Saying you visited Spain’s capital in a few days is like someone offering you a cake and inviting you to eat it with a spoon instead of a teaspoon that would help you more to enjoy it. There are so many beautiful places to enjoy here, you almost don’t know where to go first. Although I left Madrid at a side, preferring coastal cities like Barcelona, Valencia or the islands – the architecture, culture, cleanliness and the atmosphere of the city won me over. An approximate budget for an extended weekend of 3-4 nights can be … 175-180 Euro / person, including accommodation, flight and food.
Appointed as the Golden Triangle, the most important and worth visiting museums in Madrid are grouped together in a common area as they hide true cultural treasures: Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza.
Tip: For those who want to see the Golden Triangle, there is a pass offering a good price for all three museums, giving a 14% discount on the total price of the tickets: Paseo del Arte. If you organize your time well enough, the Triangle, as well as other objectives can be visited free of charge by European Union citizens at certain time intervals. The price includes the full cost of the ticket.
- Prado Museum: M-Sa 18-20, Su & Legal Holidays 17-19. Ticket price: EUR 15. A guide for visiting the main art pieces in the museum in 2 hours is here.
- At the Reina Sofia Contemporary Art Museum, you should not miss Picasso’s “Guernica” painting, with the many symbols it contains. Free access is available on Sundays, 10 – 14:30 and M-Sa 19-21: Ticket price: EUR 8.
- Thyssen Bornemisza Museum: Monday, from 12 to 16, free access to the permanent exhibition. Ticket price: EUR 12, including the temporary exhibition.
- The Cibelles neoclassical market is a fountain made of marble sculptures. In the tower of the Cibelles Palace you can climb for free to admire the city’s view and the modern art area.
- Palacio Real – The Royal Palace includes the visit to the rooms, the royal library, the armor room and can be visited free of charge Mo-Th 15-18 (October-March) and 18-20 (April-September). Ticket price: EUR 11, including the temporary exhibition. The Sabatini Garden, located just outside the palace, can be visited for free.
- Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales was originally a palace and during Juana de Asturias’ days (who became a nun) it became a royal Franciscan monastery. Today there are 28 nuns who can be heard as they pray or when they pull bells during the visit. The interior is special and worth seeing. The free visit is Wednesday. Mo-Sa 10 – 14 & 16 – 18:30, Su & holidays 10 – 15. Ticket price: 6EUR.
- Gara Atocha must be visited inside where there is a lush garden, birds, turtles.
- Parque Del Retiro has long alleys, a lake, a rose garden and a botanical garden with peacocks. One can spend a whole day without getting bored. In the park can be visited, free of charge: Palacio de Velasquez and the Crystal Palace. The first one was temporarily closed and the second one was hosting an exhibition in memory of imigrants lost in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Naval Museum can be visited free of charge, Tuesday through Saturday, 10-14. Addresa: Paseo del Prado 5, 28014, metro station Banca d’Espagna.
- The National Archaeological Museum has free access and the address is c/ Serrano 13, metro station Serrano/Retiro.
- The History Museum of Madrid is on Calle Fuencarral no 78 (metro station) has free access.
- Lazaro Galdiano Museum includes works of art by Goya, Velasquez and El Greco, among others. This is the forth museum in the top after The Golden Triangler. Address: c/ Serrano 122, Rubén Darío/Gregorio Marañón metro station. Tu-Su 10-16:30. Free entrance on Wednesdays.
- Clothes Museum Tu-Sa 09:30-19, D 10-15. Ticket price: 3 EUR. Free entrance on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Americas Museum holds in itself the world discovered by the Spanish on American territory. Tu-Sa 9:30-15, D 10-15. Ticket price: 3 EUR. Free entrance on Sundays.
- Romántico Museum. Address: Calle de San Mateo nr 13, Tribunal metro. Tu-Sa 9:30-18:30, D 10-15. Ticket price: 3 EUR. Free entrance on Sundays.
When to visit
Madrid is one of the highest capitals in Europe (646 meters above sea level). For this reason, the weather can be at extremes during winter (very cold) and summer (very hot) and very strong wind. The best time to spend your holidays here is autumn and spring.
Access to Terminal 1, 2, 3 of Barajas Airport is faster than Terminal 4 and it takes about 15-17 minutes to get from the center to the airport. A trip costs 4.8 Euros.
Extremely efficient, with an impressive network, the Madrid subway is the best option for city travel. Cost: 12,20 Euro / 10 subway or daily trips, unlimited travel passes:
Tip de Travel Pass Price Zone A, 1 day € 8.00 Zone A, 2 days € 13.40 Zone A, 3 days € 17.40 Zone A, 5 days € 25.40 Zone A, 7 days € 33.40
Flight RyanAir: 57 Euro/person, without luggage.
Accommodation through airbnb.com or booking.com ( Aprox budget: 30-35 Euro/room/night).