Madrid is the largest city in Spain with almost 7 million inhabitants (calculated on the metropolitan area). A number that proves the remarkable growth of the Spanish capital, which is also the economic center of the country. Many people dream of living and working in Madrid. Madrid, the heart of Spain, is a beautiful city: beautiful parks, old streets, countless bars, restaurants, nightclubs and many cultural attractions. Interesting, unique and quaint neighborhoods. Wonderful city that has something for everyone. There is no sea, in my opinion, the only major flaw.
Madrid’s public transport system is one of the best in Europe and money is constantly being spent to improve it. For example, the length of the subway lines has doubled in recent years. Bus service both in the city and in the suburbs is also very good. Bill prices are low compared to other European capitals and Madrid is excellently connected to the rest of Spain.
Times have always been good. The hot season is from May to October: in summer it is very hot (35 – 40 degrees) while in winter it can be cold enough. In Madrid there is a saying about the climate: 9 months of winter and 3 months of hell.
In Madrid you can walk into any area alone at night without worrying about being dressed or being attacked, but like all big cities, pickpockets are common.
Spanish cuisine aside, Madrid is not as cosmopolitan as other European capitals. Finding good international food is a challenge. Some of the major cuisines such as: Italian, Chinese and Indian are well represented, others are not. Prices in Madrid are generally quite low compared to other European capitals. Eating out is fairly cheap and going out with friends does not cost much if you avoid the more expensive and trendy bars and clubs.
The cost of living is generally fairly low, with the exception of rental costs. The apartments are expensive compared to the quality of the buildings and the average income level of the population. Soaring rent costs in Madrid are putting pressure on those on the lowest incomes. The average rental price is the highest nationally, together with Barcelona, followed by the Balearic Islands and the Basque Country.
Prices are increasing by around 5% each year, bringing the average price per square meter in the city to around €16. Interestingly, the biggest increases have been in the southern neighborhoods, where renting an apartment has always been cheaper than the rest of the city. This price increase was due to increasing demand. This year, due to problems related to inflation and the war in Ukraine, the government decided to pass an extraordinary law limiting rent increases to 2%. This means that the landlord can apply a maximum of 2% to the rent to update it annually.
Most Madrileños are absolutely loveable, optimistic, talkative, fun-loving and always up for a little ‘party’, open to meeting new people and helping foreigners. People are really helpful, loving and willing to share their time with others. If someone finds out you’re new in town, they’ll immediately give you tips on where to go, what to see and what to do.
The Madrileños still have an attitude of enjoying life slowly and have a strong focus on friendship and family. City life flows slowly and calmly. People move slowly, take their time and are generally relaxed. You will see older people drinking coffee for hours in a bar and young people chatting and smoking in the squares.
All daily schedules are brought forward: lunch is served between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., dinner from 9:00 p.m. Many shops and businesses close for the midday lull. Madrid is one of those cities that is busier at 2:00 a.m. than at 09:00 a.m.
The nightlife in Madrid is crazy. There are clubs and bars of all kinds and for all tastes. If you go out on the weekend, do not expect to be home before 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning. Madrid’s nightlife is one of the best in the world. If you know where to go, the party never ends. You could go out after dinner on Friday night, change bars and clubs, and come home Monday morning.
All this partying and outdoor living makes Madrid and Spain in general noisy. This depends a lot on the street and neighborhood you live in, but in most places Madrid is noisy. If you live on one of the main streets, it is better to have double windows and good air conditioning, otherwise you risk being faced with noise 24 hours a day.
If you are looking for a well-paid job, Madrid is not your city. To tell the truth, Spain is not your country in general.
The labor market situation in the city depends heavily on your qualifications, experience and industry, but in general the job opportunities and salary levels are worse than in northern European countries.
Although things have improved recently with the creation of new businesses by Spanish businessmen returning abroad after emigrating. Salaries in the Spanish capital are among the highest in the country (€1,700/month on average).
Apart from the usual jobs that are in demand everywhere (IT, marketing, sales and engineering), tourism and hospitality are sectors that offer a lot of work in Madrid.
If money and career are not everything for you, but the priorities in life are different and if you agree with the people of Madrid that the most important are:
- food and drink
- have fun
Madrid could be the city for you.
If you want to have all the information about how to work in Spain, I recommend you to read the article: Working in Spain
If you want to have all the information about living in Spain, you can read the article: Moving to Spain