5 things free to do in Madrid


As the capital of Spain, Madrid is not renowned for its inexpensive offerings. However, there are a surprisingly large number of things to do and see in the city for little or no money. With some of the best churches, architecture and museums in Europe, here are our top picks for free things to do in the city.

Catch a gig at La Coquette

Music fans, this one is for you. Concerts are held in Madrid every night of the week, but they are almost always very pricey. Luckily, basement bar La Coquette hosts international names as well as local talent – all free, so long as you buy a drink. It’s been running for 20 years now, and for good reason given the high-quality performers and great atmosphere.

Free visit to the Royal Palace of Madrid

If you’re an EU or Latin America citizen, bring proof of nationality, residence or work permit, and you are in for a treat as you can get free entrance on Wednesdays. The Royal Palace is one of the largest and most important palaces in Europe, has hundreds of rooms and hosts state ceremonies and important events like the Spanish National Day. Best of all, the palace is just five minutes walk from Plaza Mayor, so getting over there won’t eat into your day too much.

Enjoy world-famous art at Museo de Reina Sofia

Want to enjoy some of the most famous art in the world at Madrid’s leading modern art gallery? You’re in luck. The Reina Sofia has works by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and more – including Picasso’s masterpiece, Guernica. It’s closed on Tuesdays, but otherwise, you can enjoy it for free throughout the week if you're a student aged 25 and under.

Get a taste of Egypt in Madrid at Templo de Debod

Dating back 2,200 years, the Templo de Debod sits on the edge of the Parque del Oeste and is dedicated to Egyptian gods Amun and Isis. The Egyptian government sent the structure, piece by piece, to Spain in 1968 as a thank you for Spain helping preserve monuments threatened by the Aswan Dam. Aside from it being a spectacle, you can even head inside the temple – the views here are amazing!

Check out Madrid’s cool open-air art museum

Making use of the dead space under a bypass, Museo Arte Publico is an open-air abstract museum playing host to artists such as Joan Miro and Eduardo Chillida. It’s always free, so head over for a browse through some of the coolest modern art that Madrid has to offer.

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