by Melissa Ung (intern from the Netherlands).

What is it like to live in Madrid? Read here about my experience in daily life, job, food, nightlife and Spanish culture.

I can’t believe that it’s already December. I moved to Madrid on the 1st of September and now it is already time to say goodbye after spending a semester in this city. It was my second time this year in Madrid. This city has changed me in countless ways. I can say that my time in Madrid has undoubtedly been the best of my life so far. That is also one of the reasons that I returned this year for the second time. Madrid is the city that stole my heart!

Why Madrid?

Madrid
Do you love big cities, churros and being surrounded by many people? If so, then Madrid is the city for you! It is the biggest city in Spain and the first time that I arrived here, I was shocked when I saw how crowded it was, there were so many people and traffic everywhere. Madrid is like New York because it is huge and you are surrounded by so many nationalities. Since New York is my favorite city in the U.S., I felt right at home immediately. The good thing about Madrid is that it has all the elements of New York that I love like the energy, the crowded streets, the people and the city vibe. The city lives 24/7! Also another good thing about Madrid is that it is a very clean city! And not to forget the Spanish culture and the food are amazing!

Madrid

Daily life

I live close to Malasaña which is one of the hotspots in Madrid! I pay around the 450 euros for my big room to live in Madrid in the city centre, which is quite high, but at least you live in the city centre for that rent price. I live with 9 other people in a big flat building. The people here in Madrid are generally more relaxed if I have to compare it with my own country, the Netherlands. They take their time more, while in the Netherlands it is the opposite. The local people in Spain like to do things late. Lunchtime is around 2pm – 3pm and dinner from 9pm onwards. It is also not unusual to see people outside in the city after midnight. Prices in Madrid are generally normal. For 20€ per month, you can get a youth card (abono joven) and travel as much as you like with the metro, buses and trains.  The reason why I came to Madrid was to do an internship. I have worked for Madrideasy which is a company that provides housing. Every week I worked from 9 till 6 pm except on Mondays . The working times are the same as in my country, so there was no big difference for me. Only the times for lunch were different as it starts here at 2pm – 3pm and in the Netherlands it starts between 12pm – 1 pm. I was doing an internship in the marketing department, I really enjoyed my time at the company. So if you are looking for a great internship in Madrid, I can recommend you Madrideasy.

Madrid

Night life

Night life is insane in Madrid. There are some amazing bars in the city and even more incredible clubs. When you go out, don’t expect to come back until 6 am in the morning because the clubs are closing between 6 and 7 am. In Madrid, the locals start heading to the bars around midnight, and finally roll up to the club around 3 am. Malasaña is one of the good places if you are looking to chill, and there are plenty of cafes that are open till late in the night, and you are free to sit on the terrace and watch people. The clubs that I can recommend are: Kapital, Shoko Nightclub, Opium, Joy Eslava and the amazing rooftop parties almost every Sunday in hotel Silken Puerta América Madrid. If I don’t go out at least once a week, I feel like I am doing something wrong because to be a real Madrileña you should enjoy every week the nightlife of the city. It is not a successful weekend in Madrid unless I dance ’till sunrise and sleep ’till late the next day.

Spanish culture

Most Spaniards I have met were absolutely lovely, optimistic, fun and loving people who are open to meeting new people and help foreigners out. Also, learn some Spanish before you get here! Because knowing Spanish will only enrich your experience in Spain in ways that only speaking English won’t. You get better service and you’ll be able to talk to people more easily.

Food

Madrid is full of amazing restaurants and not especially known for its native cuisine but there are so many restaurants to find in around every corner, from cheap to very expensive! Cien Montaditos is a great place to have a cheap meal. On Sundays and Wednesdays everything on the menu sells at EUR 1 so eat as much as you want! I went most of the times out for dinner in Malasaña during the weekend which was close to my house and it is a really good area to go out for dinner. The restaurants are cozy and each one has their own style. Also don’t forget to try the delicious churros. There are so many restaurants and bars where you can order this.

Travelling

During my time in Madrid, I went to other cities in Spain as well. I spend my weekends in Valencia, Barcelona, Toledo, Salamanca, Zaragoza and Segovia. Valencia was in the begin of September when the weather was perfect for going to the beach. Toledo is amazing for its wonderful views and it is only one hour away from Madrid.

Travel

This is, so far, what I’ve experienced during my time in Madrid. Spain is a beautiful place and it’s capital is the heart of the country. I would recommend everybody to visit this beautiful city once in your life. I would definitely come back one day here because Madrid stole my heart! My next destination in 2017 would be the USA! See you Madrid!

Adiós Madrid