Prado Museum Madrid Review: Tours, Hours and Facts

Prado Museum MadridPerhaps one of the most remarkable things to do in Madrid is to take in the Prado Museum Madrid one of the world’s most renowned art museums, located in the heart of the city and home to some of the world’s finest European art. Its extensive collection spans 8 centuries with paintings from the 12th to the 19th century on display, along with over a thousand sculptures, thousands of prints and drawings and a vast collection of historical documents.

It has been said that the Prado Museum Madrid is home to the best single collection of Spanish art in the world, and features works by such masters as Velazquez, Rubens, Bosch and de Goya to name but a few, all beautifully laid out over multiple floors of viewing space. The highly touted museum has become a Spain landmark that hosts millions of visitors each year, attracting those who are art history scholars, art students, or simply casual art lovers from all over the world.

The Prado Museum Madrid is so extensive it would take days to see it all, but if you don’t have that much time, it is advised to choose the areas that you would like to explore before you arrive. Guided tours, self-audio tours and even an iPhone app that you can download can take you on a tour of the museum’s works. They have even devised tours that bring you face to face with some of the most important artists and works in the collection, in 1, 2 or 3 hour circuits. If you wish to spend an hour in the museum for example, 15 works are included; if two hours is all you can spare you can see 30 works and if three hours is your limit, there are 50 specially chosen works that will give you a taste for the museum without going over your time restraints.

As one of the must-see places to visit in Madrid, the Prado is open from 10am-8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-7pm on Sundays and holidays. They are only closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th each year. The admission fee is waived if you arrive within two hours of closing and admission is free for those under 18, over 65 and students at all times, which makes their collection accessible as well as extensive.

In addition to the permanent collections, the Prado Museum Madrid has several upcoming exhibits opening this year. The Captive Beauty exhibit opens May 21 and closes on November 10th 2013 and highlights works from Fra Angelico to Fortuny. Opening June 12th and running until October 6th 2013 is an exhibit on Japanese prints and the Late Portraits of Velazquez exhibit runs from October 8th 2013 to February 4th 2014.

As the Prado is located in the heart of the city, it is close to many hotels in Madrid as well as many other places of interest. You don’t have to have a background in classic art to enjoy the Prado Museum Madrid; it just makes for an enjoyable experience for all.