Becoming a very popular location for all type of expats, and one of the best towns in Europe to live. Here are some pros & cons about life in the city if you are an expat.

 

 

PROS. PEOPLE + WEATHER = STRONG COMBINATION

 

People living in Madrid are quite cozy and the city is cosmopolitan. Most of them came from other cities and countries, so they are open to new contacts, new relations. They are used to work and enjoy live with expats. Making business is not difficult. Tourism is one of the best developed sectors and people is used to interact with foreigners. The combination of weather and madrileños character, create a nice environment to have a snap, a drink or some tapas in one of the existing terraces all around the city. This makes Madrid, one of the most vibrant and animated cities in Europe.

 

The city enjoys lovely hot summers and has lot cloudless days as well, (you are able to see a pretty blue sky most of the time!!) making Madrid a fantastic place to relax when you leave the office. Cost of living is 59% comparing with New York (100% index) or London (83,4%) or Berlin (67,6%). This makes it an affordable place to live: eating out, renting and travel are all reasonable – however, but you need to consider that economic opportunities are less. International assignees working for the large corporates are not affected by this, but younger expats and students often have a difficult time to find work. Employment rates are high and if you are not planning to create your own business, you can find difficulties to get a job.

 

 

CONS: BUREAUCRACY

 

The most common expat complaint about the city is the complicate bureaucracy. The classic example is the task of applying for your NIE (número de identidad de extranjero) – which is an identification number for people from abroad. You will need the NIE for almost anything official that you do and it is a must have to live in Spain. A lot of expats mention long time-intense process before having their carefully prepared forms to get their NIE. It is advised to book an appointment online as early as possible in the morning, to be prepared meticulously and, if possible, take a Spanish-speaking person with you. It’s that important.

 

On the other hand, most expats complain at a first stage about time schedule. Lunch is late, dinner is late, you go to sleep late, etc… but the best thing you can do is get used to it. Do the same and your adaption to Madrid lives will be quick. By the end, there is no problem at all if you have lunch at 2pm and in summer you will really enjoy having a cold beer in a terrace late night with some friends. In any case, Madrid is a city always improving services, and getting better infrastructures. The city is big but it´s not huge. Subway is one of the best in world with more than 12 long lines… and it´s cheap compare with others. And because location, you have easy access to the rest of Spain with good highways and speedy trains.

 

 

Coming to work to Madrid is a very good idea!! See you here.