Museo del Prado (El Prado Museum)

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Paseo del Prado s/n. 28014 Madrid, Madrid, Spain - 34 91 330 28 00

Museo del Prado (El Prado Museum) Madrid Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
621 reviews
A Masterful Collection Sep 29, 2013
The Prado is one of my favorite art museums. True, it is one of the world's great collections of Western art. But I've admired the Spanish masters for a long time, El Greco, Velazquez, and Goya chief among them. The Prado is clearly where one goes to see their work. The collection displays one well-known painting after another. La Meninas (Velazquez), La Maja Vestida, La Maja Desnuda, and the Third of May, 1808 (Goya) are perhaps the most widely known. But there is much more to discover about the artists and their works here. I liked visiting the gallery of Goya's Black Paintings, all very psychological, startling, even horrific. La Meninas is one of those paintings you have to experience up close in person. A picture of it can't begin to communicate the depth of characterization and atmosphere this painting contains. I learned quite a bit more about Velazquez and Goya on this visit as well as making new discoveries about Ribera and El Greco.

There are other artists represented, of course. The Prado has an excellent collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings, including Rubens, Rembrandt, and Bosch. (The Low Countries were under Spanish control in the 16-18th centuries.)

I enjoyed visiting the Prado more than the Uffizi the previous year. (It is better organized for one thing and the captions very informative.)

A new museum shop and cafe are located at the entrance area. There are also 2 Euro gallery guides available from vending machines in selected galleries.

Photography is not permitted. (But cameras can be taken into the museum.)

Admission is 14 Euro.
Museo Nacional del Prado
Museo Nacional del Prado. Statue o…
Statue of Goya on the Prado ground…
Entrance pavilion to the Prado
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Zagnut66 says:
According to the French postmodern philosopher Michel Foucault, Las Meninas heralds the birth of subjectivity in modernity. My head hurts just writing this.
Posted on: Dec 07, 2013
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Vikram Vikram
312 reviews
Amazing is, as amazing does Oct 23, 2012
So, going by how the Palacio Real wasn't a match (in my opinion) to the Medici Palace or Versailles, I though that the Prado wasn't really going to take on Louvre or the Uffizi Gallery. So needless to say, I went with fairly low expectations should I be disappointed. But good GOD no... this is the best thing that happened since sliced bread (at least to Spain!)

The museum, as one can expect is so big it's got several entrances. There's heavy security and baggage checks, lots of lockers on both levels and lots of security. They don't allow any kind of photography, infact save for the odd handbag, no one even is allowed to wander with any kind of baggage.

Now the museum itself is sprawling. The website has details on the layout which I won't get into, but I would strongly urge that one takes the map which includes a list of the best paintings on display. With the Madrid Pass, it is free, but I chose to leverage the free 6-8pm visits anyway, that way I could spread my visit across 2 days.

Plus, unlike Louvre or Uffizi, I thought this was spaced out very well and never felt crowded, even during peak hours. Tall ceilings, and because the paintings are so large, it's not a cookie clutter like it is in Louvre. Ample breathing space, ample space for each painting to mark its 'territory', all in all, a very breathable experience.

The top floor starts with Venetian paintings. Unlike other galleries I've seen, what I loved about this was the size of the paintings. They are massive, would probably cover the height of a wall, or 2 storeys.

The first set of paintings I chose to probe into were Venetian and Flemish. Things were so nicely explained and arranged that after nearly 5 years of visiting art galleries in EU, it finally *clicked* .... I finally could start seeing the difference between various arts and wasn't just randomly browsing. I started out with the top floor, probably because I have a thing for 'real' paintings (aka, Venetian!) versus portrait or abstract (impressionist).

But what I would strongly urge people is to visit Goya's rich art downstairs. There's a section on some of his work (on both floors), but the dark/black section is simply incredible. I mean, you'd for a minute think it's not EVEN Goya! The paintings are that different compared to his "usual" style, and makes you wonder how could someone's style change so much?!

Another favourite of mine were the Maja paintings which were interesting to see. I loved the section on Goya's blueprints (or whateever you call them), and a section on how Prado is working on restoring them so they don't buckle further.

But my other focus was Vasquerez. One painting I think (of King Fernando on a horse flashing a pearl necklace) was so huge, sooooo HUUUUUGE and so damn impressive.

I also saw the 2nd Mona Lisa, I didn't even know it existed. The differences btn this one and the one in Louvre was beautifully explained.

Having spent a total of about 5 hours split between 2 days, I could only visit about 30% of the artwork. I skipped a lot of Flemish art, my focus being Italian and Goya.

My tip for folks is - don't do it all in one day. Cash in on the 6-8p "free" hours, especially if you're in Madrid. Nothing like chilling out in a museum after a hard day trip or sometihng.

I cannot say enough good things about the Prado. It's simply stunning! Possibly the best, or should I say the most educative museum I've been to. After years and years of mindless meandering through art galleries thinking it makes me cool, Prado made me *think*, and has made me capable of actually having an, well arty discussion on art!

TB Cont'd
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Vikram says:
Hmmm... intersting point! I actually liked it much more than the Louvre , probably because the paintings weren't too clustered!
Posted on: Dec 13, 2012
spocklogic says:
Have to say I found it a bit ponderous. It's a rather stale presentation too with creaky floors, worn carpet and uninspiring decor. The art, of course, stands on its own, and while a bit overbearing at times in arrangement, this is not the fault of the art, but the museum. My main complaint is that such great art is arranged and presented in a way I found disappointing.
Posted on: Dec 13, 2012
jeanh2 says:
It is great ... went to the Prado some years ago ... I could have lived there for a week ... what fantastic paintings. Really good write up Vik ...
Posted on: Dec 11, 2012
dubaidude dubaidude
3 reviews
Beautiful museum with paintings if Raphael, Velasquez & Goya! Jun 16, 2012
Brilliant, extensive display with some mesmerising paintings. If you go on anyday after 6pm, entry is free except Sunday after 5pm is free. Each day for two hours at the end.

Some good paintings are The Descent of the Cross by Van der Weiden and the Three Graces as well as Saturn deviuring his son etc.

Do enjoy this museum and the neighboring area on your visit to beautiful Madrid.

Close by is Atocha railway station which has turtles!!

Reina Sofia museum is also close by, within walking distance of ten minutes and is also free aft 2.30pm on Sat.
javier1 javier1
17 reviews
Museo del Prado (El Prado Museum) Mar 09, 2012
Uno de los mejores museos del mundo en lo que se refieres a pintura sin duda alguna.

Para mí el mejor a la altura del Louvre o el Hermitage.

Si se quiere ver bien conviene dedicarle 2 o 3 dias. Visitando por partes para no saturse.

Especial atencion a las colecciones temporales del museo.


Precio normal 10 euros.

Tarifa reducida 5 euros

para ertudiantes, +65 y todos en horario: De martes a sábado de 18.00 a 20.00h y domingo de 17.00 a 20.00h.

Gratis: -18, familias numerosas.
Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
Stunning Nov 11, 2011
Paris has the Louvre, Florence has the Uffizi and Madrid has Prado. Serving as the capital’s premier art gallery, this is a wonderful place to visit whether you are an art lover or not. The masters on show are rather impressive - Velasquez, Picasso, Goya, Raphael and so forth. There are some wonderful masterpieces here, and I recommend the leaflet they provide which documents 50 select masterpieces in the museum. Apart from hunting for the top 50, it’s worth just taking a general stroll in a specific area of the museum as the general quality of artwork is super. Nicely laid out museum, helpful staff and light and airy to wander through. Entrance is free for the last couple of hours (6 to 8pm) so if you are in Madrid for a few days, I recommend a couple of visits here during the evening. This museum was a real highlight of Madrid and I would definitely come back here again, and again and again!
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
alexandra_h says:
Me too! Next time in Madrid, I go to Prado again.
Posted on: Nov 29, 2011
Babygirl22 Babygirl…
2 reviews
Prado Museum Mar 13, 2011
If you find yourself in Madrid, definitely check this out. You don't need to love art to appreciate this Museum. I would get the audio headset that is sold for a few Euros, it is a great way to learn about the art on your own time for a low price.
vani1783 vani1783
3 reviews
Go when it's free Jul 16, 2011
It has major art pieces by major artist like Picasso, Dali, etc. It's a very large museum so expect to walk a lot and spend a few hours in order to cover most of it. Pick up the map at the entrance which will tell you what famous works of art are located. Get the audio guide because it's interesting k owing tid bits of information you other wouldn't. It's free most nights after 6:00pm but the line can be long and it gets a bit crowded. They don't let you take pictures while inside and there are museum employees in every exhibition hall eyeing you and saying "no photo!" It's a must visit while in Madrid.
0 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Vlindeke Vlindeke
142 reviews
One of the world's finest art collections Feb 25, 2010
Some practical information about the Prado (Feb. 2010):

• Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9 am – 8 pm

• Closed on Mondays, January 1, Good Friday, May 1 an December 25.

• Admission € 8 (ticket office)

Attention: free admission at the Prado for visitors (among others) under 18, citizens of EU over 65 years, EU students under 25.

Also free admission for all visitors Tuesday to Saturday 6 pm – 8 pm and Sunday 5 pm – 8 pm and May 2, May 18, October 12, November 19 and December 6.

For more information: (in Spanish and English).

You can buy a combined pass for Museo del Prado, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza at € 17,60 (pay attention at hours of free admission!).
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
spocklogic spocklog…
325 reviews
Overwhelming and Ponderous Museum Jul 21, 2009
The Prado is grand indeed, if somewhat overwhelming. The 12th to 19th century European art in the Prado, which while impressive, is a bit monotonous in the vast quantity on display here. I have to say I found be museum to be a rather ponderous experience. The stale presentation, creaky floors, worn carpet and uninspiring decor was part of the problem for me. The art, of course, stands on its own, and while a bit overbearing at times in arrangement and repetitive styles, this is not the fault of the art, but the museum. My main complaint is that such great art is arranged and presented in a way I found disappointing. There was a special exhibit on Juaquin Sorolla (Spanish painter from Valencia) in a separate wing that was quite good and well presented. There is a separate entrance fee for these special exhibits.
Prado Museum
Special exhibit
Prado Museum
Miranda-Maas Miranda-…
144 reviews
A must in Madrid May 23, 2008
Whether you like art or not, the Museo del Prado is really a must when you visit Madrid. It's one of the largest and most important museums in Europe. Most important in the museum are the paintings from all over the world. Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Rafaël, Velasquez etc. are all represented in the museum. When i was in the museum, someone in the museum was painting the most famous paintings there. I thought that was really nice to see! Besides paintings, the museum also shows sculptures and drawings. The building and gardens around it are already worth visiting. So i can recommend this museum to you!
princeza_9 princeza…
40 reviews
Museo del Prado Mar 26, 2008
Museo del Prado is close to the center of Madrid, and home to most of its famous art (the exception being Picasso's "Guernica" which is at the nearby Reina Sofia). Housing such artists as Goya and Velazquez, it also has art from much earlier. It's easy to spend many hours at this museum, which has audio guides available for rent and plenty of items in the gift shops. I made it a point to visit the Prado when I was there in '06 and would gladly visit it again if I have the chance.
superduperfantastic superdup…
33 reviews
May 27, 2007
El Prado is renowned for being the largest art gallery in the world. Its exhibits also include sculptures, drawings, and other works of arts, but its large collection of paintings is for which it has gained fame worldwide. It is said to house over 8,600 paintings, of which they exhibit less than 2,000 due to lack of space.

It is free on Sundays! The line may loop around the side of the museum, but it's worth it. Just get in there early. Even the special exhibits are free, but you need to get into a different line for those.

It's a little overwhelming. Lots of older art... not really my cup of tea as I think I enjoy more of the contemporary work that is showcased at Reina Sofia, but still worth a visit. ESPECIALLY since it's free.

Don't eat the cafeteria food if you can avoid it.
One of the entrances!
lauro says:
ill just probaly take pictures of me in the front of the museunm :D hahaha kidding :D
Posted on: Jun 20, 2007
superduperfantastic says:
You'll need a full day there if you are an art buff!! :)
Posted on: Jun 20, 2007
lauro says:
im excited! ill be going to madrid this december! :D and museo el prado is on the top of my list :D
Posted on: Jun 20, 2007
binky binky
57 reviews
Nov 13, 2007
If you are in Madrid, you need to go to Museo del Prado. It is one of the biggest museums in Europe and has around 8000 paintings emphasizing Spanish painters, sculpture and drawings.

It is free on Sundays, but the lines are very long so you have to be patient (though this may have changed from the rumors on the street so check the website). But if you love art as much as I do, you can’t miss Museo del Prado. It really is amazing and you could easily spend a full day there.

Also el parque de Retiro is close by so you could make a grteat day out of bothe experiences. Enjoy!
princeza_9 says:
I was there in 2006 as well, and it was still as good as I remember. I spent most of my time hanging around Velazquez and Goya though. :)
Posted on: Mar 26, 2008
sarahelaine says:
I went there 2006 - it was amazing. I went to the Picasso exhibition and you could pre-buy tickets in El Corte Ingles - maybe that's possible on normal days too, if you can't go on a Sunday?
Posted on: Nov 14, 2007
laboheme laboheme
8 reviews
Jan 31, 2006
When in Madrid there are so many things to see, from a Real Madrid

match to little cafe's across the city. Yet one place keeps me

coming back and I have to pass through Madrid every 3 months on

business. This place is the Prado Museum. Housing much of

the most famous Spanish artists over time it also shows a very nice

cross section of art from everywhere; be in Van Dyk or Van Gogh.

Do yourself a favor and pay the 50 euro for two people to hire a tour

guide in your language. They will cater it to what you want to

see and they are a wealth of information. Don't forget the

Thyssen museum of modern art across the street. :)
stevenguyen says:
I've been to the Prado Museum two summers ago... awesome review!
Posted on: Sep 11, 2006
pacovera pacovera
64 reviews
Jul 24, 2006
If you go to Madrid, you must visit the Prado's Museum. It's free on Sundays !!. In this summer of 2006 it has been exposed comparative of Picasso, with works yielded by several museums, like this of the photo, where the original picture is compared, with the painted one by Picasso.NO DEJES DE VISITAR EL MUSEO DEL PRADO CUANDO PASES POR MADRID, SIEMPRE. LOS DOMINGOS ES GRATIS.En este verano de 2006 se ha expuesto una comparativa de Picasso, con obras cedidas por varios museos, como esta de la foto, donde se compara el cuadro original, con el pintado por Picasso.
Paulo vestido de arlequín. Musée…
sarahelaine says:
I saw that exhibition (the Picasso one) - it was amazing!
Posted on: Nov 14, 2007
PepeMalagaSpain says:
Prefiero el original de Goya.
Posted on: Sep 03, 2006
sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
The Prado Jun 18, 2006
The Prado is one of the best known, and best, art museums in Europe. There are great little dispensers which give you mini catalogues for a Euro for some of the more famous artists, and some of them even come in English too.

The Prado has some amazing Velasquez, Goya, and best of all for me, Hieronymous Bosch. The art is amazing, although it does get a little samey after a while - there are a huge number of dying saints stuck full of arrows - but I loved it there.

When I went there was a huge Picasso retrospective- the special exhibitions are well worth it.
nyprne nyprne
52 reviews
Museo Del Prado - Madrid, España Apr 12, 1999
My major target for this great museum was "Las Meninas" from Diego Velazquez. This is an amazing work and usage of mysterious light. Diego was brutal in his reflection of subjects he did not care for and exquisite in his portrayal of those he favored. The evidence of this bleeds all over this canvas.

Another great work is that of Francisco de Goya, "The 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid: the executions on Principe Pio hill". The symbolic portrayal of the crucifixion inspired Pablo Picasso and was referenced in Picasso’s “Guernica”.

Opening hours


From Tuesday to Sunday: 9am – 8pm (including holidays)


On Mondays throughout the year (including holidays) and January 1, Good Friday, May 1, and December 25.

Reduced opening hours

9am – 2pm: January 6, December 24 and 31.

Ticket sales

Museo Nacional del Prado Collections


Payment can be made in cash or by credit card.

Full price: 8 €

Reduced: 4 €

(Credentials will be checked at the ticket office and the corresponding valid and updated identification document must be presented in each case)

The following visitors will receive a 50% discount off the full price admission:

EU citizens members of large families

Non-EU students under 25

Holders of youth cards


Admission to the Museum is free for the following visitors:

(Credentials will be checked at the ticket office and the corresponding valid and updated identification document must be presented in each case)

All visitors to the permanent collection: From Tuesday to Sunday, 6pm to 8pm, and Sundays from 5pm to 8pm. On December 6, November 19, October 12, May 2 and International Museum Day, during the full opening hours

Children under 18

EU citizens over 65

Pensioners over 60 or physically impaired. In the case of physically impaired pensioners, admission is also free for the companion assisting the pensioner, as long as this assistance is essential for the visit

Visitors with physical impairments, as defined by article 1.2 of Law 51/2003 of 2 December, on equal opportunity, non-discrimination and universal access for the physically impaired. Admission to the museum is also free for the companion assisting the physically impaired visitor, as long as this assistance is essential for the visit

EU citizens who are officially unemployed

EU students under 25

Family groups comprised of at least one adult and three children (or two, if one is physically impaired), included in the same large-family card

Members of the following associations

Fundación de Amigos del Museo del Prado (Foundation of Friends of the Prado Museum)

APEME (Professional Association of Spanish Museologists)

ANABAD (National Association of Archivists, Librarians and Museologists)

AEM (Spanish Association of Museologists)

ICOM (International Council of Museums)

Personnel from the State Museums section of the Ministry of Culture

Teachers exercising their profession inside Museum

Official Tourist Guides

1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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