Over the past decade, Spain has become a popular destination for those wishing to move to Europe. One of Spain’s main advantages is the Mediterranean climate, along with the easy access to beaches and to other European countries.
Your first step to legally work in Spain is to obtain a work contract: If you have a passport from any country in the European Union, you are automatically allowed to work in Spain, although you may need to register with the local authorities; Rules and regulations vary from city to city.
When deciding which area of Spain to move to, budget should be a major consideration: Large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona are more expensive than smaller cities, but they offer more work opportunities and allow you to move around using public transportation, rather than needing a car. The same is true of living in the center as opposed to the suburbs, although rents will be higher. The north and center of Spain, including areas such as Castilla and Asturias, are generally cheaper than the south, where the high number of tourists influences the prices of rent, food and transportation, even for the locals.
While it is possible to get through most of Europe speaking just English, Spanish locals are less likely to be fluent in it, if you are planning to settle outside the biggest cities. Learning Spanish is especially important if you are moving to an area where a local dialect is strongly rooted in the community (such as Castillian in the center), because residents of the area are more likely to speak just the dialect and the official language of the country. However in coastal areas and places with high tourism, most will speak English.
Do as much research as possible before the move: Working conditions in Spain differ from those of other countries. For example, it is common in Spain for businesses to take a siesta; a 2- to 3-hour break in the middle of the afternoon, during which everything shuts down. This may sound convenient, but it often means that you will have a longer working day, often extending until 8 p.m. or later. Weather is also quite different in the north (continental mild) and in the south (humid, with hot summers and lots of sunshine).
Spanish nationals are quite open to foreigners: This is especially true since the creation of the European Union. Social boundaries are less strict than they are in other parts, and people find it acceptable to ask more personal questions and to get involved in the life of their co-workers or neighbours, especially in smaller cities. This may simplify things when you first move to Spain, because you can count on the help of the locals to learn how your chosen city works. On the other hand, Spain is more conservative and more religious than other European countries, so an understanding of the local customs and beliefs will go a long way.