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Dwelling in Madrid, Spain: An Expat Information

In this complete guide, you’ll learn what it’s like to live in Madrid, Spain, as a digital nomad. Expat life in Madrid means being immersed in rich architecture, delicious cuisine, and incomparable nightlife – all without breaking the bank. Whether working remotely, or picking up local gigs, Madrid is a fantastic place for expats to […]

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On this full information, you’ll study what it’s prefer to stay in Madrid, Spain, as a digital nomad.

Expat life in Madrid means being immersed in wealthy structure, scrumptious delicacies, and incomparable nightlife – all with out breaking the financial institution.

Whether or not working remotely, or choosing up native gigs, Madrid is a improbable place for expats to stay. 

Let's dive into the insights of prices, lodging, issues to do, and extra when dwelling in Madrid, Spain.

About Dwelling in Madrid

Based within the ninth century, Madrid has grown into the cultural, financial, and political middle of Spain. The town inhabitants is round 3.5 million, and that quantity climbs to six.7 million whenever you embody the larger metropolitan space.

Its comparatively excessive elevation of two,000ft above sea stage, typically brings cool mornings for many of the 12 months, accompanying the well-known Spanish warmth.

cost of living in madrid

You gained't be missing for sunny days in Madrid, which explains the black-out shades which are commonplace in bed room home windows throughout town!

Between the grand sights Madrid has to supply, are moments of bliss. Be it a glass of freshly squeezed OJ to start out your day, an array of complimentary tapas with a glass of Rioja wine, or the eclectic avenue markets.

In brief, expat life in Madrid doesn't disappoint. Let's get into the main points of dwelling in Madrid as a digital nomad.

Value of Dwelling in Madrid

For a capital metropolis, Madrid isn't practically as costly as different Western European capitals. Even after lease, groceries, and some restaurant visits, you'll probably discover that you've loads of flexibility inside your funds.

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Value of Hire in Madrid

Studio and one-bedroom residences can vary from €900 – €1,600 monthly. Usually talking, the nearer you might be to Puerta del Sol, or Retiro, the costlier residences are.

Value of Groceries in Madrid

The groceries and markets are delightfully inexpensive throughout all classes. Listed here are some costs for well-liked grocery gadgets in Madrid:

  • Loaf of bread (baguette): €1
  • Kilo of Hen (2.2 kilos): €4,25
  • Water (1.5 litre bottle): €0,65
  • Mid-Tier Bottle of Wine: €5,00
  • Home Beer (1/2 litre): €0,90
  • 1/2 Kilo of most produce (onions, lettuce, tomatoes, oranges, and many others.): €0,60 – €0,90

As you possibly can see, cooking at residence gained't eat up a lot of your funds. The produce is contemporary, and the alcohol is inexpensive – what's to not like?

Value of Transportation in Madrid

Getting round Madrid is a breeze, due to their top-tier Metro system.  

A month-to-month metro card, with full entry to all types of public transit within the metropolis middle, prices €54,60. You could pay otherwise based mostly on age or zone, nevertheless it gained't be costlier than town middle cross.

A one-way ticket will value you €1,50, so when you're not driving public transport on daily basis, paying for particular person rides is likely to be greatest.

Different Frequent Prices

Listed here are the costs for different bills you might be concerned with:

  • Gymnasium membership: €42
  • Film Ticket: €9
  • Quick Informal Restaurant: €13
  • Combo Meal at Quick Meals Restaurant: €8
  • Month-to-month Web: €30 – €50

Total, Madrid within reason priced for expats, however there are some things to keep away from.

For starters, skip eating places instantly situated in touristy spots like Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol to keep away from steep worth hikes.

Spain has a steep retail tax, (known as “IVA”), that prices 18% on retail gross sales. It's one thing to remember if you wish to go on a buying spree.

Greatest Areas To Reside in Madrid

For those who're planning on dwelling in Madrid as an expat, it helps to know among the greatest neighbourhoods to stay in.

Right here's a breakdown of the highest 5 neighbourhoods, (in no explicit order), for digital nomads.


Any digital nomad trying to be within the coronary heart of town ought to set roots in Sol – assuming you're pleased with being in a busier space.

The central location of Sol means ease of entry to simply about wherever in Madrid.

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Along with being park-adjacent, Retiro presents a neighbourhood that's typically neglected by vacationers, regardless of its genuine restaurant scene.

Retiro is among the many quieter neighbourhoods in Madrid, but its appeal nonetheless comes via in full pressure.


Malasaña is teeming with power. Expats dwelling in Madrid that want to be steps from cafes, classic shops, and raucous nightlife ought to take into account this vibrant neighborhood.  


As Madrid's most various neighbourhood, Lavapies is a powerhouse of meals, music, and extra. As an added bonus, Lavapies presents expats cheaper lease choices, and bar tabs!


Feeling fancy? Salamanca is the place for you. Sitting on the north aspect of El Parque de Retiro, Salamanca is residence for a lot of of Madrid's wealthier residents. Right here, you'll discover luxurious boutiques and high-end eating places.

Find out how to Discover Lodging

There are a handful of quick and simple methods to ebook long-term leases in Madrid. Listed here are among the prime choices:

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  • Airbnb – Chances are high, you've used Airbnb earlier than – however you possibly can rating some fairly nice month-to-month reductions. I've seen >30% off for bookings of 1 month or extra every now and then.
  • VRBO – Because the closest Airbnb competitor, you possibly can typically discover higher offers with none sacrificing on high quality.
  • Homeclub – In case you have the funds, Homeclub presents luxurious leases in choose European cities.
  • SpotaHome – In a handful of European cities, SpotAHome presents photograph and video walkthroughs of residences and houses of many sizes, offered by the workers themselves.

5 Greatest Issues to Do in Madrid

There are lots of issues to see and do in Madrid, listed below are the highest 5.

Parque del Retiro

Strolling the Parque del Retiro, (or just “Retiro”), is an effective way to spend a sunny afternoon. The stainless gardens and grand sculptures make for memorable sightseeing.

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Ensure to take a look at the Palacio de Cristal, (Crystal Palace), which is an iron and glass constructing marked as a World Heritage Website by UNESCO.

Bike Tour

A motorbike tour is an effective way to see the core sights of Madrid in just a few hours. An ordinary bike tour will get you to Retiro Park, Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace, and the Plaza Mayor. Every of those spots are must-sees throughout your first journey to Madrid.

Go to the Museo del Prado

As Spain's nationwide artwork museum, the Museo del Prado is residence to one of many most interesting collections of European arts, with works spanning from the twelfth century, proper as much as the twentieth.

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Followers of artwork historical past, notably works of Goya and Diego Velázquez, can marvel on the quantity of well-known work that adorn the partitions.

Situated just a few blocks from Retiro park, the Museo del Prado is simple to get to, and is a good attraction to construct into your itinerary.

Watch a Actual Madrid Recreation

Little in comparison with the power of 81,000 Actual Madrid followers throughout a match at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The scholar part continually kilos on an array of drums, and the remainder of the fanbase will be heard chanting, singing, and customarily going wild. Merely put, futbol is faith – and it makes for a one-of-a-kind expertise.

Eat on the World's Oldest Restaurant

Be part of a protracted lineage of diners by having a meal at El Sobrino de Botín – the world's oldest restaurant.

Alongside its document tenure is its well-known dish of suckling pig. The workers showcase this dishes' tenderness by slicing the pig with a dinner plate, while a small genuine band fills the house with full of life music.

Regardless of it's typically well-known clientele and world-renowned popularity, El Sobrino de Botín manages to keep away from price-gouging its diners – making it a must-see for travellers of all budgets.

Transportation in Madrid

Getting round Madrid is simple. Listed here are just a few of the preferred modes of transport. 

Flying into Madrid

Madrid's principal airport is Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas, (MAD), nevertheless it's regionally referred to as merely “Barajas”.

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From there, you possibly can take the 8 line on the Metro, (the sunshine pink line), or the N27 bus to any variety of connecting routes that may get you into town. Both technique will take roughly an hour.

Madrid's Metro System

Madrid's Metro, (subway), runs from 6am to 1:30am on daily basis. There are 15 strains, marked by color and quantity, that service over 300 stops. It's very clear and effectively lit too, making it the popular technique for getting across the metropolis.

The Metro being closed between 1:30am and 6am every day is essential to notice for anybody concerned with nightlife; particularly when contemplating leaving golf equipment.

Spaniards do issues a lot later than most different nations – attending to a membership earlier than 2:30am immediately places you as a vacationer. So, when you're out clubbing – count on to take a taxi residence.

Taxis & Rideshare Providers in Madrid

There are some ridesharing apps out there in Madrid, together with Uber and Cabify. Lyft shouldn't be but out there in Spain.

There are, in fact, customary taxis, (which in Madrid, are white vehicles with inexperienced top-lights), that settle for each money and card cost. Vacationers are higher off utilizing rideshare apps since they supply extra transparency in worth, and extra security options.

Meals and Eating out in Madrid

Madrid boasts an incredible culinary scene. From churros to paella, tapas to shawarma, and never forgetting world-class wine, foodies will match proper into Madrid. 

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Fast Eating Ideas in Madrid

It's price noting Spain's peculiar consuming habits, particularly when you're somebody who eats early and infrequently.

Let's evaluation among the key variations for eating in Madrid:

  • Individuals usually eat dinner at 10pm – many native eating places don't open till 8pm.
  • Ordering a “espresso with milk” will get you a 50/50 mix of the 2 substances; request milk on the aspect.
  • Ideas aren't anticipated, however a ten% tip could be a good gesture.
  • Service is gradual – locals will typically spend hours sipping a drink or two, and the tempo of service displays that.

Most Well-known Meals in Madrid

Each metropolis has its signature dishes, and Madrid is not any completely different. Listed here are among the meals and drinks which are the cornerstones of Madrid's delicacies:

  • Paella – a seafood and rice dish that comes jam-packed with any mixture of seafoods, in addition to hen, different meats, and veggies.
  • Sangria – a mix of crimson wine and soda, with numerous fruits and spices.
  • Tapas – tapas isn't a particular meals, however you'll typically be pleasantly stunned to obtain a small plate of meals to snack on, (without spending a dime!), when ordering drinks. 
  • Zumo or jugo de naranja (orange juice) – as a serious producer of oranges, practically each espresso store or restaurant has made-to-order orange juice. You possibly can't be the freshness, or the flavour!

Should-See Tapas Eating places in Madrid

  • Casa Toni – Regardless of being within the vacationer middle, Puerta del Sol, Casa Toni presents a gimmick-free genuine tapas expertise with out the touristy worth tags.
  • El Tigre – This makes the checklist for its sheer quantity of tapas. A drink prices €10, and it comes with a large plate of bread, cheese, and cured meats. I've even obtained a second plate solely free every now and then! As a standing-room solely venue, you're certain to satisfy new folks when visiting.
  • Taberna Actual – Situated by the royal palace, this tapas bar was as soon as the quarters for palace servants.

Cultural Variations in Madrid

Each place has its quirks. Whether or not fascinating, stunning, or off-putting, listed below are some cultural variations which are prevalent in Spain:

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Individuals Making Out in Public

In Madrid, it's very uncommon for associates, household, or companions to ever go to another person's residence. Because of this, you'll regularly see {couples} passionately kissing in public locations.

No person Cleans Up After Their Canine

It helps to maintain a watch out for canine mess in Madrid – folks don't actually clear up after their pets. 

Staring Isn't Thought of Impolite

For those who're on the Metro and someone is wanting instantly at you, don't fear – they could simply be misplaced in thought and occur to be wanting in your path. To the folks of Madrid, it isn't impolite or discomforting to stare.

Siesta Is Taken Fairly Severely

Siesta, in essence, is a nationally recognised nap-time. It stems from the times earlier than air-conditioning when it could merely turn into too sizzling to focus at school, or to conduct enterprise.

So, between 2pm and 4pm, folks went residence to have lunch and funky off. That custom has largely carried over into the fashionable day, and for somebody that's used to around-the-clock entry, it may be inconvenient.

For instance, I went to the second largest business district on a Saturday afternoon to purchase footwear, and practically each retailer was closed for an hour or two. Plan accordingly!

Is Madrid Secure?

Madrid is a really secure metropolis total, however be cautious of pickpockets – notably within the busy vacationer locations like Puerta del Sol, and the Plaza Mayor.

Be notably aware in busy areas, and take warning of individuals moving into shut proximity when innocently asking for issues equivalent to a lighter or instructions. Be extra conscious when in golf equipment particularly, as you're naturally nearer to 1 one other, and are sometimes consuming.

To place your thoughts comfortable, police do actively fight pickpocketing the place it's most outstanding.

Ideally, you'll by no means must expertise pickpocketing, nevertheless it's an unlucky actuality when dwelling in Madrid, and different main cities. Keep vigilant, and at all times preserve backup paperwork and cash at residence.

Execs and Cons of Dwelling in Madrid

Dwelling in Madrid will be an expertise like no different, which in fact comes with its execs and cons. Listed here are among the key upsides, and disadvantages of life in Madrid.

Execs of Dwelling in Madrid

  • Clear, secure, and environment friendly public transportation
  • Brief flights to most of Europe
  • Nice climate for many of the 12 months
  • Nice meals and wine
  • Nice (albeit late) nightlife
  • Excessive demand of native-speaking English academics

Cons of Dwelling in Madrid

  • Pickpocketing is frequent
  • Older inhabitants resulting in excessive unemployment
  • Madrid shuts down throughout the every day siesta

What's the Visa State of affairs?

Right here's some details about acquiring a visa to stay and work in Spain.

Size of Stick with Spanish Visa

U.S. residents can enter Spain for tourism or enterprise for as much as 90 days with out a visa. If you wish to keep any longer than 3 months, you'll want to use for a visa.

Required Paperwork for Spanish Visa

To use for a Visa, you'll want:

  • Software Kind
  • Passport
  • Further passport-quality photograph
  • Flight info (arrival & departure)
  • Proof of lodging (resort reserving, airbnb receipt, even an e mail out of your host household works)
  • Medical certificates
  • Proof of economic means

As with all essential doc, having backups is essential. Make digital and bodily copies of every thing you possibly can so as to stop potential points throughout the software course of.

For extra info, checkout the Department of State's visa requirements for Spain.

FAQ's About Expat Life in Madrid

Listed here are some solutions to generally requested questions on expat life in Madrid. 

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How a lot do it's worthwhile to stay comfortably in Madrid?

For those who're dwelling alone, you possibly can stay comfortably on roughly €1400 – €1800  monthly.

As is the case in all places, sharing a dwelling house will reduce prices all the way down to one thing much more inexpensive.

Have in mind, the typical wage in Spain is €23,000. So expats with distant work from higher-income nations can stay effectively in Madrid.

Is Madrid good for expats?

Madrid has an enormous worldwide group which makes it nice for expats.

Madrid is secure, inexpensive, and simple to get round – all while experiencing a plethora of sights and actions.

Moreover, you possibly can join “Intercambios” across the metropolis. These informal occasions pair native English audio system with native Spanish audio system. You'll spend time talking solely English, and time talking solely Spanish. It's a improbable strategy to meet locals and practice your language skills!

The place do most expats stay in Madrid?

Expats with an even bigger funds have a tendency to remain in Sol, for its centralised location and entry to bars/eating places. Different costly neighbourhoods embody Retiro, because it surrounds the park.

Malasaña is an up-and-coming neighbourhood, filled with artwork and classy cafes, and is a bit cheaper to stay in.

Lastly, for these wanting to save cash, Lavapies is essentially the most inexpensive neighbourhood in Madrid. There are practically 100 completely different nationalities dwelling in Lavapies, which suggests nice eating places and cultures are in abundance. 

Is Madrid Costly to stay in?

Madrid is pretty inexpensive for a capital metropolis in Western Europe. Not together with lease, (which may vary from €900 – €1,600), you possibly can count on to have round €700 in bills.

For expats deciding between Madrid and say, Paris or London, Madrid is the plain selection for affordability.


Madrid is an typically neglected beacon of tradition in Southern Europe, however any expat dwelling in Madrid will shortly learn the way a lot it has to supply. It's no marvel that Ernest Hemingway known as Madrid “the middle of the world.”

Whether or not you're into meals and wine, sports activities, artwork, historical past – the checklist goes on – Madrid presents it in magnitude. The convenience of public transport, and reasonable value of dwelling, makes it an excellent location for distant employees and wandering travellers alike.

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The put up Living in Madrid, Spain: An Expat Guide appeared first on Goats On The Road.

Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Goats On The Road blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!