Capital European Cities can be costly- but not with this guide. It’s One World Travel brings you 5 things to do for free in Madrid, Spain – A Hostelzoo Guest Post special!!
From fulfilling your craving for culture, to partying till dawn with the locals- don’t miss these five free activities in Madrid.
#1 Prado Museum
Officially Spain’s most popular tourist sight and free seven days a week! The Museo del Prado is Spain’s premiere art gallery, housing the finest works of art Spain has ever produced. Covering the 12th-19th centuries, names like Goya and Velazquez can be seen for free from 6pm until 8pm from Monday to Saturday and 5pm until 8pm on Sundays. Perfect for after a siesta, and before merienda.
BONUS TIP: “Merienda” is the late afternoon snack between lunch and dinner, enjoyed all over Spain. Typically you will see Madrilenos enjoying tortilla and coffee at this mini-meal time.
#2 Reina Sofia Museum
The Reina Sofia is Madrid’s world-famous modern art gallery and it has free entry for a limited time every day. That means you can see many works by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso – including the latter’s masterpiece, the Guernica – completely free.
When is it free? Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 7pm until 9pm. Saturday afternoons (from 2.30pm) and Sunday mornings (until 2.30pm). At other times it costs 6€ to get in. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
#3 Botellon in Sol
Sol (Metro: Sol) starts to come alive in the dark hours. Many young people who live with their parents choose to hit the streets to enjoy their adult beverages and catch a buzz before heading out to dance the night away. The tradition of drinking in public “botellon” (which means “big bottle”) is widely embraced in the center of the city- especially on weekends!
Club promoters will approach you all night long with cards for their respective venues: free welcome shot if you bring the card. This is a great way to test out the clubs in the downtown area and get crunk for little to no money. You’re sure to meet friends along the way, be sure to write down your hostel name before you go out…
BONUS: If you’re going to botellon, make sure you get your liquor before 10pm, as stores do not sell alcohol past that time. However if you go to any “alimentacion” (essentially, corner stores) and ask for vino or whiskey, they will usually pull the stash out.
#4 La Tabacalera ( Calle Embajadores 53 / Metro: Embajadores)
Want a taste of the multicultural Madrid? A former government tobacco building, the Tabacalera is now a community art cooperative. From street art, some of the best graffiti in Madrid, and thought provoking exhibitions and film screening, the Tabacalera is the perfect place to spend an artsy afternoon. You will easily make a few friends and enjoy the underground Madrid scene. Partake in candle making classes, bike workshops, cooking classes or any of the current projects.
#5 Get your Middle East on – Temple de Debod
If you’re hoping to get a peek at Ancient Egyptian ruins of a temple, but have no time to make it to the Middle East, check out the Temple of Debod near metro Plaza de Espana. Another great place to botellon the Temple Debod is sitauated inside Parque del Oeste. This is one of the best spots to take photos near sunset, don’t miss it!
This post was brought to you by Brandy Bell of It’s One World Travel. Brandy grew up in California, had a lovely job in the wine industry and left on a round-the-world trip in 2010. She now plots her next international adventures from her home base in Madrid, Spain. To follow her latest travels, receive budget travel tips and learn how to travel for free by following her on Facebook or Twitter.