LIVING IN MADRID / HISTORIC MADRID
With a population of over 4 million, Madrid is the 4th largest city in the European Union. Due to the lively Spanish people and the wonderful 2.800 hours of sun per year, the streets of Madrid are full of people at all hours of the day and there is always something exciting to do.
ACCOMODATION AND HOUSING
Flats or rooms to rent in shared appartments through trustworthy companies:
Staying in a dormitory:
Hostels for temporary accommodation:
AREA ATMOSPHERE RENT* Areas (barrios) in Madrid
- Moncloa/Aravaca Classic, good transport links 400 €
- San Bernardo/Bilbao/Malasaña Trendy, young and modern 420 €
- Chamberí Traditional, good transport 420 €
- Salamanca Commercial, classic, exclusive 500 €
- Centro Lively, young, multicultural 350 €
- Tetuán Popular, multicultural 300 €
- Arganzuela Popular, good transport links 300 €
- Retiro Residential 400 €
- Huertas/Tirso Molina Young crowd, Lively at night 350 €
- Chamartín Residential, good transport links 380 €
* Approximate prices per room per month in shared accommodation
Things to take into account when renting
- Make sure everything works properly: water, kitchen, heating system, lights, etc.
- You also need to be aware of all existing damage before moving in.
- Telephone: Is there a telephone line in the house? It is recommended to have your own cell phone, especially if you share an apartment with people you don’t know.
- Upon paying, ask for a receipt and the key to the apartment.
- You also need to make sure what is included in the rent: are electricity and hot water included?
- Everything should be in writing. Regarding signing a contract, before
- doing so we suggest students take it to Citylife Madrid office for review.
TRANSPORT IN MADRID
Monthly Travel Card
The cheapest and most convenient way is to get your monthly transportation pass, which gives you full access to all Madrid public transportation. The first step is to apply for your transportation card. Once you have it, you can top it up with a monthly credit called “abono” (valid for 30 days).
BiciMAD is Madrid’s new public transport service. It is supplied by 100% electric bicycles: clean, healthy and sustainable method of transport. This service is available for all citizens and visitors to the city of Madrid. It includes 1.560 electric bikes distributed among 123 stations.
With over 15.600 taxis in Madrid, finding a free one on any of the city’s main thoroughfares is rarely difficult. The fare is based on a price per kilometre and a price per hour, which is applied alternately depending on the speed of traffic. Journeys between the airport and the inner M30 area, or vice versa, including those reserved electronically, are subject to a fixed rate of 30€.
The Metro is the fastest and most efficient and affordable way of getting around Madrid. The city boasts one of the largest metropolitan networks in Europe, serving the whole city and some of the suburbs. There are currently twelve metro lines, three light rail lines and a special line connecting the Ópera and Principe Pío stations.
Madrid has a large bus network operated by the Empresa Municipal de Transportes – EMT, whose services travel across the city. Buses go to places the underground doesn’t reach. Although main streets have dedicated lanes, buses can be slower than the tube during rush hours.
This service, operated by the company Renfe, consists of 9 railway lines covering all the Autonomous Region of Madrid. They all depart from or stop at Atocha. In some zones you can use the same ticket as for the metro and buses.
European Health Insurance Card
All incoming students should have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or private health insurance that covers their stay in Spain. The EHIC covers any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your stay, because of either illness or accident. The card gives access to stateprovided medical treatment only and you’ll be treated on the same basis as an ‘insured’ person living in the country you are visiting.
If you need to see a doctor, you can go to any private clinic close to your house and receive treatment. In most cases, you will need to pay up front, and file with your insurance company to be reimbursed.
Accidents and emergencies
In case of an emergency, you can go to any Accident and Emergency at any public hospital in Spain and you will be attended. Billing can be handled following treatment, giving you time to contact your insurance company find out how to proceed.
Fortunately, Madrid poses no particular safety or health hazards. However, as in any large city, it is important to take some general precautions. Always keep a close eye on where your personal belongings are – especially handbags, phones and wallets. Metros and city buses, especially during rush hour, are places where it is not uncommon for people to get their wallets or other belongings stolen. Be aware of the people who are around you on the metro, always have your bag close to you and watch out for people who get very close to you. In the area around Puerta del Sol, at pretty much any time of day or night you should be extra careful and aware of what is going on around you. Avoid taking money out at an ATM machine in areas like Sol, Ópera, Callao late at night. Don’t ever leave any belongings unattended in bars, restaurants, or clubs.
In case of emergency call these numbers:
Police attention, Ambulance, Emergency:
Madrid is the capital city of the Kingdom of Spain and the largest municipality in both the Community of Madrid and Spain as a whole. The city has a population of almost 3.2 million with a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (EU) after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU after those of London and Paris. The municipality itself covers an area of 604.3 km2.
Madrid will surprise you with its intense, enveloping blue sky. With a dry climate and little rainfall, the city has hot summers - the daytime temperature will sometimes get above 35 °C (95 °F)- and cold winters - 6 °C (43 °F) of average -. No matter what time of the year you choose to come, you’re very likely to see with your own eyes the deep blue sky Velázquez loved to paint.
Strategic location to travel around Spain and beyond
With Spain’s biggest international airport, Madrid is probably the most common arrival point for most people visiting Spain. It’s no wonder then, that there are so many tours of Spain that depart from Madrid. The most popular tours from Madrid are the fourand five-day tours of Andalusia. They take in the most famous cities of the region - Seville, Granada, and Córdoba - and usually fit in Toledo and Ronda too! One can also very easily find tours going not only to all corners of the country, but also beyond borders to Portugal, Morocco... and even further afield to just about any country in Europe.
BRIEF HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF MADRID
Founded at the end of the ninth century by Emir
Muhammad I (852-886) as a fortress, Mayrit was already ranked as a city in the tenth century, standing out for the quality of its fortifications. In 932, R amiro II sacked the city with five hundred horsemen. Two years later, Abderrahmán II reconstructed the for tification, inaugurating an era of great cultural flourishing. Around 1080-1090, Alfonso VI entered the city, according to the popular tradition, climbing up the walls (thus the nickname «gatos» or cats, applied to the inhabitants of Madrid today).
On November 9, 1085, according to legend the image of Our Lady of the Almudena was found in the outer wall of the city, where it had been hidden before the arrival of the Muslims. The Virgin of the Almudena was to become the patron of the city, along with San Isidro Labrador, a great devotee of her (born 1082, died 1172). From shortly thereafter, in the thirteenth century, dates the symbolism of Madrid as the «Town of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree», which is popularly attributed to the abundance of both in the surrounding forests. In 1561, Felipe II moved the royal court from Toledo to Madrid, and from the seventeenth century on, because of its central location, it definitively became the political and administrative capital of Spain. The eighteenth century began with the War of Succession to the Spanish crown, which punished Madrid severely.
The nineteenth century also began amid upheaval with the political crises that gave way to the Napoleonic invasion and to the later popular reaction that sparked the War of Independence, started by the revolts of May 2, 1808 in the center of Madrid.
The nineteenth century was characterized by a myriad of social and political convulsions that had, for the most part, the streets of Madrid as their center stage. The urban development of the city and the permanent growth of its population, belong to the twentieth century. Madrid received an massive influx from the whole country in the years following the Civil War (1936-1939).