Why Expatriates Choose to Live in Spain
There’s something exciting about the opportunity to move to a foreign land. Sure, it can be a challenge learning a new language or assimilating into a different culture.
But the possibilities for advancement and excitement are endless, especially in Europe. If you’re trying to decide where to move overseas, we’ve got the perfect place for you.
There’s no doubt about it—Spain is one of the most unique and spectacular countries in Western Europe. Located south of France and west of Italy, life in Spain is unmatched.
Barcelona is known and loved for its architecture and artistic culture. Madrid is home to the famed Prado museum and a variety of beautiful parks and outdoor spaces. The food is incredible and the nightlife is about as exciting as it gets.
Spanish and Catalan are the main languages spoken in the largest cities. In smaller cities, such as Seville, you’ll hear Basque, Galician, and Valencian. Job opportunities vary depending on whether you speak the national languages.
English speakers can find a job in the hospitality, translation, and teaching industries. If you’re considering relocating to make a change in your life, check out our top 5 reasons to move to Spain as an expat.
1. Spain’s Affordable Cost of Living
The cost of living in Spain is quite different than the cost of living elsewhere. The country is more affordable than many western European countries, making it favorable to expats.
An average monthly rent for an affordable one bedroom apartment costs $1,050. In a more expensive neighborhood, you can expect to pay $1,550. A pound of chicken will cost you $4.48, a dozen eggs cost $2.90, and a liter of milk is just over $1. Don’t want to cook at home? A McDonald’s combo meal will cost you $9.
Related: Learn about the cost of living in Paris to see how Spain compares.
Spain is famous for its exciting, vibrant nightlife. A nice dinner for two costs just over $60, while a cocktail in a downtown club will cost about $11. When you’re in the mood for a quiet night, a casual dinner for two typically costs less than $40 and two movie tickets cost $20.
Getting ready for your move? Read our guide to the best international credit cards to minimize your foreign exchange fees and maximize your rewards.
2. A Superb Healthcare System
Forget all the stresses of your current healthcare system. Spain provides universal healthcare coverage, which makes it one of the best systems in the world.
Even expats living and working in Spain can enjoy complete health coverage as is a result of taxed wages. Forget about deductibles and copays—as part of the universal coverage, they don’t exist.
If you don’t have healthcare, a standard visit to a doctor’s office will set cost you $65. Twelve doses of antibiotics or six days of cold medication costs about $8.
3. Explore Incredible Places
Lovers of art, history, and culture will find beauty around every corner. Visit Valencia and check out the City of Arts and Sciences, which is an architectural entertainment complex. This space includes an IMAX theater, a planetarium, an interactive science museum, an opera house, and a performing arts center.
Take a trip to Granada to enjoy the majesty and history of The Alhambra. This medieval complex includes palaces, cloistered gardens, and a Moorish throne room. Prefer to spend some time outdoors?
The Balearic Islands boast beautiful beaches and scenic coastlines. Art fans will love the Gothic cathedral, which is complete with an altar canopy crafted by Antoni Gaudi.
4. Public Transportation is Easily Accessible
This country is home to an extensive bus and metro system. Getting around the major cities is easy to do by bus or by rail. Plus, most trains and bus stations have taxis available for private rides.
For more information on public transportation, this guide will help you figure out what type of transportation is right for you.
5. Embrace Spain’s Incredible Culture
This culture is all about the siesta. With a 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. rest period every day (including work days), Spaniards live a rather relaxed lifestyle.
The workday usually starts at 10:00 a.m., followed by a break between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. in which everything closes down. The workday usually ends at about 8:00 p.m. You can expect to work about 35 hours per week and enjoy one month per year of paid vacation.
The Top Cities for Expats to Live in Spain
Spain is an amazing place to live and work. The culture is thriving. The history is remarkable. The architecture is impressive. The siesta lifestyle is one that’s easy to embrace.
Whatever city or region you choose to live in, you’re sure to enjoy a memorable experience.