Entrance to Spain’s most popular art museum can’t be free- can it? Well, if you’re clever about the time you chose to visit it most definitely can be! Entrance to the museum is waived between 6 and 8pm Tuesday to Saturday and from 5 to 8pm on Sundays, so you can soak in renowned pieces of art from Velázquez, El Greco, Goya and others without spending a single Euro.
With funds running low, there’s a high chance you might begin to prioritise alcohol over food. Luckily, at El Tigre, you won’t have to! The bustling bar gives you an authentic taste of Spain’s tapas culture without the high prices associated with the capital. The bar, found at 30 Calle Infantas, is famed for its quintessentially Spanish décor – think standing-room only with legs of ham dangling from the ceilings – and the best part? Each drink comes with a free tapa, the portions are very generous and they’re delicious… vamos!
When money’s running low, one of the easiest things to do is to head to a local market for a nosy around the mish-mash of stalls, and Madrid’s El Rastro is one of the best in Europe. El Rastro (literally translated as ‘the trail’) is full of stalls featuring anything from clothes to antique furniture and the occasional parakeet! Also worth checking out are the buskers who gather around the market livening up Sunday mornings with the sounds of flamenco. El Rastro takes place every Sunday but aim to get there before 11am when the market gets seriously packed.
Summer in Madrid can get pretty hot, so head to the Parque Juan Carlos I for some much needed shelter from the heat. The park is huge, spanning over 544 acres with 8 miles of trails wound throughout it. In order to help you explore it all a free tourist train departs every hour from the exit, or head off by yourself on one of the park’s free bikes- available from the info booth simply in exchange for your ID. Hiring a rowing boat to take out of the lake is also a great way to pass some time if you still have some money to part with.
I know, I know another museum, but Madrid really is famous for its art collection, plus it’s hard to refuse when admission is free on Saturdays after 2.30pm and Sundays before 2.30pm. The Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia is home to one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous paintings Guernica. At 3.5m x 7.8m it’s worth a visit to the Museo Nacional if only to see that one painting in all its glory.
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