Vigo, the “Olive City”, is situated in northwest Spain, in the autonomous region of Galicia. Residents of Vigo mostly speak Spanish, but often in combination with Galician (Galego), which may seem strange to newly arrived expats living in Vigo. English is not widely spoken, so knowledge of Castilian Spanish is essential. Built to defend Vigo during the Peninsula War, the Castro Fortress dominates the city and offers peaceful walks around its ornamental gardens as well as far reaching views across the city. The city center, the Casco Vello or Cidade Vella, contains a network of narrow, hilly streets composed of former fishermen’s houses, and thus has a nautical theme. Compact enough to walk around, the center also contains many cafés and restaurants offering expats living in Vigo plenty of opportunities to sample the fine local fish and seafood cuisine. By joining InterNations, an expat in Vigo can access fellow expatriates living in northwest Spain or around the world. InterNations enables and facilitates socializing and networking on the various forums and discussion groups on the site.
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The Vigo-Peinador Airport receives mainly domestic flights, with the Portugese Porto International Airport being the main arrival point for incoming overseas passengers. Vigo has a direct railway link with Portugal as well as Santiago de Compostela to the north and Ourense to the east. Local buses in Vigo offer a reliable service to all districts, while Main automobile routes pass through Vigo, including the E01 highway, south to Lisbon in Portugal, and north to A Coruña, whilst the A52 runs east to Ourense. However, even with the best transport options, relocating to a new country can be a daunting prospect, especially if there is a different language to master and cultural difficulties to overcome. With an InterNations membership, though, an expatriate moving to Vigo has the support of fellow expats via the InterNations portal. Advice on specific difficulties can often be had from members with experience of moving to Vigo in particular or Spain in general. For general information on the relocation process, members should consult the Expat Magazine, which is a compendium of knowledge on all facets of relocation and life abroad.
Vigo has a long maritime history, and the port of Vigo is still the main source of employment in the city. Shipbuilding is another major industry, together with fishing. Pescanova, one of the largest fishing fleets in the world, has its headquarters in Vigo, and fish canning is a subsidiary industry. The University of Vigo and other research institutes are world renowned for oceanography and other related maritime subjects. In addition, automobile production by the French PSA Peugeot Citroen company is another significant factor for Vigo’s economy, and the quarrying and worldwide export of granite from the area are also important employment providers in the area. InterNations members may well find others in Vigo for social and business purposes, and with male and female professional soccer teams in the city, the local sailing and maritime facilities on offer, as well as the beaches, any expatriate working in Vigo is bound to have a wonderful time.