Spain at a Glance
Moving to SpainiStockphoto
The region of Andalusia attracts many expats who move to Spain.
Spain’s total population amounts to 47 million. However, over 14% of its residents went through the process of moving to Spain from various foreign countries. If you consider a move to Spain, you can find some information that will help you find out whether it is the right choice for you below!
Regions and Climate in Spain
Moving to Spain does not necessarily mean lying on the beach all day long. With a total area of over 500,000 km², Spain boasts a landscape of reddish earth dotted with olive groves, and sparsely vegetated plains. Contrary to popular clichés, you can find very arid mountainous regions in Spain as well.
Due to the country’s size, Spain’s climate differs greatly from region to region. In the Basque country, you should expect a maritime climate with cooler summers and mild winters. The central plateau offers the two extremes of scorching summers and icy winters, whereas southern Andalusia has a Mediterranean climate. Furthermore, moving to Spain’s Atlantic coast means four rather rainy seasons.
There is not one single place where most expats live. However, Madrid, the largest city and national capital, is a popular choice among people relocating to Spain. Moreover, it is the major financial center of southern Europe, thanks to the many multinational companies that have established their headquarters there.
If you consider moving to Spain, but do not yet know where to go, the fact that a significant percentage of Madrid’s population is made up of international residents may pique your interest. The cost of living in Madrid is also lower than in other European capitals. Some of the best international schools for British, American, French, and German expats, to name a few, abound throughout the city.
Barcelona and Andalusia
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is another city that attracts expats from all over the world. As a port town on the Mediterranean coast, it is considered a global city, too. Barcelona may cater more to younger expats moving to Spain, due to its popularity among European exchange students, its international flair, and largely touristic ambience. It’s also a bilingual and bicultural city, which may make moving to Barcelona easier for some expats.
If the weather is an important criterion in your decision to move to Spain, the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain might be of interest. Seville is a culturally rich city with a high number of annual visitors. Many European retirees, e.g. from Germany, Sweden, or the UK, choose to live along the Costa del Sol, due to the warm climate and the endless sandy beaches.
Spanish Culture and Entertainment
Almost every Spanish city offers a variety of leisure activities, such as yachting in Barcelona, enjoying an opera in Madrid, or learning flamenco dancing in Seville. Moving to Spain as an art aficionado is definitely a good choice. Artists such as Salvador Dalí, Gaudi, and Pablo Picasso were Spanish nationals and used their country as a source of inspiration.
After your move, a good way to submerge yourself in Spanish culture is visiting one of the countless festivals in different cities over the year: Valencia’s famous Fallas festival in March is full of folklore processions and fireworks. The encierros (running of the bulls) in towns throughout Spain, especially Pamplona, also attract lots of daredevils every summer.