Madrid is a very big, central and international city. I met friends and friends of friends from all over the world. So I will give you a partially touristy and partially local impression as well as tips. Enjoy my 5 reasons I love and don’t love Madrid:
+ sun is (always) shining
You may think it’s a simple and probably stupid reason. But no, I traveled to Madrid in November, and in Germany and other more northern parts of Europe it was rainy and stormy sometimes even the first snow came down. I was sitting outside a nice café in Madrid sipping on a vino tinto & the sun was shining in my face. That’s a good enough reason for me to put this on the pro side for this nice city.
+ cheap eating and drinking out
Don’t get me wrong you can spend a lot of money in Madrid as well but it’s also possible to drink good wine and have a very delicious meal without becoming a poor person. In Madrid there a several places where just order a drink and get free tapas! Yes, free tapas. And you only pay for your drink. I don’t know how they do it or why but they do and it’s an easy way for all of you who don’t wanna spend a lot of money during your travels.
I will give you some examples for good and not expensive or free food in the section “eat and drink” very soon.
+ nice & cheap transportation
The first thing I recognized was the transportation from the airport into the city. There are yellow busses at the airport they drive like every 10-15 minutes I think & they’re called 24h airport express (exprés aeropuerto). You will find and see them when you leave the airport. There is always one bus standing at the bus station. You buy your ticket in the bus and it’s 5€ into the city center. The bus takes about 20 minutes depending on the traffic of course. And one of a very important factor is: you will have free wifi in all buses in Madrid. For more information check out their website, it’s translated into 5 different languages (Spanish, Italian, German, English and French):
Also the bus system and the metro is very nice and affordable. I paid only 1,50€ for one way and then I could drive across the whole city center, from south to north. But be aware of the fact that the metro doors are closing at night. It depends on the direction or line.
But that’s not a very bad thing because taxis are everywhere and there are not expensive at all. And if you have company it’s even cheaper when you share the price. Within the city center I never paid much more then 10€.
+ international & gay friendly
That’s another thing you will recognize very soon when you are in Madrid. There are people from all over the world and lots of gay men. There is an area in Madrid called Chueca where a lot of bars and clubs are. But of course they are everywhere & I personally love that very much. I never saw a town with its residents and visitors “acting” so natural. The residents turned their heads more because of my blonde hair than because of canoodling gays. 😉
+ party every night
All those points before make this last pro in conclusion of course. In Madrid you can go out every night, every night and people do! You don’t need a club, they just sit eat, drink, love and live. 😍
But every pro has a con to balance the universe. But I will cut this part a bit shorter, you will get it very fast. 🤔
On the streets is a lot of trash. People seem to not care, or they do and then there is no garbage bin or those bins are overfilled. I think every morning there are big and loud cars which clean the streets but at the afternoons or evenings it’s the same all over again.
Because spanish people are very emotional (I like that, that’s not a bad thing at all), they talk louder than others, there are so many residents and tourists, because of all the positive things I told you before those people are out often and late. Additionally the weather is real good most of the year their houses, windows and doors are not that isolated like in Northern Europe logically. Hence the noise!
– unfriendly waitresses
I met lots of unfriendly staff. I worked at this business too so I know it’s gonna be hard sometimes. And in a lot of counties you work in this for tips. But in Spain they don’t so they don’t need to be nice and they are not like for 90% of the times. Exceptions are waiter, those young and old men work in those typical spanish places like in Italy sometimes as well. They are great. I will give you one of the best restaurants as one good excample soon – again in “eat and drink”.
Don’t get me wrong the other not so nice people get their work done but it’s nice to be nice. And it’s nice to be treated well! Maybe it’s me but I believe in doing what you love in a job and in everything and when I see those obviously not happy people I wanna shake them and say: change what you don’t like, change work, town, country, continent, take a break or just smile a bit, it’s not that hard, is it?! 😋
– people do not respect your personal area
To be honest that’s a point you can get used to. And it’s not only me, I talked with some of the foreign people I met in Madrid about this. People in Madrid (maybe in other places as well) don’t care about your personal space. They don’t move from sidewalks or out of a space in a store or bar. Sometime you have to bump into them. They stand there and do not move at all. They do not appolagize for nothing. They own streets.
– High rents
Well, that’s only important when you wanna live in this beautiful city. But all the residents I know and met told me that the rents are very high. I think that’s the case with every city all over the world, when they are attractive in different aspects.