The Museo Nacional del Prado is an absolute gem in Madrid’s art scene. The museum stands as a treasure trove of artistic wonders, drawing inquisitive souls from across the globe and is considered one of the most important in the world. At the same time, it is a mirror of Spain’s turbulent history.
The Prado Museum in Madrid is one of the most important tourist attractions, being part of the Paseo del Arte, thanks to its impressive collection of paintings by Spanish monarchs.
Here is a guide on how to get tickets to Prado Museum in Madrid, including what to expect when you visit.
Also check out these Madrid landmarks and unique things to do in Madrid on a Sunday!
Here is an overview:
With more than 8,000 works of art on display, it offers an unparalleled and comprehensive selection of Spanish paintings from various periods, especially the Renaissance and Baroque. The museum has a strong focus on painters who had close ties with Habsburg Spain, such as those from Italy, Flanders and the Netherlands.
Interestingly, however, Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), whose work is neither Renaissance nor Baroque, but rather Romantic in style, is extensively represented at this iconic venue – visitors will find 114 paintings by him as well as some fifty drawings! Other notable artists include Rubens with eighty-three pieces on display, followed closely by Velázquez (50), Murillo (40), Titian (36) and El Greco (33).
To house such a valuable collection worthy of royalty, it was necessary to find an equally grand exhibition space that would do justice to the magnificence of these masterpieces. Not surprisingly, they chose one of the largest buildings on the Paseo del Prado, known as the “Cabinet Of Natural Sciences“, which has been standing tall since 1785 – perfect for displaying all these precious works of art under one roof!
Among the most famous paintings are “Self-Portrait” by Dürer, “The Three Graces” by Peter Paul Rubens and also “The Naked Maya” by Francisco de Goya. About 2.9 million people from all over the world visit the Museo del Prado every year.
And to be one of them, it’s important to buy the right ticket. Just walking through the museum can be quite a bit overwhelming, as there are so many rooms and paintings to explore.
I did a guided tour, which I can recommend you to do as well.
It’s also wise to buy your ticket online in advance. That way, you can skip the line and explore the museum’s highlights, plus get more background info on specific pieces.
Experience the beauty of the Prado Museum without having to wait in line. With a knowledgeable art expert as your guide, you’ll be transported to an enchanting world of vibrant colors and imaginative works by history’s greatest geniuses.
Escape the heat by skipping the long lines and diving right into the more than 1,500 masterpieces on display at this prestigious institution. Your tour guide will tell you the unique story of each piece, leaving you plenty of time to savor each stroke of genius along the way!
Meet your guide on the Paseo del Prado, near the Velázquez statue. Your guide will be holding a large sign that says AMIGO TOURS. Show him your smartphone ticket!
Get your ticket online here.
The entrance fee is 18€, but if you’re over 65, you get a discount.
Get your ticket online, so that you won’t have to wait in the queue.
And here’s the good news – there are certain groups of people who can get in for free! If you’re under 18 or a student between the ages of 18 and 25, just show your ID and walk right in. Also on this list: journalists, people with disabilities, and anyone who is currently unemployed.
The Prado Museum is a wonderful place to visit, but it can be very busy in the morning. If you don’t want to wait 30-40 minutes to get in, we recommend arriving earlier or later than the 10:00 am opening time.
If that doesn’t work for you, don’t worry! We recommend that you schedule your visit for an off-peak hour, such as 3:00 p.m., when crowds are light and lines aren’t long.
Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sundays and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
It’s closed January 1, May 1, and December 25.
Don’t forget, the museum also offers free admission, so why not take advantage of it?
Did you know that you can visit the Prado Museum for free? Yes, it’s true!
All you have to do is wait until the end of the day on weekdays between 6pm and 8pm, or weekends and holidays between 5pm and 7pm.
And if that doesn’t work for you, mark November 19th (Prado’s birthday) or May 18th (International Museum Day) on your calendar, as admission is also free then. For more information on any of these options, contact the museum directly – they’ll be happy to help!
If you’re on a tight budget and want to explore Madrid without breaking the bank, the free entrance to the Prado Museum might be worth your while.
Keep in mind, however, that getting inside can take some patience – especially during rush hours, when lines can form as early as 4:30 pm! But if you plan ahead and arrive with plenty of time, it’s definitely doable.
Just know that free admission means there will likely be lots of other visitors around, so don’t expect an empty museum all to yourself! All in all, though, we think a free visit to this iconic institution is well worth any minor inconvenience or wait.
The Prado Museum is conveniently located across the street from the Thyssen and Bornemisza Museums, making it easily accessible for guests staying at nearby hotels such as the Ritz, Westin Palace or NH Paseo del Prado.
For those arriving by train for a day trip to Madrid, a short walk will bring you to this iconic museum, as the Atocha train station is located directly in front of the Reina Sofia Museum and close to the Prado.
After exploring the vast collection of art housed within its walls, take some time to enjoy the beauty of nature as Retiro Park is located just behind the Prado – the perfect place to relax after your visit.
If traveling by metro seems more convenient, take line 2 and get off at Banco de Espana, which is less than a ten-minute walk away.
Address: C. de Ruiz de Alarcón, 23, 28014 Madrid
The Hop-on Hop-off Tours also stop at the Prado Museum. Here you’ll find different Madrid City Cards.
Looking for inspiration on what to see at the Prado Museum? Check out these top must-sees:
As soon as you enter level 0, you’ll be greeted with plenty of space for your luggage and the opportunity to freshen up in the restrooms. Don’t forget to check out the bookstore and cafeteria – both great places to pick up souvenirs or a quick bite to eat before exploring.
If this is your first time here, don’t worry about where to start. Just stop by the information desk and they’ll help you figure out the best route based on your preferences. They even have flyers highlighting some of our most popular exhibits if that helps! Or you can also download the Prado Guide App, see info below.
Prepare to be amazed by the incredible paintings of three great artists at the Prado Museum. With a vast collection of painters, we have compiled a list to give you an idea of what to expect.
First on our list is Francisco de Goya, known for his royal family portraits and black paintings. He traveled extensively in Italy to learn new painting techniques, which are evident in his works, which are prominently displayed throughout the museum.
Diego de Velazquez’s famous baroque works can also be found here, with one of his most iconic pieces being The Meninas on Level 1 – well worth a look!
Finally, Jerome Bosch of the Flemish Primitive movement has several pieces on display, including The Garden of Delights, which was used as religious teaching material during the Spanish monarchy.
Make sure your visit includes an English-speaking guide so they can provide detailed information about each work as you explore this magnificent art gallery!
Discover the wonders of one of the largest public collections of paintings in the world with ease, thanks to the official Prado Guide app. This handy tool allows you to explore over 400 works from anywhere in the world, at your own pace and convenience.
Expertly annotated by specialists from this prestigious institution, each work is presented along with fascinating details about its history, artistic personality, and significance within the larger collection. You’ll also find technical specifications for each piece, as well as high-quality, downloadable HD images.
With user-friendly technology that makes navigating chapters a breeze – including an introduction to all collections along with brief histories – it couldn’t be easier or more enjoyable! Plus, links are provided so you can access useful information directly from the museum’s website or even buy souvenirs online!
This essential app has been created in collaboration between Samsung (as technology partner) and the Prado Museum, ensuring that users receive only the highest quality editorial content, while using clear interfaces throughout their experience to explore these masterpieces anytime/anywhere!
Google Play | Apple IOS
We hope this gives you an idea of what awaits you at the Prado Museum – enjoy exploring!
Did you know that the Paseo del Prado now boasts two other impressive museums – the Reina Sofía and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza? With these new additions, Madrid is ready to rival Paris and London when it comes to its art scene.
It’s no wonder the locals now refer to it as the “Paseo del Arte“.
At the end of the Paseo del Prado and a stone’s throw from Atocha train station, you’ll find the iconic Reina Sofia Museum.
Originally built as a hospital by King Carlos III in the 18th century, it was transformed into an impressive museum of contemporary art in 1992 after nearly two centuries of operation. The collection boasts some incredible Spanish and European paintings, sculptures and audiovisuals spanning over a hundred years to the present day – each piece telling its own unique story about Spain’s socio-cultural and political processes throughout history.
But wait! There’s more!
This amazing museum not only has permanent exhibitions, but also temporary ones, including music shows or dance performances that are sure to leave you feeling inspired. So why not let our experienced guides take you on your own private tour where they will share all their knowledge about Spain‘s recent past while you explore famous works such as Picasso’s Guernica or Dali’s Surrealism?
The Thyssen Museum, housed in the charming 19th-century Villahermosa Palace, is a true gem that opened its doors to visitors in 1992.
This remarkable museum boasts the largest private art collection in Europe, thanks to the Spanish state’s acquisition of it from none other than the Thyssen-Bornemisza family.
As you walk through this magnificent space and admire some of history’s most famous artists, such as Ghirlandaio, Caravaggio, Van Gogh or Cezanne, you’ll be transported through Western art movements spanning over seven centuries!
The cherry on top? You can also feast your eyes on stunning pieces by Hopper, Lichtenstein, or Kooning!
But wait… there’s more! An exclusive tour takes you behind the scenes for an unforgettable experience as knowledgeable guides reveal the secrets of these priceless works of art.
Get your guided tour ticket for all three museums online.
Price: €82 (instead of €91)
Take a journey through the art of Spain and visit two of the top museums with a professional guide. Get your ticket online here to skip the line and to have a guided tour.
Discover the wonders of art in two of Spain’s finest museums on a delightful four-hour tour! The Prado Museum boasts an impressive collection of some of the most famous artists in history, including Velázquez, Goya, Raphael and Rubens. Feast your eyes on masterpieces like Velázquez’s Las Meninas or Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights – truly awe-inspiring works from the 16th to 19th centuries that are sure to leave you breathless!
At the Reina Sofía Museum, delve into popular modernist movements such as abstractionism and cubism, while exploring more recent surrealist pieces. This is where Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí left their mark with stunning works that showcase Spanish culture.
Join the expert guide as he takes you through these world-class galleries for an unforgettable experience filled with beauty beyond compare!
Book your tickets here
The Prado Museum is a true gem in Madrid’s art scene and a must for art lovers.
With these tips on how to buy tickets, you can make the most of your visit and avoid any unnecessary stress. Whether you’re interested in classic Spanish art or want to explore the works of some of Europe’s greatest masters, the Prado has something for everyone.
So don’t hesitate – book your tickets today and get ready to immerse yourself in the world of art and culture!