Like many people, I love to travel but I also have to watch the pennies and make sure that I stick to my yearly travel budget. I could choose one nice holiday per year and spend all my spare cash on a fancy hotel, or, the way which I prefer to do it, is to book a few short trips throughout the year and try to keep them all as inexpensive as possible.
Visiting Madrid on a budget isn’t too difficult at all. Firstly, the flights from Sofia to Madrid with Wizz Air were very reasonable at just 75 EUR return, of course you have to keep your eyes open for these deals and March isn’t peak season but for a city break that’s really not an issue at all. Madrid also has a great public transport system so getting around the city is very easy and cheap. Taking the metro from Barajas Airport to the city centre is just 5 EURO and from Chamartin Train Station to the centre is just 2 EURO. The metro was very clean and easy to use and I highly recommend this above spending 30 EURO on an airport taxi as either option takes around 30 minutes anyway.
Next you will need a centrally located budget hotel. I am not a fan of hostels and I always look for places that have private bathrooms as for me this is a must. I came across Pensión Magdalena on booking.com, a one star guest house located just a few minutes from Anton Martin metro station. After reading many great reviews I decided to give it a try. At 53 EURO per night the price was good and being centrally located meant that we wouldn’t have to spend any additional money on taxis. As we had been travelling around Northern Spain for the first few days of our trip, we had taken a train from Bilbao to Madrid which arrived at Chamartin station around 10pm. From there we took the metro to Anton Martin which was only a 25 minute journey and arrived at the hotel around 11pm. At a first glance I was a little worried as the street was dark and the entrance to the guest house was a very old, locked door. We rang the bell and were greeted by a very friendly man on the intercom who immediately welcomed us and buzzed us in. There was no lift and we began walking to the third floor when the same man quickly came to assist us with our luggage. Despite being so late at night he was very energetic and gave us a map explaining where all of the must see places in Madrid were.
We got our key and went to drop our bags in the room. All I can say is that the room was perfect. Considering my initial impression of the old building and being worried what it would be like inside, I was totally impressed. Everything was modern and exceptionally clean. The room was spacious and the bathroom had a good, powerful shower. Another great thing was that the next day we were able to check out and leave our luggage securely while we explored the city. This was so helpful and because the hotel was so centrally located, we could simply walk back to collect our luggage and jump straight on the metro to the airport.
During the day we joined the Free Madrid Walking Tour which was another great way to save money. We did tip the guide 10 EURO at the end but this was still definitely great value for money. Food and drink is also very reasonably priced in Madrid. A glass of wine is not usually more than 3 EURO and you can get a croissant and coffee for 3 EURO from one of the many cafes.
Of course, as with any city, you can spend as much or as little as you choose, but I found it quite easy to not spend too much and keep to a budget in Madrid. This is with the exception of the shops … if you dare enter into the shopping streets then I warn you that your budget may go out of the window! Not because they are expensive, just because there are so many great shops that it’s almost impossible to not find something you want to buy!
*I have a booking.com affiliate link which means if you decide to book this hotel through my link, I will receive a small commission. Everything written on my blog is my own honest opinion.