The Prado Museum

The Prado Museum tickets and guided tours

Spain

Things to do in The Prado Museum

4.5/5 (2408)

How many Mona Lisas are there? Of course, you’ll be familiar with Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece at the Louvre in Paris, but the Prado in Madrid also has a painting of the same woman that looks remarkably like the original. For a long time, people believed this fresh-looking painting was one of many later copies, but the truth is more interesting.

The belief now is that the Prado’s Mona Lisa is indeed a copy . . . but a copy that was made at exactly the same time as Leonardo’s picture and even in the same studio as the master observed. The painter was probably a young apprentice named Francesco Melzi. What he has given us is not only the earliest copy but also probably the best in existence.

Indeed, some might say that Melzi’s copy is better than the original. Leonardo’s Mona Lisa sits under glass in Paris and has not been cleaned or restored. It is dark with the grime of centuries. The Prado’s Mona Lisa, however, has been fully restored and shows the painting as Leonardo himself would have seen (and painted) it.

The lady in Paris will probably never be cleaned because she is too valuable. Her skin is cracked and her complexion is dirty. If you’d like to see her as a young, fresh woman, go to the Prado in Madrid.

Opening times

  • 10.00am-8.00pm – Monday to Sunday
  • 10.00am-7.00pm – Sundays and holidays
  • CLOSED: 1January, 1 May, 25 December
  • FREE: 6.00pm-8.00pm Monday to Saturday, 5.00pm-7.00pm Sundays and holidays

About the Prado

The Museo del Prado’s collections are the legacy of almost 200 years’ collecting by Spain’s sixteenth- and seventeenth-century kings and queens. This explains the quantity and quality of the treasures that include the world’s largest holdings of Bosch, Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Velázquez and Goya.

Importantly, these early collections had a strong influence on the direction of Spanish painting. An early affection for Titian, followed by Venetian painters such as Tintoretto, and Flemish artists like Rubens, set a pattern of richly colored canvasses that would guide Spanish painters such as Velazquez.

With the arrival of the Bourbon monarchy in the eighteenth century, the collections began to absorb French and Italian artworks – a pattern that ended almost a century later with the work of the Spanish painter Goya. By this time, Spain’s power was not what it had been and its own artists were working globally. The Church, too, had lost some power and the Prado received many of its great treasures into the collections.

The museum was first opened to the public in 1819 and became a source of inspiration for a whole new generation of painters, from the classic to the avant garde. It continues to inspire today.

Address

Museo Nacional del Prado, Paseo del Prado, Madrid

Getting there

  • By Metro
    • Red Line, L2: Banco de España
    • Light Blue, Line 1: Atocha (plus 10min walk)
  • By bus
    • 10, 14, 27, 34, 37, 45, N9, N10, N11, N12, N13, N14, N15, N17, N25: Prado-Pza Murillo
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Entrance tickets to the Prado Museum
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Attractions & guided tours

Entrance tickets to the Prado Museum

Book your tickets for the Prado Museum in Madrid, discover masterpieces by Velázquez, Goya, Mantegna, Raphael, Tintoretto and access all temporary exhibitions.

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Prado Museum tour with local expert guide
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Prado Museum tour with local expert guide

Witness iconic artwork at Madrid's Prado Museum on this guided small-group tour. Discover famous Spanish artists and art movements with your local expert guide.

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Visita guiada en español al Museo del Prado
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Visita guiada en español al Museo del Prado

Reserva Visita guiada en español al Museo del Prado y descubre la historia del museo mientras paseas admirando las obras de arte

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Paseo del Arte pass for Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Reina Sofía Museum and Prado Museum
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Paseo del Arte pass for Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, Reina Sofía Museum and Prado Museum

Get access to the Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, and the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid with just one ticket. Book now!

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The best of Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums guided tour and skip-the-line tickets
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The best of Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums guided tour and skip-the-line tickets

Enjoy a guided visit of the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums, the best art museums in Madrid. Save time with your skip-the-line tickets!

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Guided visit and tickets to Prado Museum
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Guided visit and tickets to Prado Museum

Experience the Prado collections with express-ticket access and the services of an expert local guide. Save time and don't miss a thing!

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Prado Museum private tour with local expert guide
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Prado Museum private tour with local expert guide

Book this private tour to discover one of the world's finest collections of European art at the Prado Museum Madrid. Learn about the artwork with an expert guide.

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Small-group guided tour to the Prado Museum in English
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Small-group guided tour to the Prado Museum in English

Book this Small-group guided tour to Prado Museum in English and enjoy a guided visit with an art historian and discover all the secrets of these famous paintings

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Guided visit of the Prado and Reina Sofía museums
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Guided visit of the Prado and Reina Sofía museums

Visit two of the most important Spanish museums in Madrid, Prado and Reina Sofía. Admire the work from some of Spain's finest 20th-century artists.

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Madrid highlights with tickets and guided tour of the Prado Museum
Attractions & guided tours

Madrid highlights with tickets and guided tour of the Prado Museum

Buy your Madrid sightseeing tour of the Prado Museum. Get informed, plan and book your amazing activities in Madrid today.

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Entrance tickets to the Prado Museum and tour with an expert guide
Attractions & guided tours

Entrance tickets to the Prado Museum and tour with an expert guide

Visit the Prado Museum with an expert guide and discover one of the best museum around the world. Save time with your skip-the-line tickets.

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Prado Museum self-guided audio tour
Attractions & guided tours

Prado Museum self-guided audio tour

Visit the Prado Museum at your own pace with this Vox City app. Let your smartphone guide you through the world's largest collection of Spanish art.

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The Prado Museum

The Prado Museum

Madrid

Spain

Reviews The Prado Museum

5/5
GDPR Expired data, May 18, 2016
5/5
GDPR Expired data, Jan 26, 2016
4/5
GDPR Expired data, Nov 18, 2015
5/5
MARIO REY, Oct 09, 2015
Madrid