Travel info for Prado Museum in Madrid

A major cultural stop in Madrid


Paseo del Prado, Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain

GPS: 40.414545567992, -3.6913335009754

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The most visited museum in Spain, the Prado Gallery is one of the largest art galleries in the world. In addition to its internationally renowned collection of paintings, the Prado Museum also exhibits thousands of valuable sculptures, drawings, engravings, prints, coins and decorative arts. Alongside the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Prado proudly occupies the cornerstone of the golden triangle of Spanish art in the Atocha-Mediodía district of Madrid.

Originally housed in two separate buildings (the Villanueva building, named after the Spanish architect Juan de Villanueva, and the Casón del buen retiro, dedicated to the study of art), the museum’s collection of paintings speaks for itself. It includes European artists and masterpieces from the Spanish Golden Age from the 14th to the early 19th century. Some of the Renaissance paintings are done on stone, white marble or slate. In the early 2000s, in order to make up for the lack of space in its art gallery, the Prado Museum underwent expansion and modernisation work. The latter included a baroque cloister of the neighbouring church of San Jerome the Royal, which now serves as an extension to the museum (El Cubo de Moneo) for its temporary exhibitions.

Initially desired by King Charles III, who wished to bring together a unique art collection in one place, the Prado Museum was finally created under the reign of Ferdinand VII in 1819 (one of the first public art museums in the world). It was located in the heart of one of Madrid’s main boulevards, the Paseo del Prado, with fountains and green spaces dating from the late 18th century. During the Spanish Civil War, the museum’s works of art were discreetly transferred to the city of Geneva to be protected from possible looting before being returned to the city of Madrid during the Second World War. In 2019, the Prado Art Gallery celebrated its bicentenary and honoured its greatest European artists: The painters El Greco (founder of the Spanish school of the 16th century), José de Ribera (nicknamed “lo Spagnoletto” because of his small size), Rembrandt (a high representative of the Dutch school), Francisco de Goya (a prominent portraitist), Fra Angelico (the “painter of angels”), Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (from the Sevillian Baroque school). .. A special exhibition tracing the history of this Spanish cultural institution, as well as temporary activities and exhibitions, marked the 200 years of existence of the Prado Museum, which is visited by 3 million people every year.

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  • The impressive collection of paintings by Francisco de Goya and Diego Velázquez; thousands of engravings, drawings and decorative art pieces
  • Works of the Spanish school (El Greco, Francisco de Goya, Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, José de Ribera, Bartolomé Bermejo, Luis de Morales, Murillo…)
  • Paintings from the Italian and Venetian schools (Fra Angelico, Tiziano, Titian, Raffaello Sanzio, Veronese, Tintoretto, Sandro Botticelli, Tiepolo, Caravaggio…)
  • Paintings from the Flemish school (Anton van Dyck, Rubens, Jordaens…)
  • Paintings from the German, French and Dutch schools (Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Hans Baldung, Adam Elsheimer, Raphaël Mengs, Claude Gellée, Simon Vouet, Nicolas Poussin, Antoine Watteau, Jheronimus van Aken, Rembrandt, Jérôme Bosch,…)
  • The neoclassical architecture of the building; the antique, Greek and Roman sculptures
  • The bronze doors of the cloister of the church of San Jerónimo el Real; the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid and the Royal Observatory of Madrid next to the Prado Museum
  • The Buen Retiro Park, a remnant of the old palace of the same name built on the initiative of Philip IV of Spain in the 17th century; the Velázquez Palace and the Crystal Palace in the Retiro Park
  • The proximity of the Atocha train station, the Reina Sofía (modern and contemporary art), Thyssen-Bornemisza (housed in the Villahermosa Palace), the National Museum of Decorative Arts (one of Madrid’s oldest museums), the National Museum of Anthropology (inaugurated in 1875), the National Library of Spain (the country’s most important bibliographic heritage) and the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid (updated in 2014)
  • The Prado Museum is partly based on the collection of the royal families of the Habsburgs of Austria and the Bourbons of Spain.
  • The Prado has the largest number of paintings in the world by the Spanish artists Velázquez and Goya.
  • The museum has more works of art in stock than it can display due to lack of available space (only one seventh of the collections would be on display).
  • During the World Book and Copyright Day (23 April), the Prado selects works from its collection, from all eras and backgrounds, to present to the public.
  • Admission to the Prado Museum is free from Monday to Saturday between 6 pm and 8 pm, and on Sundays and public holidays between 5 pm and 7 pm.
  • It is best to buy your ticket online and plan in advance which artworks you want to see first (the Prado Museum offers different itineraries depending on the amount of time you wish to spend visiting).
  • Each day, the museum offers 5 guided tours (4 in Spanish and 1 in English) of its collection for groups of up to 19 people. Each tour lasts 1.5 hours (an additional €10 per person is charged on top of the museum entrance fee).
  • The Paseo del Arte ticket allows access to the city’s three main art museums at a preferential rate: the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum.
  • The museum offers on its website educational and illustrated resources for children. It also has various interactive content (exhibitions, games, galleries, activities…) and reveals its most beautiful works online (listed alphabetically by author).

Where to eat

  • Moratin Vinoteca Bistrot
    (simple and passionate cuisine)
  • La Malontina
    (original and creative)
  • Chocolat
    (churros specialist)

Where to go

  • Buen Retiro Park
    (large wooded park)
  • National Archaeological Museum
    (superb antique collections)
  • Plaza de Cibeles
    (the symbol of Madrid)

Where to stay

  • Madrid City Rooms
    (modern and well-equipped)
  • Hotel Petit Palace Lealtad Plaza
    (close to the Prado Museum)
  • Hotel Orfila
    (small and peaceful palace)