I hope this information helps you prepare for your stay in Madrid, however long that may be. My experience has been absolutely wonderful, and you’re going to have an amazing time!
- Architecture: Many of Madrid’s buildings are centuries old and are some of the most beautiful in the world. However, this also means that all renovations have had to be done in addition to the original structure and, thus, piping or cables can sometimes be visible. Additionally, that means that the structures may not feel as modern, air-tight, and luxurious as you may be accustomed to. So just remember, while you’re staying in Madrid, you’re experiencing history!
- Accessibility: Because of this historic nature of Madrid’s buildings, not all of them will contain elevators or numerous entrances and exits. In our home countries, we are very used to modern construction but, in Madrid, we have to learn to be a little flexible.
- Space: With 6 million people, not everyone can snag a master bedroom- especially in the heart of the city. While I’m sure AIL will find you the best accommodation available within your price range, it may still feel very different from home and I encourage you to keep an open mind to the population and history around you.
- Amenities: The first time you do your laundry in Madrid, you may notice the lack of a dryer- but don’t worry! This is not your flat/home in particular, it’s the cultural norm. Nearly everyone hangs their laundry, so go ahead and string your jeans up! With this in mind, remember that washers, sinks, showers, bath tubs (or lack thereof), and bathrooms may be smaller in size than you are accustomed to. In addition, pack your lightest summer clothes because, though summers are hot, you shouldn’t expect your accommodation to have air conditioning. If you’re lucky, you may have a small ventilator but its best to be prepared for any situation! The same goes for winter: antique buildings can be drafty, so nice, warm pajamas are your new best friend.
- Dining: On a slightly different note, both lunch and dinner tend to be a little later in Madrid. If you are staying in accommodation with prepared meals, lunch will typically be sometime between 1pm and 3pm, and dinner between 8pm and 10pm. This may seem odd now, but you’ll adjust almost instantly and never think about it again!
Welcome to Madrid!