of Spain offers plenty of budget-friendly attractions, from the Prado Museum to
El Retiro park.
El Rastro flea market
Madrid shakes off
the post-summer blues with one of the city’s favourite Sunday pastimes,
converging on Europe’s largest flea market. Sift through the junk in search of
bargains and treasure – occasionally a lost masterpiece turns up here – before
following locals to the bars of the bohemian La Latina district for tapas and
Parque del Buen Retiro
elegant expanse of greenery, El Retiro,
is at its best in autumn when leaves turn golden and cooler temperatures draw
street performers into the park. It’s a time when rowing boats come into their
own, and the ornate glass structure of the Palacio de Cristal, which now hosts
exhibitions, no longer feels like a greenhouse.
Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida
Goya left his mark
all across Madrid, but this little hermitage (where the artist is buried, minus
his head) is the only place where his paintings remain exactly where he painted
them. With an end to curtailed summer opening hours, you’ve got all day to see
frescoes so vivid that it’s as if the master himself had just climbed down the
Museo Nacional del Prado
masterpieces by Velázquez, El Greco and a peerless cast of European masters,
Madrid’s hallowed Museo Nacional del Prado offers free admission to visitors
for the last two hours before closing every evening. There’s too much to see in
one sitting – but you could always return again the next day for free too.
Anthony Ham is a resident of Madrid and is
currently busy researching Lonely Planet’s new Spain guide.
This article was published in partnership with Lonely Planet