Moving to Barcelona
Expats moving to Barcelona will enjoy one of Europe’s finest metropolises, complete with vibrant and unique businesses, a pulsating nightlife, and sprawling, eclectic neighbourhoods that unravel alongside the sparkling Mediterranean.
The weather is arguably unbeatable, the architecture arguably unmatched, and the overall lifestyle often praised as one of the best on the continent.
That said, expats moving to Barcelona should be wary of a depressed economy and a limited job market. The city is still suffering from the 2007 global recession, and now lags behind Madrid, with the capital’s commercial success creating far more opportunities for foreigners.
Furthermore, wages are low by European standards, but the cost of living continues to rise unabated. Accommodation, an expat’s costliest responsibility, is no less expensive than in other European cities, though the process of finding a home to rent is not nearly as competitive as in London or Amsterdam.
Those emigrating for pleasure or those who have been lucky enough to secure a job beforehand will find no better place to explore. Situated just 125 miles (200km) from France between a gorgeous coastline and a hilly backdrop, the city is the seat of the Catalan region, and thus adds its own unique language and customs to the country.
The push and pull between modern and old and Spanish and Catalan influences define the city in flux. Low and ornate medieval buildings appear between Gaudi’s modernist skeletal structures, and vie for attention with ultra-contemporary downtown high rises. Traditional tapas and cava (Spanish champagne) bars stand shoulder to shoulder with chic new-age eateries and glamorous Michelin-starred restaurants. Expats from Africa, the Middle East and Asia now intermingle with those traditional foreign communities of South Americans and Castilians.
The public transport system is efficient, safe and reliable, the healthcare system of a high-standard, and the nearby natural splendour breathtaking.
Expats need only to find a way to make a little money, pick up a bit more of the local language, and settle into what has the potential to be a very laid-back lifestyle in Spain.