My Madrid Recommendations 🇪🇸

If you are planning to study abroad in Madrid, here are my best tips/ recommendations and advice. After living in Madrid for four months, I have a good sense of the city now. Madrid in my opnion is one of the safest and cleanest cities in Europe, and no matter how long you stay, you can never get bored and there is always something to do. The city has great weather, great food and the people here are very nice. Madrid also makes settling in very simple.

Housing is everyone’s number one concern when it comes to study abroad. I looked for apartments through Aluni, it is an online site and is very reliable too. As for the location, I would highly recommend living in residential areas like Goya or Lista (Lista is where I live) since it is away from the touristic crowd and business of Madrid, and gives you an actual sense of what it is like to live as a local in Madrid. The centre of Madrid is easily accessible by metro. A lot of my friends made the mistake of living in Sol, which is the central area of Madrid, and have missed out on exploring the calm neighborhoods of Madrid.

Before moving to Madrid, you may be confused on how to get your SIM card set up, or how to get your metro card. It is simpler than you think but don’t make the mistakes I did! When I first landed at the airport I thought it would be easiest to get a sim card at the airport itself. So I had found a counter selling SIM cards and the lady at the counter had suggested buying a SIM from the provider ‘Lebara’. I should have done research on it, but I didn’t and it ended up being a scam. I was unable to recharge it when I got home (even though I paid 40 euros upfront at the store). So, I had to buy another SIM card and this time I went with Vodafone. Vodafone is the most reliable, and very easy to recharge too. It works all across Europe. I pay 15 euros a month for 45 GB.

For the metro card, I pay 8 euros a month, and I can use it to go anywhere in Madrid, unlimited times. You can use it in the bus too. To get the metro card, I went to the metro station at the airport, but you can also go to the office in the metro station in Sol. There is usually a line but it helps if you can pre book an appointment slot. They will take a picture of you there and print it on a new metro card for you that you can recharge every month. So convenient. 

Apart from the settling in aspect, I also have some restaraunts, parks, cafes to recommend.

Here are some places to eat:

  • Trattoria Popolare (Calle de Larra, 13, 28004 Madrid, Spain)
  • Impero (C. de José Ortega y Gasset, 90, 28006 Madrid, Spain)
  • Yatai Market (Calle del Dr Cortezo, 10, 28012 Madrid, Spain)
  • La Paella de la Reina (C. de la Reina, 39, 28004 Madrid, Spain)
  • Caracola Chueca (Pl. de Chueca, 4, 28004 Madrid, Spain)

Here are some cafes and bakeries:

  • Cafe Federal (Pl. de las Comendadoras, 9, 28015 Madrid, Spain)
  • Nomade Cafe (Calle de los Tres Peces, 22, 28012 Madrid, Spain) – you can also work in these two cafes.
  • La Mallorquina (Prta del Sol, 8, 28013 Madrid, Spain)
  • Panem (C/ de Fernán González, 42, 28009 Madrid, Spain)

All cafes and bakeries are so good in Madrid but these are the ones that I go to often.

The most well known (and my favorite) park is El Retiro, it is a great place to do picnics, study or go for a run. I spend a lot of time there so I highly recommend it.

I will always strongly recommend studying abroad in Madrid because I had such a great experience, and made such good friends. If you have any questions about studying abroad or if you want more recommendations, you can always email me at . I will be happy to answer!

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