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Living in Madrid

How to Save a Bit of Money when You Live in Madrid

gran via in madrid
Written by Daniella

Madrid is a fantastic city, but also an expensive one, and if not all the numbers add up correctly, you might be short on money at the end of the month. A considerable part of your budget goes to your monthly public transport subscription, and then there’s your Saturday night concert, after work drinks with your co-workers and your regular Sunday aperitif with friends…

Saving a bit of money in Madrid can be quite complicated as you can imagine, but it is definitely not impossible! So today, this article by ShMadrid tells you how.

Related article: Studying and Living in Madrid

Saving money in Madrid without too much hassle

metro station sevilla in madrid

Photo via Pixabay

Experience has shown that it’s best to work with a budget, so you will know in advance how much you can spend each month. It also helps if you can stick to the realistic budget you have set for yourself.

One way of saving some money is by cutting your daily expenses, and if you need a little help getting ideas on how to do this, here are a few tricks:

  • If you are sending a package or letter and you happen to be in the city centre, you don’t need to waste any time looking for a Post Office, as you can also send these items from any El Corte Inglés shopping centre. Almost all of the larger shopping centers have an office for their customers, so they can both do their shopping, as well as send whatever they need to send.
  • There are no toilets in the subway, so every time you need to go, unfortunately you have to get out of the subway, find a bar and buy something there, in order to be able to use its toilet facilities. However, it is good to know that there are toilets at intercity transport hubs, such as Príncipe Pío, Plaza Castilla, Avenida de América, Moncloa and Plaza Elíptica.
  • The bibliometro (Metro Library Service) is a free book lending service with 12 units installed at several metro stations. By using your library card, you can go to any of the libraries within the city or region of Madrid. Extra handy when you use this service, is that you are allowed to return a book in a different station than where you initially borrowed it from.
  • Both visitors and residents love the city centre. You can spend a full day here, walking through the vibrant part of the Spanish capital and doing your shopping, but you should also know that there is a lounge with free WiFi and free newspapers at the entrance of the Palacio de Cibeles for you to enjoy.

Related article: Living in Madrid’s Centre with the Least Amount of Stress

exterior of prado museum in madrid

Photo via Pixabay

  • If you use monthly subscriptions for public transport the whole year round, then you should consider getting an annual subscription. Paying that money upfront seems like you lose a big part of your budget, but in the long run it’s actually more profitable. You only pay for 10 months, but you will be able to use it all year. And that’s a good deal!
  • When you go for a walk in Madrid, be aware that you don’t have to buy bottled water all the time, because there are always public drinking water fountains in the city centre. The city’s water is clean and healthy, and you can drink it directly at the drinking water fountain or fill your reusable water bottle and take it with you on your walk. There are, for example, drinking water fountains at Cibeles and at Plaza de Ópera, but there are many more.
  • Other advice on cutting on your drinking expenses, is when you visit Vips regularly for lunch or dinner. You are not obliged to order bottles of water here, you can also ask the waiter to bring you a jug of water. You will surely notice the difference when you get the bill.
  • You are probably already aware of the fact that many museums have free entry on certain dates. You can search for the exact information on the Internet by typing “museums gratis en madrid” in your search engine. When you add it all up, free entry can really save you a lot of money when you enjoy visiting Madrid’s lovely museums on a regular basis.

Are there other ways to save a bit of money in Madrid?

About the author


Daniella loves to write and translate. Her bucket list is filled with beautiful places she still needs to visit.

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