Ten tips for visiting Madrid on a budget
Here are some tips for you to stretch your Euros in Madrid.
1. Visit Madrid in February
I would recommend budget travelers to visit Madrid in the month of February when the room tariffs are lowest, crowds at all the attractions, including Prado, are thin and the weather is moderately cold but pleasant. In fact, the lowest air fares to Madrid are to be had in the month of February.
2. Stay in a hostel
Madrid has excellent hostels offering shared rooms in an extremely clean and hygienic environment. Some of the popular hostels are
- The hat : Centrally located hostel, next to Plaza mayor, offering clean and comfortable beds, and a great rooftop bar to unwind.
- Hostal Oriente: Excellent hostel housed in a historic building with very affordable private rooms. Hostal Oriente has an excellent location, just 50 metres from the Opera metro and at 5 minutes’ walk to Puerto Del Sol.
3. Go for Menu Del Dia
The Menu del dia (menu of the day) is for those in Madrid on a budget. Here is a list of restaurants in Madrid known for their affordable Menu Del Dia.
4. Sign up for free walking tours
Sandeman's have an excellent walking tour of Madrid. The tour is excellent with passionate guides explaining the history behind the city. You need to reserve online at least a day in advance.
5. Do not miss out on free tapas
Though free tapas is a rarity in Madrid, you have few bars still offering free tapas. El Tigre is the most popular. This article at Time Out lists bars offering free tapas. You should head to one of these bars for a drink and savor the free tapas while enjoying your drink.
6. Go for free flamenco performance
Flamenco can be enjoyed for free every Friday and Saturday nights at Sala Clan located on Calle Ribera de Curtidores. Do not miss the show. The Clan does not charge any entrance, you have to book your table for drinks and arrive at least an hour in advance before the show. Drinks are not very cheap but you get to see a flamenco performance for free.
7. Be prepared to walk
Madrid is a very easy city to explore on foot. You really do not need a travel card as most key sights are clustered around the central historic district.
8. Make use of free entry
Most of the popular attractions have free hours. Make use of them
- Prado museum is free Monday to Saturday from 6 pm to 8 pm and on Sundays and holidays from 5 pm to 7 pm.
Reina Sofía Museum
- Always free for students and free for all on Mondays
- Fridays from 7 pm to 9 pm, Saturdays from 2:30 pm to 9 pm, Sundays
from 10 am to 2:30 pm
Real Palace Madrid
- Monday to Thursday from 16 to 18 h. (October to March) and 18 to 20
h. (April to September) but only for EU residents.
- Always free
- Always free
Museo Taurino (Bullfighting Museum)
- Always free
Download free Madrid Apps
Many of the apps that can help make your Madrid trip memorable can be downloaded for free. Download them on your smartphone.
10. Budget smartly
Stretching your Euros requires careful planning. Here is a post estimating how much you must budget for a day in Madrid.