My Thoughts on Madrid

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- 8⁄10

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!

Transportation 10⁄10

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.

Nightlife 10⁄10

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.

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