5 Reasons Why You Should Move to Madrid
Madrid is a city that juggles both the modern and the ancient. While Spain’s capital may boast international connections that bring people in from all over the globe, it’s surprisingly slow-paced much like the Spain of old. Here, contemporary architecture mixes with streets that are hundreds of years old and traditions, like the nation’s Easter customs, which can date all the way back to the Middle Ages. Making the decision to settle in Madrid may turn out to be the best thing you ever do, and here’s 5 reasons why:
1. Centrally located
Situated smack in the middle of Spain, Madrid is ideally placed for someone who is looking to do a lot of traveling. You’ll find cheap, and direct, flights to almost every major city in Europe and a train system that is both built for local and out-of-country travel. Trains are fast, efficient, and modern and airlines compete constantly to offer prices that are surprisingly easy on your wallet (we’re talking £30 tickets). So, while living in Spain may often make you feel like you’re worlds away from everything you once knew, large swaths of the world are actually only a journey of a few hours! Let’s just say you’ll be spending very few weekends at home in your Madrid flat.
2. Culture, culture, culture
Spaniards pride themselves on having a strong, vibrant culture, whether they’re talking bullfighting, art, or books. Madrid itself offers an endless array of choices for the cultural junkie. Check out Spain’s national dance companies—most of which are based in Madrid—or go to one of the city’s many museums. If you like history, Madrid’s got plenty for that. If modern art is more your scene, the city has you covered! And consider this: you’ll be walking the very same stomping grounds that literary legends like Miguel de Cervantes and Ernest Hemingway once did. That alone should satisfy your culture-loving soul.
3. Time goes slowly
If you’re coming from the U.S., you are probably used to a lifestyle where everything seems to be on the go. You get your meals on the go, your coffee on the go, and probably rarely find the time to stop and take a breather. This way of life can definitely burn you out and Madrid may be the perfect antidote to patch you right back up. Time definitely functions differently in Madrid and rushing about doesn’t fit in with the overall chill vibe. ‘What’s the hurry?’ someone may ask you if they see you running off to be on time for an appointment. That’s because, in Madrid, being late isn’t really a thing. You are expected to enjoy life, to take it slow if you like, and to enjoy one more pint before heading back to work. While this may seem odd to an American like you or me, it makes for a much healthier, happier lifestyle!
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4. International scene
In order to improve your language skills you’ll want to make sure you have local friends in Madrid that are native Spanish speakers. But, you’ll probably be surprised at how diverse your pool of acquaintances will get after only a short time in the city. Madrid is a top location for students from all over Europe, and is also Spain’s commercial and political capital—which means people come to work here from around the globe. So, whether you’re studying in Madrid for a year or embarking on a new career path, you’ll have an international roster of friends as well as opportunities to learn about languages and cultures outside of Spain’s!
5. Exciting nightlife
Trust me, you haven’t experienced exciting, over-the-top nightlife until you’ve been to Madrid. Since everything seems to get started later here, that means that revelries also continue long into the night and…erm…into the morning. Locals eat dinner at around 10 and most people won’t be caught dead in a bar before midnight and would never show their faces in a club before 2:30 in the morning. Yes, that’s right, you’ll be partying until 6 a.m., my friend. So be prepared to build up some serious partying stamina while in Madrid, the hub of Spain’s exciting nightlife. Seems pretty obvious that no one would really know how to party quite like the inventors of the fiesta themselves: the Spaniards.
Do you live in Madrid? What are some of your favorite parts about Spain’s lovely capital? What tips can you offer to fellow expats considering making the move?