Everyone loves to make their dollar stretch as far as possible when they’re on vacation, and in a city like Madrid that is more than possible. Here are six tips for visiting the Spanish capital that can save you a few bucks in the long run. Discover how to explore Madrid on a budget and get the most out of your holiday!
Visit the museums at the right time
Madrid has a plethora of museums, many of which have free entrance on certain days and times. Here are a few of the city’s top museums that offer free entry that you can take advantage of. Taking in culture in Madrid on a budget has never been easier!
- Museo del Prado: free entrance Monday-Saturday from 6PM-8PM, Sundays from 5PM-8PM
- Palacio Real: free entrance on Wednesdays
- Reina Sofía: free entrance Sundays from 10AM-2:30PM, Monday-Saturday from 7PM-9Pm (except Tuesdays)
- Museo Sorolla: free entrance on Sundays
- Museo Arqueológico Nacional: free entrance on Sundays
Enjoy the menú del día
Lunch is the main meal of the day in Spain, and many restaurants offer a great lunchtime deal. The menú del día is a 3-course lunch and during the week you can score it for between 10 and 15 euros. Keep in mind that this includes a drink, bread, a starter, main dish, and dessert. During the weekend the menu prices might be higher, but you can eat a lot and well Monday-Friday during lunchtime. Some low-cost local favorites are Restaurante Momo, Casa Dani, and La Finca de Susana.
Restaurante Momo: Calle Libertad, 8
Casa Dani: Calle de Ayala, 28
La Finca de Susana: Calle del Príncipe, 10
Take a walk in the park
Madrid has plenty of green space, much of which you can see for free. Take a stroll through the city’s biggest park, El Retiro, and see some of its wonders like the Crystal Palace and its lagoon. The park offers many activities and is a great way to get some fresh air in the city. Additionally, you can visit El Capricho Park, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in the city. Sabatini Gardens is a part of the Palacio Real and is open to the public for free. Make sure that you stop and enjoy all of the beautiful floral arrangements and natural beauty that it offers, especially around sunset.
Do some sightseeing
There is no shortage of things to see in Madrid, especially when it comes to architecture and historical buildings. Be sure to see the famous Plaza Mayor, the grandest plaza in the city and a hub of activity. Puerta del Sol is also a spot that you need to check out to experience Madrid’s vibe. If you want to see something truly unique, make sure that you see the Templo de Debod, a real Egyptian temple that was relocated and put on display in the Spanish capital. Seeing Madrid on a budget is so easy since there are so many churches, monuments, and beautiful buildings that you can see, completely free!
Visit the markets
When you visit a city’s food and street markets, you get a real feel for that city’s culture. When you stop by Madrid’s most famous food market, Mercado de San Miguel, you’ll experience the heart of Spanish cuisine. This food market is free to browse, and you can snag some pinchos and tapas for just a few euros. If you’re into street markets, you need to check out El Rastro on Sundays. You can endlessly browse the market’s arts and crafts, clothing, and secondhand treasures for hours. You might find a gem with few bucks as well!
Partake in Spain’s café culture
Spaniards love their coffee, and you’ll notice that there seems to be a café on almost every corner in Madrid. You’ll be amazed that you can get a delicious espresso or latte for usually less than 2 euros. The locals love to drink their coffee outdoors in the sunshine on the café terraces. As Madrileños say, there’s nothing better than a relaxing cup of café con leche in Plaza Mayor!
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