Il Museo del Prado is one of those tourist attractions that needs no introduction, being one of the most prestigious museums in the world: it does not fear comparisons with "sacred monsters" of art and culture such as the Louvre in Paris, the British Museum in London or the MoMa in New York.
Temple of Spanish painting, with the world's largest collection of Spanish paintings from the XNUMXth to XNUMXth centuries, the Prado is also one of the best museums to admire Flemish painting and other masterpieces of European art.
A complete list of great artists exhibited at the Prado would be very long, we will limit ourselves to giving you the names of Goya, Velázquez, Tiepolo, Titian, Last, Rubens, Rogier van der Weyden, El Greek e Bosch.
Whether you are an art lover or not, the Prado is a must see for everyone holiday in Madrid but the visit must be planned carefully because, given its gigantic size, visiting the museum without an itinerary in mind could be a frustrating experience.
Turn a possible disappointment into one of the most fascinating experiences of your life: thanks to the information, advice, the list of the most famous works and the guided itineraries we have collected for you, you can plan when to go to the Prado, how long to stay and what to see, making the most of your visit.
How long does it take to visit the Prado?
The Prado is huge and how much time you spend inside the museum depends only on your interest… and your stamina! Allow a minimum of 2-3 hours to see the best of the Prado; a thorough visit takes much longer.
Location and history of the museum
The Prado Museum is housed in a very elegant monumental building designed by the architect Juan de Villanueva in 1785 as the site of a natural history museum.
It was King Ferdinand VII on the advice of his wife Isabella di Braganza who assigned the new building to the function of Royal Museum, soon renamed National Museum of Paintings and Sculptures and subsequently Museo del Prado.
The museum opened to the public in 1819 with a catalog that included "only" three hundred paintings, about a tenth of the current collection!
The museum's collection and visitor numbers have been growing all the time, reaching impressive growth rates in recent years. Suffice it to say that in 2016 it passed the mark of three million visitors per year, totaling 3.033.754 entries, but in the first six months of 2017 alone, visitors have already reached the quota of 1.726.962.
To cope with the needs of an ever-growing museum, the Villanueva building underwent modifications and additions that culminated in the construction of a new building internally connected to the original site.