Before You Go to Madrid
Before You Get on the Plane
Before you relocate to Madrid, make sure you have the proper visas and documentation - it is a good idea to have a checklist. The documentation that is required varies according to your country of origin.
If you are an EU citizen or if your country is a part of the Schengen group (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) you will only need a valid passport or ID card to move to Spain.
However, if you are from another country, the maximum stay in Madrid without a permanent visa is 90 days. For a visit of three months, you’ll need a tourist visa form (see below), as well as your passport. For more information on moving to Madrid for more than 90 days, please read on to Tips and Advice.
We reccommend seeking out temporary accommodation before you arrive in Madrid. The city is made up of many different neighborhoods as it is quite large and rich with history, so you'll want time to explore them all before you commit. Stay with FlatClub and you'll get the opportunity to understand Madrid better than the average person!
Have a check-up with your doctor and dentist before you go. Also stock up on prescriptions to take with you - you'll most likely be able to get them while staying in Madrid but it's just another thing to worry about while you're there.
Receive all necessary immunizations before travel, and check with your local insurance in case they have coverage that would apply in the Spain. Make sure you have your doctor’s international phone number in case you have a medical emergency and a doctor in Madrid would need to obtain your medical records from your doctor at home.
You’ll find that many Spanish citizens in Madrid speak English. However, you cannot rely on this. It’s therefore a good idea to brush on some basic Spanish phrases before you go. This way, you can be sure to get around comfortably and converse with the locals on your arrival in Madrid.
The main airport in Madrid is the Barajas airport. The Barajas airport is the largest and busiest airport in Spain and connects a whole range of different airlines travelling to various destinations. This airport has 4 terminals and services both national and international traffic.
Madrid-Barajas airport also has great links to the centre of Madrid. It is very quick and easy to get to the heart of the Spanish city by car (only 20 minutes). Alternatively, a straight Metro line runs frequently from the airport to the centre of Madrid, taking around an hour.
Another way of travelling to the Spanish capital is via train. From Paris there are TGV trains that travel to Irun, which is then connected to Madrid through a direct high speed train. There are also several other rail connections from various European cities to Madrid. If you have time and you like a view, travelling by train to Madrid may well be for you a particularly enjoyable transport solution. When moving to Madrid, it’s also a great way to transport all your belongings, without baggage allowances!
The most important numbers to remember in Spain are the following:
There are a few practical tips to keep you safe when travelling in Madrid. For instance, avoid going out by yourself at night, and don’t carry excessive cash on your person. Also, make sure that you don’t have your valuables on display, especially when using public transport.
Some neighbourhoods have a reputation for being more unsafe than others. For this reason, be extra wary when around the following Metro stops: Sol, Lavapies, La Latina, and Noviciado. It is also a good idea to have a constant eye on your belongings at the flea market, El Rastro, as it is known to be a hotspot for pickpockets.