Living in Madrid as an Erasmus student 2023
Spain is a country that accounts for a large part of international tourism. Specifically, Madrid is the city that heads the list of the most visited cities in the country with more than 10.4 million visitors in 2019. This is due to the numerous opportunities that the Spanish capital offers and that makes it not only a perfect holiday destination, but also the ideal city to live as an Erasmus student. Madrid has everything a student can ask for: good weather, prestigious universities, pleasant people, numerous leisure activities and one of the best cuisines in the world. In addition, its good location in the center of the Iberian Peninsula allows you to travel with great ease throughout Spain and in this way you will be able to take the opportunity to get to know all the corners of the country
Madrid may not have a beach, but the amount of cultural offer, the investment made in recent years in business tourism, the unbeatable air connections, make it an ideal destination and a benchmark center for art and culture tourism, as well as for shopping.
What to see and do in Madrid during your first days:
There are countless activities that await tourists, foreign or national, when they arrive in Madrid. Its rich heritage, along with its historical enclaves, plus its exquisite, varied gastronomy and the enormous daily cultural offer could make any tourist dizzy and dazed. For all this, so that the visitor does not feel overwhelmed by the proposal of the capital, the most advisable thing is to resort to Traveling to Madrid, the most complete guide to the city, both for neophytes and for those who already know the capital, but they want to go beyond the usual classics. Although with this guide there will be no event that escapes you and you have at hand all the useful information to visit each of the places of interest that the city has active, there are a series of essential spaces that cannot be overlooked.
Get to know Madrid
One of the main attractions of the capital is its streets, its people, its neighbourhoods… A different, fun, interesting and very attractive tourism awaits the traveler who walks through Madrid visiting both the most emblematic places (the Gran Vía, the Plaza Mayor, the Puerta del Sol, or the Retiro), as well as its neighbourhoods. The true idiosyncrasy of Madrid can be found in neighborhoods such as Chueca, Malasaña, La Latina, Hortaleza, Chamartín or Las Letras, to give just a few examples. It is in these places where national food in general is best discovered, as there are restaurants from most regions of Spain and, of course, traditional Madrid cuisine, with its inescapable squid sandwich. For a better, more intense and real experience, it is best to stay in one of the hostels in the liveliest and happiest neighborhoods in the city, such as Chueca or Malasaña. And if you are that type of traveler who seeks to maximize your experience with a reduced budget, in Backpackers TV you have plenty of advice and tips for traveling as a backpacker both in Madrid and around the world.
Know its most important monuments and attractions
The next step to be able to say that you actually know Madrid is to visit its monuments. The best known and also some hidden ones that you have to know how to locate, such as the reader in the Plaza de la Paja, the bronze model of the Gran Vía in miniature or the Fuente de Apolo.
And, of course, the most famous ones like the Egyptian temple of Debod (an ancient Egyptian temple over 2,200 years old), the remains of the Berlin Wall, the famous statue of the Fallen Angel in the Retiro (one of the few statues dedicated to Lucifer, located 666 meters above sea level), the Puerta del Sol clock (where the chimes are given for all of Spain every New Year's Day), the statue of the Bear and the Madroño (symbol of the city ), the Cibeles Fountain (place where sports events are held), the Puerta de Alcalá (one of the five royal gates)…
The museums of Madrid
But if Madrid stands out for something in the cultural field, it is for the quantity and quality of its museums. The capital of Spain has some of the best museums in the world.
The Prado Museum
Possibly the most important in the world for connoisseurs for keeping great works from the classical world of painting within its walls. Inside the Prado you can see paintings such as The Naked Maja and May 3 in Madrid, by Goya, The Knight with the Hand on the Chest, by El Greco, The Garden of Earthly Delights, by El Bosco, The Three Graces, by Rubens, and above all the masterpiece of the painter of painters, Velázquez, with Las Meninas.
The Reina Sofia Museum
The most visited museum in Madrid, even above the Prado. Masterpieces by Dalí and Miró can be seen here, but the reference work in this museum is Picasso's Guernica.
The Thysen-Bornemisza Museum A collection most of which belongs to the Thyssen-Bornemisza family and others on loan from Carmen Cervera, widow of Baron Thyssen. Works by artists such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Picasso, Munch... One of the things that Erasmus students looks for when they arrive in their destination city is to find leisure and nightlife. You will soon realize that this is something Madrid can boast about. The Spanish capital has many bars and restaurants all over its streets, where you can try the famous tapas and, in general, the Spanish cuisine. In addition, Madrid also stands out for its nightlife and, throughout the city, there are a large number of discos and pubs with many types of music, which makes it possible for them to adapt to all kinds of tastes.
Being the Spanish capital, the cost of living in Madrid is higher than in other cities in Spain, but all this will depend on several factors. First of all, the accommodation you choose. A differentiating factor in this aspect is going to be the area in which your accommodation is located and the type of accommodation you choose.
The cheapest and most recommended option for Erasmus students is to share a flat. In this way you will only pay for your room and also the costs of the apartment are shared. Second, the monthly expenses you have. The way you administer and manage your expenses will be very important. You have to think that between accommodation, food and transport you are going to spend about 900 euros per month, so from there, it will depend on you what you want to increase your cost of living in Madrid. The most important advice you can receive is to spend wisely, otherwise you could find yourself in trouble.
Gastronomy is one of the great attractions of the Community of Madrid, as it has a large number of traditional dishes, which you can enjoy anywhere in the city: Madrid stew, Madrid-style tripe, squid sandwiches, soup of garlic... all of them accompanied by a cane, in the style of the Spanish capital.
In addition, culture is very important, and Madrid has a great cultural offer, it has multiple museums, galleries, theaters, temporary exhibitions, national and international festivals, concerts and much more. Madrid is the city par excellence to carry out the Erasmus program. It has multiple advantages for any young person between 20 – 25 years of age: good weather, excellent connection with the rest of Spain and the world, spectacular culture and gastronomy, prestigious universities, pleasant people, numerous quality leisure activities and, especially a lot of university life. All this makes Madrid one of the best cities for students.