Madrid has been the capital of Spain since 1562 and is located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, in the very centre of the plateau known as the meseta, at an altitude of 650 m above sea level. The Manzanares River crosses the city on its way to join the Jarama.
Madrid enjoys a continental Mediterranean climate. This means that the temperature can be quite extreme. In winter, it can get very cold and very hot in summer. There is not a lot of rainfall, except in spring and autumn, when it can be quite heavy.
A cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic city, the capital is home to over 3 million people, to which we have to add another 1 million commuters. It is a bubbly city, a business centre and headquarters of the central public administration, the National Government and the Spanish Parliament.
Madrid is characterized by its intense cultural and artistic activity and a very active night life with pubs, theatres, cafes offering late night performances, and discos open until the early hours.
The cost of living of a student in Madrid is around € 700/month (depending on the type of accommodation chosen). These costs are approximate.
Madrid is a very well communicated city thanks to its extensive public transport network. You can consult the whole network on the website of the Madrid Regional Transport Authority (Consorcio Regional de Transportes en Madrid).
At Metro stations and tobacconists’ you can buy 10-journey tickets that are valid for travel on the underground (Metro) and city buses. For single journeys, you have to buy your ticket on entering the bus or at the Metro turnstiles. All the possibilities and their prices can be found here: https://www.metromadrid.es/es/viaja_en_metro/tarifas/billetes/
There are also monthly or annual season tickets valid for all forms of public transport within a given area.
One of the most convenient ways to get about the centre of Madrid is in the Metro (underground). Nonetheless, you must remember that Metro stations close at 1:30 h in the morning and you will have to resort to the night buses (“búhos”) or a taxi.
To travel further afield, outside the City Centre, you can opt for the “light train” tram service, which you will need to take if you want to go to the Montepríncipe campus.
Spain’s national rail company is called Renfe (short for “Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles”). The two most important rail stations in Madrid are Atocha (in the south) and Chamartín (in the north). www.renfe.com
Renfe provides a network of suburban trains called “Cercanías”. These provide commuter services to the outlying districts and the towns in the province of Madrid, as well as enabling you to travel to interesting tourist attractions such as the monastery in El Escorial. Timetables: http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/cercanias/madrid/
The high-speed rail service is called the AVE (from “alta velocidad”). It is the most comfortable way to travel long distances across Spain, for instance to visit cities like Seville, Valencia or Barcelona. http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/larga_distancia/productos/
Cycling is an option for getting around Madrid. Madrid City Council makes electric bicycles available at stands around the city through a service known as BiciMAD.
Another option is to buy a second-hand bike. Here are some web pages that might help you find what you are looking for:
You could choose to get about on a municipal bus. There is even a night service of “búhos” throughout the night. You can calculate your itinerary through the interactive map available at this link:
The ALSA bus company can take you to cities further away and tourist attractions at affordable prices. Among other destinations, it provides long-distance services to Toledo, Segovia and Barcelona.
“Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez” airport is located in the eastern part of the Madrid city centre. There is a free transfer bus to change terminals within the airport complex. To go into the city centre, you can choose between taking the Metro (Terminal 2), a train (from Terminal 4 to Chamartín or Atocha), an Express coach, a normal city bus (into Avenida de América) or a taxi (flat rate of 30 euros). A one-way ticket on the Metro costs approximately 5 euros to/from the airport.
Madrid offers many accommodation options. Lots of students choose to rent a room in a shared flat, but you can also live at a student´s residence or rent a flat on your own.
The most economical way to find a flat is to look for it yourself. This will let you see and compare various different rooms and flats before you decide. However, it tends to take longer. Here are some useful links for finding accommodation:
We also suggest that you have a look at Facebook groups to search for an apartment, like for instance Pisos y habitaciones en Madrid.
|Find Out all you can about the district, the prices, expenses, etc.||Don’t blindly trust the photos on the internet|
|Place an ad on the social media, platforms, faculty notice boards, etc.||Don’t hand over any money until you sign the contract|
|Choose a district you like||Don’t sign a contract until after you have seen the room / flat|
|Find out how easy it is to get to university on public transport||Don’t take rash decisions on a whim|
|Make a list with the most important questions and ask them all|
|Take your time when looking around a room or a flat|
|Get to know your future flatmates before signing the contract|
|Compare different rooms|
|Take photos when you move in so that you have a record of the state the Flat / room was in when you arrived|
This will depend on the area you choose and the kind of flat you are looking for. A room in a shared flat close to the Moncloa Campus usually costs between 400 to 600 euros a month. A flat on your own would cost you much more.
It doesn’t usually take long as there are a lot of flats and rooms available. We recommend you budget to stay at a hotel or hostel for the first week or so of your stay so that you have time to look around, compare what’s on offer and, above, see the options for yourself.
Although Madrid city is varied enormously and every district has its own personality, it is true there are some areas it might be better to avoid. The best advice is to look for a flat in an area where lots of other students live, as this means you will probably have the services you will need for your university life. It is also important to check how you can get to the University easily and/or quickly. The Metro is the safest and fastest form of public transport.
Typical student districts: Moncloa, Argüelles and Chamberí.
City centre districts: Universidad, La Latina, Justicia, etc. Prices tend to be higher and the apartments smaller in these areas. The streets are always busy and lots of events going on, bars, etc. The advantages are that these areas are well communicated and you can find many of the services you need only a few minutes’ walk away.
Areas to avoid: Lavapiés and Sol. These areas typically receive lots of tourists all year round and it may be difficult to find the peace and quiet you will need to study.
We offer below some information and approximate prices about hotels and hostels where you could stay during your first few days in Madrid if you have not yet arranged accommodation, or if you are just coming to visit and want to stay somewhere close to the University.
|Hotel Exe Moncloa****||Address: Arcipreste de Hita, 10, Chamberi, 28015 Madrid
Double room with one or two beds: 85-90 euros/night
Single room: 78 -87 euros
|NH Madrid Alberto Aguilera***||Address: Alberto Aguilera, 18, Chamberi, 28015 Madrid
Double room from 79 euros/night
|NH Madrid Argüelles***||Address: Vallehermoso, 65, Chamberi, 28015 Madrid
Double room with one or two beds: 80-90 euros/night
Single room: 70-80 euros/night
|Husa Princesa****||Address: Princesa, 40, Madrid Centro, 28008 Madrid
Double room with one or two beds: from 85 euros/night
Triple room: from 119 euros/night
|Hostal Ártico ***||Address: Donoso Cortes, 69, Chamberí, 28015 Madrid
Double room with one or two beds: 65 euros/night
Single room: 40 euros/ night
|T3 Tirol ***||Address: Marques de Urquijo, 4, Moncloa-Aravaca, 28008 Madrid
Double room: from 54 euros/night
Triple room: 97 euros/night
|Hostal Moncloa**||Address: Hilarión Eslava, 16, Chamberí, 28015 Madrid,
Double room: from 45 euros/night
Single room: from 40 euros/night
Room for 3 people: from 55 euros/night
|Hostal Angelines*||Address: Hilarion Eslava,12, Chamberí, 28015 Madrid,
Double room: from 45 euros/night
Single room: from 40 euros/night
|Apartamentos Argüelles||Address: Vallehermoso, 3 Chamberí, 28015 Madrid
Bedsit for 2 adults: from 44 euros/night
Bedsit for 3 adults: from 51.30 euros/night
|Aparto Suites Muralto ***||Address: Buen Suceso, 3, Moncloa-Aravaca, 28008 Madrid
Apartment for 3 adults: 105 euro - 146 euro/night
|Albergue Juvenil Santa Cruz de Marcenado||Address: Santa Cruz de Marcenado 28, 28015 Madrid (Centro)
From 14 euros/night
|Room 007||Room 007
Calle Ventura de la Vega 5, 28014 - Madrid
Calle Hortaleza 74, 28004 - Madrid, (Chueca)
From 16 euros/night
As Spain forms part of the European Union and the Monetary Union, its national currency is the euro. Depending on your country of origin or residence, the value of your currency may fluctuate with regard to the euro. If so, be sure to find out about the exchange rates before you arrive in Spain.
A currency converter could be useful to give you an idea of the differences with regard to the value in euros.