Tips for visiting the Prado Museum

Visiting the Prado Museum can be an incredible experience, but it can get overwhelming if you don’t plan it.

Whether on a solo, group, or family trip, the Prado Museum is the perfect getaway.

But with so many paintings and artworks to go through, it is crucial to have an itinerary set for a memorable experience.

This guide provides the best tips for visiting the Prado Museum to help you get the most out of your trip.

1. Book Your Tickets in Advance

There are several ways to explore the Prado Museum, and buying your tickets online to avoid the long lines is the best option.

Not only do you get to choose your preferred date, but the e-ticket is valid for the entire day, so you can visit the museum anytime you want.

You can also choose an online guided or private tour to enhance your overall experience.

The entry ticket lets you skip the long entrance lines and gets you directly to the security check line.

It saves you about 15 to 20 minutes, which is enormous given the vast collection of the Prado Museum.

You can purchase the Prado Museum entry ticket for €18 per person, while the skip-the-line guided tour costs €34 for visitors over the age of 7.

Children under the age of 6 pay a reduced rate of €29. Kids under the age of two can enter for free.

Find a Good Deal

If you plan on visiting the major art institutions, you can also buy the Paseo del Arte Card to access the three most popular museums in Madrid for just 35 euros per person.

It costs slightly more and provides entrance to permanent and temporary exhibits at the Museo del Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Museo Reina Sofia.

You can also go on free days at the museum, which is on October 12th (Columbus Day), November 19th (Museo del Prado’s anniversary), December 6th (Constitution Day), May 2nd (Official Holiday for the Region of Madrid), and May 18th (International Museum Day).

Be aware that the museum is extremely busy these days.

2. Visit Early in the Morning

Tips for visiting the Prado Museum
Image: Hotels.com

If you wish to avoid crowds and want a peaceful experience, visit the museum as soon as it opens at 10 am.

Another great visit is during lunchtime when everyone is busy with lunch or enjoying their siesta.

Therefore, the museum is quieter between 2 and 5 pm, so you can see the art peacefully.

You can read our best time to visit article to learn more about it.

3. Do Not Miss Out on These Must-see Paintings

If you are under a time constraint, you can see the famous paintings to get the most out of your visit to the Prado Museum.

At the Prado Museum, you must see the masterpieces by:

  • Hieronymous Bosch
  • Rogier van der Weyden
  • Titian, El Greco
  • Velazquez
  • Goya

To explore Spanish artworks, visit the rooms dedicated to José de Ribera, Francisco de Zurbarán, and Bartolomé Murillo.

Admirers of Italian art must take advantage of a room devoted to Raphael, Tintoretto, and Veronese.

You can also opt for a Prado Museum guided tour and explore the museum with precise navigation.

View Art in Action in the Galleries

The Prado Museum is happy to provide art students and professional artists access to its collection, allowing them to replicate the work on display.

People will be painting their reproductions of the masterpieces and improving their techniques in the galleries.

The Museum closely monitors this activity, so bring your easel and paints only if you have permission.

Some of their work is incredible, and it’s fascinating to see them focus.

4. Know all the Entrances to the Prado Museum

Another tip for visiting the Prado Museum is to know about all its five entrances.

If you want to buy tickets from the counter, you can do so via two entrances: Puerta de Goya Baja and Puerta de Goya Alta.

With an entry ticket, you can use the other entrances, Puerta de Velázquez, Puerta de los Jerónimos, and Puerta de Murillo.

The lines at Puerta de Murillo are usually shorter as it only allows educational and cultural groups inside.

Sometimes, the gatekeeper will usher you in, but remember, it is not a regular practice.

5. Free Admission to the Museum

An excellent guide to the Prado Museum is that it offers free admission in the last two hours of the day.

You can get free entry from 6 pm to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 5 pm to 7 pm on Sundays and holidays.

But this is also the busiest time at the museum, so be there 45 minutes early to get a good spot.

6. Grab a Bite at the Prado Cafe

After a tiring day of touring the museum, you can take a break at the Prado Cafe.

You can enjoy refreshments and snacks at the cafe on the ground floor, next to the courtyard.

As it is the only cafe at the museum, it can get crowded, so be ready to wait a short time for your meal.

Learn more about the Prado cafe and restaurants near the museum here.

7. Get a Guided Tour for the Best Visit

Book a Prado Museum guided tour to visit the best artworks at the best time.

A guide to the Prado Museum will help you visit the most essential rooms while telling exciting facts and stories behind each painting.

Also, you can visit the other attractions near the Prado Museum without worrying about navigation or transport services.

Take the Royal Madrid Museum, for instance, visiting two national museums on the same day is an excellent way to explore Madrid.

Take a Look at the Bling

It’s nearly a crime to visit the Prado without visiting the underground vault.

It houses a collection of diamonds once owned by Grand Dauphin Louis, son of Louis XIV and father of Felipe V (the first Bourbon monarch of Spain).

The collection includes a wide range of bejeweled extravaganzas adorned with rubies, diamonds, emeralds, and other valuable stones.

8. Prado Museum Dress Code

While there’s no strict dress code, we encourage comfortable attire that allows you to fully enjoy your time exploring the vast collection of art.

Avoid attire that might be considered offensive, revealing, or disrespectful to the cultural environment.

Madrid’s climate varies depending on the season, so adjust your clothing accordingly. Layers are always a good idea, especially if you plan to visit both the museum and explore the city afterward.

Footwear matters. Navigate the museum’s expansive halls with ease by wearing comfortable shoes.

Sneakers or flats are ideal, while high heels or sandals with limited support might make your feet weary.

Leave the bulky bags at home: Backpacks or large bags can be cumbersome in crowded spaces. Choose a smaller bag or backpack that won’t hinder your movement or the enjoyment of others.

Remember, the Prado Museum is a place for all to appreciate art. Dress comfortably and respectfully, and prepare to be captivated by the artistic treasures within!

Here are other quick tips for visiting the Prado Museum

  • Photography is strictly prohibited inside the museum, so respect and refrain from clicking any pictures.

  • Your camera and other equipment can be stored in the cloakroom for free after your security check.

  • Objects like umbrellas and luggage are not allowed inside.

  • On your way out, stop by the Prado Museum gift shop to check out a great collection of prints, photographs, and drawings.

  • There is no strict Prado Museum dress code, so visitors can wear casual clothing.

  • If you are visiting Prado, we highly recommend visiting the other two museums in the Golden Triangle of Madrid with the Paseo del Card.


Can I bring a backpack to the Prado Museum?

Luggage or backpacks are not allowed inside the museum.

No luggage, small carry-ons, or backpacks larger than 7 x 10 x 3 inches are permitted in the museum.

But here is a tip for visiting the Prado museum with your bag: you can store it in the cloakroom for free.

Can I bring water to the Prado Museum?

Any food or drinks are not permitted inside the museum.

A Prado Cafe is on the premises, where you can take a break and enjoy refreshments during your visit.

Does the Prado Museum have WiFi?

Yes, the Prado del Museo has WiFi services for its visitors.

The WiFi is especially fast in the Prado Cafe.

Is there a wheelchair loan service available?

Yes, the museum offers a free wheelchair loan service for people who request it.

These wheelchairs are available in the cloakroom.

As there are only a limited number of wheelchairs available. Visitors are recommended to bring their own.

Can luggage, bags, cameras, and laptops be stored in the Cloakroom?

You can only store your luggage and other stuff in the cloakroom if its dimensions are 40 x 40 cm.

You can also keep your belongings in the lockers near the Goya staircase.

Featured Image: Artnews.com

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!