Madrid is a popular city among foreign expats. Opinions differ about whether Madrid is the best city in Spain, but we would certainly rank it as one of the top options if you care about culture, safety and climate.
Here are the top five reasons why you should live in Madrid!
Experience the culture
Madrid has an impressive cultural scene that covers all ways of life.
If you love museums, Madrid has some of the best in the world. That includes the fine arts museum Prado, or the modern arts museum Reina Sofía.
Any tourist can visit the museums, but to truly experience the local culture it is necessary to live in the city for a more extensive period. If you choose to live in Madrid, you will become intimate with the way Madrileños live. You will likely sync into the schedule of taking a mid-day break, eating late, and going out late. The nightlife in Madrid is a culture in itself, vastly different than in other European cities, and certainly with a lot of charms.
Madrid has fiestas (festivals) several times per year, which you can also experience if you live in the city for an entire year or more. San Isidro might be the most famous festival, but August is the month with the most festivals.
Madrid has everything
You can do just about everything in Madrid, aside from going to the beach.
When it comes to activities, there isn’t anything you can’t do. The city is so big that it offers all sorts of entertainment. If you are looking for activities related to nature, you might not be able to do it within the city, but you can do it in the community of Madrid which is the larger region that the city is part of.
Madrid has great facilities for shopping, dining, entertainment, and a massive sports scene which also attracts people. You will never be bored in a city like Madrid, and that is a great reason to live there compared to other cities in Spain.
Easy access to other Spanish destinations
While we consider Madrid the best city to live in, you should still visit all the other regions of Spain. This is fairly easy if your base is in Madrid. You will be living right in the centre of the Iberian peninsula, and that gives you somewhat access to the rest of Spain.
Spain has one of Europe’s top train networks. The high-speed AVE trains can take you from Madrid to cities such as Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga, Córdoba and Seville in just a few hours. More AVE routes are being added every year, so there will be even more super-fast connections in the future. With slightly slower trains, you can reach all other cities and major towns of Spain from Madrid. So it is truly the perfect base to have in the country. There are also train and bus connections to Portugal and France. We shouldn’t forget the massive airport either, which lets you travel basically anywhere in the world. Madrid is the European airport with most connections to South America.
One of Europe’s safest capitals
Madrid is a very safe city. Despite the fact that over three million people live in the city, and over six million in the entire metropolitan area, there are rarely any safety issues. You can basically walk around Madrid alone at night and still feel safe. Of course, some areas are better than others. In some neighborhoods, such as Lavapiés, Carabanchel and Vallecas, you need to be cautious, but in the vast majority of the city, you can feel completely safe at any time.
The two biggest risks are pickpocketing and break-ins, but you can prevent those with some common sense. If you go to crowded areas like Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía, simply watch your pockets, and whenever you go out, be sure to lock your door at home. When it comes to violent crime, Madrid is very safe, one major reason being the constant police presence all over the city.
If we compare with other European capitals such as London, Paris and Berlin, Madrid is certainly a lot safer. And this is a major argument for living there, especially if you are moving with your family.
The climate is Madrid is very comfortable. Of course, each person has his or her own preferences, but most people agree that the weather in Madrid is super nice for most of the year, with the exception of one month in winter where it gets cold (typically December) and two months in summer where it gets ultra hot (typically July and August).
So if you decide to live in Madrid, you can expect roughly 9 months of great weather per year. It rarely rains, there isn’t much wind in the city centre, and the sun is usually shining. Even in months such as February and October, where most other big cities in Europe face bad weather, Madrid is quite decent. If you are the type of person who can’t live without the sun, Madrid is a great place to live.
During those super hot summer months, you could take a vacation to Northern Spain (or to any coastal region). This is something that the locals usually do. If you decide to stay in Madrid throughout the summer, make sure that your apartment has air-conditioning! And during the winter, make sure that your apartment has heating. If your apartment doesn’t have a heater installed, you can buy an electric heater yourself.
Overall, Madrid is a city with a lot of opportunities. A great way to experience the culture is to visit, but the best way is to live there. We highly recommend it!