Barcelona, Internship Abroad, Madrid, Spain
Hola, my name is Hannah! I'm from the Netherlands and I'm 24 years old. I already have about 1,5 years of Spanish experience abroad. When I was 18 years old, I lived in Barcelona for five months for an internship during my first study. This past year, I lived in Madrid for five months and in Barcelona for three months, this all for my final internship of my bachelor study. Through this blog I can tell you exactly what it's like to do an internship in these great cities of Barcelona and Madrid.
Maybe this blog can be the decisive factor for you! 😉
This is such a great city I will explain to you why.
Madrid is the capital of Spain and the largest city with almost 3.5 million inhabitants and even the fourth largest city in Europe. Sometimes people forget this city, this is very unfortunate because the city has much more to offer than you think. Probably this city is less popular for an internship or city trip because it is not located at the coast but it has a lot to offer that other cities don't have. If you really love Spanish culture, you cannot miss Madrid, the capital is rich in history together with the surrounding towns like Toledo, Segovia and Avila. In addition, this city is super central so during the weekends there is enough time to discover all the beautiful places in Spain. The city has a large train station namely Atocha and there are many daily trains from and to the largest cities in Spain. I have discovered the following cities: Seville, Barcelona, Alicante, Toledo, Segovia and Avila. There is also plenty to do in and around Madrid, this city is the second highest located city in Europe. With no less than 667 metres above sea level, Madrid experiences warm summers and cold winters. The summer starts very early in the year and in the evenings you can stay until late in the parks and terraces. This means that just like a Spaniard, you mainly live outside.
Madrid is situated between the mountains, in winter there is a possibility for winter sports. In the summer it is also great to visit the mountains and nature reserves like La Pedriza just outside the city. You can hike, swim and enjoy all the beauty around you. There is also a lake namely; Pantano de San Juan with a beach, which is about half an hour from Madrid. This means you can still experience the coolness during the warm summer. However, in the city itself there is enough to do and you can enjoy the real Spanish culture. The inhabitants of Madrid are very nice people, they will always help you where necessary but are not good in English. This is an extra advantage if you want to learn the Spanish language. After five months of living in Madrid, I created a long list of the best tapas bars, most beautiful rooftop bars and amazing rooftop pools. I really enjoyed the delicious (cheap) wine that was always served with a tapa. You cannot miss the nightlife, in Madrid you have the best clubs like Teatro Kapital (the biggest) and Blackhaus. If you prefer the smaller bars, I would definitely recommend going around Sol and Barrio de las Letras. This is where you could have found me most of the time. In the barrio La Latina there is the biggest flea market of Spain it is going on every Sunday. El Rastro is very popular and because I love vintage shopping so much, miraculously the location of my house was behind this big market. Every Sunday morning I couldn't resist a quick visit. What also should not be forgotten is the beautiful Retiro park, where all Madrileños are enjoying themselves. Bring your picnic blanket, a bottle of wine and before you know it, you're a few hours away! In short, Madrid is a city where you never get bored, after five months there was still a lot to discover. Since May, I have had friends and family visiting me every single weekend and they were all convinced about this surprising city. Anyway, Madrid will always be one of the best special citytrip destinations for me.
This city is also a great city to live in. Here you can read why.
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain with 1,7 million inhabitants and one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. Everyone has been to Barcelona, for a city trip, a day trip or a long holiday. Barcelona is a city where you will easily find your way as an expat. More than 300.000 expats live in Barcelona, which is 20% of the total number of inhabitants. This is partly due to the fact that large companies are located here because Barcelona has an important port and the quality of life attracts many expats and multinationals. There is enough to do in Barcelona, think of the many attractions such as all the special works of Gaudi, a beautiful park namely; Parc de la Ciutadella and of course the famous beach of Barceloneta. With 4.5 km of sandy beach, it also attracts many students and tourists. Barcelona has beautiful neighbourhoods with narrow streets, the favourite barrios for me are El Born and El Gòtico. These districts are filled with boutiques and cosy tapas bars. It is also great to see the view over Barcelona from different highlights. Think of the Bunkers el Carmel, Montjuïc Tibidabo, Park Güell or different rooftop bars like Edition hotel. It's also nice to get away from the busy city from time to time and visit some of the quieter coastal towns that are easily accessible by train. These are villages where the inhabitants of Barcelona can also be found to avoid the hustle and bustle of Barceloneta beach during summer. In my opinion Sitges, Calafell and Calella are the best ones. If you are a nature lover, I would definitely recommend going to the 1,236 m high Montserrat mountain. This is really worth a day trip and is one of the highest mountains near Barcelona. The nightlife in Barcelona is vibrant, there are big clubs like Shôko, Opium and Pacha but the smaller bars at Passeig del Born are my favourite. There are also plenty of parties at the beach until early in the morning. In short, a great city for an internship that you will definitely enjoy.
Both cities are perfect for an internship abroad. Personally I am a big fan of the capital Madrid. I have enjoyed the Spanish culture here every single day. Barcelona is an expat city, so if you want to experience the typical Spanish culture, I recommend you to go do a Madrid internship. You will be surprised again and again by what this metropolis has to offer. For me, a time to never forget. I have therefore promised myself to keep visiting my favourite city every year. And who knows, maybe one day, I will definitely move to this city.😉
Good luck with your choice!