Plaza Mayor in Madrid
Plaza Mayor in Madrid
Plaza Mayor in Madrid

5 Tips For Living in Madrid

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Expat Exchange Rental Properties

Expats in Madrid live in a city with a broad appeal to people throughout the world, rich cultural traditions and some of the most delicious food in the world!

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.

Expat Health Insurance in Spain

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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Plaza Mayor in Madrid
William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get a Quote

Madrid, SpainGuide to Living in Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Madrid

Spain Forum Spain Forum
Join our Spain forum to meet other people living in Madrid, Spain.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Madrid.

Madrid, SpainHealthcare in Madrid, Spain

Expats and global nomads in Madrid share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in Spain, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.

Madrid, SpainMoving to Madrid, Spain

Expats offer advice about everything you need to know before moving to Madrid: what to bring (and what to leave behind), how to find housing and more.

Madrid, SpainPros and Cons of Living in Madrid, Spain

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Madrid, Spain.

Madrid, SpainExpats Talk about Living in Madrid

Expats share their experiences living in Madrid, Spain and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

Expat Health Insurance and HealthcareExpat Report: Healthcare in Madrid

An expat in Madrid recommends HM hospitals, says that prescriptions are a fraction of the prices that they are in the US and has a warning about US health insurance policies for expats.

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