Madrid: Business Hub of the Iberian Peninsula


Even though the city is a famous travel destination offering an amazing cultural experience with some of the most impressive art collection displayed in Madrid museums, it is important not to neglect the fact that Madrid is an urban, fast-growing city, which represents a significant part of the business world in this part of Europe.

Being an influential accommodation provider and offering apartments in the center of Madrid, we have direct experience with travelers, and we get their feedback on how and why they travel to Madrid.

Being such an important business hub of the Iberian Peninsula, Madrid is an excellent choice to grow, present, develop and promote your business. You will get the opportunity to develop professionally, to learn from the business leaders and to nurture skills that are necessary in the modern business world.


Why is Madrid considered a business hub?

Ever since it became the capital of Spain in the 16th century, Madrid has been growing. The population has continuously been on the rise, and so has the infrastructure needed for such a growing population. Being the country capital, certainly made the city an essential center for numerous events, festivities, and in general, it became a desirable place to live in.

The industrial sector started to develop more prominently in the 20th century, which made the city economy and influence even stronger. Modern times have brought a shift in the city economy, so the sector that dominates currently is service sector. This means that business services such as research and development, information technology and accountancy are some of the services that contribute the most to the gross value of Madrid’s economy.

The contribution of the four most important business sectors to the city economy:

  • Services to business (14.5%)
  • Transport & communication (14.3%)
  • Property and rental (11.5%)
  • Financial services (11.5%)*


What is also obvious from the figures above is a significantly large stake transport and communication sector has on the city economy. Construction of road, regional highways, high-speed rail, and high-standard public transport in the city are all the elements of national transport infrastructure. Of course, another important factor, especially when it comes to international businesses is Madrid Airport. It is the fourth largest airport in Europe, it represents a major transport hub in this part of Europe, and it has a significant contribution to the city’s economy.

Trade fairs are imporant part of city life in Madrid. There are events organized every single week throughout the year, with fairs, business exhibitions, workshops and conferences on different topics and for businesses of different sizes.


Trade Fair Institution of Madrid

Trade Fair Institution of Madrid (IFEMA) is the institution that organizes a large percentage of business events. It represents the core of the business scene and hosts events for different sectors while promoting Madrid as the business hub. The institution drives the city’s growth and influence in the business sector and contributes in various ways to the city’s economy. The institution operates in other continents, especially in Asia and America, which gives a great credibility and international aspect to this organization and its role in the business life of Madrid.

A large portion the events are hosted at the Feria de Madrid venue, one of the most important business venues in the city with a capacity to host various types of events, with numerous halls, and auditoriums, etc.

Some of the most important business events organized by IFEMA for the next year include:

  • FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair (Dates: 23rd – 27th of January, 2019)
  • Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid (Dates: 25th – 30th of January, 2019)
  • GENERA Eneergy and Environment International Trade Fair (Dates: 26th of February – 1st of March, 2019)
  • HydroSensoft International Symposium and Exhibtion of Hydro-Envrironment Sensors and Software (Dates: 26th of February – 1st of March, 2019)
  • WATM Congress The largest Air Traffic Management exhibition and industry forum in the world (Dates: 12th – 14th of March, 2019)
  • MOTORTEC AUTOMECHANIKA MADRID Spain’s leading international trade fair for the automotive industry targeting trade visitors from the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America and North Africa (Dates: 13th – 16th of March, 2019)
  • FARMAFORUM + Biotechforum + Cosmeticaforum + Labforum
  • Forum Pharmaceutical, Biopharmaceutical, Cosmetics and Technology Laboratory (Dates: 28th – 29th of March, 2019)
  • SIMA Madrid International Real Estate Exhibition (Dates: 30th May – 2nd of June, 2019)
  • GamerGy E-sports & Gaming Festival (Dates: 21st – 23rd of June, 2019)
  • MADRIDJOYA  International Urban and Trendy Jewellery and Watch Trade Fair (Dates: 11th – 15th of September, 2019)
  • EXPOTURAL The Nature, Climate and Sustainable Tourism Fair (Dates: 31st October – 3rd of November, 2019)
  • BIOCULTURA Organic Products and Responsible Consumption Fair (Dates: 7th – 11th of November, 2019)


Digital Business World Congress (DES2019)

This is one of the largest business events organized in Madrid. Next year, the Digital Business World Congress will host 450 international speakers. Having in mind the role of digital in today’s business, this kind of event gives you an opportunity to learn from the business leaders in the digital world. You will meet influencers, listen to the executives from international companies and you will get to understand the digital economy and how this business model affects the way companies do business nowadays. You will get to learn about new practices and strategies that work, along with gaining an understanding of tech concepts such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning, cybersecurity, etc.

Different sectors, from health to banking from retail to agriculture, all gather for such an event as the goal is to learn how technology has affected each of those sectors. The business models and strategies are continually evolving, and technological solutions that appear on the market only speed up these changes.

The goal of such an event is to offer solutions and techniques that can help to use technology in different sectors, to promote growth, increase competitiveness on the market and transform the traditional business models into businesses that keep up with modern technology and use it to their advantage.

Renowned international technology experts participate in the event allowing attendees to learn and meet the influential of the modern business world, to compare their experiences and discover the new advanced solution that they can use in their own businesses. The idea is to unite knowledge and expertise, to unite business leaders and to create a unique mindset where business professionals are no longer isolated, but they can learn from each other, they can support each other and develop technologies and strategies together.


Dates: 21st – 23rd of May, 2019

Previous year: Digital World Congress in 2018 gathered almost 21,000 visitors from 50 countries and gained a lot of influence and credibility for Madrid as the business event of the year. This kind of an event only further promotes Madrid as the business hub of the Iberian Peninsula.


Business travel to Madrid

Business travel is in many ways different from a regular journey. Even though it involves traveling to a different location, often times internationally, it still is a unique experience from traveling for leisure. Here are the most important elements that make business travel to Madrid unique.

  • Practical thinking when looking for accommodation in Madrid

When you plan a business travel to Madrid, you need to be practical. In terms of accommodation, you need to stay at a place which is convenient. Usually, such a place is an apartment in the center of the city of Madrid, if your business venue is in this part of the city. Some business travelers also love choosing accommodation which offers a good connection to the airport. This is especially important when flight arrival or departure is at the inconvenient time of the day (for example past ten in the evening).

  • Planning in advance

Business travels are not spontaneous, but instead, you usually have the exact dates planned in advance. A great benefit is that you get to organize everything in advance. There is no need for any rush decisions. It is also a great way to prepare for the journey when you know the schedule in advance.

  • Focusing on the business side of travel

This includes focusing on what business travel provides. While sightseeing and exploring the city of Madrid might be exciting activities, for those focused on the business side of travel, professional conferences, workshops, meetups, and networking events are much more appealing activities in Madrid. After all, the goal of business travel is to promote and develop your business skills, so any other cultural activities and sightseeing may or may not be a part of the itinerary, depending on how much free time a business trip involves.



Visit Madrid for Academic Reasons: a City Full of Options

For decades, the city of Madrid has been a central hub of the country and go-to location for people with different goals and plans, especially in terms of career and professional development. Madrid attracts a lot of people every year with different academic goals in mind. Both people from the smaller towns in Spain and people from abroad can find a lot of possibilities regarding academic development and continuing their education. Having in mind that Madrid is a part of the EU, traveling and moving to Madrid for people from Europe is quite convenient and easy to organize.


Here are some options you can explore if you are visiting Madrid for academic reasons.


Getting to Madrid

The first thing you need to take care of is your stay in Madrid. Initially, you will need to legally organize your stay. This means getting a visa if one is necessary for your stay, which depends on the country you are traveling from. People from the EU are able to travel more freely, while other citizens usually need to sort out details, such as obtaining a student visa, or a work permit, etc.

The next step includes arriving in Madrid and finding accommodation. The type of accommodation you can find during your academic visit can be quite diverse, depending on the situation. Sometimes the institution that enables you to travel to Madrid takes care of finding accommodation for you. Other times, you might be able to choose accommodation on your own. The second option is more flexible, as you can choose between different types of apartments, studios, etc. Also, you can select the location. In most cases, people prefer an apartment in the center of Madrid or one that is close to their place of interested during their stay in Madrid.


Studying in Madrid

Madrid offers a lot of opportunities for educational development, with multilingual study programs, different study groups, and degrees. This means you can find a program that perfectly suits your interest and affinities. Here are Madrid universities offering academic opportunities.

·          The Complutense University of Madrid

Offering unique Complutense cultural program, accepting international students, including Erasmus students, with Foreign Language Center this Madrid university provides an excellent opportunity for student mobility and a possibility for anyone to continue education in the Spanish capital. There is also the International Welcome Center for foreigners to get specific information of interest, regarding their residence, life in Madrid, etc.

It’s one of the six public universities in Madrid. However, what’s more recognizable about this university is the fact that it is one of the biggest universities in Europe. Besides academic possibilities and study programs, there are cultural events and offerings, as well as sport activities available to students.

·          Autonomous University of Madrid

This university has many recognitions, one of which is its Academic Ranking of the World Universities. It welcomes international students and offers programs specially designed for those who are in Spain for the first time, and who are not familiar with the language and culture. The university has two campuses with excellent connection to the city center. Therefore, if you choose to stay in Madrid city center, you will easily reach the campus and be able to easily attend all of the events organized there.

·          Technical University of Madrid

Ranked as one of the top technical universities in Spain, this place is a leading academic institution in technological development and engineering. When it comes to opportunities, the university offers numerous study programs, as well as exchange mobility programs that welcome international students and help them with adapting to the new surrounding. All enrolled students are offered help in multiple ways and orientation programs to enable them to fully explore the potential of their new academic life and reach success in their studies.

·          IE University

This university is an international university with two campuses, one Madrid and one in Segovia. 75% of the students are international students coming from abroad. This means that the programs and curriculum are adapted to such a diverse, international group of people who seek to continue their education. The university provides a supportive environment for the students and promotes learning as a way of life. This concept is so important in today’s global market where people are expected and often are required to learn practically every day. The university offers a lot of different study programs providing numerous opportunities for students.


Research and career development

The combination of life-long education concept with a great reputation these universities have in Europe contribute to the respect of the academic life and opportunities. When you also have in mind the popularity of the city amongst the business professionals in many industries, this city offers so many opportunities to focus on academic research, participate in studies, join the formal or informal educational programs or simply work on your career development, using the method that best matches your interests and field of work.

When you explore the academic community or a specific field of interest you work in, you will find numerous research and development programs you can become a part of. Even though these programs are often associated with students and postgraduates, the fast-developing world of technology has made professional development a requirement for the people of all ages, regardless of their prior experience and education. Attending seminars, workshops, global events, conferences, and many other events that promote life-long learning and professional development are all ways to stay competitive as a professional in your industry, to keep up with the trends and make sure your academic background is still a valid reference in your career.


Academic visits and what to see

When you visit a city such as Madrid for academic reasons, you’ll soon discover numerous opportunities to explore the city. While part of your day might be occupied with activities such as lectures, conferences, workshops, and similar academic events, you will probably have some free time. That’s all you need, some time of your day to start exploring the city, the culture and the history of the Spanish people, to initiate the process of immersion and really get to see how people in Madrid live, and the relevance history, culture and religion have on their everyday lives.

Here’s a couple of suggestions to visit places if you are visiting the city for academic reasons:

·          Museums

The perfect way to learn about the history and culture of a nation is by visiting museums. When you take into account the fact that Madrid has such a rich offer and world-famous art collections, this will be even more reason to start your sightseeing. Visiting a museum is an active process of exploring the culture and learning about the history that shaped the modern life you can see in the city around you. As you go through different epochs, you will see how each of those has affected the everyday life and left the trace in the buildings around you, customs and habits of the people nowadays, etc.

·          Enjoy music and art

The combination of music and art is a great way to experience the cultural offer of the city and go beyond the academic research. Find out how to enjoy Spanish music and art with these suggestions.

·          Cultural heritage

When you stay in the city for a long period of time, you will have many opportunities to see the cultural heritage that represents such value in the history of Spain. The first days upon your arrival to Madrid, you will spend exploring the vicinity and visiting the most popular places, so-called tourist hubs, where most travelers spend their time and go sightseeing. However, later on, you will get to immerse into this whole experience and go beyond the central area to explore hidden corners of Madrid’s cultural heritage. These places have such a great value that they are true pieces of history and represent a unique legacy of the country.

·          The culture is all around

When you arrive in the city, you will find out that culture is all around you. Just take a look at the recognizable square, a fountain that represents a little piece of history and religion, a library with a collection of over 26 million items or one of many World Heritage Sights. There are so many places in Madrid that will take your breath away and convince you that this city indeed radiates with history and culture. Use this Madrid culture guide to find out the places you need to visit.

Studying abroad and pursuing an academic education in Madrid can be a life-changing experience. It is not always easy going abroad, even if there are academic reasons that encourage you to do so. There are so many obstacles that might discourage you, starting from the language barrier to uncertainty regarding finding an apartment in Madrid. However, if you find a good program, one that supports you academically and fulfills your educational goals, you will soon realize that you will be able to overcome the obstacles and truly enjoy this incredible experience.


In the end, regardless what your reasons are for visiting Madrid, we have a very helpful, practical guide to help you understand the world in the city and learn a thing or two about Madrid: Tips for traveling to Madrid.