The Ultimate Guide To Moving To Spain

Relocating to a new country is an adventure that requires careful planning and a bit of know-how. If the sunny skies, rich culture, and laid-back lifestyle of Spain are calling your name, you’re in for a treat. This guide will walk you through the steps to make your move to Spain as smooth as possible.

Understanding the Cost of Living

When planning your move, it’s important to get a realistic picture of the cost of living. In Spain, expenses can vary widely depending on whether you choose to live in a bustling city or a tranquil village.

  • City Life: Expect to pay more for the convenience and excitement of urban living. Cities like Madrid and Barcelona boast vibrant cultures but also come with a higher price tag for accommodation, dining, and entertainment.
  • Rural Retreat: If you’re after a quieter lifestyle, Spain’s rural areas offer stunning landscapes and a lower cost of living. Away from the tourist hubs and metropolitan areas, your euros will stretch further, giving you more room to explore and enjoy.

Average Costs

While specific costs can vary, here are some ballpark figures to consider in your budgeting:

  • Rent: Major cities like Madrid and Barcelona can range from €700 to over €1,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre. In smaller towns or on the outskirts, €400 to €700 might be more typical.
  • Utilities: Monthly costs for essentials such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and rubbish collection typically total around €100 to €150.
  • Groceries: A budget of €200 to €300 per month can generally cover supermarket expenses for a single person.
  • Transport: Public transport passes can range from €20 to €60 per month, depending on the city and the types of transport you use.

Legal Requirements for Moving to Spain

Moving to another country isn’t just about packing your bags. There are legal requirements you’ll need to meet.
Visas and Residency:

Depending on your nationality, the length of your stay, and the purpose of your move (work, study, retirement, etc.), you may need a visa to come to Spain. For stays longer than three months, a residency permit is typically required.

Work and Taxes

If you’re moving to Spain for work, securing a job ahead of time can help streamline the visa process. Be aware of Spain’s tax regulations and how they may apply to you as an expat. The non-lucrative visa is designed for people who want to live but not work in Spain. Apart from the non lucrative visa spain cost approximately 28,800 euros are required for the main applicant. If you come with relatives, you have to pay 7,200 euros for each relative that comes with you.


Spain offers a high standard of public healthcare. As a resident, you may be eligible for free or low-cost healthcare, but private health insurance can also be a good idea for comprehensive coverage.

Finding Accommodation

  • Renting: Leasing a property is common for newcomers. You’ll find everything from modern apartments to historic homes. Engage a reputable real estate agent or use trusted online platforms to find the perfect place.
  • Buying: Purchasing property in Spain might be an investment you’re considering. As property laws vary, it’s wise to consult with a local lawyer who specializes in real estate to navigate the process.

Learning the Language

While many Spaniards speak English, especially in tourist areas, knowing Spanish can greatly enhance your experience. Consider taking courses or using language-learning apps to get by and truly immerse yourself in Spain’s rich culture.

Integration into Spanish Culture

Embracing the local customs, cuisine, and traditions will make your move to Spain a truly fulfilling experience. Spain is known for its friendly locals, so don’t hesitate to socialize and make new connections. Participating in community events and local festivals is a great way to feel at home.

Remember, every person’s experience is unique, and this guide is just the start of your Spanish adventure. With thoughtful preparation and an open heart, you’re well on your way to making Spain your new home under the sun.