Moving to Spain
In addition to being a popular tourist destination in Europe, this country also has an ever-growing expat population. Moving to Spain offers residents far more than just its famed sunny climate! With cosmopolitan cities, stunning coastlines, delicious cuisine and artistic treasures, you will find plenty of reasons to call Spain home.
A slower pace of life can still be found in Spain, the country where the siesta was invented. Spain attracts many people who are looking for an unhurried way of life. Nevertheless, Spain is also a very sociable country with a vibrant nightlife and festivities.
Located in the Iberian Peninsula, the landscape varies dramatically from desert to mountainous ski resorts, making the countryside and the weather very different from region to region. There are also notable cultural differences between the regions, which have a lot of autonomy and often different laws from one another.
The accommodation standards in Spain are very high overall. Finding somewhere to live for a reasonable price should be easy. As with most countries, living in the capital, Madrid, means higher prices and less readily available options.
When renting, lease agreements usually come with a contract of at least one year, although leases up to three years are not uncommon. You can expect to pay a deposit of anywhere between two and six months’ rent. Renting a single room within a house is a popular option for many people relocating alone.
There are several education options in Spain: public, private, international and semi-private schools. Compulsory education starts at the age of six and ends at sixteen years of age.
State-funded public schools in Spain are free to attend for the children of expats if they have registered at the local town hall on the municipal register (known as the empadronamiento). Classes in public and private schools are usually in Spanish, while international schools mainly teach in English.
Spanish, also called Castilian in some parts, is the predominant language spoken within the country. However, due to vast regional difference within Spain, strong dialects, such as Catalan and Basque, are also notable. Not only do these distinct regions have language differences, but their cultural differences are so pronounced that many residents want to form independent states from the main government.
Around 70 percent of the population identify as Roman Catholics. The influence of the church within communities is evident from the ornate cathedrals, shrines and churches, which are located in prominent positions within towns and cities.
Good to know
Unlike in English-speaking countries, it is not seen as rude if you do not use please or thank you when speaking to someone.
Spain enjoys a cost of living that, although not cheap, is still a lot less expensive than many other European countries, such as France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
The siesta is widely used in Spain, particularly outside of large cities. Many businesses close between the hours of 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to return home for a nap or long lunch.
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