Need a break from the hip and crowded streets of Barcelona? Hop on the high-speed train for a quick trip to Madrid just 2 hours and 30 minutes away. Stately, refined, and dignified, even in its grungier quarters, the Spanish capital is a fantastic destination for budget travelers.
Here are five tips for simple ways to save in Madrid, from finding a perfect pastry and scoring free museum admission to booking a cheap and charming hotel in a convenient location.
1. Visit the Reina Sofia and Prado museums for free
Madrid’s Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is free for evening admission from 7 pm to 9 pm on Mondays and Wednesday through Saturday. On Sundays, admission is free from 1:30 pm to 7 pm. If you happen to visit Madrid on April 18, May 18, or October 12, or December 6, lucky you — the museum is open to visitors free of charge for the entire day!
Meanwhile, the permanent collections of the Museo del Prado are free every evening from 6 pm to 8 pm, except Sundays and holidays when the free hours are from 5 pm to 7 pm.
Tip for the young travelers: In addition, guests under 18 and students between 18 and 25 years of age (with an ISIC card) can always visit the Reina Sofía and the Prado free of charge.
2. Find a perfect croissant
Yes, you read that right. This is a list of budget-friendly tips for Madrid, not Paris, but the Spanish capital’s exceptional La Duquesita (Calle Fernando VI, 2) bakes a fantastic croissant for €1.80. It’s flaky and soft — pretty close to perfect. It’s not a bad way to start the day for just a handful of change.
3. Stay at a great hotel for a low price
Hostal La Plata (Gran Vía, 15) is a dependable, tried-and-trusted cheapo option. Family-run run since 1972, La Plata has a central location and a level of charm that plenty of inexpensive and mid-range hotels don’t quite capture. There are cheaper beds in Madrid, but few of these match the convenience or comfort of La Plata.
4. Save with a public transportation pass
Madrid’s Tourist Travel Pass covers one day of travel in Zone A for just €8.40 (two days for €14.20; three for €18.40; five for €26.80; one week for €35.40). Zone A includes Madrid-Barajas Airport. The pass is valid through 5 am on the day following the expiration date.
Spend a little bit of time with maps of Madrid to figure out where you want to spend your time. If you intend to move about a fair amount, this pass can end up saving you some valuable euros.
5. At lunchtime, go for the Menú del día
Spain’s “menu of the day” lunches are a great way to eat a two- or three-course meal for what you might reasonably expect to pay for a single course at night. If you enter a restaurant at lunchtime and a menú del día isn’t advertised, just ask for one. For a great menú del día deal in Madrid, check out Restaurante Momo (Calle Libertad 8 in Chueca). You get a nice three-course meal for only €12.50.
More ways to save in Madrid
Source: Euro Cheapo