Prado on Sunday

Sep 13th, 2007, 04:54 PM
  #1  
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Prado on Sunday

We are arriving in Madrid on a Sat am and planned to visit the Prado on Sunday. I am a little worried about this since it is free on Sundays according to the guide books. We live in a town with free days once a month at local museums and they are packed! Since it is closed Monday and we are leaving on Tues, should we go on Sat or chance Sunday? Those of you who have experienced this, your comments and observations are greatly appreciated! thank you in advance...
wondering is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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I have visited the Prado several times. I just checked my prior years calendar and noticed that in 2004 we went on a Sunday. That was the same day we arrived to Madrid. Quite frankly, I don't remember thinking that the museum was mobbed or anything like that. It's a very big, spacious museum.
cruiseluv is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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Another suggestion: Download Maribel's Madrid guide at www.maribelsguides.com

She is very knowledgeable and has valuable suggestions about Madrid, including the visit to El Prado.
cruiseluv is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:22 AM
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Thank you both! I feel a bit better.I will definitely down load your suggestions. I had hoped to hear from someone who had gone this year, but...
wondering is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Hi wondering - Here's my experience from this past May:

*I passed by the Prado on three occasions while in Madrid and actually went inside the Prado on a Friday. (I went to the Reina Sofia on Thursday morning, the Prado on Friday morning, and the Thyssen on Saturday afternoon. Then I went past the Prado again on Sunday morning on my way to the Royal Gardens). I got a good look at the crowds at the Prado each time, because I had wanted to return to get one more look at the Tintoretto exhibit that was going on at the time (which I didn't end up doing).

* The best advice I got for the Prado was to arrive EARLY. I arrived about 20 minutes before it opened, which I believe was just after 8:30am, as the museum opened at 9am. I bought a cup of coffee and a snack at the cafe across the street, and just ate my breakfast while in line (in the pouring rain!).

*When I arrived, there were already about 20 people in line in front of me. There were also 2 entrances: one upstairs going directly to the Tintoretto exhibit, and the one on the bottom to the main entrance. It seemed as if the upstairs special exhibit entrance was less crowded, so I went through that one.

*Once the doors opened at 9am, it took about 10-15 minutes to actually get inside. If you decide to brave it on a Sunday, I would recommend getting there VERY, VERY early. I noticed that most people didn't show up until about 10am.

*By the time I left the museum at 11:45am, the line to get in literally wrapped around the building. I'm glad I got there early because it was quieter and less hectic inside, and I could actually walk up close to exhibits.

*The advice that I got was to either get there VERY early and be one of the first in, OR wait until the late afternoon after the crowds leave for lunch. Someone else advised getting there 2 hours before closing time, when the crowds thin out. If you arrive on Saturday, it might be worth going on that day in the later afternoon instead of facing the crowds on Sunday. You could always walk over on Saturday morning when you arrive and see what the lines look like. I think it would be better than going on Sunday, the *free* day.

*When I passed by it on Sunday, it was about 10am, and the lines were wrapping around the building on both sides.

At any rate - no matter when you get there - if you are a lover of art, it's worth the wait! Also, one last tip: many people think that they will eat lunch inside the Prado at the museum cafe and then continue looking during the afternoon. I found the cafe to be horribly crowded and the lines were really bad. I decided to leave and walk across the street for lunch, where there were several nice cafes.

Hope that helps.
Magellan_5 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 08:48 AM
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Reading Magellan's post made me remember that when we went on a Sunday we went around 1-2 PM. There was no line to go in , but there was no special exhibit either.

Last year we went on a Tuesday. There was a special Picasso exhibit and there was a long line. But once we stood on line , it barely took 10 minutes to get in.
cruiseluv is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 11:54 AM
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I went at 12:30 on a Sunday in May several years ago and there was no line. It was moderately crowded inside, not too bad at all.
metinmadrid is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 12:07 PM
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hi,wondering,

we did go on a sunday in February.

the queue was right along the long side of the building, which made our hearts sink. then we realised it was the queue for a special exhibition. so we went stright on past and up the stairs and through the main museum doors.

we were amused to find that you could have walked straight into the special exhibition there, by-passing tne queue.

the main museum was quite full but there's not that much to do on a wet sunday in Madrid!

it's not that much to get in anyway, if you preferred the saturday.

regards, ann

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 07:30 AM
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No problem going on Sundays , I have done it many times, if there is an special exhibit of course most likely there will be a line for it, all days of the week. The Prado is such a jewel, I really love to visit it. For me the Permanent collection is more than enough for a wonderful experience. This is a Musuem I come back and back to visit. Usually I get through the entrance facing the Ritz Hotel, but I guess someone told me that the Murillo entrance, opposite, is sometimes better.
On Sundays it is open till one hour before it closes check in its webside. Buena suerte.
Graziella5b is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 08:00 AM
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wondering - just a follow-up to what I wrote earlier. I remembered that the weekend that I went to the Prado was also the last weekend before "finals" week for the university students there. My friends were in a frenzy to get their semester projects finished for their art history classes, and I remember that a large portion of the crowd at the Prado consisted of students, who appeared to be working on similar things. That may explain why it was so crowded that particular weekend. Best - M
Magellan_5 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 08:41 AM
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I have been to the Prado several times and LOVE it, but was especially frustrated last May when we went during the week. Following all the advices we arrived very early before opening, first in line only to be left behind when a large group later initiated a second line right next to us. The rest of the people in line simply followed them, & were admitted fist! This is not unusual the groups just take over, push through lines and place themselves in the front while individual visitors are looking at specific pieces without so much as a an attempt to be considerate.

Whew...ee! I guess I had that pent up awhile sorry! In any case the Prado was packed with tours, high school students and even groups of pre-schoolers with the teachers urging them notice the paintings. Give me a break they are 3 & 4 years old tops.

I love the Prado but will never go in the morning on a weekday again. No matter how early it seems you run into mobs.

I spoke to several staff members and was advised to go in the later afternoon a few hours before closing. I would also guess Sunday afternoon would have much less student traffic.

ams
amsdon is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Thank you all. I hadn't even thought of the website! DUH! I think we will go on Sat afternoon, if we aren't beat, and, if need be, again on Sunday--crowd permitting. I really appreciate all the good tips!
wondering is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 06:16 AM
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We are back and I am too lazy to wirte trip reports. Our home was evacuated during our visit due to the SD fires, so this was a very stressful trip. But enough of that, I am obviously posting from a home still standing! We went to El Prado on Sat. afternoon. Amazing colection! Not too bad as far as crowds and we did pay admission. The Murillo entrance line was quite a bit shorter than the Ritz side. The ticket taker let me in for free as an educator. This was the only place in Spain that did so. (It is getting more difficult each year to use the faculty id for free admission without taking a group of students.) We almost missed seeing Picasso's "Guernica" on Sunday. The Reina-Sofia is also free on Sunday but closes at 2:30. We were slowly meandering around when a kind docent told us to hoof it up there quickly before they closed. It is amazing. We would have liked to have spent more time in that museum. But Sat. and Sun we the only days we blocked for that since we went to Toledo on Mon. Thanks again for all your tips! btw- Be sure you have plenty of info on the Prado when you go or get a guide. It is not particularly user-friendly to English speakers.
wondering is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 06:18 AM
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spellling error: collection and were, not we--bad typing, worse proofreading...
wondering is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 10:49 AM
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the Murillo entrance is usually better. Also the best from what I have learnt is to arrive a couple of ours before closing. No lines usually. The special exhibits do have lines all the time, las time I was in Madrid the Tintoretto line was always long. ( I could see it from my room )
Graziella5b is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Sorry the h or hours got lost some place....
Graziella5b is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 11:40 AM
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Wondering waht a trip that must have been for you. So gald to hear your home went unscathed in the fires.
amsdon is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 04:21 PM
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Thanks,amsdon. I am wiping down ashes today...
wondering is offline  

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