Many capital cities tend to be expensive, and Madrid is no exception. And in the same way that every city can be explored on a budget, Madrid has many free and cheap attractions, including cobbled streets decorated with ancient churches and monuments built in several architectural styles, parks and small historical towns that offer traditional food.
The city is known for its museums. The Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum form the Golden Triangle of Museums. Located near the main train station of Atocha and the Paseo del Prado, these three museums are filled with Goya’s masterpieces, Miro’s paintings and many galleries. These museums are free during the afternoons.
Madrid is a city known for its food. Most of the bars and restaurants near the main tourist attractions cater to tourists, and might offer typical Spanish food for a higher price and a smaller slice of authenticity. For some authentic tasty treats visitors can enjoy their meals at the bars and restaurants located near the city center, where each drink comes with a tapa.
A short walk away from the Paseo del Prado, a large leafy boulevard near the Prado Museum, visitors will find the Retiro Park. This park stretches from the Atocha train station to the Serrano area. The park has many gardens and pathways decorated with fountains and ancient sculptures. In the center of the park there is a pond where visitors can rent a boat. There are several historical buildings in this park which used to be the Royal Gardens. The Crystal Palace is one of these buildings, a large glass structure which is now a gallery.
The historic city center is located around the Plaza del Sol area. This square next to the Town Hall is the place where the city’s official symbol, the bear with the madroño tree, is located. A short walk through the cobbled, narrow streets leads to the Plaza Mayor, another main square known for its terraces and stalls. Next to this plaza is the Royal Palace, a large stone building with more than two thousand rooms that is now used for official events. Tours are organized around part of the palace’s rooms. The palace’s gardens are the Sabatini Gardens, where visitors can walk around the fountains and enjoy the concerts and events organized there. Next to the palace visitors will find the Almudena Cathedral, one of the city’s main cathedrals, which is filled with chapels decorated with frescoes.
The city is a getaway to short trips around the province. These small towns re connected to the city by bus and train. El Escorial is an historical town located in the northern sierra. This ancient Royal Palace and Monastery has large gardens with views of the countryside. Segovia is known for its ancient Roman aqueduct and for its cochinillo, suckling pig, served in clay dishes.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Destinia.com