Family of Four Taking Flight to Financial Independence

Early Retired and Finally in Spain: Madrid

On April 12, 2021, we officially landed in our new home country of Spain (what was moving internationally like during COVID-19?  Read our latest post here.)!  It has been a long journey, but I believe the wait will prove to be worth it.  Since our flight landed in Madrid, we thought it was a great opportunity to experience the capital city of this beautiful country (before we headed to Granada).  We stayed in Madrid for two nights, and it was a great experience.  In this post, I am going to go over our expenses while in Madrid along with where we stayed and what we did.  

Plaza Mayor

Expenses / Activities






Let’s break down each expense to give you an idea of what to expect when you visit Madrid!  (Side note from Tara ... we were not aiming to fit in a ton of sightseeing like a typical tourist.  We were trying to rest up from our flight / rest up for our travels to Granada ...and see a little bit of Madrid while we were there.  We knew we would be back!).


We booked the apartment through Airbnb back in March (while still in Houston) and the total cost for 2 nights was $160 (132 euros).  This apartment had lots of great reviews that made picking it easy.  The pictures that are shown on Airbnb were accurate, and the hosts were super easy to communicate with.  Also the location of this apartment was great in that it allowed us to walk everywhere we wanted to go in the city.

The Airbnb living space.

Arriving at our apartment, we were greeted by the very nice housekeeper who let us into the space a little earlier than we agreed upon with the host, which was nice.  The space was clean and devoid of clutter (the way we like it).  The beds were comfortable, and all of the appliances were new and functional. 

The host checked on us throughout our stay to make sure we had everything we needed, and they even called us a cab on our last day to take us to the train station.  Overall, staying at this Airbnb was a great experience.  We would absolutely consider staying here again the next time we are in Madrid.  

Airbnb kitchen space.

Airbnb living space.

Airbnb master bedroom.  Also featured ...our Tortugas!

Kids bedroom in Airbnb ...also featured some of their toys and Tortuga bags.

Apartment Total: $160 (132 euros)


We took taxis twice while in Madrid.  The first time was when we landed at the airport, and the second time was when we went to the train station to leave.  Both experiences were great.  For the first taxi, we exited the airport, and there was a line of cabs ready to go.  He spoke very little English, but we were able to communicate well enough to get where we needed to go.

While in route to our apartment we mentioned that we were heading to Granada in a few days, and he started going on and on about how great Granada is (apparently he was from the area).  I didn’t understand everything he was saying, but seeing and hearing his passion for Granada was pretty awesome.  

This cab ride took about 30 minutes and cost us 40 Euros ($48).

The second taxi drove us from our Airbnb to the train station (Puerte de Atocha in Madrid).  This ride took about 10 minutes and cost about 5 Euros ($6).  Like the first driver, this driver was also very polite.

All in all we found taxis in Madrid to be reasonably priced, safe, and efficient.  

Transportation: Approximately $54 (45 Euros)


Another reason the location of our apartment was so great is because it had two grocery stores very close by.  One was literally right across the street (less than 1/2 block away), and the other was about a 5 minute walk. 

The grocery store across the street was more of a small produce mini mart.  I purchased produce a couple of times, and each time the total came to about 10 euros ($12).  A typical haul included: broccoli, carrots, potatoes, apples, bananas, grapes, plums, and strawberries.  I found the prices to be very reasonable. 

The second grocery store was more of a traditional store.  I also went to this one a couple of times, and each time the total came to about 20 euros ($24).  A typical haul from this store included: bread, crackers, ham, cheese, Nutella, cereal, milk, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.  Again for the amount of stuff we bought, the price always seemed very reasonable to me.  I would say it was slightly cheaper than what I paid back in Houston.  

Two of us (Tara and our youngest) had a late lunch out one day that was less than 15 euros ($18).

We also stopped at a small bakery in Plaza Mayor and bought a fresh loaf of bread for 1 euro ($1.20), and we got breakfast at a little cafe that included pastries, coffee, juice, and fresh bread for 5 euros ($6).

Food: Approximately 81 euros ($98)


Lichtenstein sculpture at the Museo Reina Sofia.

The one thing that Tara insisted on doing while in Madrid was to visit the Museo Reina Sofia to see Picasso’s Guernica (unfortunately no photos allowed of Guernica).  We actually bought the tickets for this visit online back in March for a total cost of approximately 40 euros total (10 euros each) / $48.  Note, if it works with your schedule, they do offer free access days / times.

The museum was MASSIVE, and we only had about an hour or so to check it out, so we spent most of our time on the floor with the Picasso piece.  As Tara explained, this is one of Picasso’s most important works of art or possibly his most important piece.  I know she is thrilled to be in Picasso’s home (España!), and we look forward to visiting this museum again (along with many other museums, art history sites, architecture, and so on).

Museum: Approximately 40 euros ($48)


Besides the museum, Tara decided we needed to also do some exploring in Madrid ... maybe a park, famous plaza, and market would be good with the kids.

(Note, this wasn’t really exploring, but another big task that we mentioned in a previous post was purchasing new phones, getting Spanish numbers / Orange phone plans.  We will probably save all of that information for another post).

Royal Botanic Gardens

El Retiro Park

El Retiro Park

We walked through the Royal Botanic Gardens and El Retiro Park on a rainy day, and we got lost but eventually found Plaza Mayor. Tara was hoping to get us to Mercado de San Miguel nearby, but unfortunately it was closed due to COVID-19.  All of these places will be worth future visits and more exploring next time.

Exploring: $0 / 0 euros

Total Cost for Family of Four to Visit Madrid (approximate):

Airbnb = $160 / 132 euros

Transportation = $54 / 45 euros

Food = $98 / 81 euros 

Museum = $48 / 40 euros

Exploring = $0 / 0 euros 

Total (approximate): $360 / 298 euros 

After spending just two days in Madrid, I found myself enjoying the city.  The people were friendly, the city is affordable, and there was a lot to see and do.  We will definitely be back!

Have you been to Madrid?  Any suggestions for our next visit?  Comment below.  Want to read my previous financial post?  Check it out here.  Eager for your own flight to financial independence?  Reach out to me here.


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