Museo de Altamira
Museo de Altamira information
The museum’s highlight is the Neocueva , a dazzling, full-sized re-creation of the real Cueva de Altamira’s most interesting chamber, the Sala de Polícromos (Polychrome Hall), which is covered in exquisite 15,000-year-old ochre-and-black bison paintings created using the natural rock relief. Other excellent English- and Spanish-language displays cover prehistoric humanity and cave art around the world, from Altamira to Australia. The museum is incredibly popular (264,000 visitors in 2015), so it’s best to reserve tickets in advance, especially for Easter, July, August and September.
You can book tickets at any Banco Santander branch in Spain or online via the Altamira website (click the ‘Banco Santander’ link, under ‘Tarifas y Venta Anticipada’) – the final stages for online payment are available in Spanish only. Advance tickets cost €3 for everybody (children, students and seniors included) and are not available for Saturday afternoon or Sunday. Same-day tickets are sold only at the museum ticket office.
With all tickets you are assigned an exact time for entering the Neocueva, where visits can be guided or independent. During busy periods this might involve a wait of several hours if you have not reserved in advance. If you’re visiting before 10.30am on Friday, you’ll be offered an application form to enter into the ballot for visiting the real cave later that day.