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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Barcelona: A Place to Call Home

It’s the worst-rated Spanish city — and still makes it into the top 15! Find out what expats like (& dislike) about Barcelona.

Barcelona places 13th out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023, making it the only Spanish city in the ranking to miss out on a top 10 spot. When it comes to Quality of Life (7th), expats praise the climate and weather in Barcelona (5th). However, they dislike the city’s air quality (40th). Hopefully, this doesn’t stop them from enjoying the many top-tier Leisure Options (4th). Most (91%) are happy with the culture and nightlife in Barcelona, compared to 68% globally.

On the other hand, Barcelona gets its worst results in the Working Abroad Index (37th). Not only do expats not feel fairly paid for their work (42nd), but they also have the poorly rated job security (40th) to worry about. Another 23% feel that moving to Barcelona has not improved their career prospects (vs. 18% globally).

Luckily, life in Barcelona still has many upsides. The city’s above-average ranking in the Ease of Settling In Index (15th) demonstrates this perfectly: about three in four expats (74%) feel at home there (vs. 62% globally), and 66% have a personal support network in Barcelona (vs. 58% globally). The city ranks midfield when it comes to the Personal Finance Index (21st), and more than half the expats (55%) are happy with the general cost of living (vs. 44% globally).

The Expat Essentials Index (20th) reveals some more highlights: expats report that it’s easy to pay without cash (8th) and learn the local language(s) (9th). Overall, 84% of expats are happy with their life in Barcelona, compared to 72% globally.

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