The capital of Spain’s northeastern region of Aragon, Zaragoza (or Saragossa) is a world-class and wonderfully scenic cosmopolitan city. It is bisected by the Ebro River and its tributaries, but expats moving to Zaragoza will realise that it's far more than just the waterways that pulse energy throughout the city.
Living in Zaragoza as an expat
Expats living in Zaragoza appreciate the city’s balance of rich Roman history combined with modern conveniences. Residents can kickstart the morning with coffee at a nearby cafe, shop along Calle Alfonso or Paseo de la Independencia, walk through the ancient narrow streets, then get a drink or eat some patatas bravas with friends around El Tubo – the perennially buzzing central area.
Terraced housing and balconied apartments dominate Zaragoza’s housing market, as they do in the rest of Spain. Modern architecture is sprinkled in among the many historic buildings, and the city has also developed a high-tech tram system and bus network for the ease of getting around.
What’s more, Zaragoza is well situated to explore Spain. It is located halfway between Madrid and Barcelona and is connected by the AVE high-speed train. Only a couple of hours north lies the Pyrenees, offering a multitude of activities from hiking and abseiling to skiing and snowboarding, with many picturesque villages along the way.
Many expats move to Zaragoza to teach English as a foreign language, while others may also find jobs in the skilled and service sectors. Unemployment is fairly high though, and securing a job may not always be straightforward.
Cost of living in Zaragoza
Prospective expats can rest assured that Zaragoza’s cost of living is much gentler than the likes of Madrid and Barcelona. Basic utilities, transport and food are all relatively affordable, meaning even expats on a tight budget are able to maintain a high-quality lifestyle.
Expat families and children in Zaragoza
Expats moving to the city with children have a range of schooling options available to them, including state, private and semi-private schools.
With a plethora of speciality museums, aquariums and water parks, Zaragoza is an educational yet fun paradise for the whole family. Exploring the many historical sites is a breeze owing to the city’s expansive public transport network and walkability.
Climate in Zaragoza
Zaragoza’s climate is temperate with hot and clear summers, allowing for plenty of outdoor activity. That said, air conditioning is a necessity during the warmer months. The winters are cold with snowfall drifting down at least one day annually.
Thanks to a vibrant culture, fascinating architecture and constant innovation, Zaragoza has seduced many an expat and convinced them to stay far longer than they'd intended.
►Thinking of moving to Zaragoza? Read Visas for Spain to start planning.
Are you an expat living in Zaragoza?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Zaragoza. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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