15 free things to do in Madrid

tap to start

Madrid is rich with cultural attractions, but if you aren't quite as rich, there's plenty to do on a budget.

Many of Madrid's world-class sights including parks, churches and art galleries remain free – and we've collated our favorite free attractions for you to explore.

Biblioteca Nacional & Museo del Libro

A must-see for booklovers, the museum within the Biblioteca Nacional features interactive displays about the printing press, the history of the library, and exhibits of illuminated manuscripts.

Although you need a reader or researcher card to check out any of the books in this massive collection, the free museum downstairs has enough for bibliophiles to while away an afternoon.

del Prado

Museo del Prado's massive collection of 1500 displayed paintings contains some of the world's best-known pieces of art.

This includes Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights, a painting from the late 15th century that puts the trippy in triptych.

The museum is free 6pm to 8pm Monday to Saturday and
5pm to 7pm Sunday.

de Debod

This anachronistic monument is actually a giant thank-you. The construction of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt in the 1960s created Lake Nasser, threatening to submerge important archaeological sites.

The Egyptian government appealed to Unesco for help saving the artifacts from the rising waters.

The Templo de Debod was moved block by block to Spain as a gift to the Spanish archaeologists who saved the artifacts from inundation. Rebuilt in the Parque del Oeste, the temple is free to visit.

Parque del Buen Retiro

First established by King Felipe IV as the gardens for the Spanish royalty, El Retiro park has become the green heart of Madrid.

Festooned with white marble monuments, landscaped lawns and several interesting buildings (like the elegant metal-and-glass Palacio de Cristal), the park comes to life on weekends.

See the full list here
See the full list here