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Unlock Madrid’s Charm: Discover The Top 10 Things To Do Near Prado Museum

The Prado Museum in Madrid represents Spain’s rich artistic heritage, showcasing masterpieces from renowned artists like Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco. 

With its vast collection of paintings from the 12th to the early 20th centuries, visiting the Prado Museum is an absolute must for any art enthusiast.

The Prado Museum is a fantastic place to explore in Madrid. There are many other hidden gems. 

We have researched and curated a list of the top ten things to do near the Prado Museum. Let’s explore!

1. Stroll Around Paseo del Prado

Paseo_del_Prado_
Image: Wikipedia.org

📏 Distance: 600m
🚶‍♂️ How to get there: Short Walk
☀️ Best time to visit: On Sundays (9 am to 4 pm)
📍 Address: C. de Ruiz de Alarcón, 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain

Stroll around the Paseo del Prado, a beautiful avenue with fountains, sculptures, museums, and unique heritage buildings.

It is home to Madrid’s central art hub, the Golden Triangle, comprising the Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. 

King Philip II conceived it in the 16th century as a space where citizens could enjoy nature regardless of their social class.

In the 18th century, Carlos IV saw the potential for more and established a new boulevard with elegant structures between Plaza de Cibeles and Plaza de Atocha. 

His plans included a natural history museum (now housing the Reina Sofia collection), botanical gardens, and an observatory.

This visionary initiative by Carlos IV transformed the city landscape and paved the way for future generations to experience beauty and art.

The best time to visit this place is on Sundays, from 9 am to 4 pm, when the street becomes a car-free zone, welcoming pedestrians and cyclists.

You will find locals spending a lazy Sunday outdoors in fine weather—a chance for interesting conversations!

2. See the Beautiful Fountains Nearby

Cibeles Fountain
Image: Wikipedia.org

📏 Distance: Neptune Fountain (400 m) and Cibeles Fountain (650 m)
🚶‍♂️ How to get there: Short Walk
☀️ Best time to visit: Early morning or Evening
📍 Address: C. de Ruiz de Alarcón, 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain.

The Paseo del Prado is home to some of Madrid’s most famous statues and fountains.

It includes the Cibeles fountain, which depicts the Greek goddess Cibeles in a chariot led by two lions, and the Neptuno fountain, which depicts the Greek god Neptuno.

The Cibeles Fountain symbolizes Madrid’s cultural richness. It was built at the end of the 18th century under King Carlos III’s order. 

The Neptune Fountain, located in Plaza de Neptuno, is a stunning neoclassical white marble monument called the Fuente de Neptuno.

The massive fountain is inspired by Greco-Roman mythology.

The Fountain in Plaza de Neptuno boasts a grand circular basin with a stunning sculpture of Neptune, the god of the seas, celebrating Atlético de Madrid’s victories.

As the Cibeles Fountain is a symbol for Real Madrid supporters, the Neptune Fountain is a symbol for Atlético de Madrid supporters, where the “colchoneros” celebrate all their titles.

3. Enjoy a Floral Feast at the Real Jardín Botánico 

Jardín Botánico 
Image: Wikipedia.org

📏 Distance: 800m
🚶‍♂️ How to get there: Short Walk
☀️ Best time to visit: April or May
⏰ Opening Hours: Every day from 10 am to 6.30 pm.
📍 Address: Real Jardín Botánico, Plaza de Murillo, 2, Madrid, Spain

Experience the beauty of flowers at the Real Jardin Botánico, a botanical gem founded by Fernando VI in 1755, behind the Prado Museum.

The garden’s unique features include the Murillo Gate, King’s Gate, and Villanueva Pavilion.

The elegance of its neoclassical layout and location in the city center make it one of the most visited attractions in Madrid.

Its function has been to explore, conserve, and disseminate the plant world since its inception.

With almost 5,000 species, the beds provide a valuable display of live plants. 

It features two greenhouses: the display greenhouse, which has three habitats (tropical, humid, and desert), and the palm greenhouse, which was established in the 19th century.

The palm greenhouse and a remarkable bonsai collection add to the botanical wonders at the Real Jardín Botánico.

Consider visiting in April or May to see the full bloom of tulips, roses, and lilies.

This place is perfect for nature lovers, and visiting there is among the best things to do near the Prado Museum.

4. Pay a Visit to Plaza Cibeles

Plaza Cibeles
Image: Wikipedia.org

📏 Distance: 750 m
🚶‍♂️ How to get there: By Line 34 Bus
☀️ Best time to visit: 15-minute light and sound show at 8.30 pm on 22 December.
⏰ Opening Hours: 10 am – 7.30 pm
📍 Address: Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid, Spain

Explore the iconic Plaza Cibeles, envisioned by architect Ventura Rodríguez in 1782, with the Cibeles fountain at the center.

Originally a water source for Madrid, the fountain evolved into a decorative element in 1895. 

The fountain, probably Madrid’s most recognizable monument, is also where the Real Madrid victory celebrations occur. 

More than 50,000 people attend the celebrations in the square.  

Other sporting events, such as those of the Spanish national soccer and basketball teams, are also held on the square.

The magnificent Palacio de Cibeles is also on the square. 

It was once known as the Palacio de las Comunicaciones (Communication Palace) and is one of the most significant buildings in Madrid’s history.

The structure was constructed in 1919 and served as the Post Office’s primary headquarters until it was restored to house City Hall and a cultural center.  

To get a nice view of the city, go to the rooftop, which has an observation deck and a café.

5. Puerta de Alcala 

Puerta de Alcala 
Image: Wikipedia.org

📏 Distance: 1km
🚶‍♂️ How to get there: Metro at Estación del Arte/Short Walk
☀️ Best time to visit: Night
📍 Address: Pl. de la Independencia, s/n, Madrid, Spain

Puerta de Alcala is like a historic doorway to Madrid, located near Retiro Park, built in 1778 by order of Charles III.

Puerta de Alcalá is one of the five historic royal gates that provided access to the city.

Charles III built it to replace an earlier structure from the fifteenth century. It got its name from its proximity to the road that went to Alcalá de Henares. 

This historic gate, which opened in 1778, is located near Retiro Park and connects streets like Alcalá, Alfonso XII, and Serrano.

It is the first triumphal arch to be completed in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire, and it is a neoclassical granite design by Francesco Sabatini.

It also served as a model for later triumphal arches like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. 

It has five openings, like the Puerta de Toledo or the Puerta de San Vicente, instead of the typical three.

So, when you stroll by Alcalá, Alfonso XII, or Serrano streets, take a moment to appreciate this classic piece of Madrid’s past.

Puerta de Alcala has two facades. The one on the inside, facing the city, is simpler, showing virtues like prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude.

The outside, the one welcoming people to Madrid, is more decked out with a royal coat of arms and lots of fancy decorations.

The gate has a different outfit depending on whether you’re coming or going!

6. Shopping and Dining 

Mercado San Migue
Image: Wikipedia.org

📏 Distance: Gran Via (1 km ) and Mercado San Migue (1.8 km)
🚶‍♂️How to get there: Walk/Taxi
☀️ Best time to visit: Later Afternoon or Evening
📍 Address: C.Gran Vía, Madrid, Spain
📍 Address: Mercado de San Miguel, Pl. de San Miguel, s/n, Madrid, Spain

Gran Vía is a street, and the area around Gran Vía is one of the liveliest areas of the city center, with great shopping and dining options.

The market features all the major brands.

You will find a variety of products, from computers and phones to hats and shoes to gourmet food.

You can explore Mercado San Miguel, one of Madrid’s premier markets, to taste traditional delights in a stunning iron and glass structure dating back to 1916.

You can also savor fresh seafood from the Galician shores and indulge in the finest Iberico jamón.

Today, it offers a modern and classy atmosphere where locals and tourists alike revel in gourmet foods and the unique ambiance.

Don’t miss the chance to sample mouth-watering desserts!

Shopping at these markets is one of the best things to do near the Prado Museum.

7. Santiago Bernabéu Stadium  

Bernabéu Stadium  
Image: Wikipedia.org

📏 Distance: 4.5km
🚶‍♂️How to get there: By Metro/Line 27 Bus
☀️ Best time to visit: Early Morning
⏰ Opening Hours: 9.30 am to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday. 10 am to 6.30 pm on Sundays
📍Address: Av. de Concha Espina, 1, Madrid, Spain

The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, located in Madrid, Spain, is an iconic football venue with a seating capacity of 83,168, making it the second-largest stadium in Spain.

Since its completion in 1947, it has been the proud home of Real Madrid.

Named after the legendary Real Madrid president Santiago Bernabéu, this stadium is one of the world’s most renowned football arenas.

Situated in the Chamartín district, it occupies the block surrounded by the Paseo de la Castellana and the streets of Concha Espina, Padre Damián, and Rafael Salgado.

A Real Madrid Trophy Room is located within the world-famous Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

This setting values the remarkable collection of trophies housed within its walls.

The Real Madrid Trophy Room’s greatest jewel is its Champions League trophy collection.

Real Madrid is the indisputable ruler of the UEFA Champions League, having won the competition many times.

Visitors to the Real Madrid Champions League trophy cabinet can experience the famous moments that distinguished each trophy in the club’s illustrious history.

Get up close and personal with Real Madrid’s historical achievements with an exclusive guided tour of Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, which includes a visit to the incredible Real Madrid Museum.

8. Circulo de Bellas Artes and Azotea del Circulo

Azotea del Circulo
Image: Facebook.com(AzoteaDelCirculo) , Wikipedia.org

📏 Distance: 2.1km
🚶‍♂️How to get there: By Taxi/Line 34 Bus
☀️ Best time to visit: Evening
⏰ Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 12 pm to 12.30 am and Friday to Sunday: 12 pm to 2.30 am
📍Address: Círculo de Bellas Artes, C. de Alcalá, 42, Madrid, Spain
📍Address: Azotea del Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid, C. del Marqués de Casa Riera, 2

Discover the Círculo de Bellas Artes, a special place declared an artistic monument in 1981 for its stunning architecture.

Founded in 1880, it’s a hub for various arts, from visual arts to literature and philosophy.

The building has a remarkable facade. It holds a treasure trove of over 1,200 artworks and a vast collection of books and historical documents.

Don’t miss the Rooftop Azotea del Circulo on the top floor, a unique spot to enjoy a drink while taking in 360-degree views of Madrid’s urban landscape.

It’s a perfectly designed place to ensure you never lose sight of the city’s beauty.

9. Pray at San Jeronimo El real Church 

San Jeronimo El real Church 
Image: Wikipedia.org

📏 Distance: 500m
🚶‍♂️ How to get there: Walk
☀️ Best time to visit:
12 pm to 2 pm
⏰ Opening Hours: Every day from 10 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm
📍 Address: C. de Moreto, 4, 28014 Madrid, Spain

Visit the historic San Jerónimo el Real, or “Los Jerónimos.”  a Roman Catholic church from the early 16th century that once played a vital role in Madrid’s history.

This church was once a crucial Madrid monastery under the order of St. Jerome. 

Next to it was the Cuarto Real (during Philip II’s era), which was later enlarged as the Buen Retiro Palace during Philip IV’s reign.

The monastery converted the church into the parish of San Jeronimo, and a baroque-style cloister still stands today.  

The church of San Jerónimo el Real is the only representative in Madrid, although it has been considerably renovated.

The church and convent were inextricably interwoven into the lives of the Spanish Court and royalty. 

The temple was frequently the site of burials, heir oaths, weddings, and royal proclamations, the most recent of which was that of the current King Juan Carlos I.

Step into the past at this site, where the echoes of the Court still resonate.

10. Visit Other Nearby Museums 

Reina Sofia Hours
Image: Wikipedia.org

🚶‍♂️ How to get there: Short Walk
⏰ Caixa Forum
Hours: 10 am to 8pm
⏰ Thyssen Hours:  Tuesday to Friday, Sunday: 10 am to 7 pm & Saturday: 10 am to 9 pm
⏰ Reina Sofia Hours: Monday and Wednesday to Saturday 10 am – 9 pm Sunday- 10  am – 2.30 am
☀️ Best time to visit: Early mornings

Explore more artistic wonders near the Prado Museum by visiting other nearby museums- Thyssen-Boremisza, Reina Sofia, and Caixa Forum.

The Caixa Forum is a relatively recent museum in Madrid. The space, sponsored by La Caixa Bank, has an interesting backstory and loads of cool exhibits. 

Aside from intriguing art exhibitions, the cultural center also includes music and poetry festivals, cinema, debates on current events and politics, social gatherings, educational workshops, and family and children’s events. 

There is a large grass-covered wall next to the Caixa Forum entrance that makes for an interesting photo opportunity.

The Thyssen-Boremisza showcases an eclectic collection featuring masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh, and Hopper and special exhibits.

Don’t forget the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid’s iconic modern art museum, home to Salvador Dali’s works and Picasso’s masterpiece, La Guernica.

Visiting these museums is one of the best things to do near the Prado Museum in Madrid.

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