Yes! You can buy tickets online from the Prado’s website, allowing you to go straight to the museum entrance without having to queue to collect your tickets. Just bring a printout, or show the tickets on your phone.
If you’ve bought tickets in advance, arriving as soon as the museum opens at 10AM means you’ll be able to get in ahead of the crowds – though you’ll still have a brief queue to get through security. Another good time to visit is in the lunchtime lull when others are sitting down to eat or having the traditional siesta.
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends a lot on your own personal tastes! I always recommend making a “plan of attack” before entering to make sure you don’t miss anything.
The Prado is free to visit between 6-8PM from Monday to Saturday and from 5-7PM on Sundays and public holidays. Be careful though: it’s not uncommon to see a huge line forming from over an hour before these free hours. Visiting the museum in these hours isn’t always the most pleasant experience.
Just looking at the paintings doesn’t give you the full picture.
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