Located right at the heart of Spain, Madrid is not only the nation’s capital but also a thriving social, cultural, and economic midpoint. Whether you’re seeking job opportunities, a different setting, or a not so quiet place to retire, Madrid offers it all to you. There is a Royal Palace, world-famous art galleries, splendid nightlife, and cultural ambience all placed in this city.
If you’re planning on moving in, you’ll have to consider a few pros and cons because like anywhere else in the world, living in Madrid also has its drawbacks. Read on to know whether Madrid is the right place for you, also, the cost of living in this colourful, cheery city.
Pros of Living in Madrid
1. Always Something To Do
To put it simply, there is quite a lot to do in Madrid and you’ll probably not finish doing everything even after years of settling in here.
The main square, Retiro Park, the KIO Towers, Royal Palace, and the Grand Via are only some of the major highlights of this city and there is some fun in store for everyone. You can head towards exploring world-class restaurants, cafes, the maze of tapas bars, and the markets after you’ve basked your heart in the sights.
Madrid’s art scene is also a pretty well-known highlight as some of the best art galleries in the whole world are located in this city. If you’re not sure about where to begin, the Golden Triangle is just the place for you. As in here, you’ll come to meet The Reina Sofia, The Padro, and The Thyssen-Bornemisza.
2. A Slow Urban Lifestyle
The lifestyle in Madrid is one serious advantage of settling here. The residents are welcoming, kind, and friendly. Here, life seems to move a little slower, so this will be just the perfect lifestyle for those wanting a life in a big city without the noise.
You get to spend your evenings here among friends in different tapas bars or splendid parks while relishing the warm weather, and the local cuisine. There is a lot to adore in this stunning city.
3. Affordable Cost of Living
The cost of living here and going/eating out is more affordable compared to other places in Europe, especially the UK. This means you can go exploring and enjoy a more social life in peace, which is, after all, a part of the ex-pat experience. This might mostly be appealing for the financially secure ex-pats as they get to make the most of their time here.
4. Good Weather
The winters in Madrid can be cold, but the amazing summer days here are more than just compensating for that. The Spanish summers are known to be hot and long. So if you’re looking for an escape from hasher winters and an experience of European summer, you might for sure find Madrid worth consideration.
Cons of Living in Madrid
1. No Coasts
Even though this city has so much else to offer, it doesn’t have a coast or beach. So, if you’re looking for a more coastal lifestyle in Spain, you’ll have to search someplace else. However, you can still set up a base here from which you get to visit any of Spain’s several coastal locations.
2. Lower Wages
Madrid has several job opportunities to offer but the salaries here are noticeably low which can belittle the affordable cost of living. This is something to consider for ex-pats wanting jobs here.
This might not be surprising as Madrid is among the most densely populated cities in Europe, the air quality here is not the best. Smog is common and cigarette smokers heavily contribute to this. Madrid still has a widespread smoking scene so you will be able to notice smokers when placed in outdoor seats of restaurants and bars.
A slower, more laidback lifestyle does have its advantages, but it can also be testing when it comes to official matters. The bureaucracy in Madrid can be quite slow compared to what you might be used to in your native city. If you’re trying to get anything official done here, you will need to allow extra time.
Cost of Living in Madrid
The average price for renting a one-bedroom apartment in central Madrid can be around €900-1000 monthly. Going further from the city centre, the cost moves to €600-700 monthly for a one-bedroom. As expected, a studio flat will cost less.
Renting a room instead of an apartment will drastically lower the price you pay for accommodation as you’ll be living in a shared flat. You’ll only be paying for your room which will cost around €300-400 monthly. As a bonus, you’ll also be getting to pool utilities.
You can expect utilities such as gas, electric, and broadband costs averaging to a cost of €150 in total if you have your place. You’ll also be paying more for utilities in the colder winter months as you heat your flat, along with having an AC in the summer will spike up additional prices. As long as you plan on paying around €150 monthly, you won’t be unpleasantly surprised.
For one person planning on living on a smaller budget in Madrid, you can expect to pay somewhere between €400-600 monthly as it depends on your location and the form of lodging, all taking into consideration that you are sharing a one-bedroom apartment, and splitting the costs among two people.
If you’re living in Madrid rather than just visiting, you’ll have to be familiar with the local grocery stores and supermarkets. The cost of groceries in Madrid is thankfully not so high and at a Madrid market.
You can buy enough food for a full week of meals for a single person, for around €30-40. If you do this and prepare most of your meals at home, you won’t have to pay more than €200-250 monthly on your food costs.
The 30-day transport ticket including the limitless venture throughout the city will cost you €20 if you are under age 25. For people over 25, the same ride will cost €54 per 30 days.