Welcome to Madrid!


Check out all the information about Madrid below!


“It’s like a dream to come to Spain and stay for a couple of years and get somebody to teach you Spanish music.”

– Lenny Kravitz

Check out all the information you need to know to move to Madrid!


How to apply for a Visa in Spain?

  • You don’t need a visa if you come from:

 – European Union
– European Economic Area (EEA)
 – Swiss Citizens

To study in Spain for more than three months as a Non-European student you need a student visa type.

  • Cost: 

Applying for a student visa in Spain has a non-refundable fee of €60.

  • Timing: 

Normally it takes 15 days for your visa application to be processed, however it can extend up to 1 month in case of incomplete or imprecise documentation. Make sure to apply at least one month before your arrival to Spain. 

  • Documents required: 

 – Passport or national ID valid for at least six more months from application date, and for 90 days after the length of your stay
 – Acceptance certificate from your university/institution
 – Health Insurance
 – Photo ID
 – Birth Certificate
 – Completed application form (can differ depending on your country)

Who to contact: 

Your country’s embassy in Spain, the Spanish embassy in your country, or the Spanish consulate in your country.

Click here to find the closest Spanish embassy or consulate:


What you can/cannot do:

With a Spanish Student Visa you’re allowed to work part time or in a temporary position, the maximum amount of hours cannot exceed 20 hours (internships excluded). If the work doesn’t interfere with your studies, full time work is possible, if you get a work permit.


What now?

Do not procrastinate, get done as soon as you arrive in the country.
  • NIE: If you are a foreigner from outside of the EU+ the usual members, you will have to obtain a foreign student identity card (NIE) at a foreigners office or police station. This cannot be done online. You can have it done by lawyers for a hefty fee around 250 €, so we recommend doing it yourself. It will take up to 40 days for you to receive your NIE. If you obtain a student visa, your residence permit will be included in and you will receive the student residence permit with it. Required Documents (original and copy):


    – Printed and filled application form EX-17 here

    – Valid passport (d-type visa and stamp of spain)

    – Certificate of enrolment

    – Referral note of the municipal registration (volante de empadronamiento: certificate of your regular residential address)

    – 3 photographs of ID card size (32 x26 mm)

    – Receipt of the application fee payment form here

  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP, pronounced like ‘burp’ probably): your ID card, tells you and the cute cop who lets you get out of trouble exactly what you can and can’t do in the UK. Upon receiving your visa, it’ll come with a letter inclusive of a section telling you when and where you can pick up your BRP at the post office where it lives. Do it ASAP.









How to rent a flat in Madrid?


  • Platforms to search on:

Facebook (never pay before seeing the flat first, it’s easy to find flatmates there, maybe an option if you have difficulties finding something).  However be mindful, Facebook is not always trustworthy, although it is safer with a personal connection to the person.  If you’re ready to take the risk, Facebook can be a good option.  Be sure to keep an eye out for groups created by your school.



One of the best sites for Madrid and our recommendation.

  • Budgeting:

Housing in Madrid is relatively cheap in comparison to cities such as Paris, costs are around 700-1,000 Euros per month (900 in the city center, 700 outside of the city center).  For good apartments, start to look 3 to 4 months before moving there.

  • Utility costs average per city: 

Water is around 20 Euros per month

Electricity is around 50 Euros per month, it may be more in summer because of the air conditioning.


Where to live 

El centro


  • List of documents: 

 – Income statement or proof of income from your parents
– Contact information
– ID
– Proof of housing insurance, especially as a Non-EU citizen
 – Payments are easier if you have a Spanish bank account, so provide your bank account information



What is the budget I need to live in Madrid?


  • Basic budgeting per month (in euro)

-Housing : 450/1000

– Electricity : 60

– Food : 200/400

– Transport : 20 (metro card)

– Phone : 10/20

– Going out: 200/500

– Min: 1150 Max: 2150

  • Tips

– Use the app Unidays for discounts (restaurants, supermarkets, fashion, technology…) 
– Whenever you purchase something ask for student discounts 


How to open a bank account in Spain?


  • Should you even open one? 

Opening a Spanish bank account makes everything easier (housing, payments, phone contract if not prepaid), like in France, Spanish bank accounts are often requested. Especially for a longer stay, it’s recommended.


  • Documents required: 

– Passport and/or ID card
– A document to prove your address
– A recent bank statement or utility bill (less than 3 months old)
– A document to prove your employment status (such as a pay slip, tax return or a letter from the government stating that you’re unemployed). 

In some cases, depending on the bank, they must be translated to Spanish by a “translator jurado” (licensed translator).  This is often required and is affordable, especially in larger cities.


  • Which banks:

 – ING direct
– Bankia
– Santander
– Sabadell

These banks are reliable and offer good option for students, especially the ING direct.



What is the local subway company in Madrid?

How can I get around Madrid?


  • Public Transportation:

 Download the Metro de Madrid App or Google Maps.

The best option is the metro youth card for 20 Euros per month if you are under 26 years old.  There is also the annual season pass, with the price of 10 tines the 30 day tariffes (calculate what is cheaper for you, monthly passes or one annual pass) .  You need the application form (https://www.crtm.es/media/143130/ttp_solicitudtarjeta.pdf ), ID, and passport photo.  To get the monthly pass, or the annual season pass you need a Personal Card (TTP) first.

The creation of the card cost 4€.

The remake of a lost card costs 6€.


You must take an appointment to order your card, annual oder montly pass.

  • Driver’s License:

If you want to drive in Spain, you can use your foreign (Non European) license for the first six months. If you’re from the EU or EEA area (European Economic Area), you can use your license. After two years, it is recommended to convert it into a Spanish license.

  • Emergency services contacts:

• Emergencies: 112
• Health emergencies: 061
• National Police: 091
• Local Police: 092

 – Your country’s embassy (lost passport, etc.)



How to apply an insurance in Spain?

For what do I need an insurance in Spain?

  • Renters insurance (Seguro de Hogar):

– Renters insurance is officially required, but often not asked for while renting an apartment (if you wanna take the risk) or might be covered by your landlord.

– When choosing a renters insurance you can opt for buildings cover, contents cover or both

– Buildings cover is insurance the building itself, the content everything inside the apartment- Atlantis, Mapfre and Santa Lucia are supposed to be the best ones.


  • Required insurances:


-The Spanish universal healthcare system (SNS, Sistema nacional de salud) is very good and goes alongside with the private insurances

– Emergencies are treated no matter what

– Europeans are covers with their EHIC Card, only for longer stays a registration in the SNS is required

– If you are from a non-EU country and a student under 26, you can get free public healthcare, but you must register in the SNS

– To register you have to get a social security number at a TGSS (Tresorería General de la Seguridad Social) office. There you need a valid passport/ID, your residence certificate, proof of registration at your local town hall. With your social security number you are entitled for medical help and apply for a health card (tarjeta sanitaria universal)

– Dentists, pharmacy costs and ambulance are not covered by the SNS


  • Private health insurance

– especially as a non-EU citizen it can be favorable to have a private insurance

– Private insurance costs between 50-200 euros a month

– some of the largest health insurance companies include:

Allianz Care


  • Personal/ Third-party-liability insurance:

– Third-party-liability insurances are not common in Spain. Most probably the one from your home country will cover you



Is Madrid a safe city?


In general Madrid is a safe city, where normal precaution should be enough.

But of course, as one of the biggest cities in Europe pickpockets are inevitable and you should be careful in public transportation and crowded places. 

  • Areas that aren’t super safe at night:

– The outer parts of Madrid, require more awareness 

In general you should live your life as in every capital or bigger city.

For more detailed information go to: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain/safety-and-security



How to apply for a phone subscription in Spain?

What are the phone operator in Spain?

  • Phone providers: 

 – Movistar https://www.movistar.com/es/
 – Jastel https://www.jazztel.com/
– Orange https://www.orange.es/
– Vodafone https://www.vodafone.es/c/particulares/es/

Those companies have the best prices for prepaid and contract sim cards, and they are reliable.

  • Apps:

 – Metro App (Madrid)
 – Supermarket App for good discounts (look for the one in your city)
 – Blabla car
 – Whatsapp (commonly used in Spain)
 – Uber is working in Madrid
 – Cheap flights with Ryanair and Vueling 



Things you should know about Spain


  1. Madrid is la ciudad de las tapas, beer comes with free tapas.
  2. You can obtain the JOBO card at the tourist information center at plaza mayor and get discounts and free entries for shows, restaurants etc. 
  3. The Spaniards have a completely different life rhythm from other Europeans. They typically have lunch between 1 and 3 pm, and dinner around 10 pm.
  4. The national anthem of Spain has no words.
  5. There are no laws about public nudity in Spain.
  6. Madrid is in the physical center of the country and the plaza Puerta del Sol is the exact center of the country.
  7. Do not be alarmed by a dirty floor in a bar.  It is completely acceptable and normal to throw things on the ground in bars.  Most of the time a dirty floor means a good bar!
  8. Spaniards own more cars than cell phones.
  9. Spain has the second highest number of bars per inhabitants.





We designed you a checklist to help you through your preparation!


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us!


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