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Revealed: Madrid’s cheapest neighbourhoods to rent a room

Renting a room in Spain’s capital is 26 percent more expensive than six years ago. Here are the barrios where you can get the most bang for your buck.

Revealed: Madrid's cheapest neighbourhoods to rent a room
Photo: Carlos Perez/Flickr

Finding well-priced and decent accommodation in Madrid is no mean feat.

In 2013, the average cost of renting a room in a shared flat in the Spanish capital was €328 a month.

That figure is now somewhere between €415 and €429 according to different property studies, some of which put Madrid first and others second behind Barcelona in the room rental cost rankings for Spanish cities.

International students who were hoping to bag a room in one of Madrid universities’ halls of residence will be disappointed to hear that the average monthly price is an eye-watering €800, added to the fact that there only 18,000 campus beds for 300,000 university alumni who live in Madrid.

If you thought renting an apartment for yourself would be more cost-effective overall, think again: a 76sqm apartment now costs an average €1,231 a month in Madrid.

Graph showing the price increase for renting a room in different Madrid neighbourhoods between 2018 and 2019. Source:Uniplaces

That means that renting a room in a shared flat – regardless of whether you’re a cash-strapped student or a worker on a budget – is still the cheapest option available for anyone renting in the Spanish capital.

So where in Madrid is it “barato” to rent a room?

1. South of the river

The southern Madrid districts of Latina (€369/month for a room), Carabanchel (€355/month) and Usera (€357/month) offer some of the most competitive prices in the city of Madrid.

They’re traditionally working class neighbourhoods with good transport connections to the city centre (only 15 minutes by metro from Puerta del Ángel to Sol) and ‘cercanías’ trains to the airport and other parts of the region.

Admittedly they’re not as lively as the central Madrid neighbourhoods (don’t confuse Latina with the bar-ridden neighbourhood of La Latina in the centre) but the enormous Casa de Campo park is easily reachable and other green spaces are plentiful.

Photo: Javier Lastras/Flickr

2. Slap bang in the centre

Technically Sol isn’t one of the cheapest neighbourhoods in the whole of Madrid in which to rent a room, but by comparison with other central districts, it's possible to find good deals. 

For example, renting a room in neighbouring Huertas – Madrid's elegant literary quarter – will cost you an incredible €800, compared to less than €600 in Sol. Rents in other central areas such as Palacio have also risen exponentially in 2019. 

The advantages (and disadvantages) of living right in the centre of a capital city are fairly obvious: everything within walking distance, and plenty of events and noise to go with it. 

Photo: Kirk K/Flickr

3. Dormitory cities

Móstoles (€317/month for a room) and Getafe (€349/month) are two cities within their own right in La Comunidad de Madrid, each with a population around 200,000.

That means that even though there’s not as much going on as in the capital, both dormitory cities are equipped with everything one needs for daily living, and they’re less than half an hour away from Madrid by train.

Móstoles and Getafe (pictured below) also homes to university campuses for Carlos III and Rey Juan Carlos Universities, so some international students could find good deals close to their faculties.

Photo: Wikimedia

The district of Villaverde (closer to Madrid) also has well priced rooms according to property search engine Idealista (€319/month).

Getafe is a city in the Community of Madrid, Spain. As of 2018, it has a population of 180,747, the region's sixth most populated municipality.

4. Central but cheaper than most other areas 

A ten-minute walk south from Sol lies the district of Arganzuela, an area which encompasses lively and traditional Madrid neighbourhoods such as Atocha (where the city’s main train station is), Legazpi and Delicias

Rooms are being rented out for an average €462/month, although this rate varies greatly depending on your proximity to the city centre. 

Las Acacias for example, which is next to the revamped Madrid Río park that runs along the Manzanares river, will cost renters less on average, whilst offering them the best of both worlds: a huge green residential space that’s still within walking distance from all the happenings of central Madrid.  

Photo: Nicolas Vigier/Flickr




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For members


New rules and laws: Everything that changes in Spain in July 2021

As the month of July kicks off in Spain, we take a close look at all the important changes that come with it, from vaccines to entry requirements, new VAT charges, car devices and more.

New rules and laws: Everything that changes in Spain in July 2021
Photos: Help Flash/AFP

Delta variant expected to become dominant in Spain 

Spanish researchers and public health officials believe the Delta variant of coronavirus, first identified in India, will become the dominant Covid-19 strain in Spain over the course of July.

On June 24th, the Delta variant accounted for four percent of the cases detected in Spain, three points more than the previous week.

In Catalonia, at least 20 percent of new cases are due to the Delta variant, the region’s health official Josep Maria Argimon told reporters at a press conference on June 17th, adding that it would be “predominant” in two to four weeks.

The Health Ministry has so far only officially recorded 62 cases of the Delta variant in Spain, but several regions have reported many more cases than this. Galicia has reported 25 Delta variant infections, while Castilla y León are investigating 83 possible cases. 

The variant has also been found in Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, the Valencian Community, Extremadura, Murcia, Navarra, La Rioja, Ceuta and Melilla.

READ MORE: How much is the Delta variant spreading in Spain?

Vaccines for thirty-somethings

In July, Spain’s vaccination campaign will focus largely on getting people in the 30 to 39 age group their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Many Spanish regions have already started inoculating those aged 35 to 39 towards the end of June, whilst Madrid has decided it will start allowing thirty somethings to book their vaccine appointments in July.

Administering second doses to those in their forties, fifties and sixties will also be a priority, especially for the latter group as only around 30 percent of the 60 to 69 age group have completed their vaccination treatment (roughly half that of people in their fifties). 

That’s in large part because the AstraZeneca vaccine has been reserved for this group and delivery delays and side-effect investigations have hampered its distribution. As a result, Spain’s Health Ministry has brought forward their second dose by two weeks. 

As of June 29th, 16 million people (35 percent of the population) have received their full vaccination treatment and more than half of the population (52 percent, 24.7 million people) have at least one dose.

To read all the latest vaccine news from Spain, visit The Local Spain’s Covid-19 section

Photo: Pau Barrena/AFP

New travel entry requirements 

July 1st marks the start of the requirement for British travellers to Spain to show proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made the announcement on Monday June 28th with regards only to the Balearic Islands, but it has been widely reported that the requirement will apply to travel to all Spanish regions, to be confirmed in an official government bulletin on Tuesday. 

Conversely, Spain added the United States to the list of third countries that are exempt from presenting negative tests or vaccination certificates, meaning American travellers will able to visit Spain more easily during the month of July. 

To read all the latest travel news and information relating to Spain, visit The Local’s travel section

EU digital Covid pass launches

Still on the topic of travel, this digital ‘travel pass’ should make things a little easier if you’re venturing out of the country. 

The EU’s Digital Covid Certificate, as it’s officially known, launches across the bloc on July 1st, although Spain’s regions have made it available to their residents in June. 

In theory, people travelling from Spain to another EU/EEA country will be able to use their vaccination, testing or recovery certificates to get a QR code which allows for quicker and hassle-free travel in Europe. 


How to get a Digital Covid Certificate for travel from Spain to the EU

New VAT rules for imported goods

Imported goods with a value of €22 or less used to be exempt from tax, but this condition will be scrapped on July 1st across the EU. 

This means all goods arriving into Spain and other EU countries from non-EU countries will be subject to VAT, regardless of their value.

This EU-wide regulation will particularly affect businesses that import goods from outside of the bloc and people who shop online on international websites such as China’s AliExpress. 

If the goods cost more than €150 (not including transport, insurance and handling charges) you will also have to pay customs duty.

If businesses don’t register with the The Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS), the VAT will be paid by the customer when importing the goods into the EU. 

Postal or courier companies may charge the customer an additional clearance fee to collect this VAT and carry out the necessary procedures when importing the goods.

New device for cars in Spain

Back in January we reported how the warning triangles drivers in Spain have to carry in their cars in case of a breakdown are being phased out and replaced with these new emergency lights.

As of July 1st, drivers in Spain can use these DGT-approved V-16 emergency lights (luces de emergencia) instead of the warning triangles, although it won’t be obligatory to do so until 2026. 

Photo: Osram

VAT drop for electricity

The Spanish government’s bill to reduce the VAT on electricity from 21 to 10 percent in light of opposition to historically high rates comes into effect on July 1st.  

Last month we also reported how Spain’s main electricity access rates, the regulation costs of electricity which customers pay for, will no longer be frozen as they have been since 2018. 

The changes to the electricity rates means it has become more expensive to use electricity in the first part of the day from 10am – 2pm and in the evenings from 6pm – 10pm from Monday to Friday. The average times are between 8am – 10am, 2pm – 6pm and 10pm – midnight. 

READ ALSO: Spain’s new electricity rates for 2021 -the tricks to help you save up to €300 a year

July kicks off with a heatwave 

As is customary during the summer, July will bring suffocating heat to mainland Spain, with the mercury expected to hit 35 C in many areas. 

It hasn’t been a particularly scorching month of June in Spain but July is forecast to start with temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees higher than normal from Friday, the first heatwave of the year. 

That means that in parts of Andalusia and Murcia the temperature in the first weekend of July could be above 40 C. 

Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP

Ten single-use plastics officially banned

As of July 3rd, changes to the Packaging Act will come into force. 

Manufacturers will not be allowed to produce food and beverage containers made of Styrofoam from July. Furthermore cutlery, cosmetic cotton swabs, balloon sticks, stirrers, plates, bowls and drinking straws will also no longer be made from plastic.

If retailers and restaurants have remaining stocks, they can continue to hand them out so that they do not end up unused in the rubbish bin.

According to the EU Commission, the products prohibited under the law represent 70 percent of the waste that pours into oceans, posing a threat to wildlife and fisheries.

Money for staycations 

Twelve autonomous communities in Spain are offering their residents – and in some cases people from other parts of Spain-  holiday vouchers worth hundreds of euros as an incentive for them to spend their summer holidays in their part of the country.

These offers are available for the month of July, so if you want to find out more click on the link below. 

TRAVEL: Which regions in Spain are paying residents to go on staycations?