Top Attractions In Madrid For Free

Madrid is one of the most exciting cities in Europe, which is why millions of tourists would flock to this city each year. It’s filled with numerous historic sights and attractions that cater to all kinds of travellers. If you are a budget traveller, you’ll be happy to know that there are many cheap things to do in Madrid. As a matter of fact, by simply exploring the city streets, you’ll already be rewarded with lots of interesting sights, including historic buildings with beautiful architecture.

While Madrid may not be the cheapest places to visit in Europe, there are plenty of free things to do in Madrid that can keep even the most budget traveller entertained. If you love to learn more about the culture and history of the city, then visit the free museums in Madrid. Of course, there are several other free attractions in Madrid, such as the Buen Retiro Park, Plaza Mayor, Gran Via street, Puerta del Sol, San Jeronimo el Royal, and many more.

One of the things that you’ll love about Madrid is that there will always be something to entertain you regardless of the season. For instance, one of the free things to do in Madrid this summer is to walk around the outside area of Madrid Royal Palace while enjoying the good weather. This beautiful palace is the official residence of the Royal Family, similar to London’s Buckingham Palace. To those who are going to Madrid with kids, one of the free things to do in Madrid with kids is to stroll and have picnic on some of the many beautiful parks in the city, such as the El Retiro Park.

Are you heading to Madrid soon? Then check out this list of free things to do in Madrid.

Free Things To Do in Madrid

1. Buen Retiro Park (Free)

4.5 Free Tourist Attraction

TheBuenRetiro Park is among the largest parks in Madrid, Spain. The name says it all as this attraction is really a “Park Of The Pleasant Retreat”. Builtby Felipe IV in the 17th century,as a preserve of the Royal Family, it wasaccessible to the public in the late 19th century.Since then, whenever the weather is pleasant or on weekends, the Madrelenos gather here for a walk, read the paper in shade, go forboating, or have drinks. The park is a business place to buskers and masseurs and a gallery for numerous art and picture exhibitions that hold throughout the year. The area of the park is a vast 350 acres edging of the city centre exposed 24/7 to the vibrant Madrid life. El Retiro is decorated with marble monuments, picturesque lawns, a stylish building and profusion of greenery. It is undoubtedly one of the premier attractions of Madrid.

Opening Times

2. Walk around Madrid Royal Palace (Free)

3.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Royal Palace is one of the most astounding places around the glove due to its royal and majestic nature that reflects from its every angle. Being the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, it holds the same value as the Buckingham Palace in London. Tourists to Spain and Madrid make it a point to visit the Royal Palace, adding a milestone to their travelling life. The Royal Palace is used mainly for state ceremonies and is open to public rest of the year.

Built during the 18th and 19th centuries, the Palacio Real or the Royal Palace holds an important place in Spanish history. Constructed as a replacement to the famous Alcazar which suffered at the hands of fate when it was burned to ashes in 1794, the Royal Palace was erected with all its glory and regality. Walking around the Royal Palace costs nothing and you can enjoy the glory and magnificence that radiates from it throughout the day.

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3. Plaza Mayor (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

A central plaza in Madrid which you visit on your trip to Spain. Built during the Habsburg period, it is just a few blocks away from Puertadel Sol. The plaza is a rectangular shape surrounded by three residential buildings with magnificent 237 balconies facing the Plaza Mayor and having a total of nine entry ways.The most well-known entranceways is the Arco de Cuchilleroswith steep steps leading up to the Plaza.

The Plaza Mayor has been the centre of many festivities like bullfights, royal coronations and even executions.At the right centre of it, stands a bronze statue of King Philips III, which was constructed in 1616, by Italian sculptors. The King on horseback is indeed a most valuable piece of art.

The most prominent building on the Plaza Mayor is the Casa de la Panaderia, the centrepiece of the baker’s guilt. The decoration is not the same due to reforms however the murals were recently built.

Opening Times

4. Gran via (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

Located in Madrid,a street namedGran Via is a real showcase of the architecture of the early 20th century.Home to a lot of hotels, the Gran Via is also one of Madrid’s most famous shopping place. However, what makes it really special is the lavish design of the many large buildings.

Now this street is known as the Spanish Broadway and it is famous that this street never sleeps. It starts from Calle de Alcala, near to Plaza de Cibeles to Plaza de Espana. The first building to catch your eye will be the Edificio Metropolis or Metropolis Building built between 1907 and 1911.

Other sights include theEdificio Grassy, Plaza del Callao and the Plaza de Espana, every building showing its own architectural finesse. Walking along the Gran Via leaves every head turned towards the sky to watch those old skyscrapers that will forever remain a beauty of Madrid.

5. Plaza de Espana (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

The Plaza de Espana, also known as Spain Square is quite a famous sight for tourists. Located in Madrid, at the end of Gran Via, it isa large square featuring a monument. History tells you that this Plaza was once a barrack and then created into a beautiful square.

In the centre of the square stands the monument to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, famous Spanish novelist, poet and playwright. While in the tower portion, includes a sculpture of Cervantes overlooking the bronze sculptures of Sancho Panza and Don Quixote. Just next to the tower, there are the representations of the “true loves” of Don Quixote, Aldonza Lorenzo and DulcineadelToboso.

Next to the Plaza de Espana are the two tallest buildings in Madrid, the 384 feet tall EdificioEspanaand the Torre de Madrid standing at 466 feet. These two buildings look magnificent on the square and your heads will turn towards the sky to engulf the beauty of Spain’s architecture.

6. Puerta del sol (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

One of the busiest and best known places in Madrid includes Puerta del Sol, situated in the very heart of Madrid. It is the centre of the outspread networks of the Spanish roads. This square contains the well-known clock whose bells mark the start of the New Year. Puerta del Sol comprises of a number of renowned sights of Madrid.

The south side has the old Post Office or the Edificio de Correus belonging to the Regional Government of Pakistan and a mounted statue of Charles III of Spain.The famous lighted sign, Tio Pepe, is above the eastern building of the square. Going to the east side, you will see the statue of a madrone tree and a bear, symbolizing the heraldic symbol of Madrid.

Puerta del Sol connects many residential and commercial areas together, consisting mainly of shopping establishments to cater for the tourists, including the El Corte Ingles and numerous restaurants. Always active, no matter how late the hour is and street music is a common spectacle.

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7. Atocha Railway Station (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

Atocha Railway Station also known as the Madrid Atochaand is the only largest railway station ever constructed inMadrid. Primarily it provides commuter trains, regional and intercity trains from the southern part of the country and high-speed AVE trains from cities like Barcelona, Seville etc. Spanish Railway Company, Renfe, operates the train services. The Rail Station is located in the Atocha neighbourhood of district Arganzuela. It looks towardsthe Plaza De Emperador Carlos V where a variety of streets meets up including the Paseo Del Prado, Calle De Atocha,Ronda De Atocha,and Paseo De La Infanta Isabel. The Atocha Railway Station satisfies all needs to prove itself as a railway transport system. The EstacionAtocha is a fine monument to the industrial age. The historic scenes itself and a tropical gardens inside makes it alot of sense to have a walk around while you wait for the train.

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8. Teatro Joy Eslava (Free)

3.5 Free Tourist Attraction

Teatro Joy Eslava started as a theatre situated on Calle Arenal, however after many reforms has changed into the Disco Joy Eslava. It’s a must place visit for people who like to party at night. A theatre converted into a nightclub has been open for the last 29 years.

Though it’s not just a nightclub, due to the beautiful structure Joy Eslava hosts many concerts and various events. So if you’re lucky, you may catch your favourite music there or find an event that most suits your personality. Tuesday sessions offers monologues by Paramount Comedy giving you a night full of laughs whilethemed sessions for the rest of the days if you would like to dress up and get a free drink.

Also containing Joy Light, opened from 17.30 to 22.00, where younger audiences can enjoy the nightclub at a session without alcohol. A great club for you to spend the night dancing and even catch a breakfast of churros and hot chocolate with your new friends!

Opening Times

9. El Rastro Flea Market (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

Located in the heart of the city, El Rastro is Madrid’s best open air flea market which is popular equally amongst locals and tourists to this marvelous city. The flea market comes to life every Sunday and on feast days with over 3500 stalls that spread over alleys and streets. You name anything and you will find it here! From books to antiques, furniture that has its worth increased over time to clothing that is fit for all times, you would find all kinds of treasures here!

The markets opens up at 9 am till 3 pm every Sunday but is quickly thronged with people, so if you wish to browse it thoroughly, it is recommended that you reach the place before 11 am so that you can hunt the best items that are available there. The best part is that bargains work the best in this part of the day since as the crowd thickens; the prices soar high as well! Last but not the least; beware of the pickpockets who are on the bunt as well. Over all the place is a must visit and would be a one of a kind experience for everyone visiting the capital of Spain.

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10. San Jeronimo el Real (Free)

4 Free Tourist Attraction

Located behind the Prado Museum, San Jeronimo el Royal or St. Jerome the Royal is a late 16th century piece of architecture that is built with late Gothic and early Renaissance influence. The place is mystique and radiates an aura that captures the hearts and minds of the visitors. The church basically served as a monastery for the now Prado Museum which came under the proximity of the Royal Family, making San Jeronimo el Royal serve in royal ceremonies as well.

The church went through restoration and remodeling multiple times as every reigning monarch had to add one thing or the other to it as per his taste. The church stands tall today with its two towers and houses prized works by the hands of Jose Mendes and Vincenzo Carducci. The church also holds beautiful sculptures created by Benlliure and Juan Pascual de Mena.SanJeronimo is a must visit while one is in Madrid to enjoy the architecture combined with paintings and sculptures. Since it is located in close proximity of Prado Museum, one should visit it and then move onto the tour of Museum due to short opening timings of the church.

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