Moving to Spain

Tips for Settling into Life in the “Land of Sun and Dried Fruit”

Moving to a new country can be exciting, but it is also challenging. You will need to find somewhere to live and create a support network so you don’t feel isolated. You will need to learn new social norms and develop fluency in the local language. Moving to Spain from another part of Europe or the Americas is an excellent idea if you want to experience a new culture while staying in the same region. Expats who move to Spain have access to all the benefits of being in the EU but with a much lower cost of living. There are many reasons why someone would want to move to Spain and settle there permanently, perhaps even permanently enough that they buy real estate there as an investment property. Many people spend only a few years living in Spain, whether as students or expatriate employees of international companies. So let’s look at some more specific pros and cons when moving to Spain, what it might be like if you decide on this location for permanent residence, how best to adapt and integrate into Spanish life, and what specific things you should consider before leaping at home sweet home into your very own Casa Azulejada (blue-tiled house).

Why Move to Spain?

While the specifics can vary greatly depending on the region and city you pick, in general, Spain is a very warm, friendly, and hospitable culture. It is also an incredibly diverse country, with people from around the world choosing to live here and enriching the culture even more with their own traditions and approaches to life. These are just some of the reasons why people move to Spain.

Pros of Living in Spain

There are many advantages to living in Spain. Perhaps the most obvious pro to living in this country is its proximity to other major Western European and Mediterranean countries, making it easy to explore other places relatively easily. This is also a relatively safe place, at least when compared to other countries, and its healthcare system is free and reasonably good. You can also expect a relatively low cost of living when compared to similar Western European countries, especially when looking at the cost of real estate.

Cons of Living in Spain

As with every place, there are some cons to living in Spain as well. While it is a safe country, it does have a high crime rate, particularly financial crime. Road safety is also a concern, as Spain has one of the highest road fatality rates in Europe. There are also health concerns, including the fact that Spanish has one of the highest rates of diabetes.

How to Adapt to Spanish Culture

If you decide to move to Spain, you will need to learn at the very least some basics about Spanish culture and social norms so you don’t stand out too much. Cultural differences can be minor but make a big impact. It is also a good idea to learn the language, as this will make life much easier in every way. Sticking to typical customs will also help you fit in and not make others feel uncomfortable.

What is Life Like for Permanent Residents?

If you decide to move to Spain and make it your permanent home, you will be fortunate indeed. You will be able to enjoy a great quality of life in a beautiful, diverse country with very little hassle or effort. Not only will you be able to take advantage of lower costs of living, but you will also get to enjoy the fantastic Mediterranean climate. Of course, you will also have to make certain sacrifices, especially if you choose to live in a big city.


If you are considering a move to Spain, be prepared for a warm welcome but also a significant change to your life, even if you only plan to be there for a few years. Spanish culture is very different from many other cultures and will necessitate a shift in your way of living and thinking. When you move to Spain, you will have to be prepared for the fact that many of your favourite foods will be different, especially if you are from the US or Canada. Moving to Spain is an exciting prospect, but you will need to be prepared for this change.