Madrid on a Budget
Prepare your “must see list” – there are plenty of things you can do, see and experience in the heart of Spain
Madrid has a lot to offer – whether you are an art and culture fan, a nature admirer or a culinary expert, this is the place for you!
The city is the second safest capital in Europe, so take your time, explore Madrid and enjoy most of the city’s sights and attractions for free!
Have a Cup of Coffee or Free Tapas
Whether you prefer a classic coffee, cappuccino or fresh juice, you are welcome to visit one of Madrid’s cafés. The capital has a very strong café culture and that’s where you’ll find the real Spain in all its forms, tastes, and colors.
If you order a drink at almost any bar, you will be served with a delicious plate of tapas for free. Just a few steps away from Gran Via is the El Tigre on Calle de las Infantas – a relatively cheap symbolic place that will amaze you with its atmosphere, delicious dishes, free tapas, and good music.
Go for a Stroll
With its impressive 172 parks, gardens and 225,000 trees, Madrid is said to be the 2nd city in the world with the greenest spaces per inhabitant. While you’re in town, you must take at least an hour to stroll around and admire the beautiful scenery.
Visit the Casa de Campo Park, go for a boat trip on the El Retiro Park Lake, explore the Jardin Botanico or the Atocha station garden – an impressive indoor garden.
Be mesmerized by the architectural perfection of the Almudena Cathedral (Santa María la Real de La Almudena), the Convent of the Discalced (Convento de los Descalzos), the Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande (Basílica de San Francisco El Grande), and of the Church of San Andres (Iglesia de San Andrés).
The Royal Palace
Being in the heart of the monarchy, you certainly will have to see its symbol – the Royal Palace.
Its impressive look will make you go also for a tour inside and admire the classic Spanish art in all its glory. The Royal Palace is the official residence of the royal family though it doesn’t live there`. Nowadays the palace is mostly used for state ceremonies. Much of the residential area is open to the public, as well as the throne room, the hall of mirrors and the royal dining room. The entry fees vary from EUR 2 to EUR 14 depending on age range, guided tours, which part of the palace would you like to visit, etc.
Visit the Museums
Visit most museums in Madrid for free on certain days of the week and admire contemporary art or classics. In the Prado Museum (Museo Nacional del Prado), Spain’s largest national museum, you will have the chance to view masterpieces from artists like Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, Bosch, and many more. The Queen Sofia Museum (Centro de Arte Reina Sofía) showcases the work of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. In the National Archaeological Museum (Museo Arqueológico Nacional) you get to see how Spain changed its appearance through the centuries from prehistoric times to recent modern days.
Last but not Least
If you are willing to spend some more money and time in Madrid, the city has numerous offers for you. Here are several exciting ideas:
If you are a fan of spectacular rooftop views, check out the Azotea bar and restaurant which reveals an amazing view of the city and gives you the chance to take beautiful photos of Madrid over sunset.
Check out the Mercado San Miguel and buy fresh and tasty food; explore the Las Letras neighborhood with its cobbled streets and attractive cafes; go for a football match at the famous Santiago Bernabéu Stadium; visit a salsa or flamenco show or attend a bullfight in the Plaza del Toros – these are only a few of the adventures that expect you in Madrid. See you there!