Madrid: Free tours, bikes, museums, and food!

Rent a bike for free in Madrid. Photo by sindandune.
Rent a bike for free in Madrid. Photo by sindandune.

Looking for things to do in Madrid that won’t put a hole in your wallet? If so, check out the following list of activities you can do for absolutely free!

Free Madrid walking tours

If you’ve just arrived in Madrid (or even if you’ve been here for a while but haven’t yet explored the city), take one of the two free Madrid walking tours offered daily at 11 AM and 3 PM. The tours are 3.5 hours long, and you’ll learn the history of the city, see the most popular sights, and uncover hidden treasures.

Note: Although the tour itself is free, tips are very much appreciated. For more information, visit the tour’s website.

Free bicycle rental

If you’re in the mood for some exercise or just want to take a nice stroll around town, head over to Juan Carlos I park to pick up a free bicycle. Yes, we said free! How does it work? Simply register for an electronic card at the tent next to the park’s first parking lot. And it gets better: The card offers you unlimited bike access for an entire year.

Parque Juan Carlos I, Avenida Manuel Azaña, Avenida Logroño, Via de Dublin s/n (Metro: Campo de las Naciones). Bike rental hours: Mon-Fri 10 AM-1 PM, 4:30-7:30 PM. Sat, Sun, and holidays: 9:30 AM – 7:30 PM.

Free museums

Ready for a day of art but not for a hefty admission charge? Then take advantage of these free times at the city’s most popular museums:

Head over to the Museo del Prado (Paseo del Prado Metro: Banco de Espana) on Tuesday- Saturday from 6 PM – 8 PM or Sunday from 5 PM – 8 PM for free entrance.

If Dali and Picasso are more your style, then head to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia on Calle Santa Isabel, 52 (Metro: Atocha) on Saturdays for free admission from 10 AM – 2 PM.

For museums that are always free, check out the following:

CaixaForum. Paseo Prado, 36 (Metro: Atocha) Open daily 10 AM – 8 PM.

La Casa Encendida. Ronda de Valencia, 2 (Metro: Embajadores) Open daily 10 AM – 10 PM.

Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporanea. Calle Conde Duque, 9 (Metro: Noviciado). Open Tuesday – Saturday 10 AM – 2 PM, 5:30-9 PM, Sunday 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM.

Templo de Debod. Montana del Principe Pio (Metro: Plaza de España). Open Tuesday – Friday 10 AM – 2 PM, Saturday, Sunday 10 AM – 2 PM.

Free food!

Free food may sound too good to be true, but here in Madrid, if you order a drink, then olives, potato chips, or tasty tapas will be on their way! Some suggestions for great free food:

El Tigre. Calle Infantas, 30 (Metro: Gran Via)

Entretapas y Vinos. Calle Fuencarral, 93 (Metro: Tribunal)

La Bardemcilla. Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 47 (Metro: Chueca)

About the author

Cynthia Kane
About the author: Cynthia Blair Kane is a freelance writer and editor who splits her time between New York and Madrid. She is the Madrid city guide writer for Blackbook Magazine, and recently co authored Take a Hike: The Best 50 Routes in the Community of Madrid.
Posted in: Madrid
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