Expats in Madrid enjoy one of the biggest and most interesting cities in Europe. A diverse population and a great sense of pride for it's cultural heritage make it a fun - and delicious - place to live!
Basics for Expats in Madrid
Expats in Madrid live in the capital city, which is considered to be the economic, cultural and political centers of Spain. Also located in the geographic center of Spain, Madrid is the largest city in the country and 3rd in all of Europe. The city of Madrid is in the Community of Madrid, one of the 17 communities that comprise the country.
Where Expats Should Live in Madrid
One expat in a moving to Madrid report that "you can get much cheaper and larger apartments outside of the center of the city (duh). I do like where I live simply because I don't have to go anywhere to have fun. I'm 10 minutes away from the central tourist/party area of Sol. I live 2 minutes away from a metro stop and have literary hundreds of club and bars outside my doorstep. With all of this I hear no sounds at night since my apartment window faces inwards."
Expat Exchange has Real Estate listings for Spain.
Health Care in Madrid
Expats that will use private health insurance, such as what is offered by Cigna Global, one of our sponsors, should take care to make sure that it is in place prior to your arrival.
Expats in Madrid agree that it's generally important to have a basic understanding of Spanish in order to receive high quality health care. That being said, the Spanish health care system is highly regarded when compared to others systems throughout the world.
Hospital Universitario La Paz is the largest and one of the best hospitals not just in Madrid, but all of Spain. Official website of Hospital Universitario La Paz
There are many other highly rated hospitals in Spain.
Here is a link to an FAQ on Spain's social security health site
Telegraph.co.uk: What Brits Retiring to Spain Should Know About Health Care
Culture Shock in Madrid
Expats in Madrid experience culture shock for a variety of reasons. One expat wrote that "I was kind of frustrated with how slow everything seemed to me. Groceries stores opened at 10:00 am. If I needed something in the afternoon, I'd had to wait until they open after the nap... Around 5:00 pm... Long waiting lines in any government office... Only one person giving forms and answering questions of any type... You won't hear thanks from waiters, most of the time.... Should I continue?
Another expat living in Madrid reported that "this is a Catholic country. Most individuals seem accepting of differences unless you are from a Latin country. As an American with very little Spanish language capability, they are very helpful and go out of their way to help me. Typically Latins are thought of and treated as the hired help. It does not matter how they are dressed or how much jewelry they have on... still just hired help. Fortunately, if problems arise in stores or restaurants, each establishment has a complaint book. If you ask to make a complaint, they must give it to you. Normally, the attitude changes when you ask for this book. They police can shut the place down if they do not have the book to give you.
Cuisine in Madrid
The Cuisine of Madrid is a blend of all the different cuisine traditions of the various regions of Spain. There are many traditional Spanish dishes, but the crown gem of Spanish cuisine are tapas, and Madrid has amazing tapas bars.
There are an unbelievable number of other excellent Restaurants in Madrid.