The capital of Spain, located in the heart of the peninsula, is the largest city of the country, with a population of over three million. A cosmopolitan city, a business center, headquarters for the Public Administration, Government, or Spanish Parliament. The city can trace its origin from the 9th century, when Mohammed I ordered the construction of a fortress near the Manzanares River. Since then, the city has evolutionated, becoming one of the most modern cities, but preserving many of its historic neighborhood and streets (like Royal Palace, National Library, or Royal Theater). That’s the reason why you’ll find anything you want here, wheter a touristic trip or a crazy night.
The weather in Madrid changes a lot with the season, so take it into account when choosing the month to do your exchange. Here there’s a description of the average behaviour of the seasons, and some advices for clothing.
Winter (December to middle March) Although it is very cold, winter in Madrid is usually quite dry, and rain is definitely not very usual. It occasionally snows in the centre, but it rarely accumulates. It is worth keeping in mind that the temperatures at night can go well below zero so make sure you bring proper clothes.
Suitable clothing: Bring want warm clothes, including sweaters, and a scarf if you want. Though rain is relatively infrequent, it is recommended to bring a raincoat and an umbrella. You definitely won’t need special shoes or boots. it can by no means be ruled out. A water-resistant jacket and umbrella should suffice, and a pair of heavy shoes or lightweight boots that don't mind getting wet are advisable.
Spring (middle March to May) Spring is one of the most pleasant times of the year to visit Madrid. The long days are generally warm and the nights cool. Large numbers of young people take to the streets for the all-night' and all the outdoor cafes open up. Rain is not uncommon at this time of the year, and days are often quite windy.
Suitable clothing: You will have to allow for a range of temperature. It’s very unlikely to get very cold, but it can get quite chilly at night, particularly if you go outside the center. At mid day the temperature can easily rise to short sleeve temperatures. Raincoat is recommended, as is a jacket to break the wind.
Summer (June to August) Summer is a really hot season here in Madrid. However, this is a good time of the year to visit the city, especially to enjoy the long warm nights in June, when the street life is at its best. In July and through most of August, the city simply gets very hot, with temperature frequently touching into the 40's (over 100 Fahrenheit), so be prepared for it. Nights are pretty much the same, with really high temperatures too, that makes sleeping uncomfortable some times.
Suitable clothing: Short- sleeved shirts, shorts, sun glasses, hats to keep the sun off your head. Sandals are a very good idea, and Madrid is a good place to buy them. Sun cream is also recomended if you’re going to do a lot of sightseeing.
Autumn (September to November) Like spring, autumn is an excellent time for a visit. The city's mood is quite different as everyone has recently returned to work or school after the August holidays, the temperature is very pleasant with people relieved that the intense July sun is behind them. There are also plenty of cultural activities going on. Late in autumn there is always the risk of some rain, but it is rarely so much that an umbrella can't cope.
Suitable clothing: Like spring you have to bring clothes for a range of temperatures. Its unlikely to get so cold that a decent sweater can't cope though. Obviously the later in autumn you go the cooler it gets.
Here we have the average temperatures in each month in Madrid:
-January:9ºC -February:11ºC -March:15ºC -April:19ºC -May:22ºC -June:27ºC -July:31ºC -August:32ºC -September:25ºC -October:18ºC -November:13ºC -December: 9 ºC
We usually provide accommodation at youth residences in Madrid during June and August. The rest of the year, exchange students are placed at local student’s houses.
The summer residence is located in Callao, right in the centre of Gran Via Street, the most famous and crowdie street in the city. The residence is organised as shared flats. It is mixed and it has all the facilities: water, electricity and central heating. You can use the kitchen and its equipment, as well as the refrigerator, microwave, washing machine, TV/dining room. Every room is equipped with all the furniture needed. Bedchlotes are provided but you’ll have to bring your towel. There is also internet access at common areas.
The hospital is 10 minutes far from the residence by metro. You have to take the metro in “Callao” and go to “Diego de Leon”, which is in the same line (5), just 5 stops away.
The residence is located in the in the heart of the city and you’ll find the best nightlife in the surroundings, so you won’t have to take public transport or taxies to go out at night.
Madrid has an enormous and efficient public transport network, so you’ll see that it’s very easy to move around the city. The best choice is, by far, taking the metro. It’s the cheapest, fastest, and most comfortable option. Metro of Madrid opens everyday from 6am to 1.30 am. After 1.30 am, you will have to take the night buses, known as “buhos”. They cost the same and usually do the same route that the metro. Any of these night buses will take you to the residence at Callao: N16, N18, N19, N20, N21, NC2, L2, L5.
Madrid has many different places, but here are the best, and the nearest to the residence:
Puerta del Sol, Gran Vía & Huertas This is where all tourists go. This is the land of the tipical Spanish pubs, Irish pubs, and jazz bars. Some of the most famous are: Café Central, Café Populart o La Fidula. You’ll have the chance to enjoy great live music.
Gran Vía Up, down and off Gran Vía, Madrid nightclubs abound. The boulevard is packed at all hours of the weekend, starting at the metro stop Gran Vía, Callao, San Bernardo and Plaza de España.
La Latina La Latina, near Plaza Mayor, is the best option for Sunday afternoon. When you thought the weekend was over, you'll find madrileños packed into the bars drinking beer in the squares; or chilling at the bars. It's also a great area to get our famous “tapas”, wine, or beer
Chueca Chueca is the gay zone in Madrid. During the day, you’ll find a great place to walk around, get something to drink or have a look at the shops. It’s one of the most modern Madrid barrios in decor, style, and restaurants. Chueca nightlife is crazy, you have small bar, as well as discos.
Malasaña and Tribunal Emerge from the metro station Tribunal on any weekend night and you'll immediately get a feel for the Malasaña nightlife: young, alternative, rocker. This is what you’ll find here. If you’re not into pop music or don’t like discos at all, this is your place.
You will do your practices at Hospital La Princesa, in Diego de Leon metro station. The hospital is a XXI century hospital with more than 155 years of history.
These are the department available in this hospital:Allergology, Anesthesiology ,Immunology, Gastronenterology, Cardiovascular surgery, Nuclear medicine, Cardiology, Maxilofacial surgery, Microbiology, Endocrinolgy , General surgery, Neurophysiology, Hematology, Thoracic surgery, Radiology, Internal medicine, Dermatology, Emergency medicine, Intensive medicine, Neurosurgery, Nephrology , Ophthalmology, Neumology, Otorrinolaringology, Neurology, Traumatology, Oncology, Urology, Psiquiatry, Pathology, Reumatology and Farmacology.
All you need to bring for the hospital is a white coat and a stethoscope. You have to dress properly, but no special clothes are required.
Public and private health
The Spanish state covers the health needs of all its citizens through the National Health System, funded through taxes and run by the autonomous communities.
Over 90% of the population use this system for their medical needs. This system allows the Spanish people choose their doctor, through which they gain access to the rest of the system.
Most patients get an appointment with their doctor within a day or two from the application. Usually does not entail any extra expense to patients and that the autonomous community bears the cost.
To see a specialist, patients must be referred by the doctor, except in an emergency. Unfortunately, as in most European countries, waiting lists for visits to specialists or for voluntary or non-urgent interventions tend to be lengthy. Finally, the Spanish public health system only covers health care (with some exceptions), dental treatment and optical problems are on the private road.
In recent years the private healthcare has increased in importance. An estimated 15% of the population has private health insurance, including the majority of civil servants, who are given the choice between public and private sectors. The insurance can be used either in addition or as an alternative to public health.
The advantage is that private insurance companies have their own networks of hospitals, clinics and laboratories, so that policyholders do not have to wait that long to be treated. The only problem is that companies can insist on the patients to use only doctors who are members of their group. However, most programs that are reimbursed 80% of the bill for doctors from outside the group. Insurance companies are most important private Adeslas, Asisa and Sanitas.
The time zone on the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 1 hour in winter and + 2 hours in summer. On the Canary Islands, it is GMT, or GMT + 1 hour in summer, i.e. always 1 hour less than the time on the mainland and in the Balearics.
Spain changes its time between summer and winter for daylight saving. This means that the last weekend in October the clocks go back 1 hour (at 3am it is 2am) and the last weekend in March they go forward 1 hour (at 2am it is 3am). The most common business hours are Monday through Saturday, from 9.30 h to 13.30 h, and from 16.30 to 20.00 h. Big shopping centres and department stores open from 10.00 h to 21.00 or 22.00 h uninterruptedly. These big stores open sometimes on Sunday. In coastal cities, in high season, shops are usually open passed 22.00 h. Pharmacies open from 9.30 to 13.30 h, and from 16.30 to 20.00 h. In all major cities you can find pharmacies that open 24 hours. Pharmacies follow a rolling late-hour schedule, which is published in the newspapers, and is posted at all pharmacies.
Breakfast is usually had from eight to ten in the morning. Lunch, at restaurants, is served between 13.00 to 15.30 h. Dinner is served from 20.30 to 23.00 h. Many establishments are open continuously throughout the day, especially bars and cafeterias; there you can have "tapas", appetisers, and combo meals.Cinemas usually have flexible hours, starting around 16.30 to 17.00 h. The last showing is around 22.00, although there are cinemas with midnight shows in all major cities. Theatres usually have a single show, which normally starts around 20.00 h.Night time in Spain has a very special meaning, specially from Thursday to Sunday. Pubs, bars, and nightclubs usually stay open until three or four in the morning. In all major cities you can find places that are open until dawn.
Documentation required to travel to Spain varies according to the country of origin.
If you are a citizen of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein: you need a valid passport or ID card. Under 16s can be included on the passport of their father, mother or tutor, as long as they have the same nationality as the passport holder and are travelling with him/her. Furthermore, if the young person is travelling with an ID card, this should be accompanied by parental authorisationIf you are travelling from one of the following countries (Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, the USA, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, San Marino, the Vatican, Singapore, Uruguay or Venezuela): you must present a valid passport, which will allow you to remain in Spain for a maximum period of 90 days.
If you come from another country, you should apply for a visa from the Spanish Consulate in your place of residence, subject to criteria established by the EU. You will also require a valid passport. You may be required to specify the reason for your application for entrance to Spain. Furthermore, if considered opportune, the Spanish authorities may require a document showing the establishment of accommodation in Spain, confirmation of booking on an organised tour, a return ticket or ticket for a tourist itinerary, or an invitation by a third party. In addition, they may also require you to show that you are in possession of sufficient funds for maintenance during your stay in Spain. It is advisable to take out travel insurance for your trip. Given that condition may vary, we suggest that you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirement before you start your trip.
With your student card you will have discounts at many museums, even some of them will be free (such as Museo del Prado, our largest museum in Madrid).
We recommend you purchase transportation tickets good for 10 trips, as those are more inexpensive and are good for buses and subways.
There is a card designed for tourists that offers full access to lots of activities in the city. Madrid Card : Entry to 40 museums, all the guided visits including Discover Madrid program, as well as the Tour of Bernabeu Stadium, Cable Car, Faunia, the nature theme park, and Imax, the most advanced large-format cinema experience in the world. Also discounts in shops. 42€ for one day 55€ for 48h or 68 for 72h
Emergency Number: 112
010 The number for information from the City of Madrid
012 The number for information from the Community of Madrid chemist's http://www.cof.es/madrid
Firefighters Comunidad de Madrid: 085
National Police: 091 http://www.mir.es/policia
Municipal Police: 092
Civil Guard: 062 http://www.guardiacivil.org/gc
SAMUR - Civil Protection (Medical Emergency)
Accidents on public roads: 092
Emergency Department INSALUD
Loss of Credit Cards
American Express: 91 572 03 03
Cajamadrid: 91 519 38 00
4B: 91 726 00 00 / 91 532 62 00
Eurocard-Mastercard: 91 519 21 00
Dinner's: 91 547 40 00
Sistema 6000: 91 355 30 00 / 91 596 53 35
Visa: 519 21 00
Union of Consumers of Spain
firstname.lastname@example.org Silva, 6, 4th B Tel: 91 548 40 45 e-mail
Grúa en Madrid: 91 345 06 66
Last update of data: august of 2010