Madrid is the geographic center of the Iberian Peninsula but it’s also the economic, power and cultural center of Spain, Europe’s third most populous city.
An increasingly international city, Madrid has a well-rated quality of life with a cost of living less expensive than other major capitals like New York, Paris and London. Foreign investment has given rise to a number of expatriate population pockets.
Residents--native and newcomers alike--love Madrid’s Mediterranean climate and walkability. No need for a car to navigate the city’s historic thoroughfares where architecture and art dominate. Madrid ranks high as a destination for art lovers. Many streets double as outdoor sculpture gardens. The city’s most trafficked cultural area is called the Golden Triangle. It includes the world-class Prado Museum; Thyssen-Bornemisza, a respected repository for European art; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. The latter is considered the MoMA of Spain and is home to the Picasso masterpiece, “Guernica.”
As expected for a capital city, Madrid’s real estate market contains some of the most expensive properties in the country, and the marketplace is one of opportunity for real estate investors. The city is comprised of 21 districts. Expats, many hailing from Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom and Venezuela, tend to settle around the historic center. Real estate in Salamanca, home base to a number of diplomatic missions and close to the popular Retiro Park, is among the city’s most exclusive. A ward of Salamanca called Recoletes is one of the oldest areas in the district and known for its well-preserved buildings.
Outlying areas like La Moraleja in Madrid’s northeast have been likened to a Spanish version of Beverly Hills. An international crowd has settled in this area of luxury villas, golf clubs and private schools. Las Rozas is another desirable locale for well-heeled foreign nationals with some of the country’s highest per capita incomes.