cosas que hacer en Madrid gratis
24 Apr

8 things to do in Madrid for free

The Spanish capital offers you a thousand of plans, some of them excessively expensive, other ones with a standard price, a few of them really cheap and even others totally free and as everything that is free in a trip is welcomed, here we present you 8 free plans to do in Madrid.

1. Go into the Royal Palace and see the change of guard

The entry to the Royal Palace is not free but you will be in Madrid at one of these moments you can take advantage of a free entry: from April to September and from Monday to Thursday between 6 o’clock and 8 o’clock pm the entry to the Royal Palace is free and if your trip is from October to March you could also visit it for free from Monday to Thursday from 4 o’clock to 6 o’clock pm. It is true that there are long queues and you should wait for a long time but if you want to save 11 euros for the entry, take advantage of this timetable! Had you thought that Spanish people had not a guard changing? Right? Well, yes, in Madrid you can also enjoy this real show, in addition the Spanish Royal Guard is the oldest in Europe. First of all, you must know that there are different kinds of changing of the guard, one is the Changing of the Guard Madrid and the other one is the Solemn Changing.

The Changing of the Guard in the Royal Palace of Madrid takes place in la Puerta del Príncipe in the Royal Palace, located in Calle Bailén. You could witness this event every Wednesday and Saturday. The first changing of the Guard is at 11 o’clock am and the last one at 2 pm, making a replacement every 30 minutes. This timetable will be always accomplished if the weather and other official events permit it. The only exception is from 17th June to 15th September (the timetable will be from 10 o’clock am to midday).

The Solemn Changing of the Royal Guard is an event that takes place in the Plaza de la Armería. Our recommendation is to arrive there early to take a place on the Almudena Cathedral steps because from there you will have the best views of the Changing. In total, 400 people and 100 horses participate and all of them wearing the uniform of the Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII’s times. The Solemn Changing is made on the first Wednesday of each month at midday, excluding January, August and September and those days in which it coincides with another official event or in which the conditions weather are not appropriate. This event lasts approximately 50 minutes.

These both events are worth it, but if you are travelling or you are in Madrid by chance on the first Wednesday of one month, do not hesitate to go around the Royal Palace to see this amazing parade.

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2. Visit El Andén O

El Andén O is a museum located at the ghost station of Chamberí, it is called ghost station because if you check it on a metro map, there is not a station called “Chamberí”, but just going down some steps it will take you back to Madrid in the 50s or 60s and that is why the old station of Chamberí, which was the first metro line open in Madrid in 1919, keeps intact since 1966, because this one had been closed. It is really surprising because we can find a lot of everyday items belonging to those times. We do not want to do any spoiler, so we encourage you to visit it without doubt! Well, the only thing we will say to you it is that every half hour a video is broadcast to explain the history of the Metro in Madrid to make you understand everything involved in creating one of the more complicated metros in Europe.

If you want to know the timetable of this visit, get more information or even sign on a guided tour around this underground place, you can see on this link.

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3. Churches with special charm

The most normal plan to do when you come in Madrid is going to visit the Almudena Cathedral, it is ok, but if you really want to visit beautiful churches full of history and art, we invite you to go the following churches, these ones are free and catholic or not, they are worth seeing because they are actually unique.

Iglesia de San Antonio de los Alemanes

 La Iglesia de San Antonio de los Alemanes is a church that Felipe V called “the jewel in the crown” and undoubtedly he has not fallen short because its beauty inside is amazing. This church is completely painted with frescos, from the dome to the walls.

You can see the exactly location of this church on this link.

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Ermita de San Antonio de Florida

La Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida is one of the most popular temples in Madrid because of the romeria celebrated on 13th June. However, this one stands out more in its gran pictorial decoration painted by Goya at the end of the 18th century. Not a lot of people know that at this Hermitage they can enjoy for free this spectacular work which has become not only a museum but also a mausoleum since there the painter is buried. For all this, the original Hermitage of San Antonio, is not used for worship. Next to this one, another one for worship has been built.

You can see the exactly location of this Hermitage on this link.

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4. From one park to another

It can seem that Madrid is only a black hole of pollution, but in the Spanish capital, we can breathe some fresh air thanks to the wonderful parks which this great city includes.

If you are lucky to travel to Madrid in spring, without doubt, the perfect park is La Quinta de los Molinos, 25 hectares of pure nature which are worth seeing thanks to the almond flowering. You can see the exact location on this link.

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El Parque del Capricho is a real classic for lovers, you can breathe an environment of peace, serenity and outstanding for its inner beauty. You can see the exact location on this link.

From El Cerro del Tío Pío you could enjoy one of the best sunsets in Madrid. It is called El Parque de las Siete Tetas because of the number of its hills. You can see the exact location on this link.

Finally, we also invite you to know the popular park of Madrid, El Retiro. Considered as the second most beautiful park in Europe, you could not leave Madrid without experiencing the familiar ambience of laughs, sun, nature, fauna and flora, everything in just one park in the heart of Madrid. One of our favourite plans is taking a basket, a blanket and, making a picnic in El Retiro! You can see the exact location on this link.

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5. Sundays are made for El Rastro

If you are in Madrid on Sunday, do not hesitate to go to Madrid’s El Rastro, this one can seem a simple flea market, but it is a real flea market typical in Madrid because even a tradition says it “Sundays are made for El Rastro”. You could feel the good vibes in a unique ambience, in which you could find from stamps since the year dot to modern clothes. You can see the exact location on this link.

6. For literature lovers 

La Cuesta de Moyano is known for its books. You could walk around stands of old books and find some of them which are 100 years old. You could enjoy undoubtedly a bohemian atmosphere so different from that one of the capital. You can see the exact location on this link.

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7. Enjoy the sunset from El Templo de Debod 

Undoubtedly, you can contemplate one of the most beautiful sunsets from the Temple of Debod, an Egyptian gift to Spain for its collaboration in the rescue of the Nubian temples. The views from this viewpoint as well as the beauty of this temple covered by the sun in the sunset is amazing and something that you cannot miss, take a blanket with you and sit down there to breathe and enjoy this wonderful moment that this place offers you! You can see the exact location on this link.

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8. Madrid´s culture  

Madrid is a bottomless pit of culture, art and history, and that is why you cannot leave the Spanish capital without seeing some of its great museums. You have the possibility to enjoy these museums for free, so take note!

  • Prado´s museum: Free from Monday to Saturday from 5 o’clock to 8 o’clock pm and on Sunday and holiday from 5 o’clock to 7 o’clock pm. You can see the exact location on this link.

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  • Reina Sofía´s museum: Free from Monday to Saturday (closed on Tuesday) from 7 o’clock to 9 o’clock pm and on Sunday from half past 1 to 7 o’clock pm. You can see the exact location on this link.
  • Thyssen Bornemisza´s museum: Free on Monday from midday to 4 o’clock pm. You can see the exact location on this link.

The queues for these three museums are too long, so we recommend you go there in advance if you do not want to wait for a long time.

We hope this post has been useful for you and you enjoy the free plans that Madrid offers you!

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