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The world's largest expat community

Your Expat Community in Spain

  • Connect with fellow expats in Spain

  • Join exciting events and groups for expats

  • Get information in our expat guides

  • Exchange tips about expat life in Spain

  • Jacques Paillard

    At the InterNations Events, I didn't only enjoy dancing the night away at some great venues, but I also got to know some great friends.

Our Expat Community in Spain Welcomes You!

¡Hola! and welcome to our expat community in Spain! Start life in your home-away-from-home with InterNations. InterNations is a global network for expats all around the world, with over 390 InterNations Communities across the globe set up to help fellow expatriates start their next chapter. InterNations' members can offer friendly advice with insider knowledge and experience of living in Spain. You can call on a reliable group of expats to answer your pressing questions about moving abroad with InterNations. You may be wondering what life is like in Spain, with questions about areas such as, “what are the schools like in Madrid?”, “what's the property market like in Barcelona?”, and “which neighborhood do you recommend in Seville?”. To find the answers from real people that really live in Spain, you can join InterNations, ask current expats these questions, and they will be only too happy to answer and help you make your decision. If you have already moved abroad and are keen to meet fellow expats or discover more about Spanish culture in your region, such as where the locals get the best paella or tapas, or when the next Spanish festival is, InterNations can enlighten you. This helpful platform provides an insight into Spanish living, and will help you to integrate and become an educated Spanish resident.

With InterNations, you never stand alone. Whether you are moving to another country or going on a business trip somewhere — our communities around the world are there to make you feel at home wherever you are. Feel free to check out our vibrant InterNations Communities in countries like Malaysia or Peru.

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Living in Spain: Your Questions, Answered

If you’re a new or soon-to-be expat in Spain, you probably aren’t quite sure yet what it will be like. That’s why we gathered the answers to some key questions you may have about life in Spain. If you want to ask more specific questions — or even share your own tips — join InterNations! You’ll be part of a community of new and experienced expats who love to help each other out.

1. Why are expats moving to Spain?
Of course, the individual reasons why expats decide to move to Spain can vary a lot. But thanks to our vast member base and our annual Expat Insider survey, we were able to uncover some of the underlying trends that make Spain an appealing place to move to. Notably, the most valued attributes of Spain as an expat destination are very reasonable cost-of-living, outstanding leisure-options and the Mediterranean climate.

In addition, out of the 64 expat destinations worldwide in our Expat Insider 2019 survey, Spain scores amazingly well in our Quality of Life Index (2nd) and our Ease of Settling in Index (8th). However, it ranks less well in our Working Abroad Index (37th). Spain isn’t just interesting for career-driven single expats. It has a lot to offer families as well, resulting in an outstanding ranking in our Family Life Index (5th).

2. Where are expats living in Spain?
Usually the expat population concentrates in places that offer the most career opportunities — at least for those who aren’t just looking for a place to retire in the sun. According to our member base these are the most popular cities for expats in Spain:

  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • the Balearic Islands
  • Tenerife
  • Málaga

3. Is it necessary to speak the local language?
While many Spanish people speak English, especially in tourist areas and larger cities, it's a good idea to learn Spanish to make daily life easier and to connect with the local community. Speaking the local language can help you make friends, navigate bureaucracy, and better understand the culture.

4. What is the cost of living in Spain?
The cost of living in Spain is generally lower than in many other European countries. Here are some average monthly expenses to give you an idea:

  • Rent: Varies by location and type of accommodation
  • Utilities: 100–150 EUR (114–171 USD) per month
  • Groceries: 200–400 EUR (228–456 USD) per month
  • Transportation: 50–100 EUR (57–114 USD) per month

5. What are the average rent prices in popular expat locations?

Barcelona:

  • Single-room flat: 800–1,200 EUR (912–1,368 USD) per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 1,600–2,500 EUR (1,824–2,850 USD) per month

Madrid:

  • Single-room flat: 700–1,100 EUR (798–1,254 USD) per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 1,400–2,300 EUR (1,596–2,622 USD) per month

Valencia:

  • Single-room flat: 500–800 EUR (570–912 USD) per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 1,000–1,800 EUR (1,140–2,052 USD) per month

6. What is the healthcare system like in Spain?
Spain has a high-quality public healthcare system, which is accessible to all residents, including expats. The healthcare system is financed through social security contributions and provides a wide range of services. Private healthcare is also available for those who prefer it, often with shorter waiting times and more personalized care.

7. What's the process of obtaining a residence visa?
Non-EU citizens need a visa to stay in Spain for more than 90 days. There are several types of visas, including work visas, student visas, and non-lucrative visas. The specific visa you need depends on your reason for moving to Spain, and you'll need to meet certain requirements and provide the necessary documentation when applying.

8. How safe is Spain for expats?
Spain is generally a safe country for expats, with a low crime rate and a friendly atmosphere. However, petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur in crowded areas and tourist hotspots. It's important to stay aware of your surroundings and take common-sense precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.

9. Can I drive in Spain with my foreign driver's license?
If you hold a valid driver's license from an EU/EEA country, you can drive in Spain without any additional permits. If you have a license from a non-EU/EEA country, you can drive in Spain with an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to six months

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Embark on Your Life as an Expat in Spain

Spain is made up of a large rural landscape of farms and perfect countryside for you to explore, as well as a number of bustling, lively, and prosperous cities you can experience and/or live in. A stone's throw away from the UK, Spain has all of the beauty of the Mediterranean as well as all the culture and history you can expect from any European country. If you like sun, leisure, and friendly people, Spain is the place for you. Less than 1% of expats describe the Spanish weather as bad and 91% are happy with the number of activities available. Most expats choose Spain for the lifestyle rather than for the economy, which has suffered since the global economic crisis of 2009. However, housing is still largely affordable in Spain and the country is highly regarded as one of the nicest countries to raise a family in. High numbers of expats have said they feel at home in Spain, with welcoming and friendly locals always happy to get to know foreign residents. Many expats living in Spain find it easy to adopt the Spanish culture and to pick up the language — an important part of settling into another country. Whether you choose to live in a seaside town such as Adra and become accustomed to the beach life or you live in Spain's iconic capital, Madrid — home to some of the world's most unique architecture — the InterNations Communities in Spain have helpful advice for you, with groups you can join and local events you can take part in straight away, on this new chapter of your life.

InterNations is the largest global network for expatriates, with communities in 420 cities around the world. Meet fellow global minds in your city of residence or get to know local expatriates before you're moving or traveling abroad and never feel like a stranger. InterNations makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your expat friends, both online and offline, so you can grow your network of friends and contacts from all over the world. Whether they live in Bahrain or Germany, InterNations allows you to be close to them even if they are miles away.

Find Like-Minded People to Share Your Adventure in Spain With

All of our InterNations members value the importance of keeping our community a safe and secure place to network and connect, both online and offline. Each InterNations member goes through an approval process before they can join our community and they respect our values of honesty, openess, and a welcoming attitude towards people of all cultures and backgrounds. On InterNations, you can find out about a number of real-life events and groups that are taking place in your city; check out the Photography and Outdoor Adventure Groups in Seville, Barcelona's Wine-Tasting Group, or even Madrid's German Language Group for English expats! There's so much to learn and experience during your time living in Spain. Whether there's something new you have always wanted to try or a hobby you would like to continue, you can browse groups by region on our website and find out which events and groups you would like to join, in person!

Join Our Online and In-Person Events in Spain

Attend our many events to get to know like-minded expats, both in Spain and around the world! Our new online events even let you find connection and inspiration without leaving your home.

Newly married to Pierre (Olivier Rabourdin), Anne (Léa Drucker) moves with her two adopted daughters to his beautiful estate, where she discovers her 17-year-old stepson, Théo (Samuel Kirchner). The c
May 21, 2024, 6:30 PM
7 attendees
This is a casual meeting for creative people to talk about their artistic and creative pursuits with a group of like-minded people. It is open to anyone who enjoys the creating any type of art: Writer
May 22, 2024, 7:00 PM
8 attendees
Spring in Malaga ! It's time to meet again to inspire each other with a nice talk about our favorite authors and books. Our May meeting is here !
After more than four years InterNations returns to the spectacular rooftop terrace of Florida Park! Join us on the first floor, at LA TERRAZA. Don´t miss the first one of many events we are planning t

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Connect with Like-Minded Expatriates in Spain

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