Museo del Prado
At Madrid’s Museo del Prado, you’ll see artwork collected by Spanish kings between the 16th and 17th century. Reflecting the personal tastes of the royals, the Prado Museum has vast collections from the monarchy’s favourite artists, including Spanish, Italian and Flemish works.
Opened in 1819 and with more than 1,500 pieces on display, the Museo del Prado has since become one of the most important art galleries in the world. Buy your tickets at the northern Puerta de Goya, or use your Madrid Card which includes entrance to the museum. Remember to pick up the free guide from the information desk, which has a helpful list of must-see paintings.
As you walk through the neoclassical building browsing the collections, you’ll see amazing collections from European artists including the likes of Titian, El Greco, Raphael, Velázquez and Goya. The gallery’s huge, so it’s worth choosing a few exhibits before you arrive instead of fitting everything in during one visit.
Wandering through Museo del Prado, look out for masterpieces including Las Meninas by Velazquez, The Naked Maja by Goya and The Garden of Delights by Bosch, a favourite of King Filipe II. You’ll also find Rembrandt’s famous self-portrait, Artemis, and the Cardinal by Raphael.
After browsing the permanent collections, make your way to the modern eastern wing where you can see temporary exhibitions alongside the impressive 17th century cloisters. It’s also home to a café, so relax with a coffee before spending some time in the museum shop. If you have an ‘Art Walk’ ticket, you can combine your trip to the Prado with a visit to the Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza museums.