Spain’s capital for over 500 years, Madrid is an energetic and lively city boasting some of the countries best nightclubs, museums, restaurants, and world-famous soccer clubs.
Luckily, Madrid offers all this (and more) at an affordable price.
Daily Travel Costs In Madrid
Outlined below are the average costs (in Euro €) you can expect to incur when visiting Madrid as a budget traveler.
Cost of Food and Drink
Madrid, like much of Spain, have fantastic places for anyone seeking tasty affordable food. For lunch and dinner (dinner usually starts around 9 p.m.), try to find the best Tapas restaurants in the neighborhood (ask your hostelier, or follow the crowds.)
Tapas are Spain’s popular ‘finger foods’, similar to appetizers in America. Tapas can include patatas bravas, prosciutto, cheeses, croquetas, chorizo, shrimp and garlic, and so much more. These delicious treats can often take the place of a meal – and are always paired with a glass of wine or beer (sometimes tapas can be free if a drink is purchased, El Tigre being a popular spot for free tapas with the purchase of a drink).
- Breakfast: €3-€6*
- Coffee: €2
- Lunch: €5-€10
- Dinner: €8-€15
- Tapas: €1-€4
- Beer/Wine: €1-€3
- Dessert: €1-€2
*Some hostels have a ‘free’ breakfast if you are tight on money. Although, don’t expect more than juice/cereal/croissant.
Madrid is certainly traveler friendly when it comes to hostels/hotels. It’s possible to even find hostels for as cheap as €12/night. But I would suggest budgeting about €20/night/per person for a hostel. Below are the average spectrum of costs (per person) you can expect to incur for hostels/hotels in Madrid:
- Hostels: €15-€25
- Hotels: €35-€80
If you decide to get a hotel, consider leaving the cleaning personnel a Euro or two everyday.
There are many sights to see in Madrid, and you can get away with seeing most popular sites for free/relatively cheap. Many tapas restaurants will also have live Flamenco performances at night, after dinner, so be sure to stick around at least once for those.
- Museo Del Prado: €15 – FREE in the evenings. (Spain’s most popular art museum, artwork includes: Goya, Diego Velazquez, and El Greco.)
- Walking Tour: FREE (consider tipping the guide a few €.)
- Museo De America: FREE on Sundays. (A museum containing archaeological findings from Spain’s discovery of the continent.)
- Real Madrid Futbol Match: €30 & up (Tickets can get crazy expensive if the match is against a rival team.)
- Puerta Del Sol: FREE (a popular main square.)
- Parque de El Retiro: FREE (a large park, with several monuments, fountains, and more..) Find out more here
- Royal Palace: €10
- La Caixaforum: FREE (a free cultural center to browse art exhibits, as well as musical and film performances. Find out more here)
Madrid has good public transport, but everything in the city is concentrated into a relatively walkable distance from one another. My advice to just buy single-trip tickets, as you probably won’t be using it very much.
Children under 4 ride for free.
- Taxi, Airport to City Center: €35
- Taxi in Madrid: about €5/mile
- Madrid Bus+Metro:
- Single one way: €1.50
- 10-trips: €12
- Seven Day Pass: €35
Best Time To Go
Madrid is a fairly popular city all year round, but weather (more so than even tourism) may determine your Madrid travels.
The winter in Madrid has some of the best hotel deals, but it can get cold for the area. On the other hand, the summer can become unbearably hot, especially in July and August (another downside to August is most shop owners close down for the month, as is normal in the Mediterranean).
Making our favorite time to visit: April, May, and June. When the temperature is a comfortable 60-70’s, and there is a lot in terms of social life going on. Check out Dos De Mayo (May 2nd) a feast celebrating Napoleon’s defeat; and Corpus Christi, a religious festival in June.