Even though the cost of living in Spain is cheaper than in other European countries, life in any capital city is usually quite expensive. However, whether you are a young traveller on a budget or you just moved to Madrid to study or work, there are tons of things you can do to have fun here without condemning yourself to feed off noodles for half the month.
- Free tour:
New to the city? Try the Sandemans free tour that starts at the Plaza Mayor every day at 11am or 2pm.
- Free books:
Yes, you read correctly. Tuuu Librería, a project of the Yooou charity organisation, is a small place with walls covered by second-hand books. You can take as many as you want and make a donation in exchange. The “profits” are used to send school supplies to Latin America and also some schools in Madrid. Books come and go in this place almost daily, so you never know what you might find.
Calle Covarrubias 38
- Coffee and Languages:
Not free but very cheap and mostly in English are the books in J &J Books and Coffee; go downstairs and take your time to browse. Afterwards, if you´re into practicing your Spanish and meeting some locals you could join the Language Exchange, or Intercambio, every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8pm.
Calle del Espíritu Santo 47
Feel like going to the cinema while feeling at home? Café Kino is a great spot with a cosy movie room with viewings every evening. Apart from popcorn, you can enjoy some cake and a cocktail or beer while watching the film. Keep an eye on their Facebook page where they post the monthly programme, and be sure to book your place in advance! You can also go there during the afternoon for a drink, they have free WiFi!
Calle Olivar 17
The Cine Doré, Spain´s National Film Library, projects non-premiere movies for 2.50€, only 2€ if you´re a student. They usually offer titles released 3 or 4 years earlier, most of them in original version with subtitles. You can check the programme here. Calle de Santa Isabel 3
If you´re feeling sophisticated, the theatres Teatro María Guerrero, Sala de la Princesa, Teatro Valle-Inclán and Sala Francisco Nieva offer a 75% discount to all under 30, just show up 30 minutes early to get your tickets.
These are only a few examples if you want to know about more interesting and less touristy things to do in Madrid, I recommend you check out the bilingual blog Madrid Y Yo or the Facebook page Madrid pa tiesos (literally, Madrid for broke people) for up to date events and activities.