collection.

Logistics

Price from: £13
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The nearest metro stations are Banco de Espana and Atocha. You can book your ticket online before you go, to avoid the queues and guarantee entry. Tickets are limited. You can buy them at the entrance ticket office too.

The museum is vast and overwhelming. There is a helpful interactive visual guide to the vast museum on the website – worth a look to familiarise yourself with the place before you go.

The museum offers a 90-minute guided tour of the Collection (around £10 extra, bookable and payable at the entrance). Tours are in Spanish or English at different times (see the website for the starting times of each). Alternatively, there are numerous local operators offering expert-led guided tours (see our recommendations below). Guided tours, of course, have the advantage of taking you to all of the masterpieces, and giving insights and background to the paintings and their artists.

If you’re planning on seeing lots of art, the Paseo del Arte joint ticket gives a 20% discounted entry to the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. The pass is available at any of the three museums, which can be visited on different days.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, seven days a week. Arrive first thing in the morning at 10am, or mid-afternoon, and you’ll be more likely to beat the crowds. It gets very crowded between 11am and 2pm, and also after 6pm (when admission is free on most days). These free admission hours will save you a buck, but don’t expect to have the place to yourself.

Who to go with: organised tours

15

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Madrid

We are proud to say that this experience was awarded with the Viator Experience Award 2023 for second time in a row! This tour goes through the Prado Museum highlights. There are more than one thousand paintings inside (no, we didn't make a mistake, that's the truth), so we can't explore it all, nevertheless, we provide the base for you to go on your own after the visit. That's why we like to describe this as a didactic tour. However, if you're an Art Pro, we've got good news: since we're going to be only 7 people, you can choose what to see and make requests, and that's why we like to describe this as a flexible tour. If you are coming in a bigger group, send a mail and we'll arrange the visit.

Price €56

Min age 0

Rating 4.91 / 5 [1008 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Madrid

Visit and learn about two essential places in Madrid in one morning. We will start the day with a full visit to the Royal Palace, a gigantic building symbolic of the European monarchs, that will surprise us with its rich decoration and the number of rooms and halls it contains. After a walking guided visit the main iconic places of Madrid between the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum, we will finish our journey with with a 90-minute tour of the Museo del Prado, seeing its most outstanding rooms and paintings. Special emphasis will be placed on the paintings that have in one way or another changed the history of art and become universal references. We will get to see works by Murillo, Velázquez, Goya, Rubens, and Tiziano among many others. All of these visits will be made using points of preferential access, with official guides and with entrance fees included. This way, all that you have to worry about is enjoying Madrid and its beautiful monuments.

Price €65

Min age 0

Rating 4.23 / 5 [604 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Madrid

Any trip to Madrid should feature two things: a visit to the Prado Museum and a meal at Botín. On this tour, you'll experience both! Begin with an exploration of the highlights of the Prado’s massive collection, carefully selected so you don’t have to worry about navigating the 7,000+ pieces on your own. Then, you’re off to Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world. Head behind the scenes for an exclusive tour before enjoying a three-course meal, including their signature dish.

Price €111

Min age 0

Rating 4.90 / 5 [250 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Madrid

Hit the Prado Museum as the first visitors when the doors open to the public on this 4-hour Madrid tour. This experience offers access to the museum early in the morning before the crowds arrive. An expert guide will lead you through this beautiful building and you’ll see works such as Velazquez’s ‘Las Meninas’ and El Greco’s ‘The Annunciation’. Learn about the artwork from a guide, and then after a small break, head to the Reina Sofía Museum and admire abstract and surrealist works by Picasso, Dali and more. Do not miss this chance to visit two of the most important museums in Spain!

Price €65

Min age 0

Rating 4.02 / 5 [248 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Madrid

There's plenty to see inside and outside of Del Prado. And with a skip the line ticket, you're set to enjoy this attraction to the max. So, don't wait long to enter this attraction - there's no time to lose with this private skip the line tour! Your local guide will leave no details behind. Check out Retiro Park, Plaza de Cibeles, plus the many treasures that can only be found in this worldwide-known attraction. With a local guide by your side, you get the ins and outs, answers to your Del Prado questions, and a different and personalized perspective of the attraction. Withlocals Skip the Line Private Tour™ is one of Withlocals' signature tours available in major cities worldwide. We work with passionate local guides who earn a fair fee. We support local economies by only offering local products and preventing over-tourism with only small non-intrusive groups. Our tours are carbon-neutral and away from the standard tourist routes.

Price €141

Min age 0

Rating 4.91 / 5 [189 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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