Houses near Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid

The cost of living in Madrid for students: 10 key points!

Hi there! Madrid is a really nice place to live in, so it’s definitely a good option to consider if you’re planning to move to Spain during your studies. However, a student budget implies that the cost of living is very important, so we want to help you have all possible expenses under control 🙂
When I went to live to Madrid for some months the following questions came into my mind: ”Will I be able to afford it? Where can I expect to live taking my budget into account? How much money will I have left after paying my rental rate and university fees?…”
In this post we detail the different types of costs you will have when living in Madrid so that you can have all answers to your doubts!

Plaza de España Square in Madrid centre

Plaza de España in Madrid. Source: www.elviajeroinsaciable.com

1. Housing

Housing is definitely one of the largest expenses for any student who lives in Madrid. The price per square meter varies widely depending on the neighbourhood in Madrid you prefer! The average rental price in Madrid is 10,99€/m2, which makes the capital city of Spain one of the most expensive in the country (after Barcelona and Gipuzkoa).

If your budget is tight, go for the outskirts. On the contrary, if you would rather live in Bilbao, Tribunal, Gran Vía or Sol (this is, near the city centre) then you need to know that these areas require a higher economic effort, up to almost 16€/m2 on average!

On Beroomers we’re willing to help you find your ideal home in Madrid, whatever your budget is 🙂 You can book:

Neighbourhoods in Madrid: La Latina

La Latina neighbourhood (Madrid). Source: www.madriz.com

Bills (electricity, water, cleaning, WiFi, gas, taxes) can be included or not in your rental rate. Make sure you take this into account when calculating total housing costs 🙂 In Madrid bills tend to be approximately 50€/month.

Our tip is that you book in advance, as there will be more options available and it will be easier for you to find your ideal home. Of course we are happy to help you during 7 days a week! Online booking has many advantages: you save time and money, you pay after the landlord’s confirmation, we give you a 24 hours guarantee after check-in… You can read detailed information before doing your booking request (rental rate, bills, neighbourhood, description of the room or flat, transportation…) and ask us your questions.

Please bare in mind that 99% of landlords will ask you for a deposit at check-in. It is usually equivalent to one month’s rental rate, which will be refunded to you at the end of your stay if the accommodation has suffered no damages (they may also ask for it if you leave earlier than agreed). This means that the first month you will have to pay the first month rental rate plus the deposit.

2. Smartphone & Internet

Did you know that Spain is one of the European countries with the highest percentage of population who owns a smartphone? 80% own one! Internet is essential if you’re studying in Madrid. It’s right at the bottom of the hierarchy of needs, isn’t it? 😉

OCU (the Spanish organization of consumers and users) has a very useful comparison tool you can use to find the cheapest Internet (WiFi and mobile data connections) in the market. Prices for mobile start from 10€/month and you can have 20MB WiFi at home from 26€/month (even less if you share this expenditure with other roomers).

3. Transportation

Madrid has made efforts to improve transportation in the city and make it cheaper for students. There are different options:

  • If you’re under 26, go by the metro, bus (EMT) or commuter train with a yearly pass (200€) or monthly pass (20€). It’s valid for all zones and makes arriving to university or party areas easier. You can check additional information on the website of Consorcio Regional de Transportes de Madrid.
  • Bicycle (Bicimad). Pay only 15-25€ per year and move around the city centre of Madrid (see map).
  • Carsharing. This is becoming very popular in Madrid! Some options are Car2Go (0,19€/1 minute), Bluemove or Respiro (from 2€/h). With their Apps you can find the nearest car and rent it for several minutes or hours.

Malasaña neighbourhood in Madrid

Malasaña neighbourhood (Madrid). Source: www.territorio-hipster.com

4. University related expenses

University is usually, along with housing, a large expense. It is impossible to gather all university expenses in this post, as each institution establishes very different fees (sorry about that!).

If you require financial aid, I recommend you to check grants provided by the government: Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spanish Ministry of Education, the Government of Madrid. Some private entities such as La Caixa Bank also offer grants. There’s a nice scholarship search engine by Universia which can also be useful. Erasmus grants tend to be about 280€/ month.

Apart from fees, study materials can add to the total amount of university related expenses. This of course will be more or less important depending on your degree. To get an idea you can check prices on the popular website Materialescolar.es For example, a common notebook costs about 3€, a file cabinet about 5€, a highlighter about 1€…

5. Groceries

According to OCU survey regarding the price of supermarkets in Spain, the annual cost of your shopping cart can vary from 4.200€/year to 7.006€/year. In Madrid, the cheapest chain store is Alcampo (4.235€/year). If your student budget is tight, my tip is that you try to do your groceries Saturdays in the afternoon (some supermarkets which close on Sundays offer interesting bargains).

San Miguel Market in Sol neighbourhood

San Miguel Local Market. Source: julia-mathewson.com

6. Going to the doctor: medical insurance

Are you covered with your European sanitary card? If not, you can take out private medical insurance starting from 20€-30€/ month (Wiquot is an online comparison tool which allows you to find one at the best price).

7. Sports

Sports service at university is usually the cheapest option (about 13€/month depending on the activity and university where you’re studying). Lately universities are offering a wide range of activities: yoga, tennis, dance, Martial Arts…And most of them have a swimming pool.
If you don’t like the activities or timetable at university don’t worry, because Madrid has a really good offer. For example, you can learn flamenco dance from 40€/month. Gym membership will cost you about 50€/ month.

People practicing Aikido

8. Nightlife & going out

Locals define Madrid as “la ciudad que nunca duerme” (this is, the city that never sleeps). There’s always something happening in the capital of Spain!
There are many pubs with a free entrance. And, despite the fact that the most popular discos are pretty expensive (for example, one night in Kapital costs 22€), actually it’s quite easy to find discounts. Usually reps offer them during dinner at restaurants or even ask you whilst you’re walking along the street. The price of 1 cocktail in Madrid is about 9€. That is more expensive than 1 cinema ticket (7,50€ with student discount).

9. Shopping

There are several brands with competitive prices, such as Zara (basic t-shirts 15€ and basic jeans 30€). What I always do to reduce costs is to wait for Sales (Rebajas). They happen twice in a year: January to March and end of June to September.

10. Travelling (day trips & back home)

Madrid is the Spanish city with the best connections to the rest of the country. If you’re planning to discover its surroundings (you should do, we’ve gathered day trips from Madrid not to be missed here and here) then you will need some extra budget for it. If you’re planning to go by train, you can calculate your journey on Renfe.

Ávila: day trip from Madrid

Ávila. Source: María Rosa Ferré (www.flickr.com)

Are you planning to visit your family? Then I recommend you to check our post on How to find cheap flights for Erasmus! Sometimes flights within Europe are cheaper than bus tickets.

 

Well, maybe you’re asking yourself if living in Madrid is worth it. It absolutely is 🙂 Madrid is a vibrant city, with places waiting for you to discover them. Nightlife, cultural offer, students from all nationalities in the world…New experiences are waiting for you! If you still haven’t made up your mind, read our post on 7 Reasons to do Erasmus in Madrid.

And if you’re determined to live your new experience in Madrid, finding your housing is the best start! On Beroomers we’ve helped students from 191 nationalities and of course we’re willing to help you too 🙂

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