Welcome back to my second post!
So! Where to live in the city of Madrid? This depends on various factors such as price, convenience of transportation and how close it is to your work.
Madrid overall is a very safe city and there is little risk in walking alone at night after a night out, however there are certain areas where it feels slightly dodgier. I’ll be going into that later.
Let’s start at the prime districts of Madrid:
SOL / OPERA
This is the tourist centre of Madrid, here you have a wide array of shops, historic sites and good transport connections with bus, metro and cercanias. You are in walking distance of everywhere around the centre including Lavapies, Chueca, Malasaña e.t.c. This is also the MOST expensive area to live in Madrid. If you’re starting out as a student it may be advisable to look elsewhere as this area is saturated with Airbnbs that have driven up the prices of long term rentals in the area and made them scarce and hard to find.
Sol is always full of people so it can be overwhelming at times with the sheer quantity of people especially at Christmas as people from cities near Madrid come to the centre to do their Christmas shopping and it can take a very long time to cross one part of Sol to Gran Via.
1 Bedroom flats range from 900 euros upwards and a 2 bedroom flat will cost upwards of 1,100 euros.
CHUECA / MALASANA/ ALONSO MARTINEZ
This is another hip and happening part of Madrid. Chueca and Malasaña with lots of hipster bars and restaurants, this is a great area to live if you want to enjoy the vibe of the city. It’s also a pricey area due to popularity and trendiness.
The only problem here is that it can be quite noisy at night as there are lots of bars and nightclubs and the streets are often littered with broken glass from “botellon” and cigarette butts and vomit, don’t be surprised to find any of those three things (or all of them) on your doorstep even on weekday mornings.
Chueca is famed for it’s gay pride festival which is a three day celebration of partying until the wee hours. It’s almost impossible to sleep during this time so many people opt to get out of the city during this time. I couldn’t sleep for three days during the gay pride festival and many of the apartments are old with single-glazed windows that do nothing for soundproofing.
People let out their rooms for this peak time and prices last year soared to a ridiculous 1,200 euros a night on Airbnb for rentals in Chueca due to the influx and demand of tourists flocking to the area.
Alonso Martinez is just nearby and is a great area to live but also very pricey, it’s more for upmarket wealthy young people and gay couples who shop in the designer shops in the area.
1 Bedroom flats range from upwards of 750 euros and 2 bedroom flats often cost around 1,200 to over 2,500 euros per month.
LAVAPIES / TIRSO DE MOLINA / LA LATINA
This was considered the more run down areas of Madrid Centre, however, they are now becoming more trendy with the emergence of hipster bars and restaurants. Considered the immigrant district, many Madrileños would not even consider setting foot in this neighbourhood as it’s mostly occupied by African, Indian, Asian and Latin people. It’s considered unsafe but it’s actually quite a safe neighbourhood as there are people there at all hours in the street and it’s quite well lit.
It used to be cheaper to rent here but the prices have also gone up significantly in the last few years.
There are still bargains to be found and also it’s worth looking at the La Latina area which is popular for El Rastro market on Sundays and is THE place to be for young Spanish people to have a beer afterwards in one of the many tapas places situated in the area.
1 Bedroom flat ranges from 700 euros a month upwards and 2 Bedroom flats from 1,200 euros upwards.
ATOCHA / MENDEZ ALVARO
Atocha is the main transport hub of Madrid and located close to the centre, just a little further you can find Mendez Alvaro which is located next to a Cercanias station, here lots of Spanish people buy apartments in new built complexes with swimming pools and courtyards.
This area is not so well lit at night and has a bit of an appearance of being a bit more run down but it’s a good area to look if you want something central and not as expensive.
Here you can find slightly cheaper housing from 600 euros for a studio with prices going upwards of 1,200 for two bedrooms and more.
RETIRO / IBIZA
Retiro is a great area and encompasses Retiro / Ibiza / O’Donnell. You get to live right by a park! This doesn’t come cheaply as most of the flats are old fashioned apartments owned by wealthy Spanish people and the rent is quite high.
If you love to go running and spend time at the park this is a fantastic location if you have the funds for it.
1 Bedroom / Studio ranging from 850 euros upwards and 2 Bedrooms from 12,00 euros.
IN PART TWO NEXT WEEK I’M GOING TO LOOK AT
- MONCLOA / ARGUELLES
- IGLESIA / BILBAO
- CUATRO CAMINOS / TETUAN
- NUEVOS MINISTERIOS
- USERA / PRINCIPE PIO
- CHAMARTIN / PLAZA DE CASTILLA
Click here to read Part 2