Jul 23, 2009 4:35:33 AM
Madrid on a shoestring
Not so long ago, Madrid was the second-cheapest capital city in Europe. Post-euro, not so much; but with these tips and you (and your wallet) will make it through intact.
- These museums, galleries and chapels open their doors for free at nominated times:
- Museo del Prado - admission free 6-8pm Tue-Sat, 5-8pm Sun
- Centro de Arte Reina Sofía - admission free 2.30-9pm Sat, 10am-2.30pm Sun
- Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo - admission free Tue-Sun
- Museo Arqueológico Nacional - admission free 2.30-8.30pm Sat & all day Sun
- Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida - admission free Tue-Sun
- Museo de América - admission free Sun
- If you can’t make it at those times, you can still save 20% on tickets to the big three galleries (Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and Centro de Arte Reina Sofía) with the Paseo del Arte card (€14.40, valid up to 12 months for one visit to each gallery)
- El Rastro is the place for bargain souvenirs on a Sunday. Be prepared to spend a bit of time hunting through the trash, but there are real treasures to be found - every now and then an original Picasso or Goya turns up here
- For the price of a drink you can buy a ring-side seat to the theatre that is Spanish street life in the Plaza Mayor. Pull up a chair at the outdoor tables around the perimeter of one of Spain’s most beautiful squares.
- The caveat to window-shopping is that it’s only free if you don’t buy anything. If you fancy pressing your nose wistfully up against a shop window, we recommend Salamanca’s Calle de Serrano.
- For a great sleep on a shoestring, try the polished Albergue Juvenil, the lively Cat’s Hostel and Mad Hostel with its rooftop terraces.