10 free things to do in Madrid as a group
Do you remember the last article about traveling with a group? We gave you several options to enjoy the city and the company at the same time. Now, to complete even more the information, we bring you another ten activities to do during your trip to Madrid, 10 ideas for free things that you will enjoy with your travel companions or travel mates.
Yes, follow these recommendations and you won’t spend a single dime in having a great time.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What to do with a group in Madrid: 10 free things to enjoy time in the Spanish capital
- Run in El Retiro Park
- Relax with world monuments in Parque Europa
- Take a picture of the skyline
- Visit a museum for free
- Watch the Changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace
- Walk by La Cuesta de Moyano
- Visit the markets
- Enjoy an exhibition at the park
- Window Shop in Goya Street
- Explore Temple of Debod
What to do with a group in Madrid: 10 free things to enjoy time in the Spanish capital
Run in El Retiro Park
Running through El Buen Retiro Park is a great activity, both exercise and touristic wise. Dozens of runners meet every day in this park to run, especially through the paths near the exterior wall. That is the biggest circuit of the park, and it is very well paved. If you choose that route, you will enjoy the company of local runners, make the most of your exercise and see the neighborhood through the fences. If you choose to make a route crossing the Retiro Park, you will enjoy beautiful views of the gardens, the pond, the crystal palace, the museum and all the different facilities that El Buen Retiro Park holds. Both great options.
Relax with world monuments in Parque Europa
Parque Europa is a public Park located in a Madrid town called Torrejón de Ardoz, not far from the center. It’s one of the biggest natural areas in the region, with more than 23,3 hectares. It’s famous in the region for its enormous collection of monument replicas from all around the world. Walking through its paths we run into the Little Mermaid Statue (Denmark), the London Bridge (United Kingdom) or the Eiffel Tower (France). Going to the park means you must take a train, so our recommendation would be going with the idea of spending a couple of hours walking, visiting the monuments, enjoying nature, having a picnic or playing some ball.
Take a picture of the skyline
For taking pictures of Madrid’s skyline, as in other cities, the key is location. If you want to have Madrid at your feet and immortalize the moment with your camera or smartphone, you need to go to the best spots. Depending on your location, you have several options to choose, but, of course, the more centric the better. The first choice would be the rooftop of the Palacio de Cibeles or the Círculo de Bellas Artes. Both buildings are in the center of the city, they are opened to the public and, after taking your pictures, you can have a refreshment on their coffee shops. If you have spare time and really want to take the best picture of Madrid from the air, the Teleferico (Madrid cable car) would be the best choice.
Visit a museum for free
The Madrid museums are famous for their quality and the amount of great works of art that they host. Although the price of most museums in Madrid is quite affordable, those offer free rates throughout the year for people with disabilities, unemployed, minors and students. And most of them have free admission designated days and schedules. That means you can visit Museums in Madrid for free! Here are some of the schedules:
Museo del Prado: Monday to Saturday free entrance from 6 PM to 8 PM and on Sundays and holidays from 5 PM to 7 PM.
Museo Nacional Centro del Reina Sofía: free entrance on Monday and Wednesday, Saturday from 7 PM to 9 PM. Free also on Sundays from 1:30 to 7 PM and free all day on April 18th, May 18th and October 12th.
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: free entrance on Mondays between 12 PM and 4 PM (only the permanent collection).
National Archaeological Museum: free entrance on Saturday from 2 PM and Sundays.
Watch the Changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace
Another thing you could do in Madrid with your group for free is watching the Changing of the Guard in the Royal Palace of Madrid. The Changing of the Guard is an event that you can enjoy if you go to la Puerta del Príncipe (Bailén Street) at the right time, every Wednesday and Saturday from 11 AM to 2 PM. Only in July, August and September the schedule changes from 10 AM to 12 PM. But, if you want to feel the whole ceremony, which is called the Solemn Changing, (Relevo Solemne in Spanish) you should go through the Puerta de Santiago, the door that gives you access to the Plaza de la Armería, a big square, from Bailén street, only the first Wednesday of each month at 12 AM. There is this great military ceremony, where soldiers on foot and on horses relieve their fellow soldiers. There are spearmen and halberdiers, artillery pieces and more than 400 soldiers and 100 horses that stage this ceremony. It endures 50 minutes and the ceremony is enliven with military songs and the sound of flutes and drums.
Walk by La Cuesta de Moyano
La Cuesta de Moyano is a little street between Atocha Train Station and Paseo de la Castellana that, for years, have had a great role in Madrid’s literary circuit. The street is full of old book stands, selling all kind of old paper products that go from relics such as old documents, bibles, maps and first editions of the best books to second-hand books, comic books, novels, manuals and more. You can take your whole group there for a walk, get a book for almost nothing and hang out in the garden parts of Paseo de la Castellana, reading and enjoying the sun.
Visit the markets
In Spain, food markets are very popular. During centuries they´ve been the center of the social life of the neighborhoods, and even today they keep that tradition. On their stands you can buy meat, fish, vegetables and more, as well as socialize with the neighbors and locals. In the different distoverof Madrid there are different markets that have evolved during the years. The Mercado de San Miguel (Plaza de San Miguel, S/N) is classic and vintage, meanwhile, the Mercado de San Antón (Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24) or San Ildefonso (Calle Fuencarral, 57) are much more modern. So many options to choose!
Enjoy an exhibition at the park
Under the Enrique de la Mata Gorostizaga bridge, which unites Juan Bravo Street with Castellana Street, there is a permanent sculpture exhibition. It hosts works of art of major sculptors such as Chillida, Miró or Subirachs, among many others. It was created by Eusebio Sempere in 1970 to bring together the art of sculpture to the common people. Visiting it after walking through the parks it’s a great activity to do with your group, to enjoy the free air and the park itself.
Window Shop in Goya Street
Goya Street is in the Salamanca neighborhood, one of the fanciest areas in the city. Everything in this district is classy: the pavement is very decorative; the streets lamps are ornamented, and the regular shops are all from the best brands in the world. That’s the reason window-shopping in this area is so fun: You can shop, you can just walk, and either way you will discover the most luxurious brands in the market while having a good time with the rest of the group.
Explore Temple of Debod
Some of the mysteries of ancient Egypt are in Madrid, inside the Temple of Debod, a real temple brought from Egypt stone by stone. In its interiors, you can learn more about the history of the temple, the rites that the Egyptian used to practice and the gods they worshiped. The temple was constructed in the year II B.C. and nowadays is in Parque del Oeste (West Park). The visit is totally free, and it can be the perfect plan after a picnic or a visit to the natural area of the park. A tip: visit the temple of Debod at sunset. If you’re lucky with the sun’s fall, the experience will be extraordinary!