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Spain - What can you do for free in Madrid?

Spain - What can you do for free in Madrid?

Apr 15th, 2008, 07:51 AM
  #1  
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Spain - What can you do for free in Madrid?

This question is being asked for my nephew who is planning a trip to Paris, Rome and Madrid in May. As he and his traveling companion will be doing this trip on a shoestring budget he wanted some input as to what sites are low budget or free in these 3 cities.

He has a Eurorail pass, hostel arrangements and airfare already.

So Fodorites, any interesting suggestions for him. Thanks in advance as you all have helped me many times on my trips.

I am posting this under France, Italy and Spain in hopes of getting input from those experts also.


sylviam is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 08:59 AM
  #2  
 
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see www.gospain.about.com
lincasanova is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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Just something very, very quick.

The Prado in the afternoons from 6 o´clock on ...

The new Caixaforum every day.

Any exhibition at the Palacio de Cristal in the Retiro park.

The Retiro park, come to think of it, or el Capricho.

The Debod Temple.

Bye, Cova
cova is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 10:58 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Free entry to Palacio Real (as mentioned in licasanova's link) only for EU citizens or visitors from Latin America.

But most sights (including the Palacio Real) have student discounts every day (with proper documentation, i.e. international student pass).
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:05 AM
  #5  
yk
 
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I posted the following on your other post as well.

Reina Sofia is free
Saturdays: from 14,30 to 21,00 h.
Sundays: from 10,00 to 14,30 h.

Prado is free Tues-Sat from 6p-8p, and free Sun 5p-8p.
yk is online now  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:36 AM
  #6  
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Thanks everyone. I am sure his next question will be cheap eats.

Cowboy 1968: How does he get an international student pass
sylviam is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:39 AM
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In addition to the hours listed above for free admission to museums,

Prado is free:
May 2
(Madrid Community holiday)
May 18
(International Museum Day)

Centro Reina Sofía free:
May 18

Sorolla Museum free:
Sundays
May 18

Fundación Caja Madrid free:
during opening hrs. Tues.Sat. 10-8

2nd half of "Modigliana y su tiempo"
show running here until May 18
(other half housed at Thyssen, which is not free)


Palacio Real free (this is new):
1st Wed. of every month for palace visit and Solemn Changing of the Guard at noon

Every Wed. from 11-2 for regular guard change and palace visit
Maribel is online now  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:45 AM
  #8  
 
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http://www.isic.org/sisp/index.htm

Also more info there on possible student discounts.

On that website you will also find offices which issue the card if you follow the link for "how to apply".
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:52 AM
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Maribel..

I thought that "free entry on Wednesdays" to Palacio Real is still limited to EU citizens?
It was last summer, and the website says it still is:
http://www.patrimonionacional.es/inf...s/tPalacio.htm
Maybe they did not update the website yet?

Sorry about being anal about this, but last June we actually ran into several tourists from the US at the Palacio's entrance on a Wednesday who did not know that they had to pay. They said they read on the web that entrance was free - I did not ask if it was on Fodor's ;-)
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 11:53 AM
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Also free:

Museo Taurino, Las Ventas bullring


Museo de América free:
Sundays
May 18

Museo del Traje free:
Sundays
Sat. 2:30-7
May 18

Museo arqueológico free during remodeling
Maribel is online now  
Apr 15th, 2008, 12:02 PM
  #11  
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Maribel: I sent my nephew your Madrid file which you so kindly e-mailed me when we did our trip to Spain a few years ago. My nephew is 19 and I am sure he can get some great information from that file also.
sylviam is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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Cowboy,
I'm looking now at the brand new brochure published regarding the new Changing of the Guard ceremony on Wednesdays at the Royal Palace which states what I posted above.

We attended this event on the first Wed., April 2, for this new Solemn Changing of the Guard (400 participants) and indeed, people entered the Royal Palace without a ticket. It was quite chaotic.

From the brochure:

"Solemn Changing of the Royal Guard

Price: guard change and visit to Royal Palace free of charge"

"Changing of the Royal Guard at the Prince's Gate

Price: guard change and visit to Royal Palace free of charge"

Cowboy,
I checked the Patrimonio Nacional website too. They haven't updated it. In fact, until this brochure was printed and is now available at the Madrid tourist offices, there was very little info on line about this new spectacle which was inaugurated late '07.

Don't know how long this free admission to palace during the Changing of the Guard will last, since on April 2 the palace was simply swamped with spectators, at least 2,000, to see this new spectacle.
(which is well worth it-lots of pomp, music, beautiful horses)

Maribel is online now  
Apr 15th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Wow, great! Thanks for the update!
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Hi sylviam,
Please make sure to tell your nephew to check www.maribelsguides.com before he leaves for the latest updates of the file.
Opening hrs., free admissions, prices, have changed quite a bit since I sent you that file awhile back.

I'm currently working on a complete revision of my Madrid file to reflect all these changes, including all these free admissions, plus adding many more "euro-shaver" dining suggestions, which are very much needed! (the price of dining out in Madrid has increased significantly in the last year!!)
Maribel is online now  
Apr 15th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Museo Naval Paseo del Prado, 5 Madrid 28014 Tel: +34 91 3795299 If you’re into naval stuff this is fantastic. I loved it!
"Charting man's maritime history, this museum starts with the maps used during the discovery of the New World and ends with a display of the most advanced nautical instruments available today. The battles and naval campaigns waged throughout Spanish history are explored and explained. You'll see how nautical, scientific and astronomical instruments developed alongside weapons of war and maps. There are reproductions of ship's cabins, paintings of ships, the personal belongings of well-known sailors, and portraits of kings and navigators as well as a collection of shipwrecked curios." Admission: free. 9am-2pm Mon-Fri.

And of course Retiro Park and El Rastro flea market. Or just walking the streets admiring the gorgeous architecture and girls and gir
worldinabag is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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Maribel, I hope attending the changing of the guard will still be possible the first Wed. of June when Ron and I are there. Will we have to camp overnight to see it Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 12:30 PM
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DeborahAnn,
LOL!

Nope, please don't camp out overnight! You and Ron should stay in your nice, comfy beds at the Hotel Plaza Mayor, but do get there at least 1/2 hr. early, maybe more.

We arrived 20 min. before the start, and the interior courtyard of the Royal Palace where the actual changing takes place was already filled.

We just stood in the square between the palace and Almudena church to see the guards on horseback line up (gorgeous horses), then everyone paraded right by us, along with the marching bands and the carriages on their way to the couryard and interior palace entrance where the guard booths are located.

Then we waited there while others tried to squeeze into the adjacent palace courtyard for the actual changing at the booths. Our patience rewarded us with another front row view of the all the pomp as they marched out.

The luckiest ducks were those who got to see it all from a palace balcony.

Also those who grabbed a place on the upper ledge to the right of the top steps of Almudena church staircase got a pretty good spot for parade pictures.

But it really wasn't all that bad because the crowd moved around a lot. As long as we remained patient and vigilant, we were able to get some really great up close pictures of every aspect of the ceremony except right at the guard booth, which we couldn't get near (actually we didn't try).

The whole ceremony lasts about 40 min. It started 5 min. late.

BTW, where you DON'T want to stand is out on Calle Bailén in front of the Palace. All the "action" is inside, back and forth on the two interior courtyards between Almudena and the interior Palace entrance.

Have fun!
Maribel is online now  
Apr 15th, 2008, 01:36 PM
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Maribel, as always very complete and helpful information. I hope after our mere two weeks in the mostly Basque France region I can come with something new to share with YOU The help you give so many of us truly is priceless.

thanks again, Deborah

where do I sign up for the Maribel fan club
DeborahAnn is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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It doesn't cost anything to do a 'walkabout#39; start at Plaza de España (Quixote statue); from there to Plaza de Oriente and/or Palacio Réal; to Opera, then up the hill past the Ayuntamiento to the Plaza Mayór and finally to Puerta del Sol. Total distance for that loop is less than 5km.

There are other 'walkabout' loops: one beginning at Puerta de Alcalá and ending at Puerta de Atocha. I have done both loops I describe several times. But there are many more in Madrid de los Austrias and Madrid de los Bourbones.

Retiro Park is great on Sundays, beginning around 11:00 when Street Performers show up, stake out their territory and begin to perform. They are not agressive like those in NYC's Washington Square Park or Pier 39 in San Francisco.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Apr 15th, 2008, 03:05 PM
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here is a more detailed link at that website in case you couldn´t find what i was trying to show you.
they also have a barcelona free list.

http://tinyurl.com/3garjl


lincasanova is offline  

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