The Museo Nacional del Prado is Madrid’s most famous museum. Opened to the public in 1819, today it boasts a world-class collection of European artwork, including more than 7,000 works spanning from the 12th century to the early 19th century. At any time, about 1,300 pieces of art are on display.
The museum started out as a royal collection of art, and visitors can still get a feel for the varying tastes of monarch’s past. The Prado is especially acclaimed for works by Spanish painters, including Velazquez, El Greco, and Goya, as well as “foreigners” Titian, Bosch, Rubens, and Rembrandt.
Visiting the Prado Museum…
The museum is open daily from 9 AM to 8 PM, and closed on Mondays.
General admission to the museum costs €6 if tickets are bought at the museum’s ticket office. Advance tickets (allowing you to skip the line) can be purchased online through the Prado’s website, for €9.
However, the Prado offers free admission at the end of every day for two hours (three on Sunday). From Tuesday through Saturday, the museum’s doors are wide open from 6 PM to 8 PM, and on Sunday from 5 PM to 8 PM.
With so much to see, we’d suggest visiting the museum multiple times for free. Popping in to tackle one artist or one section of the museum is not only doable in two hours, but could help prevent “museum burn-out.”
Tip: Check out the museum’s recommended list of 15 masterpieces on the Prado’s website. This virtual tour offers historical insights into the collection’s most famous paintings.
Next stop: Munich!