"El Prado" is one of the main reasons most people come to Madrid. It has one of the largest collections of art in Europe, and a 2007 expansion increased the exhibition space by 50 percent. The strongest areas are Renaissance religious painting, Spanish art of all periods and Dutch Masters, but there are many works from other European nations, plus a large gallery of Greek and Roman sculpture. The collection is so vast as to be daunting, so they’ve put up a handy “What to See” section on their website giving itineraries for one-, two- and three-hour visits. Favorites include the trippy "Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch and the sobering "Triumph of Death" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. They face each other across a room and are so full of little details that you can stare at them for an hour. Some people do! There are a cramped but decent café in the basement and several gift shops spread throughout. Book ahead through the website or come early, because the lines often go around the block and can suck an hour or more out of your vacation.
- Open Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 AM to 08:00 PM
- Credit Cards Accepted: mastercard, visa
- Nearest Train: Piazza Murillo