The Best FREE Things To Do In Madrid

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Madrid is often overlooked for its smaller sister city by the sea, Barcelona, but we’re here to tell you that should no longer be the case. Spain’s capital is a beautiful city packed with passion, culture and history. And if you’re a fan of affordable city breaks, we’ve rounded up some great examples Madrid’s attractions, all of which are FREE to do.

Swat Up On The Finest Art At The Museo Del Prado

Whilst Spain’s national art museum charges a small fee in the day, in the evenings it is free to visit. Perhaps you could peruse the works of famous artists like Goya after a romantic dinner? Entry is free between 6 – 8 on Tuesdays – Saturdays and from 5 – 8 on Sunday evenings. We always find hunting for cheap things to do in the evening so much harder, so trips to this art gallery are a real hidden gem.

picture of the museo del prado
[Photo by Enrique Fernández – Flickr]

Experience Morning Mass At The Basílica de San Francisco el Grande

The Basílica de San Francisco el Grande has a prime location, situated in the centre of Madrid on the Calle San Buenaventura, but whilst the exterior is definitely eye-catching, the interior is where it really shines. The frescoed dome is the highlight, and is arguably the biggest dome in a Cathedral in Spain. This incarnation was built between 1761 and 1784 and features early works by Goya, Francisco Zurbarán and Francisco Pacheco. You can pay for entry to this incredible building throughout the day but for an authentic (and free) experience, head to a morning mass.

picture of the inner dome
[Photo by Doug – Flickr]

Go Dancing At One of Madrid’s Hottest Bars

Tupperware on the Corredera Alta de San Pablo is one of Madrid’s hippest bars, and it revels in a scruffy chic not unlike London’s own Dalston or Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Star Wars posters adorn the walls, there are sofas to crash out on and the selection of drinks is broad – making it a great place to spend a long evening. Whilst the drinks are decidedly not free, entry is and that’s not bad for one of Madrid’s hottest nightspots.

picture of the bar
[Photo by Marco Gersabeck – Flickr]

Enjoy An Art Exhibition In A Glass Palace

The Palacio de Cristal was first built to house an exhibition of plants from the Philippines and so acted as a rather ornate greenhouse. Now, this beautiful building is home to art exhibitions in partnership with the Reina Sofia museum and entry is entirely free. The “Palace” sits in the Parque del Buen Retiro and sits behind a lake which is home to terrapins, black swans and other bird life making this art gallery of sorts even more inviting.

picture of the Palacio De Cristal
[Photo by Adrien Sifre – Flickr]

Take A step Back In Time At The Anden 0

A trip to the Anden 0 is not only great because it’s free, but it also acts as a time machine of sorts, taking you back to a different era. This museum houses three diesel engines and the equipment that was needed to transform energy to power in the early 20th century. Here at dealchecker, what we love most about this quaint museum is the restored Chamberí Station. The station was closed in 1966 when the trains were extended beyond the length of this older, shorter station and then the posters were restored back to the 1920s originals giving you a glimpse in to what it would have been like to ride the metro when it first opened.

picture of an old tube station
[Photo by Hipnos – Flickr]

Watch A Music Concert At Parque del Buen Retiro

So, we already know that the Parque del Buen Retiro houses free art exhibitions, which is reason enough alone to visit this sprawling park. In the summer, the park offers an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city, and free concerts soothe the spirits of hot and bothered visitors and locals alike. Between late May and early October there is band music in the park every day. On a hot sunny day, there’s not a much better place to be than in the band stand of this pretty park.

picture of man playing saxophone in the park
[Photo by Héctor de Pereda – Flickr]

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