Living in Moncloa as an Auxiliar de Conversación

Programs for this blog post

Teach In Spain Program

Authored By:

Caroline B.

Moncloa is a neighborhood located in the Northwestern corner of Madrid’s city center, known for its proximity to several universities. The neighborhood is home to many students and young families — and now me and my two fellow-aux roommates. 

Sunset in moncloa
A Moncloa sunset.

The area

My street offers a perfect mix of function and fun. As far as function goes, I have two small grocery stores on my block, with a bigger Aldi about 3 blocks away. I live between two metro stations: Argüelles and Moncloa, which provide easy access to the 4, 3, and 6 lines. It’s easy for me to get anywhere in the city, and I rarely need to transfer trains when going to a new neighborhood. I also live near lots of spots to get quick bites, probably because there are so many university students in the area. On my block alone there’s a poke place, a kabob place, a ramen place, and a 24-hour pizza and hotdog place. 

To cover all the more fun things Moncloa has to offer, there’s a lively nightlife in the neighborhood. One street near my apartment has about two blocks of outdoor covered and heated patios perfect for catching up with friends for a beer after work. My roommates and I have also become unofficial regulars at the place on our street corner – it’s a lively and comforting place to catch up about our days. There are a few dance and novelty clubs in our area as well, if we ever want to live like the Spanish and stay out after the metro closes and don’t want to worry about taking a cab or bus back to our house.


My apartment

It’s impossible to sugar coat it – my apartment is TINY. But I love it anyway! My roommates and I each have our own room with a window and wardrobe, and we love each other enough to squeeze together on the couch to watch a movie. We also have a system to minimize food waste and kitchen crowding where we each have a day of the school week to cook a meal for each other. After a month of figuring out our cozy little space, we have a routine down!


What I’m near

Moncloa neighbors Chamberí and Argüelles and is just a walk away from lively Malasaña and beautiful Trafalgar. If I have a choice between walking and taking the subway, I’m walking. Not only is walking mindful for me, but it helps me piece together how everything in the city is connected. My Madrid geography has improved substantially since moving to Moncloa and walking to favorite familiar locations. I take walking as an opportunity to familiarize myself with the city and find new favorite spots. 

I found my new favorite snack spot by walking from my house to the Trafalgar neighborhood. It’s a Skyr and Acaii bowl place run by a guy who spent two years in Iceland, fell in love with Skyr, and was determined to bring the high quality probiotic superfood to his home city. It’s delicious and I can’t stop visiting.

The walk to Malasaña is about 20/25 minutes. In Malasaña, you can go on a thrifting tear, join a bar crawl, or get hazelnut ice cream in a cone the shape of a fish. It’s a fun and youthful area that’s bustling 24 hours of the day. I’m kind of glad I don’t live IN Malasaña because I imagine it’s pretty noisy with all the business, but living just a walk away is ideal.

Malasaña on a sunny day
Malasaña on a sunny day.
fish ice cream in malasaña
La Pecera -- fish ice cream in Malasaña.

Attractions in Moncloa

Moncloa is home to several ~really cool things.~ First, there’s el Faro de Moncloa, an observation tower that looks like a UFO on a stick that you can ascend for unbeatable views of the entire city. I went while studying here and can’t wait to go back with my roommates. 

Moncloa is also adjacent to the Parque Oeste, a huge park bordering  much of the east side of the city. This park is less crowded than the more central Retiro and has winding paths for walking and fields for picnicking and sunbathing in warmer months. There are always dogs running their hearts out off leash and you can  usually bet on passing a game of pickup soccer. Part of this park is the Templo de Debod, a real ancient Egyptian temple you can go in for free to see walls of hieroglyphics. If you don’t enter, it’s just pretty to look at! The Templo is also the best spot in the city for views of the Royal palace at sunset.

A view of the Templo de Debod
A view of the Templo de Debod, featuring my mom.
Trees in the Oeste
A veiw from the Oeste.


I’m very happily situated in Moncloa, but each Madrid neighborhood has something special to offer. Also popular among auxes are the neighborhoods Lavapies and Chamberí, also great choices when on the aux budget. The great thing about Madrid’s transportation system is that you’re never too far from one area, and you really do have the city at your fingertips wherever you land.