Taking that long weekend away to another country doesn’t always have to be an expense that requires you to scrimp and save until you get to the airport!
Now more than ever there are lots of free things to do and cheap hostels available in most cities, especially if you do that little bit of research before you travel! And if you are planning a weekend in Madrid then here’s our pick of some great budget friendly things to do around this great Spanish capital.
Relax in Retiro
Madrid has a large amount of public parks and it is often referred to as a ‘Green Capital’. One of the best and most popular parks is Buen Retiro Park which can be found at the edge of the city centre. Both locals and tourists flock to Retiro Park on a sunny day in Madrid to make the most of the beautiful lake, tree lined walkways, monuments and gardens. Another great park in Madrid is Parque de Ouste which is also home to the ancient Egyptian Temple de Debod. These parks are a great way to spend a nice day in Madrid with some family, friends, or even by yourself! It also makes for a great escape when the hustle and bustle of the city is getting too much.
Sit out in the Squares
Madrid is full of beautiful city squares or ‘plaza’s’. These squares are always busy with people both day and night, particularly on a nice sunny day. Sitting out in a sunny square is a great way to just kick back and watch the world go by. They are also a great place to find some of Madrid’s best street performers, as well as being home to some beautiful statues and fountains. Some of my favourite Madrid plaza’s are Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor and Plaza de Espana, three very popular Madrid squares that are all very different.
Free days in Madrid’s museums
Madrid is home to some of the world’s best museums and art collections. The city is renowned for its art and culture and you will find many museums and galleries all over the city. Two of Madrid’s best known museums are the Prado Museum and The Reina Sofia Museum. While these two popular museums do charge an admission fee, they also offer free times of entry as well. The Prado Museum offers free admission to its permanent collection from Tuesday to Saturday between 6pm and 8pm, and on Sunday between 5pm and 8pm. The Reina Sofia offers free admission on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 7pm until 9pm, Saturdays 2.30pm to close and Sunday 10am to close. So make sure you avail of these free admission times to check out some world class art.
Sleep for cheap
Madrid is busting at its seams with cheap accommodation, especially cheap hostels. Some of these hostels can be found in great city centre locations close to some of the aforementioned parks and squares. These cheap Madrid hostels offer some great accommodation whether you are travelling on your own or with a large group. On my last trip to Madrid I stayed at the beautiful Hostal Luz which is more like a mini hotel with its excellent private rooms. Cat's Hostel in Madrid is also a popular cheap place to stay if you are looking for dorm beds. Another top rated hostel is Hostal San Lorenzo that is located right in the centre of the city, a perfect base for exploring Madrid.
We reckon that should keep you going on your weekend to Madrid, and more importantly it will keep the money in your wallet for that little bit longer too!
Written and contributed by Tracy Lynch