Considered by many to be Europe’s finest art museum, I have to be honest and tell you I did not really enjoy the Museo del Prado.
To start, the place was so crowded that you were lucky if you could get anywhere near the paintings. School groups were everywhere and there were kids running and shouting and generally making a lot of noise. And in a marble hall with vaulted ceilings, all that noise becomes very distracting if not downright unbearable.
Secondly, and this is not very Renaissance Girl of me, but the art is just not of the type that I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong – I can appreciate the significance and artistry of the works in the Prado, but I just don’t get into all that religious and iconographic art. There are works spanning the globe, with a focus on Italian Renaissance and the Spanish masters like El Greco and Goya, but the art is all decidedly “middle ages.” If you are a fan of modern art (which I am), I’m not saying you won’t appreciate the Prado, but you might not enjoy it very much.
The Prado does have some good points. I enjoyed the de Goya paintings and would have liked to be able to view them in quiet and away from swarms of school children. And the museum itself is very user-friendly with free checked bags, an audio-guide, and a good mid-priced café.
But if you are looking for engaging, modern (or at least from the last 150 years) art, than the Prado isn’t for you. I would suggest you give Madrid’s modern art museum a try, because that is very, very cool.