We all love Spanish holidays, but if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like living in Madrid, well, wonder no more.

World First’s Simon Martin fills you in. Here’s a one-minute lowdown on Spanish city life.

Getting about

Great metro system – like a small version of the London Underground but cleaner, cheaper and faster. That said, if you don’t have many stops to take, walking is just as fast, as most of the stops are only 100-200 metres apart! You can also get a ticket that gives you unlimited trips across all of Madrid’s public transport, and is well worth getting.

Taxis are great value but the roads are busy. The constant sound of beeping horns is the general background noise, so that’s something you’ll have to get used to.

Cost of renting

Slightly cheaper than London. But if you’re not a fan of high-rise living, you might be a little disappointed as that’s where you’re likely to end up.


You won’t be surprised to hear that it is extremely hot in the summer (in fact most of the locals leave in August) and cold but clear in the winter. Be prepared to see very little rain overall.

Cost of living

Food is generally more expensive as you don’t have the big supermarkets – and the discounts that go with them – like in the UK. However, the quality of the food is probably better.

Food and drink

And speaking of the food, if you like yours in small bites, you’re in luck. Tapas tastes even better when it’s free with your beer – if you’re lucky enough to choose the right bar, you’ll get some free tasty tapas when you order drinks. And if you like cured meat, you’re also onto a winner.

Beers in the local bars tend to be a euro a pop but are fairly small, other than that you’ll pay 5-8 euros for a pint of lager elsewhere.


People – and the vibe in general – are relaxed and laid back. Don’t expect things to happen quickly, you just need to accept that this is the pace here, and you’ll have to slow down to match it.

Best and worst things about living there

For football fans, it’s the fact that football’s pretty much on tap. And forget about your pricey Premier League tickets. €20 will be
enough to get you in to watch Real Madrid.

The worst thing? Strangely enough, I missed the rain. Honestly, it’s very dry there!

So how about it? If you want to try out the life in Madrid, chat to our currency brokers to find out how we could help transfer money to Spain