Have you ever thought about living in Spain and even more specifically in the capital city of Madrid? Do you want to start planning your journey but feeling stuck and frustrated with a lack of clear guidance? If that is the case, you do not need to worry! In this blog, we will guide you through every single step that is needed to prepare yourself for life in Madrid. Documents, accommodation, job search – we have everything covered!

At CeleBreak, our primary aim is to connect football lovers from all around the globe, but we do understand that there are also other things that must be considered even though football plays a big part in our everyday lives. Moving to a foreign city can be one of the toughest life challenges; thus, at CeleBreak, we are here to help you find your feet in the largest city of Spain – Madrid.

Below we present a list of 10 tips on how to survive when moving to the city of Madrid.


Tip 1: Documents

The essential documents that you must take with you when moving to a foreign country and city is our number one advice for all travellers.

Passport is by far the most important travel document you must carry in your wallet in order to board the aircraft and cross the border. The process is rather straightforward for all passport holders; however, it is always worth to double-check as there might be some last-minute updates with regard to passport policies.

As you probably know, Spain is a member of the European Union Economic Area. For this reason, if you are a citizen of any of the EU countries, you can enter Spain, Madrid, with just a passport or an EU identity card. A visa is not required in this instance if you are planning to stay in Madrid for no longer than 90 days. However, if you decide to extend your stay beyond the three months, you will have to take out an EU citizen certificate. You can read more about extending your stay in Spain, Madrid, beyond 90 days here.

Additionally, if you are from any of the following non-EU countries, you do not need a visa for entering and staying in Spain for 90 days or less: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong & Macao (China), Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

However, you will have to get a tourist visa if you arrive from a country that is not in the list above. Such a tourist visa will be valid for 90 days (short-term stay); however, if you wish to stay in Madrid long-term, and you are neither an EU citizen nor a citizen of the countries shortlisted above, you will have to get a residence permit that is mandatory for long-term stay in Spain. Bear in mind that most of them ask you to be present in your country of origin; therefore, make sure to contact your country authorities before leaving. You can find full details on the procedures of short-term and long-term residency in Spain here.

Furthermore, an NIE (Numero de Identificacion de Extranjero or Tax Identification Number) is needed for all expats looking to get a job in the city of Madrid. An NIE number tracks all financial and legal activities in Spain and is a must for all tax payers. You can read a full guide on how to acquire an NIE number here

Finally, Empadronamiento is the last piece of documentation you need before officially announcing yourself as a citizen of Madrid. This certificate adds your name and address to the local domain system, confirming your Madrid citizenship status. A full guide on how to acquire Empadronamiento can be found here

Tip 2: Savings

Savings should be your number two priority when planning to move abroad. First weeks or even months are always difficult; thus, it is highly recommended to bring some extra money along with you. It will protect you in the event of a financial emergency, which is highly likely upon your arrival to one of the largest cities in the world – Madrid.

According to Expatistan, Madrid is the second most expensive city in Spain, with an estimated monthly cost of living (rent included) of €1783 per person. The findings of another cost of living site Numbeo claim that €700 are an average cost of living for a single person living in Madrid excluding rent. Looking specifically at the costs of living apartment, Numbeo estimates that the cost of a single bedroom apartment in Madrid ranges from €700 to 950, with the apartments outside of the centre of Madrid being cheaper. Consequently, after taking all the numbers into account, €1500 to 1700 of monthly income should be enough for a single person living in Madrid. 

Tip 3: Place to Live

Finding a place to live is one of the life essentials that you just can not survive without. It can be particularly tricky when you are moving abroad and have no idea where and how to find it.

Being the capital of Spain, Madrid is the largest and most adventurous city, offering a vibrant and diverse living style. Thus, it is important to spend some time researching some of the best and most affordable neighbourhoods in Madrid.

Malasana, Lavapies, Chamberi, La Latina, and Sol-Gran Via are the five best neighbourhoods in Madrid, as according to the reviews of people. Starting with Malasana, it is an area for people who want to live their life to its fullest. It is the fun neighbourhood packed with coffee shops, bakeries, and vintage clothing stores.

Lavapies is a part of town that is a perfect representation of the eclectic mix of cultures Madrid has experienced in recent years. Over the years, it has mostly been a living area for elderly people; however, due to rent being a good deal cheaper in Lavapies, young people, and students, in particular, have moved in to live here.

Chamberi is a traditional, serene neighbourhood that is free from the touristy lifestyle of the city centre. This living area is highly popular among the elderly, thus moving here with you family might be a good idea, as Chamberi is a fairly quiet neighbourhood, with lots of traditional restaurants and cultural places to visit.

La Latina is a historic neighbourhood in the centre of Madrid. It is an excellent living area for those who want to experience a vibrant and busy Spanish lifestyle. At the weekend, all bars and restaurants are fully jam-packed with people, with residents also shopping at many of La Latina’s shopping centres.

Sol-Gran Via is another area in the centre of Madrid that is full of opportunities for recently arrived expats. It offers fantastic public transport links, ensuring you will reach any spot in Madrid you want, with plenty of business and shopping centres.

Selecting the best neighbourhoods to live is only one part of a job. The second part requires you to find the actual accommodation and sites where you can book it in advance. Luckily, we have it covered for you, as we have collated three best Spanish websites for everyone who is need of accommodation in Madrid.

Spain HousesNestpick, and Idealista are the best English websites to search for a place to live in Madrid. The average monthly costs vary depending on the neighbourhood and the condition of the flat.

Tip 4: Job Search

A job hunt is the next obvious step after you have found the apartment to live. Finding a job for an expat is always difficult, but Madrid offers plenty of opportunities for the right candidates, with good work history and solid education. The best thing about looking for a job in Madrid is that there are loads of companies and businesses that hire only English speaking candidates.

Job Searchine is Spain’s largest online job search platform, where you can find plenty of opportunities depending on  your field and qualifications. Think Spain and Jobs The Local are the other two great job search engines to land your first contract in Madrid. 

Tip 5: Spanish Bank Account

A local bank account in a country of residence is always handy to have for dealing with mundane everyday tasks such as paying the utility bills and receiving your monthly paycheck.

You can open either a non-resident or a resident bank account while staying in Madrid. In a case of a non-resident account, you only need to go this route if you are yet to receive your NIE (see above). In such a case, after receiving your NIE, you will have to switch your bank account to a resident one. In contrast, if you already have your NIE, you can open a resident bank account straight away.

In addition to an NIE, you will also need the following documents: proof of identity (passport), proof of address, and proof of employment status (student card, job contract, unemployment documentation).  BBVASantander, CaixaBank, and Banco Sabadell are the most popular banks in Spain.

You can read more about opening a bank account in Spain here.

Tip 6: Health Insurance

The path to happiness lies in good health, thus looking after yourself is as important as anything else while settling into your new surroundings. Finding the right clinic and doctor can be especially tricky for an expat; therefore, we gathered all the necessary information so that you can prepare beforehand.

Every officially registered resident in Madrid is eligible for public health services, but contracting the private health insurance will ensure you get faster access to the doctors and, in most instances, more thorough medical examination. It is important to note that private health insurance is a must prerequisite for every non-EU citizen in order to complete your visa application process.

Sanitas, Adeslas, and AXA are the top three recommended health insurance companies in Spain. Additionally, Unidad Medica and Hospital General Gregorio Maranon are the best-rated health centres in Madrid, offering health services in both Spanish and English. 

You can find even more information on health insurance in Spain here

Tip 7: Spanish Language Courses

Polishing your Spanish language skills is another important tip for anyone thinking about moving to Spain. The more fluent you are, the bigger and better opportunities will open to you. Additionally, it ensures smoother assimilation in the country’s social life, meeting new people and feeling that you belong. For this reason, we have collated several Spanish language courses that are taught in Madrid, which are specifically designed for expats or international students.

Estudio Sampere and Lingua Schools are the two most reputable Spanish language schools in Madrid that will help you master this beautiful language in no time.

Tip 8: Schooling Options

If you are planning to move to Madrid with small children, choose the right school will be at the top of your checklist. In addition to the academic side of things, they will have to adapt to a new Spanish environment, with school being the main centre that will influence your child’s well-being. 

There are three types of school in Madrid: state schools (bilingual or monolingual), private schools (mostly bilingual), and private bilingual schools. Here you can find a list of every International School in Madrid. 

Tip 9: Sports in Madrid

After all of your hard work of dealing with stress that comes along when moving to a new place, it is time to relax and clear your mind. And what is a better way to relax than spending a day partaking in sporting activities? Madrid is renowned for not only being the capital of Spain but also the capital of sports.

Perhaps, there is no need to remind that two of the most historical football clubs in Europe are from Madrid. For this reason, we encourage you to try out our Pick Up football service, which provides people from all over Madrid with an opportunity to play football for free. In addition, there are plenty of other sporting activities you can get involved during your stay in Madrid, such as running, which can be found in more detail here

Tip 10: Going Out in Madrid

After doing some strenuous physical activity, it is time to enjoy an amazing nightlife that Madrid has to offer. Being the capital city of Spain, Madrid has plenty to offer in terms of its late evening activities, but we should not forget football, which can be watched in one of many bars in Madrid.

Living in Madrid will provide you with fascinating experiences, so make sure you make the most of your visit, whether it be short or long-term. 


If you would like to learn more about playing football while living in Madrid, visit our website and download our app to get started.

[maxbutton id=”2″ ]