Doing Madrid on a dirt cheap budget

Welcome to this travel blog/guide which will show you the essentials of an inexpensive vacation in Madrid. Is your budget tight? It’s allright. This guide shows you where to sleep, eat and drink cheap in Spain’s capital.

*NEW* How to have a great budget holiday in Madrid.
*NEW* Drink prices in Madrid.

Things to do

You can also get some ideas on what to do when visiting Madrid, some examples:

- Where to meet Madrid girls & boys?
- Visit the famous El Rasto flea market.
- Shopping in Madrid.

And, if you enjoyed your vacation so much that you consider to move to the city, here’s some info about living in Madrid.

Quick intro to Madrid

Madrid is the capital of Spain, as well as the capital of the autonomous community of the same name (Comunidad de Madrid). It is Spain’s largest city, with a population of 3.3 million in the city, and appx. 6 million in the metropolitan area.

Madrid is famous for its cultural and artistic heritage, a good example of which is the El Prado museum. Madrid is also well known for serving up one of the best nightlife in the world. In the drink section of this guide you’ll get plenty of tips on where to go for cheap drinks and entertainment.

The city is very diverse and there’s plenty of opportunities to get great experiences, food and drinks at low prices. Do also have a look at some cheap Madrid hotels.


Madrid has an excellent metro system and you can pretty much get around easily by metro. Here’s a quick overview of some of the areas:

Malasaña is the area where the alternative crowd hang out. Great selection of pubs, bars, cafes, squares and small shops.  Decently priced.

Chueca is the internationnaly known gay district of Madrid. When walking in Chueca you will encounter innovative design, trendy shops and cafes.  Prices tend to be a bit higher here.

Lavapies is know to be both a cosmopolitan and hippy area. You will find Indian restaurants, alternative coffees, African music and South American shops. You can encounter a few bargains here.

La Latina is the area to go for tapas and beers. Has a bohemian feel to it. In this area you’ll find El Rastro, the popular flea market in Madrid, every Sunday morning.

Salamanca is where the rich people hang out. Many expensive boutiques and high priced department stores.

Moncloa is a student area. Located not far from the biggest University in Madrid (Universidad Complutense). Expect unique shops and plenty of student hangouts. The place to go for some cheap meals and drinks.

Huertas has high concentration of bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels. Very popular among tourists. Has a strong cultural heritage. The touristy feel to it makes it difficult to get great value for money here.

Other dirt cheap guides

If you are on a trip to Spain, make sure to check out our guides to Seville and Barcelona as well.

Beach resort guides

Spain is famous for its beaches, so please check out our beach guides before you dress up in your Speedos and bikinis:

Ibiza guide – Ibiza Truth is a honest travel guide to the party island.
Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote – This busy Lanzarote resort is a party mecca.
Torremolinos – Some say it is trashy, others love it. Decide for yourself.

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3 Responses to “Home”

  1. Ask me anything. I’ll answer!


    Cheapo Charlie

  2. Where can I buy speedos in Madrid? And not tiny sizes!



  3. Hi Bill,

    Speedos are available in most sporting goods stores.


    Cheapo Charlie

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