Has anyone on their Best of Spain Tour booked museum tickets on their own for their off tour time? The day we are in Madrid it looks like the itinerary has us at the Prado in the morning one day with the afternoon and evening to ourselves. We would like to venture over to the Reina Sofia to see Picasso's Guernica. We are wondering if we need to purchase a museum pass prior to that day or are the lines manageable enough to just swing over at our leisure that day?
With two of the larger sites already covered by the tour, you shouldn't need a Madrid card. During a tour a few years ago, I went to the Reina Sofia with no advance purchase. I think it was a free day for the museum, like Sunday afternoon or Monday, but I went in around lunchtime, which I often expect to be less crowded. Sometimes the order of Madrid sightseeing can get switched due to a free museum day, or the royal palace being closed for a special event, etc.
After our Barcelona/Madrid tour a couple of years ago, we stayed on for some time. We went to both the Prado and Reina Sofia without Madrid cards. We did stand in line at the Prado, but only for about 15 minutes. At the Reina Sofia, we just walked right up to the ticket desk. By the way, both museums honor senior prices even for non-EU citizens. We got the discount with just our driver's licenses.
We also went to the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum - very short lines to get in. The Thyssen is a very good museum, consisting of lesser-know works by famous artists, and the better works of lesser-know artists. We spent a day there after the Barcelona-Madrid city tour.