A definitive guide to find accommodation, as told by locals
Last updated: October 2017
How to rent a place in Madrid
International students in Madrid can have many problems to find the right accommodation, due to the high demand during the whole year. Thus, most of them need extra help, such as real estate agency and agents. Those might charge a high commission for their service, which can even reach one whole monthly rent. The key to finding a good accommodation is to be persistent and to check on a daily basis for new offers on various platforms or Facebook groups. You're always welcome to check our platform as well :). There, you might find a room close to your university or work. In any case, don't hesitate to call us, we're always willing to help.
My name is Adrian and I'm going to give you nice tips and some info about my lovely Madrid. Recently I became interested in entrepreneurial and international environments. I like to engage in teamwork where I can enjoy and learn with people who are completely different from me in their background, experience, and mindset. Are you lost in Madrid, or just trying to make sure you won't be lost when you arrive there? Take a look at this page to get some ideas and inspiration.
Living in Madrid and its neighbourhoods
Quality of life
Madrid a city that never sleeps
Madrid is a cosmopolitan city. It is actually one of those that never truly sleep, offering places, activities, and recreation for every taste. In the capital of Spain, you can experience how it is to live in a city that combines student environment with corporate and business life. Facilities and transportation in Madrid make your life way easier; you can move by metro, bus or even bike. Madrid metro is one the most complete and modern metro network around Europe, working every day from 6:00 am to 1:30 am. Apart from that, there are many ways to get a taxi if you need it during those 5 hours in the night. Since it's a capital and a big city, Madrid can sometimes be overwhelming, but also gives you the opportunity to escape from the chaos to one of its beautiful and relaxing parks like Retiro, Templo de Debod, West Park, Casa de Campo or Madrid Río.
Food and drinks
Enjoying life and sharing in a beautiful terrace
Spain is well known for the good food and easy lifestyle, and people like to spend time outside with their friends and families. Food and drinks are the perfect combinations to share time with people that you appreciate or that you just met. Madrid gives you an amazing perspective and opportunity to enjoy this aspect of the Spanish culture on its beautiful terraces and rooftops. The whole city is full of charming terraces, markets, and rooftops where you can spend afternoons and weekends hanging out while enjoying a beer, a gIn-tonic and of course tapas. Some areas like La Latina, Chueca, Lavapiés, Malasaña, and Alonso Martinez are famous for that. Markets such as San Miguel, San Antón, San Ildefonso are great choices to have a snack, a beer, or some appetizers.
A network of possibilities
Madrid has a well-connected public transport system. You can move around by metro, tram, train, bus, and bike. BiciMAD is the public electric bike system in the city. It offers hundreds of bikes almost everywhere. Madrid also offers electric cars for rent by using apps such as car2go. To use the public transport, it is necessary to buy the Tarjeta Transporte Público. It is possible to add a monthly or annual plan to it and you will be able to travel as many times as you will. For students, the city offers the youth plan. It could be a monthly rate of 20 euros or an annual one of 200 euros that allows you to move all around Madrid.
Find yourself in the streets of Madrid
Madrid is a vibrant city 24/7. You don’t need to be worried about being bored; there's always a great spot to relax in one of the parks, or an event just around the corner. If you want to party, don't forget to go to Gran Via at any time. When you're hungry, visit a typical Spanish market or just go around Latina on Sunday evening, and you will end up full of delicious Spanish products. In Madrid, you will always feel welcome, so go out, walk around and you will get a nice grasp of this amazing city.
Barrio de Salamanca
Living like in the movies
Probably one of the best and exclusive areas to live in Madrid, due to its proximity to Retiro Park. It is located in the northeast of the historical center of Madrid. A lot of diplomatic activities takes place in this area because several embassies are located here, like the Swiss, French, Italian and American to name some. Barrio de Salamanca has some of the most famous and emblematic streets of Spain like Goya, Velazques, Paseo de la Castellana and the most expensive one - Serrano. Here you can find all the high fashion stores and exclusive terraces and restaurants.
Moncloa - Aravaca
Student life atmosphere and facilities
Moncloa is a very common area of living for young people and students. The reason is because it's located close to Plaza España and most of the big universities in Madrid but also well connected to the city center. Gives a strategic point for international and local students because in one hand you are close to universities and on the other hand you have all city benefits and facilities there. It is located in the west part of Madrid, and it has some important historical sites like the presidential residence “Moncloa Palace”.
The hipster and trendy area
Malasaña is the trendiest area of Madrid. It was the center of the “movida” movement in the latest 70`s and 80´s. The neighborhood is full of great vibes and it's the meeting point of the hipster phenomenon. You can find a lot of bars, cafes, art and creative environment. The center of the area is Plaza dos de Mayo where huge “botellones” or pre-drinks take place at night. Malasaña is a great area for visiting several bars before going clubbing or eating at restaurants, but not only. It's a place where many people in Madrid go for any other purpose, for fun or just a weekend walk.
The perfect place for tapas and beers!
La Latina is in the traditional center of the city and it is perfect to go for tapas and beers. In the weekends, this neighborhood becomes the meeting point for locals and foreigners. It usually takes some time to find a free spot, but once you do you will have a great time. During the week, it is a traditional and calm place. Lately, it has become more popular among international students as well as locals.
Learn more about accommodation and living in the following cities around the world