Just trying to be a proactive for an upcoming trip I am planing to Spain. We arrive Madrid at 9:35am. We are only staying long enough to have churros con chocolat and to see El Museo Del Prado. We then get on an 5P AVE to Seviile. I am figuring by time we get our bags, go thru customes/passport, get transportation into town, store luggage in Atoche lockers, it will be close to 11:30am or so. So in purchasing advance tickets for El Prado, it asks a time. I figure noon, finish around 3:30, get a to go dinner at nearby vegetarian buffet take out place, get to Atoche more than a 1/2 hour prior to departure. But what if I am delayed? What if I am early (man i hope so)? If I chose a 12:00 entrance time, and am not there til 12:30 or am there at 11, can I get in without trouble? Website states ticket is good all day but if I am not there by a certain time or am early, will there be trouble getting in? I arrive Dec 26. Not sure if this is going to be a busy museum day (wednesday), with it being Christmas time. I wonder if I should not worry about advance purchase at all. Just get a ticket when I get there. What do you all think?
You probably won't be early. When I flew into Madrid in May, I took a van service to the Prado area (I was staying across the street). There was no delay in getting the van, and I was dropped off first (basically, I couldn't have gotten there any sooner) and I got down there right at 11:15. Depending on what method you use to get to the area, it could take a bit longer. It didn't look to me to be difficult to just get a ticket and go in, and you will be going in December, not May.
Is there any reason why you have to leave for Seville at exactly 5:00pm (17:00)? If you purchase your tickets when you get to the station you can reserve, pay and leave at 7:00pm (19:00) or later and get a couple of extra hours to explore and not have to run. Check the RENFE schedule, it probably won't change that much from today till Christmas. It's only 21/2 hours From Atocha station to Seville. You have to also remember that the trains might be busier the day after Christmas (who knows???). We used the Madrid Card and we went in whenever. But I don't recommend you get the card for just the Prado Museum. Where exactly are you planning on eating vegetarian in Madrid? I'm sure they have ONE restaurant, but be warned pig is king there. I have been through Madrid's airport three or four times and I have yet to leave any earlier than 11:30am, after arriving at around 9:30am.
You have to dig deep, but they are around.......viva la vida is a vegetarian market and to-go buffet.....near el prado.
I've been to Madrid before so I am only returning to take the husband to see the Bosch and Brueghel of his dreams (he really can't fathom why they are in Spain, but needless to say, he will get to fulfill an art wish). We need to be in Seville to meet up with a person who will introduce us to our apartment; our first time renting a real apartment instead of hotel/B&B/guesthouse. We need to do that by 8p. So that is why I am taking 5p train.
Here's a thought; go to their web page and ask them that question on the CONTACT US section. Who knows if they'll answer you, but it's worth a try.