8 Reasons to study abroad in Madrid | Lifestyle, People & Culture

As locals from Madrid, we have many reasons to recommend you our city such us our amazing tapas, the madrileño lifestyle, the student atmosphere, a wide variety of history, museums and buildings, the Retiro Park and the facility to travel all over Spain and Europe. 

Which city should I choose to study abroad in Spain? This is a common situation when trying to select the city in which you are going to spend at least a semester studying abroad. This semester is not a simple semester. This semester abroad means something you will remember all your life. So let us give you some reasons of why you should choose Madrid as your city to study abroad and why Madrid will change your life during your time studying abroad.

Located in the center of the second largest country of the European Union, the Community of Madrid houses 6 public universities (UAH, UAM, UC3M, UCM, UPM and URJC), 6 private universities (Alfonso X el Sabio, Antonio de Nebrija, Camilo Jose Cela, European of Madrid, Francisco de Vitoria, Saint Louis University, Schiller International University and CEU San Pablo), one of the Catholic Church (Pontificia Comillas), the headquarters of the Universidad Nacional de Estudios a Distancia (UNED) and the Universidad a Distancia de Madrid (UDIMA).

This means Madrid offers the highest concentration of students in Spain and one of the largest in Europe. It is estimated that Madrid hosts around 300.000 students including a remarkable amount of international students

malasaña neighborhood

1. Live inside and amazing student atmosphere

Every year, thousands of international students move to Madrid to study abroad and start a new semester or full academic year. Coming from a great diversity of studies and degrees, people from all over the world land in Madrid generating an atmosphere that enrich the entire city.

Want to know where this cool atmosphere is generated? If you are coming to study abroad in Madrid you should consider this neighborhoods: Moncloa, Malasaña, La Latina, Lavapiés and Gran Vía

tapas in madrid spain

2. Taste fantastic tapas all around the city

First of all, you should learn the verb “tapear” meaning “go to eat tapas”.  One of the funniest things to do in Madrid is going to tapas restaurants to try the most delicious tapas. You will find thousands of places all around the city, places are open almost 24/7 and the best thing, tapas are very cheap! (Try to avoid Michelin-star restaurants for cheap tapas). If you do not know where to start, a “tortilla” could be an excellent option as your first tapa, and of course, If you love the Spanish Tortilla, check it out the post "Best Tortillas in Madrid" and visit the most delicious ones.

Terrazas in Madrid - terraces

3. Enjoy the lifestyle, it will make you fall in love

Walk, walk and walk. People in Madrid love to be outside. During the warm seasons, people love to jump into the streets and go shopping, enjoy the terraces or just hang out at the Retiro Park.

And during the cold seasons… it is the same! You will find plenty of terraces equipped with heaters so people do not need to change their routines. See our post of the "Madrid TOP 7 rooftops" and don't miss it!

Schedules in Spain are way different from most countries in the world. We love doing everything as late as possible, so do not freak out if you find yourself having lunch at 3PM or asking for a table at 12:30PM and they are still serving breakfast. Same thing applies for dinner, where Spanish people use to have it close to 10PM, and getting ready to go out for the night until 6/7AM.

Prado museum

4. Renowned museums at hand

Part of a study abroad adventure in Madrid is visiting and learning the culture. Painting, sculpture, archeology, science and history are some of the attractions that the museums of Madrid have to offer. Not to mention the many galleries, halls and Foundations that offer interesting temporary exhibitions. The Museums of Madrid make this city a cultural reference for everyone. Next stops: Museo del Prado, Museo Reina Sofía, Thyssen, Museo de América, Museo de Cera…

retiro Park.jpeg

5. Retiro Park, the heart and lungs of Madrid

Not only is one of the lungs of Madrid, but also offers culture, leisure and sports to locals and visitors. Among its most important architectural and historical elements are: the El Estanque Grande where you can practice the oar, the Palacio de Velázquez and the Palacio de Cristal, both currently used as showrooms.

Gran Via Madrid

6. Shop in one of the most emblematic streets of Europe

The Gran Vía de Madrid is one of the main urban arteries of the city. Along its more than 1,300 meters in length we can find shops, cafes, restaurants and some legendary local for a drink.

7. Watch football in one of the most important stadiums of Europe

Visit one of the most well-known football stadiums around Europe. You can buy tickets for the stadium tour and if you are lucky experiment 90 minutes of great football

Travel all over Spain and Europe

8. Excellent location to travel all around Spain

Studying abroad means travelling. Madrid is located in the center of Spain and because of that, it offers really good connections to travel around the country. The most popular train stations are Atocha and Chamartín that will connect you with all the cities you may need. 

If you are here for a semester or year, your “musts” are the following ones: Toledo, Salamanca, Segovia, Valencia, Barcelona and San Sebastián. And if you have time enough, you should visit the islands!! (Canarias or Baleares)

For this and much more info and plans, visit our related posts in our blog and download our app Set a foot for free in both iOS and Android!

Comment us below with any suggestions you may have and thanks for reading!