Immerse yourself in culture as you spend a day exploring the many art galleries scattered along this charming, leafy boulevard.
The Paseo del Prado is a gorgeous place to wander without any purpose. It is fringed by trees and punctuated with beautiful buildings and fountains, making it the perfect place for a stroll in the sun. But to truly get the most out of this lovely part of Madrid, come here ready to enjoy some art. The place is absolutely packed with wonderful galleries, including the “Golden Triangle of Art.” Visit these three famous museums and see this area in a whole new light.
The Museo del Prado, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are the must-visit sites that make up the famous triangle and draw many art lovers here. The first is the most instantly recognizable. It’s housed in a stunning white-columned building and its galleries of pre-20th century art sprawl across a vast surface area. Come here in the morning and spend the day immersed in works by greats such as Goya and Bosch. It could easily be late afternoon before you emerge.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is equally impressive in scale but houses contemporary art. If you prefer a more eclectic gallery, visit the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and get lost amid the impossibly vast collection of one very wealthy family.
Another gallery worth visiting is the CaixaForum. Check the program for this enormous cultural center before you go. Exhibitions here span all periods and there is also a dynamic calendar of festivals, debates and workshops to discover.
In addition to the museums, discover the other historic sites that make this area so significant. These include the iconic Fuente de Neptuno, or Fountain of Neptune, which dominates the scenery. After a day filled with culture, take a break in the beautiful El Retiro park, around 10 minutes’ walk to the east. Watch the boaters out on the lake or rent a boat yourself and join them.
The best time to come to the Paseo del Prado is the weekend. Find it alive with locals and tourists alike, walking dogs, taking photos and simply enjoying the ambience. Look for street art as you explore.