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Mathilde: The Notebook Madrid

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Madrid makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Madrid, etc.

I am French, married with 4 children. I first studied economics in Madrid in 1985 and then I came back with my husband to work in an advertising agency. After travelling to Belgium and France we came back to Madrid 15 years ago for my husband’s job.

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
After writing a guide for the editorial Hachette Group (A great week-end in Madrid), I decided to write my own blog,, to give the expat community all the addresses, tips and hints that would help them to live and enjoy Madrid.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

Tell us about the ways your new life in Madrid differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

I am from Grenoble (France), but I have always thought that Madrid was the perfect city to live in. The expat community is very friendly and life here is much easier than in Paris or Grenoble. Beautiful weather, perfect mix between urban lifestyle and nature, nice people…

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Madrid? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

I was fully prepared and I wouldn’t change anything. I might have wanted my children to study in a Spanish primary school when they were younger. That would have helped us to meet Spanish people.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

The first year I was in Madrid, I went to a homeware shop and asked for the cojones instead of cojines !

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Madrid?

  • Learn Spanish
  • Be prepared to the different meals and shops opening shedules
  • Enjoy the natural surroundings of Madrid

How is the expat community in Madrid? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

It is very easy to meet people from the expat community. They are open minded.

How would you summarize your expat life in Madrid in a single, catchy sentence?

Life in Madrid is the perfect balance between urban lifestyle and nature. Spanish people are very nice, friendly and welcoming.

Jacques Paillard

"At the InterNations Events, I didn't only enjoy dancing the night away at some great venues, but I also got to know some great friends. "

Katharina Berbner

"Thanks to InterNations, I found a good language school for expats to take intensive classes in Spanish and socialize a bit more. "

Global Expat Guide