Finding student accommodation in Spain

The insider’s guide

Finding student accommodation in Spain

Amongst Spain’s most popular student cities, Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid top the list. With its laid-back charm, late mornings, afternoon siestas, cheap tapas, sangria and world-renowned fiestas, Spain epitomises the student’s paradise; with 51,000 students arriving each year, it’s certainly a popular choice.

For this reason, you must be prepared and do sufficient research to make the most of your experience. This is especially true in regards to accommodation. Here are 3 tips to bear in mind when choosing your accommodation.

1. The early bird catches the worm

It’s worth remembering that due to the large number of students arriving at a similar time, accommodation gets booked up quickly. Fortunately, the internet is our friend meaning there are several ways to find and book your accommodation in Spain.

Having said this however, it is up to you to decide whether you prefer to find accommodation before you leave, or stay in a hostel for a couple of days while flat searching. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

International students who are travelling a long distance often prefer to look for and secure accommodation before they leave their home country, while EU students may be happier to find somewhere to live upon arrival. There is no right or wrong way to go about the process, but you need to remember that the best, most affordable flats are likely to be snapped up by those who started looking early.

2. Location, location, location

Flat hunting is tiring and the more you search the more tired you are going to get. This may result in you signing a contract for an apartment you’re not that keen on, in the middle of nowhere. This is why it is so important to have a basic idea of which neighbourhood you want to live in, especially in Spain, where every neighbourhood has its own unique style and vibe.

What are your priorities for location? Do you want to be able to roll out of bed 10 minutes before your lecture starts, or do you want to be in the heart of the vibrant student nightlife? Ask yourself these questions and you can narrow your search.

The best way to find this information is through word of mouth. Where do most students live? What are the names of the neighbourhoods closest to the university? You will no doubt learn all this information in your first week in Spain if you ask the right questions, or you can do a google search if you want to find accommodation before you arrive.

3. Before the deal goes down

So you’ve found a great apartment in a cool neighbourhood, but is there anything else you need to know about your new home for the next year? The answer is yes. Ask your landlord the following (in Spanish, if you can):

  • Is it furnished? Perhaps an obvious question, but you don’t want to fly halfway across the world only to discover that there is no bed in your bedroom or sofa in your lounge. Strangely enough, some kitchens in Spanish flats come without an oven, something for the chefs amongst you to bear in mind.
  • Does the rent include bills or not? Ideally, you want to find a place with the bills included, this means that you can have the heating on in the chilly Spanish winters (yes it does get very cold), without worrying too much.
  • Is it for a one bedroom apartment or for a shared student flat? This is important because not only will this affect the price, but also you’ll want to know if you’re living with other students or with young professionals. Remember, if you’re wanting to live the student lifestyle, perhaps looking for a student-only flat is the better option.
  • Is the platform you chose to book with trustworthy? If you’re using a website, agent or company you’re unfamiliar with you should run a quick search for them online. Also, find out if there are any additional agency fees before you sign anything.

Once you are happy with your choice, you can sit back, relax and crack open a cerveza to celebrate.


Article written by Francisco Peres of Uniplaces , the global trusted brand for student accommodation.

Image: [Sebastian Dubiel ]

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