There is something about Madrid that keeps it in people’s hearts even long after they’ve left. For many, it’s a city they will never forget and for some, it is a city that they simply couldn’t leave (simply talk to anyone from the Citylife team!). It’s hard to say exactly what it is about Madrid that makes it so special, but we’ve tried to highlight just a few of our favouirte things about living in Madrid that we think makes it one of the best cities in the entire world.
1. Cerveza Must Always Come with Tapas
Food culture in Spain in general is incredible unique and full of richness. With Madrid being Spain’s capital and it being located in the very center of the country you get a fabulous mix of everything. One of the best details is that when you order a beer or, cerveza, it almost always comes with a tapa (small snack plate). It’s just an old tradition that has survived the centuries into the modern day that we can definitely get behind. It means you won’t be drinking on an empty stomach and it does add tot he atmosphere at your table.
2. Egyptian Architecture Without Going to Egypt
There isn’t much Egyptian architecture outside of Egypt, but Madrid is home to one of the few. Perched on one of Madrid’s most famous sunset lookouts is a genuine original Egyptian Temple. That’s right, Templo de Debod was gifted to Spain by the Egyptians in the 1970s. Now, its a very Madrilenian tradition to go for an evening walk around Templo de Debod to marvel at the beautiful sunset as the light illuminate the ancient temple.
3. Madrid is a City That Never Sleeps
Madrid is one of those city’s that boast an incredible nightlife all year round. The average night out in Madrid starts between midnight and ends around six in the morning, with the average club closing around seven in the morning. That’s right, in Madrid an average night out is almost as long as an average shift at work. So you better make sure you’re prepared to kill the night and show the city that you can handle it!
4. It’s Location is Optimal for European Travel
Considering Madrid is the actual center of Spain, nothing is really that far away. Go north a few hours and you can hang out in País Vasco and eat all the pintxos you can get your hands on. Go out east and Valencia has paella waiting for you. Travel a bit down south and Sevilla will welcome you with solomillo al whiskey. But that’s not it. You could also just hop to Madrid Barajas airport and catch a cheap flight to another country. You can easily fly around Europe for under 100€ and the average flight length is between 2-3 hours!
5. Timing is NOT Everything
Rushing somewhere? Con prisa? Why?! Madrileños take their time to get places, and so should you. For many, life is a rush. Coffee is on the go. Meals are on the go. But this is not how you live the Madrid lifestyle. You stop and enjoy every moment of life. What’s the point of hurrying when you can stroll through Plaza Mayor and enjoy the views? Trust us. Being “late” isn’t an actual thing in Madrid.
6. Wine is Not an Expensive Luxury
Spain is recognizes worldwide for it’s delicious wines from it’s various wine regions. It’s because of this that many foreigners are used to seeing Spanish wine prices in their home country to be quite expensive. However, once you by it from the proverbial “mother land” you’ll notice a huge drop in price. Wine bottles can start from 3€ and go up to 15€ at the most, even gorgeous reds from Rioja! Of course, high end, incredibly expensive bottle do still exist, they are simply just not the “standard”.
7. There is Always Something to Do
Madrileños simply do not like to stand still and that’s why you will never find a shortage of things going on in the city. From random parades, festivals and holidays to shop openings, park activities and anything else you can name. Madrid always has something fun to do. In the off chance you aren’t attending some of the city’s many events, you can always visit the famous parks. Nowhere is more beautiful than Retiro park. It’s the perfect place to read, have a picnic, people watch (and by that we mean all the couples who go there to make out), and spend the day.
8. Rastro is Your One-Stop Shop for Anything
El Rastro is the largest open air flea market in all of Spain. It gets its name “The Trail” from its old days when the area was a tannery and the main street was the route the tanners would take when transporting the animal skins. Now, it’s an eclectic mix of Spanish and African goods. From Antiques and hand made wares to funky nick-knacks you won’t find anything else. Not to mention the same street is open to several bars and restaurants are open for market-goers to take a beer and grab a snack along the way. It’s a true Madrilenian tradition that must be practiced by all newcomers.
9. The Real Madrid vs Atlético de Madrid Rivalry
After staying in Madrid for some time it will become clear to you that at some point you are forced to make a choice. The choice between Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid. For some, this choice defines you as a person. Your favourite Madrid team will earn you new friends and start new (yet fun) rivalries with others. Even if you don’t watch football, it’s a good idea to make a choice anyway so you can at least answer the question when prompted!
10. You will Form an International Group of Friends
Madrid has some of the highest numbers in Europe when it comes to young internationals living, working and studying. You will have no problem meeting people and when you do you can guarantee that you will be making friends from all over the world. Whether it’s with your classmates, colleagues or flatmates. There is something to be said about international friends – they do truly open your eyes to the world in introduce you to things you never would have encountered without them.
11. It’s the Best Place You’ve Ever Lived
And that’s just it, put simply. Madrid is amazing for so many more reason than we have listed here. It’s got a great climate, great culture and quite honestly, there is just something in the air in this city that makes people fall in love.