Top 10 Free Things to Do in Madrid

Visiting the Spanish capital on a budget doesn't mean missing out

Madrid skyline, Gran Vía at dusk
Tanatat pongphibool ,thailand / Getty Images

Traveling on a budget? Looking for free things to do in Madrid? Here you'll find a list of the best ten things to do for free in Madrid. Free sights, free activities, free museum entry - the best things to do in Spain's capital for free.

01 of 10

Museo de Reina Sofia

The Madrid museum of modern art. Reina Sofia. Dramatic modern extensions to the traditional buildings.
joncrel/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0
Calle de Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid, Spain
+34 917 74 10 00

The Reina Sofia is Madrid's world-famous modern art gallery - and it has free entry for a limited time every day. That means you can see many works by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso - including the latter's masterpiece, the Guernica - completely free.

When is it free? Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.

02 of 10

Museo del Prado

Madrid, Gallery in El Prado Museum
Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images
Calle de Ruiz de Alarcon, 23, 28014 Madrid, Spain
+34 913 30 28 00

Officially Spain's most popular tourist sight and free seven days a week! The Museo del Prado is Spain's premier art gallery, housing the finest works of art Spain has ever produced.

When is it free?  Monday to Saturday 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays and holidays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

03 of 10

Palacio Real (Madrid's Royal Palace)

 Paula Galindo / TripSavvy

28005 Madrid, Spain

The royal residence, just five minutes walk from Plaza Mayor.

When is it free? Wednesdays.

04 of 10

Museo de Thyssen-Bornemisza

Museo Thyssen Bornemisza
Wikimedia Commons
Paseo del Prado, 8, 28014 Madrid, Spain
+34 917 91 13 70

The third art museum in Madrid's 'golden triangle', the Museo de Thyssen-Bornemisza has the best private collection of classic and modern art in Spain.

When is it free? Mondays between 12noon and 4 p.m.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Museo Tiflológico

Museo Tiflológico
Wikimedia Commons
Calle la Coruña, 18, 28020 Madrid, Spain
+34 915 89 42 19

The Museo Tiflológico is Madrid's Blind Museum, maintained by ONCE, the Spanish blind association. Not so much about the blind as for them - which means lots of touchy-feely exhibits that anyone can enjoy. A bit different from the average museum.

When is it free? Always!

06 of 10

Anden 0

Anden 0
Hypnos/Flickr/Creative Commons
Plaza de Chamberí, s/n, 28010 Madrid, Spain
+34 902 44 44 03

The old Chamberi metro station was closed for many years, gathering dust (one hell of a lot of dust) under the streets of Madrid. But now it has reopened about a museum showing the history of Madrid's metro system. One for train fans and anyone interested in a quirky side to Madrid's history.

When is it free? Every day (apart from Mondays, when it's closed).

07 of 10

Espacio Conde Duque

Espacio Conde Duque
Damian Corrigan
Calle del Conde Duque, 11, 28015 Madrid, Spain
+34 913 18 44 50

Former barracks that now houses a number of interesting sights. The main attraction is the contemporary art museum, but there is also the Conde Duque, the city archive, libraries of history, music and newspapers and the artisan printing press.

08 of 10

Madrid's Museo Taurino (Bullfighting Museum)

Bullring bull, Museo Taurino(Bullfighting Museum).
Lonely Planet / Getty Images
Calle de Alcalá, 237, 28028 Madrid, Spain
+34 912 76 12 87

If you can't get to see a live bullfight in Spain, at least check out the bullfighting museum, which explains the history and features artifcats of the Spanish pastime.

When is it free? Always.

Read more about Bullfighting in Spain.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Museo Arte Público

Museo Arte Público
Metro Centric/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
Paseo de la Castellana, 40, 28046 Madrid, Spain

An open-air abstract art museum that makes the best use of the dead space under a bypass. Artists featured here include Joan Miro and Eduardo Chillida.

When is it free? Always

10 of 10

El Parque del Buen Retiro

Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid, Spain
Ingolf Pompe / LOOK-foto / Getty Images
Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
+34 914 00 87 40

The Retiro is Madrid's grand park, slap-bang in the middle of the city. With a lake, trees, flower gardens, chapel ruins and the Palacio de Cristal, it makes a perfect (and close) retreat from the hustle of Madrid's city life.

When is it free? Always!

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On a Budget? Don't Miss the Top 10 Free Things to Do in Madrid