What to visit on the Paseo del Prado in Madrid

One of the most interesting streets that you should know in Madrid and that you should not miss is the Paseo del Prado, located between the Glorieta del Emperador Carlos V, where the beautiful and historic Atocha Station and the Fuente de la Alcachofa stand out, and the monumental Plaza de Cibeles, another of the main places to see in Madrid.

The buildings, fountains, museums and other elements that make up the Paseo del Prado make this tree-lined promenade a very special place that, since the reign of Carlos III, who profoundly reformed the area, has served for the enjoyment of locals and visitors.

Here we are going to make a summary of the main places of interest to visit on the Paseo del Prado and its surrounding streets.

What to visit on the Paseo del Prado in Madrid

1. The 3 main museums in Madrid

Madrid - Prado MuseumThey do not need an introduction and neither can we highlight any one above the other because each one has a special charm. Together with other street museums, they form the so-called Paseo del Arte, where a large part of Spanish artistic history is gathered.

Although it is not located exactly on the Paseo del Prado, we must highlight the Reina Sofía Museum, one of the most visited in Spain thanks to Guernica and other works of art that are part of its permanent exhibition and the temporary exhibitions that are usually held.

Further north, we find the Prado Museum, which needs no introduction, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, another one of those museums that is essential to visit.

2. The Botanical Garden

Madrid - Botanical GardenAlmost like a continuation of the Retiro Park and the Prado Museum, is the Royal Botanical Garden. It was founded in 1755 by Fernando VI but its current location dates back to 1781 when Carlos III moved it.

The collection of plants that it houses inside is enviable, being able to find specimens from other continents, such as America or Africa, being able to take a tour that will surprise you.

In addition, depending on the season of the year you visit, you will find different reasons to visit it and enjoy its charms.

Not only plants have a leading role in the Botanical Garden. We can also find fountains and other very interesting monuments.

3. CaixaForum Madrid

Madrid - CaixaForumAlthough it was founded recently, in 2008, the CaixaForum has become a benchmark for art in Madrid thanks to its temporary exhibitions that perfectly complement the museums that we can visit on the Paseo del Arte.

The architecture of the building, which was formerly a power plant, is very peculiar, highlighting the vertical garden on one of its facades and its ground floor without pillars that supports the rest of the building, giving the sensation that it is floating.

The temporary exhibitions that are usually held are of a very diverse type and for different ages, so periodically visiting this cultural center is an option for art lovers in the city of Madrid.

4. The Fountain of Neptune

Madrid - Neptune FountainThe impressive Neptune Fountain is famous for being the place where Atlético de Madrid fans celebrate their triumphs. It was designed by Ventura Rodríguez in a neoclassical and marble style and was sculpted between 1780 and 1784.

The remodeling of the Paseo del Prado that was carried out at that time served to install this fountain in this place.

The fountain is dedicated to the figure of Neptune who is in the center of a large circular pylon and who pulls a chariot made up of a lake pulled by two sea horses. Neptune has a snake in his right hand and his famous trident in his left.

Around the car we see some marine animals from which jets of water come out. The Fuente de Apolo is another nearby fountain built during the reign of Carlos III and considered a masterpiece of neoclassicism.

5. The Madrid Stock Exchange

Madrid - Stock Exchange PalaceLocated in the Plaza de la Lealtad, where the Ritz Hotel and the Monument to the Fallen for Spain are also located, the Madrid Stock Exchange is another of the places you should visit in the surroundings of the Paseo del Prado in Madrid.

Its headquarters are in the so-called Palacio de la Bolsa, a neoclassical-style building that was inaugurated in 1893 after several years of work. From its exterior we must highlight the impressive façade with its 6 columns, its staircase and its Corinthian pediment.

The interior is also very spectacular, highlighting the Hall of Lost Steps (not to be confused with the Congress of Deputies) and of course the parquet floor of the stock market, with a rich decoration and the central clock that marked the hours of stock market operations..

6. The Naval Museum of Madrid

Madrid - Naval MuseumWhen we talk about the Paseo del Arte, the 3 great museums that the CaixaForum has recently joined always come to mind, but we forget another great museum that is located on the Paseo del Prado, the Naval Museum.

It is located in a building that is also the headquarters of the General Headquarters of the Navy and in it we can find pieces and objects related to the naval history of Spain, being a good place to get to know it in depth. Considering the naval importance of Spain, you can imagine the value of this museum.

If you are passionate about the subject, this museum is highly recommended and in it we can find maps, engravings, uniforms or flags, displayed in chronological order from the fifteenth century to the present.

What to visit around the Paseo del Prado

1. Congress of Deputies

Madrid - Congress of DeputiesA few meters from the Neptune Fountain is the most important place in Spanish politics, the Congress of Deputies, the place where the laws of this country are drawn up.

The best known point of the exterior of the Congress of Deputies, built in 1850, is the neoclassical facade with its columns and which is flanked by two bronze lions.

Inside, you can visit it on Saturdays, we must highlight the hemicycle where the sessions and various rooms of the building are held.

We recommend you visit the Congress of Deputies and admire one of the most beautiful places to see in Madrid.

2. The Basilica of Jesus of Medinaceli

Madrid - Basilica Jesus MedinaceliNearby we find the Basilica of Jesus of Medinaceli. In Madrid there are five basilicas: Our Lady of Atocha, San Miguel, La Milagrosa, San Francisco el Grande and Jesús de Medinaceli.

The latter is one of the most visited by the large number of devotees of Jesus of Medinaceli, capable of queuing for nights to see his image.

Its baroque façade stands out with its central window and the image of Jesús Nazareno in one of its corners. Inside, it stands out that it has a Latin cross with three naves and the image of Jesus of Medinaceli, a highly venerated image.

3. The Church of San Jerónimo el Real

Madrid - San Jeronimo ChurchLocated on a high place next to the Prado Museum we find Los Jerónimos, the name by which this beautiful church is also known, which has had great importance in the history of the city.

It was part of an old monastery and we must highlight its beautiful façade crowned by two towers and a beautiful interior that will surprise you. The wedding of Alfonso XIII was celebrated in this church in 1906.

Its cloister is also very interesting, which today is part of the Prado Museum and in it we can visit part of the works that are exhibited in it.

4. The Literary Quarter

Madrid - Plaza Santa AnaThe neighborhood located between Puerta del Sol and Paseo del Prado is one of the most interesting in Madrid due to the history behind its streets and the literary activity that took place there during the 16th and 17th centuries. That is why it is known as Barrio de las Letras.

Illustrious writers such as Góngora, Quevedo, Lope de Vega or Cervantes walked through its streets. In the neighborhood we can visit the Lope de Vega House Museum, and also the Convent of the Trinitarias Descalzas where it has recently been discovered that Cervantes was buried.

Don’t miss Calle de las Huertas, famous for its nightlife, and especially Plaza de Santa Ana, one of the most beautiful in Madrid.

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