Every year we have a few days away in May and in one of the ballots we decided to go to Madrid. I had heard a few things about it but did not really know a great deal, apart from the fact that it had some great museums.
We only have a few days so I try and have a day for pottering around the shops, another for pottering around the City and bars and then a day taking in the culture. As three days was not long enough to do this I decided to plan in advance and one of the places I decided to visit was the Prado Museum.
I am not an expert when it comes to art but there were things I wanted to see and this included some of the works by El Greco. I had also read a review of "The Family of Philip IV" and wanted to see it. It is a painting of the Infanta Margarita with her servants and is said to be one of the best paintings to be seen in Spain.
It cost 12 Euros to go in the Museo del Prado but I was told afterwards that it was possible to get a ticket for that allows entrance to two of the others as well - the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia - but this was a couple of years ago so this could well have changed. This was at a lower cost than the normal entrance to the three would have been.
The guide book said that The Museo del Prado was the most visited building in the City so the fact that there was not much of a queue was a bonus. While I was waiting I got talking to a Spanish lady and she had visited before and said the exhibits were amazing and many of them had been collected by the Spanish Royal family so they were good quality items.
There are plenty of paintings and they were the main things I wanted to see. With some dating back as far as the 12th Century, there was something that covered every period of Spain's history since then. Goya was not someone I thought I would enjoy viewing but there was something quite appealing about some of his pieces.
I was surprised to find out that there were paintings from all over Europe. Italy was represented by painters from the Venice School, Flemish art including the Garden of Earthly Delights - the triptych by Hieronymous Bosch - and while not as well represented there are a number of paintings by English and German artists.
As well as paintings, the museum houses what they refer to as "The Decorative Arts" and this is a collection of furniture and ceramics. I was less interested in these, but it was still worth-while seeing them. The embroidery and glassware sections seemed to be very popular although I preferred the medals.
There are special exhibitions held on a regular basis and these prove to be very well attended, although I was not made aware that there was anything special when I visited.
From Monday to Saturday: 10am - 8pm. Sundays and holidays: 10am - 7pm.
Closed: January 1, May 1 and December 25.
Reduced opening hours: January 6, December 24 and 31, 10am - 2pm.
General: 12 Euro
General admission + official guide: 22 Euro
Reduced: 6 Euro
Free: 0 Euro - I am not sure who qualified for this.
This ticket allows the holder to visit the museum collection and temporary exhibitions on the same day. I spent most of the afternoon in the museum so the entrance fee turned out to be very good value.
The price and opening times come directly from the website so are correct at the time of writing. If you want to know more about the museum and what it has to offer here is a link to the website.