Erasmus in Madrid: Guide for students
As you already know, Madrid is the capital of Spain and it is one of the best destinations to go on Erasmus. Therefore, in this post we explain everything you need to know to make the most of the Erasmus in Madrid.
Student accommodation in Madrid
One of the first tasks you will have to carry out is everything related to accommodation. Don't worry! Below we explain what are the main accommodation options in Madrid and which are the best areas to live in.
Erasmus flat or residence?
If you are wondering whether it is better to live in a shared apartment or in a student residence, there is no right answer. Living in a shared apartment or in a student residence is a decision that depends solely on you and your preferences, so we recommend that you research and weigh the pros and cons of both options.
If you opt for the residence option, you should know that these are usually more expensive than shared apartments, but sometimes they have some extra services. Some of the most popular residences are: Livensa Living, The Social Hub, Liv Student, Xior, or MiCampus.
Best areas to live in Madrid
As for the best areas to live in Madrid as an Erasmus student, we recommend you to check where your university is located. In any case, Moncloa is another area where you can find a large number of students, given its proximity to several universities. In this neighborhood you will find most of the faculties of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM).
However, there are universities such as the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) or the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) that are located on the outskirts of Madrid, in the municipalities of Leganés, Getafe, Móstoles and Alcorcón. Although they are somewhat far from the center of Madrid, there are good public transport connections. A positive aspect of living in these areas is that they are more economical than the center of Madrid.
Gastronomy in Madrid
Madrid's gastronomy is rich and varied, and reflects the cultural diversity of the city. Some of the dishes that we recommend you to visit during your Erasmus in Madrid are:
- Bocadillo de calamares. It is one of the most emblematic sandwiches. It consists of fried squid in a crunchy baguette and is usually served with lemon and aioli.
- Cocido madrileño. This traditional dish is a stew that combines chickpeas, pork, chorizo, black pudding and vegetables.
- Spanish omelet. Although it is typical throughout Spain, in Madrid you can find plenty of bars where they prepare this omelet made of potatoes, eggs and onion.
- Churros with chocolate. Churros are strips of fried dough served with a thick cup of hot chocolate for dipping. You can have them for breakfast, as a snack or as a snack after returning from a party.
- Beer with tapas. In Madrid (although in other cities as well) it is very common to have a beer accompanied by a tapa.
Leisure and party Madrid
If you like to party, in Madrid you will not get bored. In itself, Madrid has a wide variety of discos, clubs and bars where you can go for a drink or party. In addition, this city receives thousands of international students every year. All this makes the nightlife and student atmosphere of this city unbeatable.
There are many famous clubs and discos where you can go out to party, for example: Teatro Barceló, Pacha Madrid, Shoko Madrid, Teatro Kapital or Fabrik, the latter being very popular among techno lovers.
Cost of living in Madrid
As for the cost of living in Madrid, we can not say that it is an economical city. In fact, it is considered one of the most expensive cities to live in Spain. However, it is true that the cost of living can vary significantly within the area where you live and it will depend on many factors, such as the lifestyle you lead during your Erasmus.
One of the main expenses during your Erasmus in Madrid will be accommodation. To give you an idea, a room in the center of Madrid can be around 500-600 euros per month. On the other hand, as a student, you will be able to access to the youth transportation pass. The monthly pass costs 20 euros and is valid for Madrid and the surrounding areas. In order to apply for a transport pass you have to make an appointment on the website of the Consorcio Regional de Transportes.
In general, the average cost of a student in Madrid can be around 800-1,000 euros per month.
Places you can’t miss
Madrid is a city that, thanks to its tourist offer, has become one of the most visited cities in Europe. During your Erasmus in Madrid, you will be able to know in depth all that this city has to offer (which is a lot). Some of the places that we recommend you to visit during your Erasmus in Madrid are:
- Prado Museum. It is one of the most important museums in the world, and houses important works of artists such as Goya or Velazquez.
- Royal Palace. It is the official residence of the Spanish monarchy, and there you can visit its halls and gardens.
- Retiro Park. This park is the perfect place to stroll, have a picnic or take a boat ride on the lake. In this park you will also find the Palacio de Cristal.
- Almudena Cathedral. Located in front of the Royal Palace, this is the most important religious building in the city. You can also climb the dome of the cathedral, where you will have incredible views of the city.
- Gran Vía. It is the main shopping street of Madrid, and there you will find an infinity of stores, restaurants and entertainment venues.
- Plaza Mayor. This characteristic square of Madrid stands out for its arches and balconies.
Trips from Madrid
One of the best parts of Erasmus is the ability to travel and get to know other places in Europe. From Madrid, you will be able to travel easily both within Spain and to other parts of Europe.
Madrid is located right in the center of Spain, so it will be very easy to move to other Spanish cities. One of the best ways to move from Madrid is by bus or train. To travel by train you can use high speed trains (AVE), which will allow you to travel in a short time. If you want to travel for very little money you can use buses. The main bus company in Spain is ALSA, and you can find routes to other cities for less than 10 euros.
Some of the trips we recommend you to do from Madrid are:
- Toledo. This city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is located less than 100 kilometers from Madrid.
- Segovia. One hour from Madrid is Segovia, which has some incredible places and monuments to visit, such as the Roman aqueduct, the Alcazar or the Gothic cathedral.
- Salamanca. This is a historic university city and is one of the most beautiful cities for its atmosphere and monuments.
- Zaragoza. This city is about two hours away by high speed train. It is a historic city known for its main monument, the Basilica del Pilar.
- Valencia. Two hours away by high-speed train is Valencia, a coastal city known for its futuristic architecture, parks and the famous City of Arts and Sciences.
Tips for Erasmus students in Madrid
Finally, here are some tips for Erasmus students in Madrid that you should not miss:
- Become a member of the student associations in Madrid, as you will be able to benefit from discounts in a lot of places. In addition, the associations themselves organize events, parties and even trips with international students, so it will also be a perfect opportunity to meet other students. The main student association in Madrid is: Erasmus Student Network (ESN).
- Download the Erasmus Play app to meet other students going on Erasmus in Madrid.
- Apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) well in advance. If you don't have it yet, here we explain how to apply for this card for free step by step.
So far our guide for Erasmus students in Madrid. We hope this series of tips will help you to enjoy the experience of your Erasmus+ scholarship in Barcelona, one of the best destinations in Spain to go on Erasmus.