5 Free Things to do in Madrid: Parks, Museums and a Temple

Madrid isn't just the capital of Spain—it's one of Southern Europe's leading cultural, financial and culinary destinations. Famous for its world-class football team and artistic treasures, you'll never forget your stay in Madrid. Here are just some of the city's unmissable highlights. 

Museo del Prado

Spain's national gallery is a feast for the eyes. From its elegant Neo-classical facade to the exquisite masterpieces inside, you may find repeat visits are needed to take it all in! Here you'll find the best collection of Spanish art in the world, as well as outstanding paintings from across Europe. 

This museum features certain hours of the week when entrance is free.

Museo Reina Sofía

Next stop on Madrid's "art walk" is the Museo Reina Sofia.

The lobby contains a vibrant glass extension next to 19th century hospital buildings, while Salvador Dali's surrealist masterpieces are a stone's throw from Guernica, Picasso's haunting anti-war mural. Get the Art Walk App to take yourself on a free guided tour.

This museum features certain hours of the week when entrance is free.

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Stroll the Plaza de Cibeles and Gran Vía:

Marvel at the stunning architecture and iconic landmarks of Madrid's bustling city center, starting with the majestic Plaza de Cibeles. Admire the ornate facades of historic buildings such as the Cibeles Palace and the Bank of Spain, then stroll along the vibrant Gran Vía, known as Madrid's answer to Broadway, lined with theaters, shops, and bustling cafes.

El Retiro Park

El Retiro is a green oasis in the heart of Madrid. Walk down the luscious tree-lined paths, row a boat on the lake and take in the incredible Velázquez and Crystal Palaces. You could even take a picnic of bocadillos de calamares, or fried squid sandwiches, which are a must-try delicacy in Madrid.

Temple of Debod

You don't expect to find ancient Egyptian temples in the heart of a cosmopolitan city. Yet Madrid's West Park contains an extraordinary relic of the 2nd century, donated to Spain in the 1960s. Visit the Temple of Debod in the late afternoon or early evening to see the buildings against a beautiful sunset before moving on to a restaurant for a delicious meal. Salud!  

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