If you are coming to Madrid, finding housing can be a tough process. There are a few ways to go about finding housing. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as “apartments” in Madrid. What we would call apartments in the states, the Spaniard call “un piso” which literally translates to a “floor”. These are not apartments in the traditional sense because these units are owned privately not by a big property manager. If you are looking to live in Madrid there are not houses in the city, there are primarily “piso’s”. As you are looking for housing in Madrid, you want to make sure it is near a metro station as you will not have a car. The Madrid metro website is here. If you are affiliated with the disipulos de Cristo church in Madrid, the closest metro stop is “Cuatro Caminos”. Here are a few ways to go about housing:
- Your study abroad program: If you are coming to Madrid through a study abroad program, many programs offer housing with a “host family” as a part of their package. For more on this see, Harrison Fowlers post on “studying abroad through the eyes of a disciple.” This is the easiest option in finding housing because it is already taken care of through your program.
- Through your network: Sometimes you know of a friend in Madrid or someone with your church or extended network that might have an available room they are willing to rent out to visitors. When pursuing this option, please understand that Madrid gets bombarded with requests of this nature because it is a “backpacking” stop. As you look to find housing through your network, please do not expect free housing. La Micia and I had a great experience living with our best friends for about 2 months. Read more on this experience living with the Mchargues here.
- Your last resort should be finding your own residence. I say this should be a last resort because it is very difficult to find an owner that is willing to rent to someone who is in their country on a temporary basis. I say it is hard, but not impossible. If you are looking to go this route or just like Piso hunting, you can check out some Piso’s in your area through http://www.idealista.com/en/ for more see our post on “our new home: fear vs. faith.”
- You can also take your chances finding a stranger renting out a single room through the above mentioned website. Also a last resort because you will have no idea who you will be moving in with.
If your program doesn’t offer any host family options don’t give up, there are plenty of ways to find housing in Madrid.