As an international student staying in Europe, such as in Spain’s capital city, Madrid, it’s always a challenge to look for activities that are fun and enriching, but also affordable.
To help students, here are some of the usually affordable, and famous activities in Madrid international students can do.
Check Out Madrid’s Museums and Art Galleries
If you’re into the arts and culture, you can visit Madrid’s many museums and art galleries. Not only is it a good way to learn more about your host country’s history and culture, but visiting museums and art galleries may be one of the most affordable activities you can do as a student in Madrid. In fact, some of the events offer special prices for students, including free passes which international students can use at specific times. For example, the Prado Museum offers free passes to its museum between 6 to 8 pm.
Some of the museums and art galleries you can visit in Madrid are the following:
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum to see exhibits from the 13th century to the modern age
- Reina Sofia, which houses the works of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali
- El Prad, which includes the works of famous artists, such as Goya, Bosch, El Greco, and Velazquez
- Museo Naval, to learn more about Spain’s rich naval history
Attend an Outdoor Movie or Theatre Performance
Nothing beats watching a movie or a theatre performance outdoors during a peaceful night in Madrid. If you have the chance to be in Madrid during the summer, either for a summer or year-long study program, then you should visit some of its open-air cinemas. In fact, you can see them in almost all of Madrid’s 21 districts.
Here are some of the cinemas that offer outdoor movie experiences in Madrid:
- Autocine Madrid RACE, said to be the biggest drive-in cinema in Europe
- Cibeles de Cine, showing some classical movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- Casa Encendida Cultural Centre’s the Magnetic Terrace
If you want to catch an outdoor theatre performance and other outdoor cultural events such as music, dance, and zarzuela in Madrid during summer, check out Veranos de la Villa.
Relax and Recharge in Madrid’s Parks
If you are into a more quiet and relaxing type of activity, and tired of the city’s hustles and bustles, then you can relax and rejuvenate in some of Madrid’s parks. Moreover, not only will you feel relaxed in its parks, but you will also get to have a cultural experience. In fact, one of its most famous parks, the El Parque del Buen Retiro, is once a place where the royals hangout, and a place for concerts and plays. Now, it has become a major tourist destination and a place where people can jog, cycle, or just stroll while taking in the place’s natural beauty. There are also various cultural activities held in the park. Other parks in Madrid you can visit to relax are the following:
- Royal Botanical Gardens
- Casa de Campo
- Campo del Moor
- Jardines de Sabatini
- Parque del Capricho
Party Away and Experience Madrid’s Nightlife
If you’re more into partying and music, then you are lucky as Madrid is also famous for its bustling nightlife. From eating tapas in its Plaza Mayor to partying at its Teatro Kapital, the choices are many. Also, if you just want to have a fun night but are not into alcohol, you can visit Joy Eslava, a bar that offers an alcohol-free environment. Other unique bars in Madrid you can visit are the following:
- La Via Lactea, which offers a cozy bar atmosphere
- El Tigre, famous for its affordable drinks and free food
- Bar Campus, where you can either drink and hangout with a big crowd, or just have a quiet night in its seating area
Aside from the activities already listed above, other activities in Madrid for international students include visiting some of its local restaurants and trying Spanish local food. To learn about famous and must-try foods in Spain, check out MSM Unify’s article on Spanish Food and Other Delicacies That International Students Must Try.