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.
Here is an overview:
Information about the Prado Museum
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.
Prado Museum tickets: Skip the line and guided tour
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!
- Duration: 2 hours
- Price: €37
- Smartphone tickets accepted
- Be at the meeting point 10 minutes before the tour starts! Latecomers will miss the tour and won’t be refunded.
- Cancellation is possible up to 24 hours prior to your visit.
- Rescheduling is possible up to 24 hours prior to your visit.
How much does it cost to enter the Prado Museum?
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.
Opening times of the Prado Museum
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.
The museum is open:
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?
Visit the Prado Museum for free
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.
How to get to the Prado Museum
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.
Some highlights of the Prado Museum
Looking for inspiration on what to see at the Prado Museum? Check out these top must-sees:
- Stroll through room 56A and admire El Bosco’s enchanting “El jardín de las delicias” or his thought-provoking “La mesa de los pecados capitales“.
- Move on to room 25, where Tintoretto’s stunning “El Lavatorio” awaits.
- Then there is the painting by Diego Velázquez “The Feast of Bacchus” in room 10 on floor 1.
- Don’t forget to see Van der Weyden’s masterpiece in Room 58 – it will leave you speechless! Don’t miss Durero’s Self-Portrait in Sala 55B, while Velázquez’s iconic “Las Meninas” located upstairs on floor #1 room #12.
- Continue your journey with Rubens’ captivating “Las tres Gracias” in Sala 29, before finishing with Goya’s famous family portrait, proudly displayed in Sala 32.
- In room 60 in the Villanueva Building you’ll find the painting “Dos de Mayo” (1884) of Joaquín Sorolla.
- And finally, make time for one last visit, as we recommend checking out Francisco de Goya’s black paintings, located in room #67 on the ground floor itself; including the unforgettable depiction of “el dos de mayo“.
What to see in the Prado Museum
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.
The museum has three levels
- Level 0 (Jeronimos Building & Villanueva Building) has temporary exhibits that are worth checking out.
- Level 1 features Spanish/German/Italian paintings/drawings.
- Finally, Level 2 features sculptures/Spanish paintings from the late 18th century.
Popular artists at the Prado Museum
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.
Francisco de Goya
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
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!
Prado Guide App
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!
We hope this gives you an idea of what awaits you at the Prado Museum – enjoy exploring!
There is more than one museum
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“.
Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid
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.
Visit the Prado Museum, Museo Reina Sofia and Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza
- Prado Museum: Skip The Line & Guided Tour
Discover one of the world’s top 10 museums in the sunny Spanish capital
Skip-the-line entrance to the Prado Museum
2-hour guided tour in English or Spanish
Normal ticket value: €37.00
- Museo Reina Sofía: Skip The Line & Guided Tour
Take a guided tour through 20th-century art at Museo Reina Sofía
Skip-the-line entrance to the Museo Reina Sofía
75-minute guided tour in English and Spanish
Normal ticket value: €29.00
- National Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza: Guided Tour
800 years of art at one of the most spectacular museums in Madrid.
Expert guide in art history.
Skip-the-line entrance to the permanent collection of Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza.
Normal ticket value: €25.00
Price: €82 (instead of €91)
- Select your visit dates: Choose when you want to visit and how many tickets you need
- Complete secure payment: Make your payment with our secure and easy booking process
- Receive your tickets: Get your tickets by email – follow the instructions and enjoy your visits!
Visit the Prado and the Reina Sofia Museum, Skip the Lines + Guided Tour
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!
- Skip-the-line entrance to Prado Museum
- Skip-the-line entrance to Reina Sofía Museum
- Guided tour of both museums in English and Spanish
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!