Moving to Madrid
Expats moving to Madrid will find a manageable, old city striving to become comfortable in its new modern garb.
This commercial and political capital still has deep Spanish roots, and though the centre is convincingly international, foreigners have no need to fear the pressures of a high-speed lifestyle that are so often attached to similar Western European destinations such as Paris, London and Rome.
While retirees searching for sunnier shores and a relaxing descent into their twilight years may not exactly relish the prospect of emigrating to Madrid, it is beyond a doubt the place to go for those looking to further their career in Spain, while capitalising on an attractive quality of life.
It’s true that the economic climate in Spain has been ravaged at the hands of recession, but nonetheless, Madrid is still the best city to find a job in the country, boasting both large multinationals and a fair amount of direct foreign investment.
Thankfully for expats the price of food, eating out and drinking is significantly cheaper than in cities such as London.
That said, expats should also realise that average salaries are generally inferior to major European capitals, and don’t look to be improving anytime soon.
In terms of accommodation, expats will find that quality housing in Madrid can be difficult to find for a good price, and it is important to know where to search, how to negotiate and how to make a deal quickly, knowledgeably and efficiently.
The healthcare system is considered one of the best in Europe, with a high-standard public system available for free for employees in Spain or EU citizens, and private coverage systems on offer for others.
Furthermore, expat families will find an impressive number of private schools with bilingual or full English curricula, and Madrid’s appealing weather (it is pleasant enough to have drinks on the terrace from March to November) means that kids have plenty of opportunity to entertain themselves outdoors.
Do note, however, that August can be very hot, air conditioning is a must, and winters are cold, with the occasional snowfall drifting down every other year.
Additionally, expats will find a sizeable overseas community already established in the city, with nearly a fifth of the city’s inhabitants having immigrated from abroad.
On the whole, expats living in Madrid will find that the city’s rich history and youthful enterprise make for an exciting opportunity for individuals and families, alike.