Now that I’ve moved on from finding an apartment I can work with here in Madrid, I’ve set my sights on other important matters. As much as some people wouldn’t think having a connected mobile phone is important, to me it’s paramount that I have service. Considering how busy life can be here, there are times I won’t be home until 12 hours after I initially left. Google maps, checking emails, texts, and even search engines all come in handy while navigating the streets here. For that reason, I made sure my phone was up and running again today. Thankfully, as I was here not too long ago on an active plan, I managed to recharge my old sim card with some credit. For those of you moving to the city this year, or with plans to do so soon, I recommend Yoigo for Spain-wide use. It’s cheap, has good service where you need it, and is easy to set up!
Phone? Down. Next? Metro pass. Madrid recently introduced a special card for those who buy the cheapest and most central metro pass, also known as the “Zone A” pass.
Zone A passes run around 57 euros per month, though those who are under a specific age (about 21) are lucky enough to get it for even cheaper. The pass covers anything within the “A” limits, which is most things in the city center. If your workplace happens to be in “B1”, you pay a little more (about 5-10 euros more), and “B2” candidates pay around 72 euros. Sometimes, it helps to have the more expensive ones (particularly if you like to hike out in the mountains a lot), but the cheaper passes are fairly-priced and still highly useful. In addition, the city’s also recently introduced a helpful online method of ordering the card, which I’ve done a few days ago. I’m still waiting, but hoping it comes in soon.
Last, but certainly not least, is the gym pass. Initially, it can seem daunting to find a good gym that has flexible plans, rates, and enough equipment given the size of some of these places. I’ve been directed to Holiday Gyms over and over, as apparently they offer student rates and special rates at certain times of the year. The gym is also open as much as gyms “back home” are, closing later at night. They’re easy to work with, and because there are several locations in Madrid, it’s easy to find one near you. I happened to find two within a 10-15 minute walk from me, which is great! Though I haven’t actually been there yet, I’m hoping this is my next stop.
However, I’ve been torn between this option and finding a polideportivo. A “polideportivo” is a sports complex with regular gym facilities, pools, courts, nets, etc. As someone who grew up playing (and still plays) basketball, tennis, and swimming, it seems like the perfect ideal. You can pay daily, monthly, and yearly rates here, and they’re usually cheaper than regular gyms! There are a lot of these complexes around the city, so they’re usually even easier to find than regular gyms. The catch? You could be unlucky in being a quick walk away from one, as I may be! The specific part of Madrid that I live in doesn’t seem to have one as close by, as far as I know (so far), despite the best sports center being nearby. Unfortunately, it’s mostly for professional use, though I’ve made it my mission to find out the truth for myself!
In any case, while this isn’t the most exciting post I’ve made to date, it’s a real insight into what I’ve been doing at the moment. As I start work next week, I’ve been dealing with learning about the neighbourhood, doing paperwork, and finalizing some things before life gets truly hectic. It’s been surprisingly tiring, but I’m loving the need to explore and learn about my surroundings again. The navigator in me is content… for now!
How is the metro and bus lines around madrid? I’m always curious to know about these things – whether they are reliable and affordable!
They’re great. Usually bus stops have little indicators telling you when the next bus comes, but it can be a little off (sometimes it jumps ahead or back). Metros and buses are very frequent though. The metro pass covers it all, so I think it’s affordable! I love public transportation in Madrid.
I want to find a gym too! The only thing is I’m pretty sure there aren’t any within a 15-minute walk, which discourages me from going!
Yeah, I definitely need to be walking distance from one around here as well! I think you probably do have one around you – they just may not be the big chains, though it would be good to check! I thought the closest one to me was about 10 minutes away until I researched more and saw the same chain had one a 2 minute walk away.
Great blog with helpful info! I brought an unlocked iPhone with me…is it really as easy as buying a SIM card and calling card? Or how exactly would you recommend going about that process?
I would love to travel. I hope the travels are going very well. It is nice to have cellphone communication.