Flat hunting in Madrid

So you’ve just arrived to Madrid, and you need a place to live. Staying in hostels can get expensive, and you want a place where you can settle down. Don’t worry, I’m here to help. I’ve been through the flat hunting process twice myself. Although it can be daunting to search for a piso (Spanish word for apartment) in a new city while communicating in Spanish, you can do it. This two-part guide will help you find the right piso while saving the time, money, and energy. And you won´t end up with a place that looks like this.

Part 1: Where To Look  &  What To Look For

What you will need:

  • access to a computer
  • separate email account from your personal account

 ** Not essential, but I suggest it because you will be getting a lot of emails through this process and it may get confusing when they’re mixed up with your personal email. It’s a good idea to set this up because you can use it as your go-to email for your English teaching matters as well.

  • working Spanish phone number and phone with about 15 euros of credit (you will need to contact landlords and they will need to contact you)

**  You can walk into any phone carrier store here and pick up a phone for about 15 euros. When you buy them, they come with 10 euros of credit already on them. No phone plan necessary.

First you will need to figure out where you’d like to live. Here is a great map by Pierre Alban-Waters that (in my opinion) accurately highlights the different perks of living in each barrio (neighborhood). Click on the map to view the interactive map with the breakdown of barrios. Websites to utilize:

  1. Easypiso.com

  • Search pisos by map (by metro line)
    • Search criteria can be narrowed by price, number of roommates, smoking/ non-smoking, pets/ no pets
    • You can leave your phone number for landlords to contact you. I received about two calls a day.

** Make sure you ask them important questions because they may try to sell you on a place you don’t really want. I will provide you with a list of questions to ask later on.

  • Must create an account and post an announcement in order to view available pisos
    • Announcements ask for you to post your maximum rent amount, number of months you will be staying
  • Pros:
    • Easy-to-read, user friendly website
    • You can message other landlords. This is a slower process, but helpful if your Spanish is at a lower level
    • Search by metro map allows for you to search for pisos near the lines corresponding with your school


  • Cons:
    • Phone numbers aren’t always provided for each announcement
    • You must pay extra fee to become a “Usuario Premium” (Premium User), which gives you access to contacting other “premium” members whose phone numbers are otherwise hidden from non-members

               ** Skip this. You can always message them with your email and they can contact you that way.

    •  You receive tons of emails and messages a day from landlords and it can get tedious to sift through all of those when they don’t align with your preferences

 ** Don’t worry about sifting through all the emails and calls, it is a waste of your time. Utilize the site’s search feature to look for pisos with the criteria that you want. Contact that person by message or phone call. And when you have found a piso, deactivate your announcement so that you will stop receiving all of those emails. 


  1. Idealista.com
    • No need to create an account or post an announcement. This is what you will see when you first log in.

  • Search pisos by map( by region). To see the pisos in the center, click the “Pozuelo, Madrid” section.

  • From the map below you can choose the barrio (neighborhood) of Madrid you would like to search. If you would rather see all of the results, just click the “ver las ______ habitaciones”. Results can be viewed in either list or map view. If you know what region you would like to live in, it is easier to search by map view.

                             ** I chose to live in the center of Madrid, so I selected the “Madrid” section on the map.

  • Search criteria can be narrowed by price, number of roommates, smoking/ non-smoking, pets/ no pets

  • When you search by map view, you will be brought to a page that looks similar to this. Click on the dots to see a small photo and some info on the piso. Click on “detalles y fotos” to see more photos and information about the place.

  • Pros:
    • Phone number is provided for every announcement. This is helpful because you can set up a meeting more quickly. There is an option to send landlords an email, but you will rarely receive a response that way.
  • Cons:
    • If your Spanish level is low, it can be hard to understand people talking quickly over the phone.

 ** If this happens, ask them if they can speak more slowly or you can switch over to text. They are very understanding if you explain that your Spanish isn’t great.

  Stay tuned for the next post, when I go over the next steps in your piso search!   -Katy Zukas

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