The Prado (Museo Nacional del Prado) is one of the world’s most prestigious art museums. It was commissioned in 1785 by King Carlos III to showcase Spanish talent and taste. The royal collection has formed the core of the museum’s inventory since it opened to the public in 1819. The collection has expanded over the years to include works from other European nations and even ancient Greek and Roman statues.
Spend hours wandering from hall to hall and admire some of the finest artworks of the Western world. The permanent collection consists of more than 20,000 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, with roughly 1,300 on display at any one time. Art lovers can look forward to the world’s largest concentration of Spanish works, an impressive array of French, Italian, Dutch and Flemish paintings, as well as a selection of German and English art.
Be absorbed by Velázquez’s Las Meninas, one of the museum’s most popular pieces. For a look at other masterpieces, check out the gallery housing Francisco de Goya’s Black Paintings. They were painted as murals in the artist’s house between 1819 and 1823 and are renowned as some of the most unsettling works in the collection.
Keep exploring to find paintings by Titian, Botticelli, Rubens, Bosch, Dürer and many others. Few museums can boast such a rich collection of the Western world’s most valuable artistic treasures; you’ll need to set aside at least a day to see them all.
The Prado is a short walk from Puerta del Sol down Carrera de San Jerónimo and along the Paseo del Prado. The museum is open daily except New Year’s Day, May 1 and Christmas Day. There’s an admission fee, but students and seniors get a discount.
Located in Barrio de las Letras, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza del Angel, Plaza Mayor, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Prado Museum and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia are also within 15 minutes.
Located on central Madrid's main artery, the Gran Via, opposite Plaza Callao, this historical building reflects early 20th-century eclectic style with ornate stucco work topped by a French cupola.
This family-friendly Madrid hotel is located in the historical district, just steps from CaixaForum Madrid and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Prado Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Centro, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Prado Museum. El Retiro Park and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia are also within 15 minutes.
Overlooking the Neptune Fountain and its quiet plaza, this regal Madrid hotel lies opposite the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums and two blocks from the Reina Sofia Art Center.
Located in Gran Via, this apartment is within a 10-minute walk of Teatro Rialto, Plaza Mayor, and Plaza de Espana. Royal Palace and Almudena Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Jerónimos, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Prado Museum, and El Retiro Park. Plaza Mayor and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).