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Madrid Prado Tickets

Reviewing the works of Goya or Velázquez at the Prado Museum is a must on your visit to Madrid: here's how to get tickets

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

9 min read

Madrid Prado Tickets

Prado Museum | ©Emilio

The Prado Museum is the jewel, not only of Madrid but of all of Spain and a good part of Europe. The names that are associated with one of the most famous art galleries in the world are Velázquez, El Greco, Rafael, Goya, Rubens or Bosch.

Buying tickets in advance and online is the best way to ensure a visit to the Prado without queues and with more tranquility, to avoid entering the museum already tired after a long wait. These are, in order, the best online options to visit the Prado:

The best option

Madrid Prado Museum Guided Tour

The best of the Prado, from the hand of an expert guide

Perfect for a tour of the essential works of the Prado Museum, accompanied by a professional.

Duration: 2 hours

This two-hour tour of the Prado Museum will allow you to see the most important paintings of the museum with an expert guide. The quality of the art can be appreciated for yourself, but the messages behind each work are what is truly fascinating about this museum. When you are in front of works such as Las Meninas, El Jardín de las Delicias or Los fusilamientos del 3 de mayo, don't be in a hurry to move on to the next one.

You will see that I have put this option ahead of the individual ticket because in a place like El Prado, with so much history and symbolism behind its corridors and each of its works, I believe that an introductory guided tour of about two hours is the best way to get to know the museum and make the most of it. The group will have a maximum of 30 people.

Inside the Prado Museum| ©Number 10
Inside the Prado Museum| ©Number 10

Why I like this option: I think a guided tour of the Prado is essential due to its size and the large number of works it houses. With this option, moreover, you will do it at the best price.

Recommended if... you want to take a guided tour of the Prado without investing too much time or too much budget to see the most essential works of the museum.

The most premium option

Madrid Prado Museum Guided Tour

The essentials of the Prado with an expert guide just for you

Tour the Prado in the most intimate experience with an art expert who will exclusively accompany you and your companions.

Duration: 2 hours

If the option of the guided tour in the Prado attracts your attention, do not rule out taking a private tour of the Prado Museum. The price is somewhat higher than the usual guided tours, but the guide will be dedicated exclusively to you and your group.

In addition, the tour begins with a brief tour of the Paseo del Prado and its main points of interest, such as the Casa de América, the Cibeles Fountain and the Fountain of Neptune. The guide will explain the details of the essential attractions in the center of Madrid and then move on to the guided tour inside the Museum. The tickets included in this tour will also allow you to skip the queues at the ticket office, which makes the tour much more enjoyable and fluid.

Corridors of the Prado Museum| ©John Linton
Corridors of the Prado Museum| ©John Linton

Why I like this tour: Although the price is higher than the other options, this guided tour offers a more premium and complete experience, since in addition to the private visit to the Prado, the guide will take you on a brief tour of the surrounding area.

Recommended if... you want to get to know the surroundings of the Museum a little better and enjoy the intimacy and exclusivity of having a guide just for you.

In summary, we compare the options:

Buy tickets for the Prado Museum at the ticket office

Detail of Las Meninas| ©Sara Mejías
Detail of Las Meninas| ©Sara Mejías

In front of the imposing building of the Prado Museum you will see gardens dotted with classical statues and delimited by cobblestone paths. All this would be very nice if there were not queues of visitors that can reach several meters in some parts of the day ... If you still decide to buy your tickets at the box office, I recommend you do it early in the morning to avoid the crowds of tourists.

Organize your visit to the Prado

Church of San Jerónimo el Real| ©Celso FLORES
Church of San Jerónimo el Real| ©Celso FLORES

When to go

The Prado Museum is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and on Sundays and holidays from 10 am to 5 pm. The best time to go and not find many people is any weekday morning because in the afternoon begins the free hours and the influx of people is much higher.

How to get there

The Prado is located on the Paseo del Arte in Madrid; between the Botanical Garden and the Cibeles fountain. The nearest metro stop is Atocha and on any map you will easily find its location. The entrance door is located at the end closest to Cibeles, preceded by double stairs.


Visiting the museum with an audio guide for me is a must, at least on the first visit. It is available at the entrance for four euros in several languages and, although some explanations can be somewhat dense, it is worth it. Of course, you'll always enjoy a guided visit more.

The Prado with children

Inside the Prado Museum| ©Hellotickets
Inside the Prado Museum| ©Hellotickets

The Prado Museum is one of the best adapted for children; they have an audio guide with video for the visit in which animated characters will explain the paintings in their own language. Be sure to take them to see the museum during their visit to Madrid.

Where to eat

Near the museum you will not find many restaurants, although on the sidewalk across the street you have a Starbucks and a Museo del Jamón (ham sandwiches for one euro to take standing). If you walk to the center you will find many more restaurants to eat although the most typical taverns are usually in the Barrio de las Letras or in other areas further away like Lavapiés or Malasaña.

The surroundings of El Prado

The Paseo del Arte is a beautiful place to walk, when you go to visit the museum you can get off at Atocha and go up the slope of the booksellers that reaches the retreat; there you will find street stalls with hundreds of art books, novels and real treasures if you know how to look well. Leave the visit to the Retiro Park for another time and go up the Botanical Garden towards the museum (past the station).

Behind it, up the stairs, you have the fabulous church of San Jerónimo el Real; the views of it from the museum are breathtaking. When you finish your visit you can walk to Cibeles and from there go down to the center by Gran Via towards the Metropolitan building, one of the most emblematic buildings in Madrid.

Very close to the Prado is also the Reina Sofia Museum, highly recommended for art lovers. I leave you here the practical guide to organize your visit to the Reina Sofia: Museum Madrid Reina Sofia Tickets.

If you visit the Prado Museum with children there is an audio guide with video adapted for them and that will make them approach the art in a fun way.

Book a visit to the Prado Museum

What works to see at the Prado

The Dressed Maja and The Naked Maja by Goya| ©Nathan Hughes Hamilton
The Dressed Maja and The Naked Maja by Goya| ©Nathan Hughes Hamilton

You can see the Prado Museum in two hours (if you go with a guided tour and you are guided on the most relevant paintings) or you can spend five hours touring the galleries. The length of your visit depends on you and your interest in art. In any case, there are works that you can not miss in any case.

Making a selection of the works to see in the Prado Museum is very difficult; as you add one to the list you will remember two others that you can't miss. Take this as a very small personal selection:

Las Meninas by Velázquez

This is a family portrait in which the painter captures the moment in which the Infanta Margarita accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting (the meninas) enters the room in which he himself (self-portrayed in the painting with the cross of Santiago) is working. You will find different legends and secrets behind this painting so be sure to activate the audio guide or document yourself a little about it before you go to see it.

The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch

This is my favorite painting and I keep visiting it every time I go to the museum. Heaven and hell are portrayed in this triptych that does not let you look away from its many details. From my point of view, it is impossible not to feel anything in front of this painting so my advice is that you first get to recognize it carefully and then listen to its history.

The Firing Squad of May 3rd by Goya

If you have already passed during your visit to Madrid by the temple of Debod, surely you have admired the views from that hill. What you may not know is that it was in that place where the leaders of the revolt against Napoleon on May 2, 1808 were shot. The painting is an excellent recreation showing the soldiers as faceless men and the leaders of the revolt in agony.

The 3 Graces by Rubens

The Baroque ideal of beauty was far from today's, perhaps that is one of the reasons why Rubens' painting has been vindicated over the years. Chastity and mythology are themes that converge in this painting.

The Annunciation by Fran Angelico

Many painters have depicted biblical scenes in their paintings. In fact, if you do a little research you can discover the messages that were said to be hidden behind many of these paintings; you have at your disposal a whole range of secrets and conspiracies. This religious painting is one of the most famous in the museum; ask your guide for its meaning if you go on a guided tour... you might be surprised.

The Descent from the Cross by Van Der Weyden

The Descent from the Cross, by Rogier Van der Weyden| ©Angel de los Rios
The Descent from the Cross, by Rogier Van der Weyden| ©Angel de los Rios

Everyone feels something different in front of every painting, but without going into the story behind it, this painting has always caught my attention because of the level of detail and a range of colors that seem to pop out of the painting. Take your time to observe the details of folds and shadows of the clothing and then put the audio guide to work to identify the characters that appear in the painting.

Saturn devouring his children by Goya

Goya's black paintings are quite a shock for those who only know the author's most classic work. Located in a separate room, it is inevitable to look at them and feel some of the anguish that surrounded the painter during the last years of his life. This is one of the best known of the collection and its expressiveness is overwhelming.

Goya's Nude Maja

Little would they have imagined a few centuries ago that a painting requisitioned by the Holy Inquisition and later kept in a dark room would today be one of the most visited paintings in the Prado Museum. Along with La maja desnuda you can also contemplate La maja vestida. The big question about this painting is who inspired Francisco de Goya to paint it; one of the most widespread theories says that it could have been the Duchess of Alba.

The Fable of Arachne by Velázquez

Maybe the name of the painting doesn't ring a bell, but if it is named as Las hilanderas, you are more likely to know which work it refers to. This is one of the most enigmatic paintings by Diego de Velázquez as historians do not agree on what the painter wanted to convey with the painting.

The Forge of Vulcan by Velázquez

In Madrid there is a well-known bar that bears the name of this painting that for years has been one of the most studied in schools. In it, Velázquez represented a mythological scene between the God Apollo and the God of Fire (Vulcan) who made all the metal objects of Olympus. The former is going to tell the latter that his wife Venus has fallen in love with Mars, the God of war.

Book a visit to the Prado Museum

Frequently asked questions

  • Are all experiences at the Prado Museum guided tours?

    No, some experiences only include a museum ticket and perhaps an audio guide, so if you are specifically looking for a guided tour of the Prado Museum, be sure to select the right experience to avoid surprises.

  • How long does it take to visit the Prado Museum?

    Most guided tours of the museum last around 1 hour and 30 minutes, but keep in mind that you are allowed to stay in the museum afterwards and explore at your own pace. A good idea might be to check ahead of time the exact location of any specific artwork you want to see, so you don't miss it and save time wandering around the museum.

  • Can I combine a visit to the Prado Museum with other experiences?

    Yes, some of our experiences allow you to combine a tour of the museum with a visit to the Retiro Park, private tours of Madrid and tours of the Reina Sofia Museum.