As I prepare to leave the city I’ve called home for the last month, I find myelf reflecting on my Madrid life.
This was my first time living in such a large city and i was surprised how much I liked it.
I’m at a great point in my life where I can move my life anywhere. After graduation in December, I can pick any city I want to go start my career. The question is if Madrid makes the cut.
Safety is always a concern for me as a young woman. I never felt like I was in danger in Madrid. Pick pocketing is very common here, but there is a lot you can do to protect yourself from that (keep an eye out for my series “How to get robbed in Spain”- coming soon!).
Cultural Activities 10⁄10
Madrid is full of cultural events. There are museums, shows concerts, beautiful parks and plenty of other activities I have yet to explore. My friends here say Madrid is the main city musicians come to when they tour in Spain. Bonus!
Possibly my favorite part of Madrid. The metro is easy to use, clean, well connected and affordable. It closes at 2 am and reopens at 6 am so you can easily avoid taking a taxi if you have a late night out planned.
Speaking of late nights… I’m not one to go out all the time, but I do recognize that a city’s nightlife is an important factor for 20 somethings picking a home. Madrid will not disappoint. There are plenty of bars and clubs where you can have a good time without spending a fortune. If you don’t mind getting there a little early (which is before 130 am by Spain standards) a promoter can generally get you reduced cover and a couple free drinks.
Food and drink 6⁄10
Okay, I may not be the best one to report on this since my options were substantially limited. This is a tough city to be a vegetarian in. I was always able to find something, but there were a lot of times when it was more than a meal I enjoyed. I have never considered myself a picky eater, but here it seems like all of the things I dislike (mayonnaise, hard boiled eggs and onions( make up the base of vegetarian dishes. The meals I’ve eaten at people’s homes have always been delicious, but eating-out vegetarian on the cheap is a struggle in Madrid.
Overall location and climate 8⁄10
Madrid is very well connected to the rest of Spain. It is easy to hop on a train⁄bus⁄plane to just about anywhere in the country.
I’ve only lived here for a month, so I can’t comment on the winter months, but I like the weather here for the most part so far. My wild hair loves the dry heat but my body detests the flip-flopping between hot and chilly in June.
One major downside is that Madrid is hours away from a beach – something I’m quick to notice having lived in San Diego all my life.
Job opportunities 6⁄10
Being the capital, Madrid has more opportunity than other places in Spain, but it is a country in turmoil. The friends I made here are all looking for jobs in London and say many others are doing the same. One guy I met is a nurse that has been unemployed for a year – even what we consider to be a recession-proof job isn’t safe here. My room mate and I met a man from Mexico on the metro who said he wants to move back to Mexico to get a better job, but he doesn’t want to deal with the cartels.
All-in-all, Madrid is a very entertaining, well-connected city but life is challenging here for vegetarians and job opportunities are iffy. You’re still on my list Madrid, but I don’t see you on the top of it.