What are Madrid pros and cons compared to London?

Question

My company asked me if I want to be relocated from London to Madrid. Is there any ex londoners who can share pro and cons between the 2 cities?

Answers

These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“I lived in London for 25 and have been in Madrid the past few years. Much as I love the big dirty beast that is London, I am very happy to have moved to Madrid. Safer, cleaner, cheaper and more friendly. London is none of these but not without it’s charms. However if you are not on an excellent salary or fortunate arrangements you are likely to find it cripplingly expensive and hard going. None of this is going to be helped by the impacts of Brexit and rampant corruption. Also the sun shines in Madrid. A lot. And the quality of life in Madrid is much better in my opinion.”

“Public transport is cheaper and you can get from A to B way quicker in Madrid than you can in London.”

“Also ex Londoner! I loved London, I miss the no-gear cycling. Madrid is calmer, people walk slower, and still remember how to enjoy life – possibly due to the cheer amount of sunny days here, and the AMAZING wine, cheese, cava. Having said that, it gets very very hot in summer here, everyone who can flees the city. I also miss the lush green parks everywhere around London (we have parque del Retiro and parque del oeste but London has so many more parks).”

“Madrid is a fantastic place to live and would be even better if you can keep your London salary!!!!!!”

“There are no cons”

“I’m 6 months in .. If you don’t speak Spanish or don’t want to my advice is stay where you are. Very few people speak English, it’s far from an international city that everyone says it is , the British schools are not British schools they are mostly for rich Spanish kids who want to learn English (30% minimum is taught in Spanish by law which in those classes my kids are staring at the walls and just going backwards ) – ours go to British council school and we are considering putting them back to England in a boarding school as I’m now committed to the job , the weather is not as good as people say it is it’s either too hot in the Summer or winter is just as bad as England , to me London is way way way way cooler city and way more innovative and much more entertainment.. Oh and you will likely need to learn to drive and do a full test again where the practical is in Spanish only (most I know have failed repeatedly to pass It and are now forced to driving illegally praying they don’t get stopped). And for me the diet and food is one of the worst I have ever experienced it’s swimming in oil and has no vegetables or salad apart from tomatoes (which to be fair are great) and nearly everything is fried or red really fatty meat.. of course there are some good restaurants .. ok so to be less one sided.. it’s easy to commute around Madrid and far less exhausting than London getting from A to B. Cost of housing is ridiculously cheap compared to London, for what a 2 bedroom apartment costs in London you can get a luxury villa here 20 minutes to the centre .. people are generally very helpful if you can communicate with them , it’s less touristy than say Barcelona which for me is a big plus , there are amazing places to see within a few hours on the train for great weekends and it’s easy to get to places like Mallorca and Ibiza on a plane fairly regularly .. flying back to London is also easy but other parts of the uk forget it ! My natural kids live in Leeds which is almost impossible directly or via Manchester.. and I can’t tell you how much of a pain in the arse and overly complex the visa , tax , moving car plates and all the other bureaucratic processes we have had to go through are.. we are still even having issues now .. and If I hear again the phrases “just trust the invisible process” or “manana manana” one more time I’m going to scream !! So if you want a view from someone who probably regrets the decision there is a list of things to watch out for .. they do say I may feel differently in 6 months .. my guess is when you are over the frustrating part and can speak better Spanish the negatives erode away one by one and you find some positives to focus on .. Would I move back to Brexit British however.. no I wouldn’t .. but that’s not because of London over Madrid !”

“Madrid is pretty chill, people are extremely warm and friendly, it’s safer to cycle, it’s easier to mske friends, it’s less stressful in every way, it’s cheaper. And the weather. Only pros in my opinion”

“Just beginning my third month here, I think you probably want to have some command of the language before coming here, I regret only learning on an app – get a teacher if you do intend to move.
Getting an apartment was unbelievably stressful for me compared to other countries due to the language barrier. Lots of bureaucratic stuff is also only handled in Spanish.
Also, IIRC when I was in London my average tax rate was under 20%. Here, it’s close to 30%. The high tax is fine, but I am not sure how I am going to retire as I think you need 15 years here to get a basic pension.”


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