See Madrid's top city sights from the comfort of a luxury coach, and then spend your afternoon exploring Spain's national museum ' the Prado ' with an expert local guide! This exciting combo tour offers the perfect introduction to the city, showcasing its history, culture, architecture and art. After visiting neighborhoods like Los Austrias and seeing star attractions like Madrid Royal Palace (Palacio Real), visit the Prado Museum with a skip-the-line ticket to learn about legendary European artists such as Diego Velazquez on a tour.
Madrid City Sightseeing Tour (3 hours) Meet your guide in central Madrid and start your 3-hour morning coach tour. Since its foundation, Madrid has had a succession of different rulers, with each one stamping his or her mark on the city. The different styles of architecture amassed throughout the ages are incredible to behold; you'll see influences from surrounding countries, as well as the different art eras that are prevalent in so much European architecture.
Start with a look at the city's Moorish Quarter to learn about Madrid's Arabic (Moorish) roots, seeing sights like the Arabic fortress, and then move on to an area known as Los Austrias or Habsburg's Madrid, in reference to the Habsburg Dynasty who once ruled. Travel along Calle Mayor, seeing Plaza Mayor and Plaza de la Villa -- two of the town's main squares ' and then continue to a neighborhood lavished with Bourbon treasures to see A-list attractions such as Madrid Royal Palace.
Hear tales of the eccentric kings and dignitaries of the different eras, and then visit some of the city's more modern sites. Travel down Gran Via to see the hustle and bustle of Plaza de Espa'a, and then see the streets of Salamanca ' Madrid's trendiest neighborhood where bars spill onto the streets. Stop for a look at Las Ventas Bullring and Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, and then finish your tour with a drink at Madrid's Hard Rock Cafe. Spend two hours at leisure before your afternoon Prado Museum tour starts.
Skip the Line: Prado Museum Tour (1.5 hours) Meet your guide near the Prado and head straight inside with your priority-entrance ticket. As Spain's National Art Museum, the Prado's size and complexity means a visit to it can be overwhelming, so let your guide introduce you to its highlights on your 1.5-hour tour.
Learn about the museum's history as you walk around admiring the artwork. Having started out as the idea of King Charles III in the late 18th century, the original Neo-Classical building soon outgrew itself, and so two further annexes were added to hold the ever-growing collection of art.
Explore the works in chronological order, starting with the Bosch exhibition to see masterpieces like The Garden of Earthly Delights, and then continue through to rooms devoted to Greco ' a much-celebrated Spanish Renaissance painter, sculptor and architect. See his oil canvas painting The Annunciation, and then visit one of the most influential pieces of artwork in Western history ' Velazquez's Las Meninas. Finish with a look at Goya's incredible The Family of Carlos IV.
Your tour finishes inside the museum, and you can continue exploring independently if you wish.