7 tips for international students in Madrid


Updated on May 10 • 3 minute read

Studying abroad in Madrid is a dream come true for so many international students in Spain. Not only is it one of the best cities in Spain but also an international friendly city.

But as a new student here, it can be hard to know all the tips and tricks that could make your student life in Madrid more convenient, budget-friendly, and filled to the brim with memorable moments. To help you settle in, we've made a list of the top 7 things to keep in mind when studying in Madrid.

1. Never purchase individual transport tickets

If you’re going to use Madrid's public transport, don’t purchase individual tickets. There's a 10-trip ticket available that you can buy at any machine at the metro station and use when traveling on both the metro and the buses.

If you're going to stay in Madrid for long and plan on using the public transport frequently, the best option for you is the seasonal or the annual ticket. The seasonal ticket costs €20 per month and is only offered to travellers 26 years old and younger. For more information, visit the metro’s site for pricing and regulations.

2. Look out for free walking tours

When you’re in a new city, taking a walking tour can be one of the best ways to familiarise yourself with places to eat, museums to visit or beautiful parks to walk in. But if you’re on a budget, guided tours can get really expensive.

Luckily, the tourist office offers FREE walking tours that depart regularly from Plaza Mayor and the informative guides have fantastic ratings!

If you’ve had a long day and aren’t really up for a walk, then another option's purchasing a ticket for the hop on–hop off bus which will take you all around the city centre, stopping at the most important tourist spots.

3. Don’t pay for the gym

If you enjoy sports or like to keep up with a fitness regimen, don’t pay for an expensive gym. Most universities have sports facilities you can utilise at a discounted, student price. They also have sports teams that you can join, for sports like football, rugby, basketball and more.

If you’re more of an outdoors person, Madrid has a multitude of parks, with most neighborhoods sporting at least one. Many of Madrid’s parks offer trails that are ideal for running or walking. Plus, spending time at a park's a great way to meet new, like-minded people as well! If this isn't for you, you can explore the numerous other things to do in Madrid.

4. Always be on the lookout for cheap student tickets

One of the top reasons why people love Madrid is, its alluring culture. You'll never find a shortage of enthralling museums, art galleries or traveling exhibitions. But if you want to spend an afternoon viewing ancient textiles or discovering the next emerging local artist, don’t immediately jump to buy tickets.

Students in Madrid can get a loads of special discounts. For example, the Prado Museum is absolutely free if you show your student card. Many other museums offer discounted or free days. If you’d rather spend some time at the cinema, be sure to visit on a Tuesday as that it’s a bit cheaper than the rest of the week.

5. Look for housing in the student neighbourhoods

As a new student in Madrid, you might not know the best areas to live in. Madrid has several neighbourhoods that are cheap, vibrant and student friendly. For instance, Sol, Malasaña, Lavapiés, Cheuca, and La Latina. Just try to look for housing early as the capital city's popular and housing's competitive.

6. Rent a bike instead of buying one.

Madrid may be a large city, but the city centre is easily navigated. Most of the residents of Madrid travel from one side of the city to the other by bike, making it a perfect way for you to get around like a local and cut from the cost of living.

When you’re looking at biking as your main method of transportation, consider renting a bike, rather than actually purchasing one. Madrid has a fantastic bike rental system, with locations all across the city. The rental prices are low, and the convenience of picking it up or dropping it off at numerous locations is priceless.

7. Try to make friends with people who work at clubs

If you'd like to get out and explore some of Madrid’s many popular nightclubs, the entrance charges can really add up, not to mention if you find yourself having to order full-price drinks.

One tip is to be nice to or make friends with people who work at bars, local DJs, bouncers, or those who run promotions at large clubs. Any type of discount, whether it be at the door or off your bill at the end of the night can help out if you’re on a budget.

Please reach out to content@housinganywhere.com if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

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