Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain
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Rating  4.4/5

Learn Spanish in Madrid (Retiro Park)

Madrid: multicultural, modern, and magical! Like any European capital, Madrid is a melting pot of different cultures, with a long and varied history that is still evident through the various architectural styles and monuments dotted around the city. Situated on the Manzanares River since Roman times, Madrid was a key Moorish stronghold during the reign of the Córdoban Caliphate. Fragments of the 9th-century city walls are still visible here and there, but most obvious is the Germanic influence - so much so, in fact, that the historical centre is commonly referred to as the ‘Madrid of the Austrians’.

Chosen as the capital of Spain in 1561, Madrid takes its place as one of Europe’s - if not the world’s - key cultural hubs. It boasts a whopping 129 Sites of Cultural Interest (more than any other location in Spain!), and is full of museums and galleries with truly excellent collections. The iconic Paseo de Prado, just outside the old town, is a gorgeous, tree-lined avenue home to many of Madrid’s most important attractions, including the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Golden Triangle of Art, the luxurious Hotel Palace, and various striking plazas. Throughout the year, many festivals, fairs, and open-air music events take place on the Paseo. Madrid is considered an educational capital as well as well as a cultural one, thanks to its top institutions such as the Central University, the Institution of Free Teaching, and the Ateneo Cientifico, Literario, y Artistico de Madrid. Today, the Spanish capital is widely considered to be one of the best places for university schooling in Europe; as home to the headquarters of the Cervantes Institute and the Royal Spanish Academy, Madrid is also a world-renowned centre for Spanish-language instruction.

Not only is the city peppered with green spaces - including the vast Casa de Campo, which boasts its own amusement park, a zoo, and a boating lake - it also stands just an hour’s drive from the spectacular Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, a hotspot for mountain sports and wildlife watching. For those who favour more urban pursuits, the bustling Gran Vía is perfect for shopaholics, whilst a stroll through the district of Lavapiés will give you a taste of the widely diverse gastronomy that the city offers.

Undoubtedly the best area for food and shopping is Salamanca, east of the historic Centro. It is in this lovely, verdant area that our Spanish language school is located.

Our school in Madrid (Retiro Park)

11 classrooms
- Location: Salamanca district
2 student lounges
- Nearest convenience store: 500 m
Coffee machines
- Nearest café: next door!
Free-to-use textbook and video library
- Nearest metro stop: Lista, 68 m from school
Accredited by the Cervantes Institute
- Distance from train station: 3.3 km
Course materials included
- Distance from airport: 11 km
Wi-Fi throughout
 

This language centre is located just a short walk from the famous Retiro Park, a city-centre oasis and one of the largest green spaces in Madrid. The Park is home to the ‘Crystal Palace’, a beautiful 19th-century glasshouse, the Velazquez Palace, which now houses a collection of contemporary art, a bandstand which is regularly used by local musical groups for public concerts, and the locally-dubbed Paseo de Estatuas (‘Statue Walk’; a collection of historical pieces stretching across the park). Other attractions within walking distance of the school are the National Archaeological Museum, the huge Wizink events centre, and the Alcalá Theatre, where students can watch engaging Spanish-language dramas and musicals.

Accredited by the Cervantes Institute, the International Association of Language Centres (IALC), and approved for DELE, Bildungsurlaub, and Erasmus programmes, this facility offers high-quality, personalised tuition to all students who attend. Spear-headed by a husband-and-wife team, the language centre opened its doors to foreign students wanting to learn Spanish in 1956, and now has over 50 years of experience under its belt! Its highly qualified teachers are accustomed to providing dynamic, immersive tuition to students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

With 11 classrooms and a maximum of nine students per group, this school is able to offer its students personalised attention and language instruction that is tailored to their individual needs. During your course you can make use of the two student lounges to relax, socialise, or catch up on schoolwork. The lounges both have coffee machines, so you can get refreshments in between lessons without even needing to leave the building! For those looking for quiet study, the school also has a library offering free textbooks and video resources to all students.

The area surrounding the school has lots of greenery and beautiful buildings, and it’s packed with cafes, bars, and restaurants serving local fare. The nearest metro stop is just around the corner, meaning you can easily explore other areas of the city during your time at our language centre. The school’s central location within this bustling European capital means it can provide a cosmopolitan Spanish experience for all students, whilst its relatively small size means that students can feel at home in this warm and welcoming learning environment.

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Courses in Madrid (Retiro Park)

Available courses

  • Intensive (20)
  • Intensive + Private Lessons (25)
  • Intensive + Private Lessons (30)
  • Super Intensive (30)
  • Private Lessons (20)
  • Club 50 (20)
  • DELE Exam Prep (20)
  • Teachers Course (20)
  • Work Experience (20)

Most students attending courses at this school opt for the standard Intensive programme of 20 group classes per week. When selecting this course, you are also guaranteed to receive 4 free language/culture workshops each week. If you want to increase the benefits of your programme, you can select a Super-intensive course of either 25 or 30 weekly group classes. The additional lessons cover topics relating to conversation, culture, and history. Classes on these programmes may take place in the morning or in the afternoon, depending on your ability level and the number of other students at the school. Your exact schedule can only be confirmed by school staff on your first day. Kindly note that, if you have no prior experience with Spanish, you will need to start your group programme on a specific beginners’ date - contact us to find out more about available dates for beginners.

If you have specific topics you’d like to cover, or feel that you need extra attention during your studies, you can choose private lessons and receive expert one-to-one tuition that can be custom-made to your exact requirements. You’ll have 20 bespoke lessons per week on the standard package, but can book more if you wish. If you think that private lessons would be beneficial for you, but you still want to experience the social aspect of group classes, you can book a combined package of 20 group lessons plus an additional 5 or 10 one-to-one classes each week.

If you’re a student over the age of 50 who prefers to study with other, like-minded mature students from across the world, our Club 50+ classes are perfect for you! You can find detailed information on this specialised programme here.

Our school also offers work experience in a local Spanish company. This programme provides the opportunity to quickly improve your Spanish skills and expand your resume by working for 6 or 12 weeks in a local Spanish company. You’ll need to study for at least 4 weeks at our school and demonstrate at least B1 proficiency after these 4 weeks in order to be eligible for this programme. Our tutors can guide you on how to create your CV, find a placement for you in a company in your desired industry, and give you tips and techniques for your placement interview. Kindly note that the work offered is an unpaid internship.

Special courses in Madrid (Retiro Park)

Accommodation

Available accommodation

  • Host Family
  • Shared Apartment

If you want to have as much opportunity as possible to speak Spanish with native speakers, then homestay lodging is the choice for you! Carefully selected hosts offer private single or twin rooms* and provide 2 or 3 meals per day as part of your accommodation package. Do note that we can accommodate special diets (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, lactose-/gluten-free, etc.) for a small additional fee. Hosts all live within 25 minutes’ travel from the school by public transport, and some live within walking distance. All host families offer a comfortable and safe environment in which to stay during your language course, and also provide towels and a weekly laundry service. You will have your own keys to come and go as you please, but you must respect house rules and schedules.

For more independence, stay in one of the school’s apartments. Shared apartments offer private single or twin rooms*, a fully-equipped kitchen with a washing machine, and a lounge with a television and comfortable seating. These apartments are ideal for students aged 18 - 25 who are travelling on a budget and looking for a highly social experience. Communal areas include the kitchen, bathroom(s), and living facilities. Rooms are offered on a self-catering basis, which gives you the freedom to cook for yourself during your stay. Bed linen is provided but towels may not be (depending on the apartment), so you should bring your own. Students should note that Wi-Fi access is very limited with this type of accommodation, and cannot be guaranteed. Each apartment is located no more than 40 minutes away from the school by public transport, and has up to 4 bedrooms. Students are responsible for keeping the apartment clean and tidy.

If you prefer complete privacy, then a studio apartment would be the best option for you. You’ll have a private, self-contained studio within walking distance from the school, complete with its own bathroom and fully-equipped kitchenette. Studios are offered on a by-request basis only; please contact us directly if you are interested in this option.

All accommodation is available between the Sunday before your course starts until the Saturday after your course ends. In most cases, the school can be flexible with your arrival and departure time, though you should make sure that you arrive and depart before 23:00. We may be able to arrange extra nights in your accommodation for you if needed - please contact us about this prior to making your booking.

*Please note that twin rooms are only available to students travelling together. If you book a twin room but are travelling alone, you will be swapped to a single room.

Activities

To help you experience life in Madrid, our school organizes an extensive cultural programme which is specially designed to offer the best of the city and the surrounding area. Each activity is conducted in Spanish and thus helps to complement your classroom learning with experience in real-life scenarios. As well as being educational, the activities are designed to be fun and to help you get to know your fellow students.

Many activities will be offered free of charge, whilst others will incur an additional fee to cover entrance and/or transportation costs. The exact schedule changes throughout the year but may include:

- Guided tours of various areas of the city
- Free seminars on Spanish grammar, conversation, and culture
- Visits to local museums and attractions
- Spanish film screenings
- Evening meals with your classmates
- Tapas ‘caminas’
- Shopping trips
- Half- and full-day excursions to locations like Toledo, Segovia, Valencia, and Salamanca

How to get there

Madrid’s airport is also known as Barajas Airport; as one of the busiest airports in Europe, students from most countries can find direct flights into the city.

From here, you can either take public transport to your accommodation or we can arrange an airport transfer service for you for an additional charge. If you book this service, a driver will be waiting for you when you land and will take you directly to your accommodation; if you select this service on departure as well, you will be collected from your lodging on your last day and taken back to your chosen airport in time for your departing flight.

The city enjoys extensive Metro links to other European cities, if you prefer not to fly.

Students should arrange to arrive between 08:00 and 22:00 on the Sunday before their course starts and depart between 08:00 and 22:00 on the Saturday after their course finishes. Kindly note that an additional supplement will be applied to transfer services booked for flights arriving outside of these times. We may be able to arrange extra nights on arrival and/or departure for you if needed.


Location of our school in Madrid (Retiro Park)

Course

4.4 / 5
Accommodation

3.8 / 5
School Staff

4.8 / 5
Average score for our school in Madrid (Retiro Park) based on 45 previous client reviews.

Student reviews & feedback

Interesting and well organised. Level appropriate. Interesting excursions. Excellent accommodation, a very friendly and helpful lady, pleasant flat.

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I really enjoyed my course! It was so fun to learn Spanish in a different environment than the one I was used to, and the constant exposure to the language every day and having to figure things out for myself alone in the city using my language skills made a world of difference. It really goes to show that total immersion is the best way to learn a language!

My host family was so lovely and nice. They always made sure I had everything I needed and were always asking me if there was anything they could do to make me more comfortable. They were also very engaging and friendly and eager to share aspects of their life and the culture of the country with me.

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The class for over 50's was small with just 3 students in the first week rising to 6 in the second. The teacher was also excellent and the course content challenging but appropriate to my needs I really felt my understanding and command of the Spanish language moved up a notch. The social programme was also enjoyable. Highly recommend both the school and the course.

A very pleasant apartment with my own well appointed room next to a bathroom. All very clean and comfortable. My landlady was delightful and extremely helpful. She provided me with breakfast and a delicious evening meal. She Was very flexible with timing. She also chatted to me in Spanish a lot and corrected my mistakes.

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Everything was great, much much better than what I expected, further more it was a great oppertunity to learn and speak Spanish and I learned a lot, actualy I had a great difficulty to speak english when I went back to London.

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The course was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I'm really glad I took it.

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The school was extremely well organised and efficient. The tutors professional and enthusiastic and other staff were always available to provide help and advice. The location of my accommodation was superb and the food and room were fine - my bedroom was at the back and very quiet.

I was impressed with the ease of booking the course and efficiency all round. I plan to continue with learning spanish and hope to return next year.

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As usual very good. Structured course based around young teachers from various locations in Spain. Typical family accommodation, not without its quirks, but good value for money. The interaction with the "house mother" is also very worthwhile in terms of learning.

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It was great. I did the super-intensive course for the first 4 weeks and in my first week i had the extra class with one other person and the other 3 i had one to one lessons, which was great for going over points i didnt fully understand and i was able to greatly improve my conversational skills too. The school was also really helpful when i decided to stay for an extra 3 weeks helping organise the classes and my accomodation.

I would really recommend, its a fantastic school and the staff are so approachable and helpful, especially the headmistress. I think next time i would live with a family instead of a shared flat just to maximise on the amount of spanish conversation i would have in comparison to a shared flat where if your flatmates do not speak the language, english seems to be the common language spoken.

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Very professionally run school. I have to commend the teachers I had, they were extremely professional and took a great interest in helping me to understand and learn.

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My daughter Maria had 3 weeks spanish courses in Madrid and we are completely satisfactory with everything. High level of teaching and education, friendly and safe accomodation. Maria came back home and she was happy very much..

I want to thank to Corona Garcia Nieto, the owner of accomodation, the kindest woman..she was so nice to Maria and she cared about her so much..good food, clean room-everything was perfect..thank u very much.

it was our first experience of courses abroad and we are completely satisfactory, and i am sure we will continue our experiense with your conpany.

This was my second time at this school and my classes were at a higher level (B1) than before (A2) which was great. They provided additional presentations on spanish culture and they organise a trip on Saturday. I was only there one week and I realize that it is best to do 2 weeks. I may go there again next year. I chose the Hostel Benamar which I stayed at before. The room was only 35 euros a night and was clean and I was at the back so it was quiet. There is a good cafe nearby for breakfast (Santander) which cost me about 7 euros. It is about 20 minutes walk or 2 metro stops away from the school.

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Excellent school with very good teachers and very helpful staff, attractive location and good cultural activities. Accommodation was comfortable and in a good location, but the host smoked heavily and tended to keep to herself, rather than engage with me.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the course, the teaching was fantastic and I have become firm friends with some of my peers at the school. The lady I was staying with, Marina, was absolutely lovely. She became my Spanish mother! The food was fantastic and she was very caring of me. She frequently engaged in speaking with me, enabling me to continue practicing my spanish, and was just generally amazing :)

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The classes were about the right level for me. However they were only half a day and I really should have arranged more. Also they were in the afternoon 3.30 until 7 pm whereas I would have prefered them in the morning. On the good side there were additional talks on spanish culture and history and an excursion to an art gallery which I found interesting. Also the school arranged an excursion to Toledo on the Saturday. This was very good and amazingly cheap, only 35 euros a night. The room was comfortable and clean and at the back of the hostel and so very quiet as well. Overall I enjoyed my stay in Madrid and managed to fit in some sight seeing as well. The school is well situated very close to Retiro Park. I would like to do another course next year either in Madrid or at their Salamanca school.

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Although I was only at the school for 4 days, I had a wonderful experience, learned a lot and enjoyed the excursions. My host provided me with excellent accommocation and food. I would definitely go there again.

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S. Kleanthous

The teachers were excellent and also the small class sizes were excellent. The opportuinity for outings and activities was also very good.

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J. Adelhardt

Wonderful. I had two great instructors, and although I went as a novice, they had me speaking Spanish by the end of the week. They were able to assess my ability, teach me at my level and encourage me to speak. And we had fun!

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D. Sital-Singh

I really enjoyed my time at the school, the teachers are extremely friendly and keen to help students learn and understand Spanish. I loved my accommodation, it was perfect for my needs, close enough to a metro line but far out enough to be able to study and not be distracted. I had the perfect host, I will definitely stay with her again.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The school has very friendly staff. I feel a lot more confident about speaking Spanish now.There was an interesting mix of students on the course. My accommodation was clean, convenient, with nice food and the friendly host was happy to chat to me.

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I found the course to be very useful because the teachers insisted that I and the other students spoke only in Spanish, which is what I wanted. Explanation of the spanish verbs was excellent. The course material was good as well. I did like the idea that an exam was given at the end of the course to see how far I had improved with my spainish. I hope to do this course again at the next level in the near future. The accommodation was good. The room was clean. I also found the manager to be useful whenever I requested any help. I did achieve what I set out do with this course, which was to speak the language more fuently. I found both the course and the accommodation to be excellent.

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M. Oliynyk

The course was very good and I'm very happy I chose your school! After 3 weeks my Spanish is much better and it will help me in my university. I hope I'll have a chance to come to your school in Madrid next summer! My accommodation was the best! The woman was so nice and kind and helped me to speak a lot! The room was always very clean! I'm satisfied with it!

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A. Bernard

Course was very well organized. The school had lots of activities available to keep busy as well. Accommodation was perfect. The family was very friendly and the food was delicious.

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A great way to enjoy a break oversas and learn as well - I would recommend at least 2 weeks to get the full impact.

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I really enjoyed the Spanish language course. It was very intensive - 5 hours per day plus homework - leaving me pretty exhausted but very worthwhile. The school was a good choice for me. Plenty of grammar and technical stuff plus everything in Spanish. Madrid is a great place to learn Spanish as there are so many other activities and interests to get your teeth into. The locals are very friendly and very receptive to foreigners speaking their language, even if it is not always perfect.

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The teachers were brilliant, so skilled at teaching and so patient with our efforts to speak Spanish. I found the course very helpful in targeting just what I needed to be able to speak Spanish more confidently. I found this course a great help and a great confidence boost for speaking Spanish, even though it was only a week. There was also the chance to look round a great city, see films in Spanish and try a range of Spanish food in the cafes.

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A very professional school and very friendly. Very comfortable accommodation and 20 minute walk from school. For us, the highlight of the trip. A wonderful lady who took us in like family.

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J. Baker

The teachers are, for me, what make these courses and in this area the school excelled. All 3 of my Profesoras were great. The course was very intense, not speaking English during lessons took time to get used to. However at the end of my 2 weeks things were starting to click and I only wished I had more time to continue.

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S. Court

The course was excellent and I learnt a lot in 10 weeks. The teachers came prepared to each lesson and they really knew how to make us understand. Not one of them spoke any english during class which was so much better for the students. My roommates were fantastic, taking the time out to show me around Madrid and helping with my poor Spanish when I first arrived. I got on well with the landlay too. I am very pleased with my experience in Madrid and would not hesitate to book through Language Courses Abroad again. The staff were all incredibly friendly and helpful, which is very much appreciated.

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My course was brilliant! The school was friendly and all the lessons were fun, they also had a great list of other activities going on. My accomodation was fine, it was really well situated, close to the school and the centre of the city.

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I attended the course without speaking any Spanish at all. The standard of service at the school was excellent and very helpful. I would without a doubt return on a similar study programme in the near future. The tutors made the course most enjoyable.

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Student stories on our blog

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