Madrid bus tour + Museo del Prado visit
Get to know Madrid’s most important landmarks from the bus and visit the Prado Museum, one of the most important art museums in the world. Save money by doing both of these excursions in a single day and avoid long entrance queues at the Prado Museum.
We will begin our tour with the bus route and will finish with the guided tour of the Prado Museum.
Bus Tour in Madrid
On this bus tour through Madrid, discover the city’s most celebrated sites. Get to know the charm of the city and the best attractions of the Spanish capital.
Unlike the other guided tours to Madrid that we have made available to you, on this tour we do not claim that you will get to know the city in-depth. Our objective is to introduce you to the historic Madrid, the financial district, the most commercial streets and the main leisure areas so that you can visit those that seem most interesting at a later time.
The journey is made almost entirely by bus, but there will be time to enjoy three stops next to other emblematic areas of the capital: the Prado Museum, Las Ventas Bullring, and Bernabeu Stadium, the field of Real Madrid.
During the journey we will travel through Madrid’s two largest and most important parks: Parque del Oeste and Parque del Retiro. The first was designed at the beginning of the 20th century on the banks of the Manzanares River as an expansion of the city. Retiro Park, in contrast, is an historic enclave, where nature and art have shaken hands since the 17th century.
We will also cross the most well-known plazas of Madrid: Plaza de Oriente, Puerta del Sol and Plaza de España. Each has its attractions: the Plaza de Oriente has impressive views of the Royal Palace; Puerta del Sol has its constant bustle, the presence of the post house with its clock tower, and the symbol of the city, the bear and the strawberry tree, represented in a bronze statue; and at Plaza de España two of the first skyscrapers built in the country stand out, and the statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza preside over the plaza.
In addition, we will discover the Plaza de la Villa, full of historic buildings, and the enormous Plaza de Colón, a more contemporary symbol of Madrid.
We will drive along the capital’s main roads, such as the centenarian Gran Via or the quite lengthy Alcalá street, which is actually the longest road in Madrid. But that’s not to mention the Paseo de la Castellana or the glamorous Serrano street, known as being one of Spain’s most luxurious streets, where large boutique and jewellery brands are concentrated.
We will see two of the old royal gates that gave access to Madrid: the Puerta de Alcala, symbol of Madrid in the Enlightenment from King Carlos III, and the Puerta de Toledo, raised after the War of Independence by order of Fernando VII.
The excursion will bring us near Madrid’s two most popular fountains: Cibeles and Neptune. These are two neo-classical works from the 18th century that represent the Goddess of the Earth and the God of the Sea, respectively. They are also the meeting places for celebrating the wins of the city’s two most representative football teams: Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid.
We will get to know the two buildings where political activity takes place at a national level: Palacio de las Cortes, which houses the Congress, and the Palacio del Senado, which houses the Senate.
On the bus we will travel along the Paseo de la Castellana to the northern area of Madrid, where the financial district is located. There we will see the four enormous skyscrapers that stand in the Business Area, as well as the impossible balance of the Kio Towers.
In short, this sightseeing excursion through Madrid offers you a broad first point of contact for the Spanish capital, in its essence. It gives a general overview of the city and an approximation of its most interesting points.
Upon finishing the bus tour, we will continue with a guided visit to the Prado Museum, the most important art museum in Spain and one of the best in the world.
Guided tour to the Prado Museum
Not entering the Prado Museum is like not having travelled to Madrid at all. The visit to the Prado Museum of Madrid is essential. Few museums in the world can give you the pleasure of learning the History of Art like the Prado.
But the Prado Museum was not always this way. When it was constructed in 1785 by neo-classic architect Juan de Villanueva, its fate was to serve as the Natural Sciences Cabinet. Fortunately, years later, it was decided that the most important paintings and sculptures of the royal collections would be safeguarded here. From then on it has been an art museum.
If you have not visited the Prado before, the scope of the museum collection can stun and overwhelm you. Therefore, the best thing is to take a guided tour in which to discover a selection of the most prominent works.
This visit has been developed in a chronological order so that you can capture the evolution of art and how the aesthetic fashions were changing through the centuries. Following the itinerary this way, you will go from the oldest to the most modern, stopping before the most celebrated works.
The tour begins in the room where the works of a painter, somewhere between the Gothic and Renaissance styles, are displayed. They are by Bosch (c.1450-1516), an indescribable flamenco artist. The Prado has most of his masterpieces, like The Hay Wagon, Garden of Earthly Delights, or The Temptation of St. Anthony. Standing before those paintings, you will be impressed by the overflowing imagination of the artist, capable of creating dream-like images.
After those almost uncanny images, the tour will take you to the rooms where the paintings of El Greco (1541-1614) are displayed. This Greek painter settled in Spain from the last decades of the 16th century until his death. Thanks to his stay in the country, specifically in Toledo, Spain possesses the best collection of works by El Greco. Displayed there are works as beautiful as The Trinity, The assumption of the Virgin or the enigmatic Caballero de la mano en el pecho (Gentleman with his Hand on his Chest).
But your guided tour through the Prado Museum must continue. Now it is time to see the works of one who is considered the best Spanish painter of all-time: Diego de Velazquez (1599 – 1660). The galleries of the Prado display his most important and famous works, and this tour will take you to them in order to present them in depth. Who hasn’t heard of Las lanzas or of Las meninas? Well, this tour lets you admire those masterly strokes right down to the last detail.
And if Velázquez is a high point on this guided tour through the Prado, another world-renowned artist is the final one on this itinerary: Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), the Aragon painter of a thousand faces. He was capable of creating official portraits like Charles IV of Spain and His Family, or painting both clothed and nude sensuality, as in Majas. But he also captured the images of the bloody War of Independence with The Third of May 1808. You will also be able to see his more personal and mysterious works, like Black Paintings.
In short, this is an ideal place to finish this exclusive guided tour of Madrid and the Prado Museum.
Important: The itinerary can be altered by events or celebrations in the city (cultural events, sporting events, official events or works).