Madrid is timeless. It has that type of intemporal vibe which only some European capitals have though with highly fresh upgrades. And the best part is that you can discover Madrid’s local hidden gems for free! Yes, without spending a penny. Below are our 7 free ways to discover the local Madrid vibe:
Forget about Flamenco and bull-fighting for a second, the spanish capital has incredible free experiences to offer.
#1. Free walking tour with Pancho Tours
If you have the feeling of already knowing Madrid from your past trips but you can’t tell where does Real Madrid celebrates its championship victories, you really don’t know Madrid. We suggest the daily free walking tour (in spanish and english) starting at 11:00AM with the approximate duration of 3 hours. You’ll get to know unique and local perspectives about las calles de Madrid passing by the must-see barrios. It always starts in the same meeting point: in front of the Tourist Information Office at Plaza Mayor. Although isn’t charged, if you like it, tip it!
#2. Getting to know las calles y barrios de Madrid
If you want to discover Madrid by yourself, there are specific neighbourhoods and streets that you have to visit to actually make you feel you were in Madrid, without actually buying anything. The hectic Calle Gran Vía is one of those since has the same importance as the Champ-Élysées for Paris. Another suggestion is to include Puerta del Sol, the main plaza in Madrid, with the famous Kilometer Zero plaque on the ground, the giant Tio Pepe and the famous bear statue. Make sure you grab your sneakers. Nearby, you’ll find Plaza Mayor with its huge cobblestone square surrounded by 237 balconies.
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#3. Famous local flea market El Rastro
If you happen to be in Madrid on a Sunday or bank holiday, this is a must do. The oldest and most iconic flea market located in the Embajadores neighbourhood opens its non-doors at 9:00AM. Innumerous stalls offer vintage decorative items, new and second-hand clothing, handmade jewellery, unique drawings, and so on. It gets really crowded so if you’re not into this kind of ambiance, see the next suggestion.
#4. Green oasis in Madrid at El Retiro Park
If you’re more of an outdoor lover, take the time to go to El Retiro Park. It’s a breath of fresh air with more than 15,000 trees. Either for jogging, picknicking, fish feeding, boating in the lake or just a walk to appreciate the environment and take a look at the green architecture and historical sculptures. It’s free to visit so just make sure you have enough space on your phone for the pictures.
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#5. Egyptian vibes at Temple de Debod
This temple dates from the 2nd century BC and was a gift from Egypt to Spain, being brought block by block. Who’d knew that one of the few ancient Egyptian monuments is in the centre of Madrid. Amazing sunset pictures are guaranteed with the outstanding views of the city. Take a look at the surrounding gardens.
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#6. Funky cultural community at La Tabacalera de Lavapiés
Madrid is an artistic melting pot and this space is a clear flag of that social democratic identity. It’s listed as “Heritage of Cultural Interest” located inside an old tobacco factory. It’s a public space hosting various exhibitions, art galleries, informal meet-ups. Everyone can benefit from it through painting, farming, singing, dancing and performing.
#7. Cool museum suggestions
There’s a collection of museums worth to visit for free in Madrid. Museo del Prado being one of the 11 top world museums is definitely a must go. It has free entrance from Mondays to Saturdays from 6:00PM to 8:00PM and Sundays and holidays from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. Does La Guernica ring a bell? Yes? No? Which answer you chose, the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía is surely a hit for Picasso, Dalí and Miró fans. It’s also for free on Mondays and Wednesdays to Saturdays from 7:00PM to 9:00PM plus Sundays from 1:30PM to 7:00PM. The avant-garde Museo ABC known for its illustrations and graphics collection is also free between Wednesday and Saturday from 11:00AM to 8:00PM as well as on Sunday from 10:00AM to 2:00PM.