Is Madrid Expensive? A Madrid Trip Cost Guide

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by Maggie Turansky

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Is Madrid expensive to visit? As one of Europe’s largest cities and a thriving metropolis, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Spanish capital may be a pricey place for a holiday. However, depending on how and where you spend your money, your general Madrid trip cost doesn’t have to be too high.

Even if you plan to visit plenty of tapas bars, browse through a range of world-class art museums, take in iconic sites and experience the market culture – all of this is accessible to those travelling on tight budgets. Madrid can be an affordable city to visit if you plan in advance and are aware of how much things cost.

Madrid doesn’t have to be an expensive place to visit, with an average daily cost of €65-240 (roughly $69-256 USD) per person per day. There are also ways to spend less or more depending on your personal budget and travel style.

So, if you’re planning to visit Madrid, this guide will break down the average prices of accommodation, transport, food, activities and entertainment so you know how much things will cost on your trip to Spain’s exciting capital city!

Madrid Trip Cost Guide

Accommodation Prices

The first thing that you potentially need to consider is the cost of accommodation in Madrid. There are a lot of different options available depending on what you’re after – and your budget.

Options range from a bed in a hostel dorm, a double room in a mid-range hotel, private apartment rentals and luxury hotels. Madrid offers it all and, in general, you will be able to find suitable accommodation for your budget.

On the low end, there are countless hostels such as The Hat Madrid that can be great for backpackers and solo travellers looking to save some cash and meet others.

Expect a bed in a dorm room to start at around €30 per night and for prices to go up from there depending on the number of beds, if the room is en suite etc. A hostel, in general, is the most budget-friendly accommodation option.

Peaceful Retiro Park
Peaceful Retiro Park

Mid-range visitors looking for a basic, central hotel room such as in Hostal Foster will find that most rooms in the city centre another popular Madrid barrios to stay in average around €100-150 per night depending on the season, location and demand.

If you’re interested in staying in a private apartment rental, then a one-bedroom apartment in a central neighbourhood will cost around the same.

There are also plenty of luxury hotels such as Only YOU Boutique Hotel scattered throughout the city that are a great option for those looking for an upmarket stay in the city.

These, as well, can range in price depending on location, availability and season, however, expect the average cost of a luxury hotel room to start at €250-300 per night and to go up from there.

On average, whether you’re travelling solo and staying in a hostel dorm or splitting the cost of a hotel room between two, plan to spend about €30-150 per person per day on accommodation while visiting Madrid.

Plaza Mayor in Sol, Madrid
Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Transportation Prices

Now that we’ve outlined the rough accommodation costs in Madrid, we need to discuss how much you should expect to spend on transportation.

Madrid is a massive, spread-out metropolis and it is unrealistic to assume you can walk everywhere you need to go. However, it is also blessed with an excellent public transport system including extensive buses and a vast metro and train network.

Madrid’s public transit is affordable and reliable and if you’re staying in or close to the city centre, there is no reason that you will ever need a vehicle of your own.

But how much does this amazing public transportation system cost? Well, there are a few different answers to that question. The most simple answer is, unless you are taking the metro to the airport (where you will have to pay a supplementary cost), then a single journey on the metro or bus will cost €1.50-2, depending on which zone you’re travelling in.

Metro sign in Madrid
Metro sign in Madrid

It is worth noting that you do need to purchase a Multi Card (Tarjeta Multi) for a flat fee of €2.50 before you can get any transit tickets. You can actually share this card between people, so you only need to purchase one per party, not one per person.

Now, this is where things get a bit more complicated. For instance, if you’re a visitor in Madrid for longer than a day or and plan to use the metro a fair amount, it makes little financial sense to purchase a single-journey fare every time you ride.

Instead of this, you can purchase a 10-journey ticket that will cost you €12.20. This works out to €1.22 per journey – and keep in mind that it can be shared between people.

Madrid is an easy city to get around by public transportation and by foot, and if you’re trying to cut down on your total daily travel budget, then that is all the transportation you might need. However, it is worth knowing that taxis and Uber are available in the city as well.

Using both of these services frequently can work out to be fairly expensive, however, so if you’re trying to save money in Madrid, I would recommend relying on the bus, the metro, or your humble feet for transport instead.

Another thing to consider is if you’re planning on going on any day trips from Madrid because this can factor into your daily transport costs. You can reach popular towns like Toledo, Segovia and Ávila within an hour or so on the train, but this does cost a bit. Expect a basic return train journey to a city like Toledo or Segovia to cost about €20 per person. You can pre-book trains here

In general, if you plan to use public transport to get around Madrid itself and also plan to take a day trip out of the city, then plan to spend about €5-10 per person per day during your trip to the Spanish capital.

Beautiful Segovia
Beautiful Segovia

Food Prices

One of the top things to consider when planning a trip to the capital of Spain is the cost of food. And while Spain — including its capital city — is known for its affordable food, it’s still a good idea to know how much to expect to spend on meals in the city, especially if you’re trying to visit Madrid on a budget.

Madrid, and Spain in general, is a foodie heaven. Madrid boasts an incredible local cuisine and, due to the fact that it is very much an international city, you can get just about every kind of food you would like here as well.

Madrid is also famous for its tapas culture and you truly wouldn’t experience the city to its full potential if you didn’t take advantage of the scene often – it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Madrid!

However, eating out frequently can definitely add up. If you like eating out but want to make sure you get your best value for money, then I would recommend setting your sites on lunch rather than dinner.

In Spanish culture, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and most local restaurants offer incredible deals on a menu del día or daily menu.

If you stray away from a touristy restaurant, you can expect to pay between €10-15 for a massive meal that includes a glass of wine or beer (or a soft drink), a large first course (usually a salad or soup), hot second course, and either a dessert or coffee.

Most restaurants will typically only offer a set menu on Monday-Friday, however, there are definitely restaurants that offer the same thing on weekends as well, though it is often a bit more expensive.

Choosing the set Menu del Dia for lunch can be excellent value for money
Choosing the set Menu del Dia for lunch can be excellent value for money

Eating and drinking in Madrid is inextricably linked, and we’ll discuss drink prices in the “entertainment” section, however, it’s worth noting that in more local Madrid bars, you will often get a small tapa with a drink order. This is normally a couple of croquetas or some anchovies, however, can be as large as a slice of tortilla. It depends on where you go.

If you’re keen to head out for tapas, again, these can vary in price. A small tapa that isn’t included with a drink order like a slice of tortilla or patatas bravas will likely only cost about €3-4. However, if you plan to eat a bit more and order some raciones, or larger portions, expect to pay between €8-12 depending on what is in the dish.

The more local and less trendy the place, the less expensive it is bound to be. Keep in mind that you can also order half-portions (or media raciones) in many bars and this will be the size between a full ración and a tapa. They tend to be a couple of euros cheaper than a full portion.l

Those who want to cook their own meals here and there will find that there are ample supermarkets scattered throughout the city, however, if you truly want to immerse yourself in the Madrileño culture, then shopping at the local mercados (though not the Mercado de San Miguel, which is a tapas market more catered toward tourists) is a far better thing to do.

Not only will you support the local economy, but you will also be able to really see what Spanish life is all about.

Also, the quality of products at the local market are normally a lot better than at the supermarket and you can also pause to have a glass of wine or a vermouth while in the middle of your shopping!

All in all, even if you plan to eat out frequently, you don’t need to plan to spend more than about €15-25 per person per day on food.

Mercado Anton Martin
Mercado Anton Martin

Activity Prices

If you’re visiting Madrid, it is a given that you’re going to want to go out and experience the city. And oftentimes, unfortunately, that can cost money. But how much of an impact will recreational activities have on your overall costs of visiting the Spanish capital? Well, it doesn’t have to be much.

Madrid is a city where it isn’t entirely necessary to spend a lot of money out to enjoy yourself. However, if you are interested in perhaps taking advantage of some of the many museums in the city, that can set you back a few euros. However, it doesn’t have to.

The three most famous museums in Madrid — the Prado, the Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen museums — all charge roughly €10 for adult entry. However, it is less expensive to book your entry online in advance where you can save a couple of euros and you are unlikely to have to queue for a long time.

However, if you want to visit these museums and not pay a dime, have a look on their respective websites, as there are numerous hours when entry is free.

The Prado Museum
The Prado Museum

Though it can vary from museum to museum, in general, you can expect entry Sunday afternoons to be free of charge along with the last two opening hours on weekdays. This is an excellent way to experience the amazing art these museums have to offer even if you’re living on a shoestring budget.

If you want to go on a walking tour of the city, then it can be a great option to head out on one of the many free walking tours to be found in Madrid. While the tours themselves are free, you are expected to tip the guide at the end, so plan to spend at least €10-15 per person for this.

Those who would rather go on a paid walking tour, expect this to be a bit more expensive at around €25 per person. The same kind of price applies to football fans who may want to tour Bernabeu Stadium.

There are also other attractions in Madrid that charge entry fees, like the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) but prices can vary depending on the ticket option you purchase.

And foodies who would like to have a local guide take them to some excellent spots around the city will find that food and tapas tours of the city clock in at around €70-80 per person.

In general, it depends on what kind of activities you plan to do in Madrid to figure out how much you want to budget.

On the low end – and this is assuming that you don’t take advantage of any free entry times for museums – expect to pay about €10 per person per day on activities. On the upper end, budget around €40 per person per day.

Reina Sofia Museum
Reina Sofia Museum

Entertainment Prices

If Madrid is known for anything, it is for its thriving tapas and nightlife scene that can span into the wee hours of the morning.

If you don’t care much for sleep and fancy a nocturnal lifestyle, then Madrid is one of the perfect cities for you. And another fantastic thing is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot to drink in the Spanish capital.

Honestly, if you stray away from hard liquor, drinking in Madrid can be positively cheap, which is good news for those wine lovers out there. On average, a basic glass of domestic wine at a restaurant or bar will set you back somewhere around €2.50.

Obviously, depending on where you’re drinking and what type of establishment you’re in, this can vary within a couple of euros. All in, however, it is rare for a wine, beer, or vermouth to cost less than around €1.75 or more than about €3.50 per glass.

Keep in mind that you also frequently get some free tapas with a drink purchase in Madrid bars, so it’s really excellent value for money!

If you’re after something a bit more strong than wine or beer, then know that, like pretty much everywhere else in the world, cocktails and spirits tend to cost more. Again, depending on the neighbourhood and the type of bar, prices for cocktails can vary.

However, if you want to get a basic cocktail from a neighbourhood bar outside of a trendy nightlife area, expect them to cost about €4-5 per drink. In a more hip or posh neighbourhood, cocktails will cost closer to €7-8 per drink.

If drinking isn’t necessarily your thing, you will be happy to know that there are ample places to get a coffee in Madrid and a daily coffee habit won’t honestly take much out of your total cost of living in Madrid. If you want to get an espresso drink, expect it to clock in around €1.50-2 depending on where you are.

It can also be a popular option to go and see a flamenco show in Madrid. Though the art form doesn’t originate from Spain’s capital (you’re going to have to head to Seville or Granada for that!), there are plenty of tablaos where you can see a traditional flamenco show. Expect a performance (with a drink included) to cost around €25 per person.

In general, bouncing from bar to bar and sampling tapas is an unmissable part of any trip to Madrid and if you plan to do this somewhat frequently, then plan to spend about €5-15 per person per day on entertainment.

Free tapas in Madrid
Free tapas in Madrid

Average Madrid Trip Cost

So is Madrid expensive to visit? With the above categories considered, this is an average breakdown of travel costs when visiting Madrid. This is assuming that some costs, such as accommodation, are split between two people.

Accommodation: €30-150

Transportation: €5-10

Food: €15-25

Activities: €10-40

Entertainment: €5-15

On average, plan to spend between €65 and €240 per person per day when visiting Madrid. Obviously, this can be increased if your budget allows for it. It’s also possible to cut costs in certain areas if you’re trying to visit on even more of a shoestring.

Madrid is one of Western Europe’s more affordable cities and spending a few days here doesn’t need to break the bank. Even if you’re on a tight budget, it is definitely possible to experience Madrid to its full potential!

Are you planning to visit Madrid? Have any questions about the prices in the city? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie


  1. Hello Maggie,
    Thank you for your wonderful and very informative article.
    I want to know if it is easy to commute on bicycle in Madrid? Is it a common thing in Madrid?

    • Hi Thea, thanks for your comment! You can definitely commute on a bicycle in Madrid and many people do so, however, it isn’t as bike-friendly as other Spanish cities. It’s pretty hilly in parts and the infrastructure for cyclists isn’t super well-developed.

  2. The info on expenses in Madrid was very helpful. Im making plans to live in Madrid for a year. I do need info on real estate companies to help with finding rentals and best bank. Any info on places to look would be greatly appreciated.

    • Glad you found this article helpful, Christine. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good advice for finding real estate companies or banks


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