The Pros and Cons of Settling in Spain

By on September 12, 2019

Home to glorious weather, beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes, it’s easy to see why Spain is an attractive destination for tourists, retirees and expats alike. While living in sunny Spain sounds like a dream, like any country, Spain comes with its flaws. To help expats decide whether they want to make Spain their new home, this article looks at the many pros and cons that come with Spanish life. 


  1. Deliciously fresh cuisine

Spain, being one of the most popular destinations in Europe, has many positives. One being agriculture and food. The delicious cuisine is known all over the world and the main attraction point for visitors. Every city is known for its own delicacies, however, the most common and adored food found all over Spain is Tapas. This finger food is perfect for any time of day and extremely popular among the locals and tourists. Expats will also enjoy the fresh, locally grown food in Spain, thanks to the blossoming agriculture industry. 

  1. Beautiful beaches

The beautiful white sandy beaches and turquoise waters are other benefits to living in Spain. The country’s stunning beaches are not only well-loved by tourists hoping to get a tan, but they are also adored by locals and expats too. Whether you’re seeking some relaxation time or wish to get involved in some adrenaline-pumping water sport activities, the opportunities for beach-lovers are endless.

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  1. Gorgeous weather

With over 300 sunny days per year, Spain is well-known for its fantastic weather – another benefit of Spanish living. Your Vitamin-D levels will surely thank you and the sun should keep you in a good mood all year round. The gorgeous weather and long, light evenings make Spain great for nightlife. Whether you’re looking for excitement or seeking a slower pace of life, Spain accommodates to all – from fabulous fiestas to casual, laidback bars. 

  1. Diverse locations

With 17 autonomous regions, Spain is home to a beautiful array of vibrant cities and rural havens. From the passionate sounds of a guitar in Andalucia to the cosmopolitan vibe in Madrid, to Gaudi’s unusual architecture in Catalonia, Spain will have a home for you. You’ll never get bored by the culture and attractions in each city. The people and locals in Spain are also known to be very friendly and open, which makes being an expat there more comforting and easier.


Apart from the many pros that Spain has to offer, there are also some cons. Everyone will have their own opinion on what they don’t like about Spain and for some people, these cons may even be pros.

  1. Language barrier

Firstly, the language barrier in Spain can be an issue if you don’t speak any Spanish at all. While many people in Spain speak English, especially in major cities, you will still need to learn the language if you’re planning on moving there. While learning the language can be extremely time-consuming, it is very rewarding and will help you integrate and feel truly at home. This is why you should learn as many basic phrases and sentences as you can before your move, as the relocation process will be much harder if there’s a language barrier. 

  1. Tourists

Once you have chosen Spain as your new home, you may come to realize how busy your place of residence becomes during peak times due to tourism. While tourism is one of the country’s main industries and sources of income, the influx of tourists each year can be frustrating as a resident. The beaches become packed, your local eatery is always busy and there are people everywhere at all times – little things like this can be quite annoying at times. 

In addition, in August, the Spanish often take a few weeks in the middle of August to go on holiday, meaning things tend to really slow down. In fact, most people are obligated to take a certain amount of their annual vacations in August, with some companies shutting down for the entire month. It is known as the Great European Summer Shutdown. So, if you have anything important to do, make sure you get it done before August rolls around.Spain

  1. The slow pace of life 

While a slow pace of life sounds like great fun to those wishing to lead a laidback lifestyle, sometimes it can be really frustrating. As an expat, you’ll often experience long waiting times and the relocation process slower than you’re used to. To tackle this, you should try and organize as much as you can well in advance. This includes the essential things like looking for accommodation, finding a job and scoping out the country’s healthcare system so you know how to access it as an expat. For example, many expats opt for an international medical insurance plan to ensure they are able to access quality healthcare as and when they need to.

  1. Struggling economy

The economic crisis hit Spain extremely hard, and as a result, unemployment in Spain is still quite high. In the first quarter of 2019, the unemployment rate was 14.7%, a significant increase from the previous period in which the rate was 14.4%. This is high for a European country, so finding a good job may be tricky and something you should definitely sort out before you make the move. There is also a lot of bureaucracy to wade through if you move to Spain from outside the EU. Before you can live or work in the country, you’ll have to register with a variety of offices, which means a lot of running around to fill out forms and sorting out the red tape before you can properly settle in. 

Despite the cons, Spain is one of the most beautiful and culture-filled countries in Europe, making it extremely attractive for tourists, retirees, and expats. If you have decided to relocate and make Spain your new home, measure and investigate the pros and cons to see if it’s the right destination for you.


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The Pros and Cons of Settling in Spain