Hipmunk City Love: 15 Tips to Explore Madrid on a Budget

Explore Madrid on a Budget

You can have a wonderful vacation when you explore Madrid on a budget. Follow these 15 budget tips and you will save money while you gain precious travel memories.

1. Travel to Madrid

Plan a trip during the off-season because transportation tickets, hotels, and tourist attractions will be cheaper. The best budget friendly travel periods are winter and fall.

2. Transportation Options

Budget airline prices for flights within Europe are always extremely cheap and widely available. Trains and buses are also affordable and convenient transportation options if you do not mind to travel slower.

3. Accommodation Options in the City Center

Hotel Husa Princesa is a convenient hotel on a central location, but book far in advance to save money on room rates. Hostels are also price-friendly accommodation options.

4. Valuable Information

5. Visit a tourist office when you arrive in Madrid. The staff can tell you about budget-friendly attractions, discount offers and other interesting deals.

6. Getting Around by Public Transportation

Consider traveling around by bus or use the metro system. Both of these transportation options are cheap, convenient and safe. A 10 trip public transportation card costs only €12,20.

7. Sightseeing on a Bicycle

Visit Juan Carlos I Park and sign up for an electronic bike rental card. This card gives you access to free bicycles for a whole year.

8. Walking Tours

Join a free walking tour to get to know the city on foot. You will learn a lot about Madrid during this informative walk.

9. Free Museums

Some of Madrid’s museums open their doors for free on certain days or times. For example, the famous Prado museum does not charge an entrance fee on Sundays.

10. Budget-friendly Meals

Choose a hotel or hostel that offers a free breakfast. A lot of restaurants in Madrid offer a delicious three-course lunch (menú del día) for about €10 or less. A true Spanish delight.

11. Free Snacks and Tapas

Tapas bars and restaurants like El Tigre and La Bardemcilla on give you free snacks or tapas with your ordered drink.

12. Affordable Souvenirs

Avoid the souvenir sellers in the center of the city if you are on a budget. Souvenir prices are lower outside of the center.

13. Cheap Soccer Tickets

Do not buy soccer tickets from touts. You will save a lot of money if you buy your ticket directly at the ticket desk from the soccer club.

14. Discount for Seniors

As a senior traveler you will benefit from various discount offers on Madrid travel expenses like car rentals and hotels. However, you often have to prove that you are a member of a senior association.

15. Discount for Students

Are you a student? Then it is wise to bring your student ID. Especially students with widely accepted cards benefit from various discount offers on restaurants, lodgings and public transportation.

Don’t Let Money Stop You and Explore Madrid on a Budget

Do some research at forehand when you want to explore Madrid on a budget. There are always money-saving possibilities that not lower the fun.
 
 
This is a sponsored post for Hipmunk.com

Madrid Art Museums Guide

Madrid Art Museums

Madrid is a top destination for art lovers. From the contemporary art collections at the Reina Sofia to Prado’s aesthetic paintings, there is literally no limit to how deep you can dive into the art scene of this graceful Spanish city. It is impossible to see everything during a Madrid museum tour, but some must-see art attractions should have a prominent spot on your tour list. Here are five of the best Madrid art museums.

1. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

With a collection that is so significant to the art world, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum on Paseo del Prado can simply not be ignored during a visit to Madrid. When visiting this museum, you will marvel at Baron Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza’s private collection of more than 750 paintings. The 19th century museum building is an art piece in itself. It adds a refined touch to the stunning and incredibly broad collection of top-notch paintings that it houses. From 13th century Italian Masterpieces, to beautiful examples of French Impressionism, this incredible art museum has it all – and it is an absolute must-see attraction.

2. Museum of Romanticism

The Museum of Romanticism on Calle San Mateo has more than 1,600 craft works. Various paintings, pianos and furniture pieces represent the 19th century romantic period in Spain. Be sure to research nearby Madrid hotels like for example Husa Princesa, because you will want to come back to see the extensive craft collections at this lovely museum.

3. Museum of Lázaro Galdiano

The Museum of Lázaro Galdiano on Calle de Serrano is another charming art house with an immense collection of paintings. 15,000 paintings here show scenes and creations from various centuries. Some of the artists who earned their spot in this museum are the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch and the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. Beautiful art should always be displayed in an equally beautiful building. The charming Museum of Lázaro Galdiano mansion and its surrounding gardens will not let you down.

4. Museum Cerralbo

Museum Cerralbo on Calle de Ventura Rodríguez houses the extraordinary artwork collection of the late Marques, collector, and traveler Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa. The painting entitled The Ecstasy of St. Francis of Assisi from El Greco is one of the highlights of his collection. Besides paintings, this jam-packed museum also displays countless curiosities and craft works like clocks, Japanese armor pieces, and pipes. The historic mansion, in which these artworks and curiosities are on display, is a beautiful and detailed representation of an aristocratic house. During the year, this Madrid art museum organizes various concerts and special exhibitions.

Madrid Art Museums House Some of the Worlds Most Extraordinary Collections

Madrid is a city that cannot be ignored by art enthusiasts. Its museums and galleries are of so much importance that you most likely find you way back to this city on regular occasions. Displayed collections cover time periods of more than 700 years. They are beautiful, graceful and full of historic relevance. Don’t know where to start? Visit the described attractions and you will easily find a century, art movement, or artist of your liking.

5 Barcelona Neighborhoods You Weren’t Planning on Traveling to but Should

 

Barcelona

Photo by Asier García via Trover.com

No matter where you go in Barcelona, architectural and artistic beauty is never far away in this vibrant city. There are a lot of famous cultural and historical sights, but Barcelona’s unknown treasures also deserve some attention.

Those who leave the city center to explore Barcelona’s lesser known sights will often end up strolling through narrow alleys, which lead them through the city like veins in a body. Eventually, they will end up at a large artery like La Rambla, which will bring them back to the buzzing, beating heart of central Barcelona. Travelers might also like this complete Barcelona travel guide.

1. Gràcia

Gràcia is relatively unknown among tourists. Those travelers who do stroll through this neighborhood’s narrow streets will be pleasantly surprised by its strong community minded identity. Gràcia is the artistic playground of musicians, bohemians, and designers. The neighborhood houses various gorgeous designer boutiques, small workshops, and exclusive galleries. A real treat for vacationers who like to travel off the beaten path.

2. Dreta de l’Eixample

Travel to Barcelona’s upmarket Dreta de l’Eixample neighborhood if you are looking for a more spacious environment, luxurious Barcelona hotels, and high-end restaurants. Although more touristic, this area also has a lot of side streets that cater mostly to the locals. Dreta de l’Eixample is also an excellent spot if you want to marvel at some of Antoni Gaudí’s most famous creations.

3. El Born and La Ribera

As with other neighborhoods in Barcelona, El Born becomes particularly interesting if you leave the main road to explore its back alleys. Once more, you will be happily surprised by the large variety of hip boutiques, galleries, and shops. Visit La Ribera to travel back in time to the medieval era. Stroll through dark, cobblestone alleys and marvel at the interesting fact that this ancient quarter secretly hides some of the city’s best galleries, boutiques, food shops and tapas restaurants.

4. El Raval

El Raval is a bit of a rough area. It does not suit every traveler’s view of an ideal sightseeing spot, and it is better to avoid this area at night. However, it definitely has its charm. Adventurous travelers will enjoy the daytime, weekend markets and the strong, alternative vibe that characterizes the interesting identity of this grungy neighborhood.

5. El Poblenou and El Poble-sec

El Poblenou is a rarely visited, middle-class neighborhood. It is a good spot to have a peak at the everyday life of the city’s locals. El Poble-sec is a neighborhood for the working class. This less traveled area is especially interesting because of its excellent tapas bars.

Explore Barcelona’s Unbeaten Paths 

Barcelona is relatively small for a capital city, but it houses a lot of interesting districts. Vacationers don’t have to travel far to avoid the main tourist streams. They can hop off the main road, dive into a small alley and suddenly find themselves in a whole new world. A quiet world, full of uncommon shopping and sightseeing opportunities. Dreta de l’Eixample is a good area for travelers who are in need of some space after all the narrow alleys.