Spain is more than just sun, sand, sangrias and tapas. Spain is a modern country with modern amenities and a well develop infrastructure. It has one of the best health services in Europe and a exceptionally good education system. It is a country rich in culture, natural reservations, resources and it represents a great change of life.
Cost of living:
The cost will depend mainly on the location you live. Spain has luxury and very expensive towns. There are places where the royalty and the ultra-rich have their properties and spend their holidays. Therefore you will find Spain expensive and luxurious. But if you are looking for a relaxed and local life, then you will find that Spain is fairly inexpensive.
Housing costs, either renting or buying is very affordable. Food can be also inexpensive if you avoid restaurants in tourist areas. However utilities can be more expensive than UK or USA. Bottled gas is an alternative used widely, because gas supply only exists in major cities. Electricity is more expensive than any other of the neighboring countries, so Spain spends a good amount of money promoting and researching alternative energies. Saving water is encouraged and water restrictions are very common.
Jobs and Careers:
After the crisis Spain still has a high unemployment rate. This means that the competition for jobs is though. There are restrictions and regulations regarding employing foreign, especially non EU citizens. However as a foreign there some skills that may help such as languages or training and will help you to get more opportunities.
The industries with better opportunities are retail, services such restaurants and bars, hospitality and teaching foreign languages. Many jobs are by recommendation and personal connections, so having a good social life may help. The best way to get a job in Spain is to have a contract secure before you move, in that case the employer can arrange the necessary paperwork.
Food and drinks:
Spain has a very strong and rich culinary background; it is the result of many different cultures that lived there over the centuries. The Mediterranean diet is predominant on the coastal regions, but you can find many other international cuisines. Each region has its own traditional dishes. Olive oil production in Spain is superb and you will find really good quality.
Wine is also fantastic in Spain. It is known around the world for its exquisite and unique wines produce with high quality. There are some regions that have their own drinks too, like sangrias or mistela. Spain is the paradise for foodies!
It may sound obvious but Spanish is the official language. However there are several regional dialects spoken I Spain, for example:
- Catalan: Cataluña province
- Gallego: Galicia, it is a mix of Portuguese and Castellano
- Euskera/ Vasco: is the traditional language of the Basque Country and Navarra.
- Mallorqui is the language spoken in the Belearic Islands, among others.
If you try to learn the language it will bring many advantages since English is not present on daily life. It is present on research centers, at business schools or at multinationals. Bicultural and international schools are expensive and there are not many of them.
Administration and bureaucracy:
Living in Spain will required a good level of patience. It is well known that you need to bring enough photocopies of all the documents needed and even the ones you don’t need and you have to wait for hours to get anything official done. It is recommended to bring someone that is fluent in English to help. For important things like buying a home it is highly recommended to hire a translator and a bilingual lawyer. Spain is also known for being open only in the mornings, like banks open from 9 to 3.
Important documents you MOST have:
- INE, is the Número de Identificación de extranjeros. It is the law that all foreigns staying in the country for more than 3 months must registered.
- If you live full time in Spain you have to go to the Ayuntamineto (Town / city hall) and register your whole family and yourself for the “empadronamiento”. They will give you a Certificado de Empadronamiento that you need for every basic things like register for schools, use health facilities or purchase services and goods.
In ForSaleInSpain we are committed to give you excellent service and guide you thought the process of choosing and buying your new home in Spain. Contact us!