Spain is one of the most beautiful, charming, culturally enriching and exciting countries in the world, so it is not surprising that it is among the main travel destinations for tourists all over the world.
Do you want to settle in Spain, create your business here or simply rent or buy real estate to invest or live in? In this article, we present some tips to make your stay — no matter its purpose — a success.
Spain is located in southern Europe and is a member country of the European Union; Spain also belongs to many European and international organisations. It is a modern country with excellent infrastructures for both communications and health care. It is well known throughout the world for its culture, vast history, wide and renowned cuisine and, among many other factors, its sunny climate. Currently, it is a very popular destination for foreigners, both for those who stay for just a vacation and for those who want to live under the country’s sunny skies. It is becoming more frequent, especially for European citizens, to live, study, work or retire in Spain.
Why living in Spain is an interesting option
Spain offers many benefits, including an unparalleled quality of life and a very pleasant rhythm in daily life. Perhaps this is why famous people have loved the country; one such case is Julio César, who stated ‘Beati Hispani quibus bibere vivere est’, or ‘Blessed are the Spaniards for whom drinking is living’. Then, there is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who said, ‘Spain, the beautiful country of wine and songs’.
Before you decide to pack your bags and venture into Spain, we would like to advise you to follow these tips to take advantage of the best that Spain has to offer.
Choose a Spanish region that meets your expectations
There is a wide range of possibilities; for the best places to live in Spain, in most cases, it all comes down to personal preferences, available resources and many other factors. If you have decided that Spain interests you, but you still do not know where to go, then, well, you will have to choose because it is a ‘large, diverse and varied’ country. Cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Bilbao and Valencia are interesting because of the professional possibilities they offer and their cosmopolitan appeal; Andalusia, the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands offer warm climates, a slow pace and beaches; and Extremadura is steeped in tradition and days of old, a feeling that modernity cannot affect the city. We could continue with the different Spanish geographical areas, each one of them with their unique charms and characteristics.
Health care in Spain
Spain is part of Europe, so a European health insurance card will give you medical attention in any hospital. Regarding the quality of the health service, we can only say that it is optimal.
Each autonomous community has a health service, which is the administrative and management structure that includes all the centres, services and health facilities in the region.
For more information, consult the website of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality at the following link: http://www.msssi.gob.es (available in Spanish, English and French).
Foreigners who, because of their economic, professional or social interests are related to Spain, must have, for identification purposes, a personal, unique and exclusive number, known as a ‘Number of Foreigner Identifications’, or NIE. This number, found in the identity card or residence card, is used to open a bank account, buy a house, etc..
Find your dream house in Spain
Renting a property in Spain is a good way to get to know the country and can help you decide in what area you may want to live. The market may seem filled with more residences for sale instead of rentals.
However, renting for a few years before buying is usually a good option. As in other countries, the most common way to find a home to rent in Spain is to contact a real estate agency or to use a specialised online portals.
If you want to buy a property in Spain, consulting with a real estate agency may not be a bad idea. Real estate agents can often provide detailed information about the region or city of interest. Many agencies offer bilingual services and are used to dealing with foreign buyers. However, you must uncover the seriousness and solvency of any lawyer or real estate agent with whom you decide to work. The agency will be responsible for telling you the legal aspects of the purchase you plan to make, such as if the house is registered within the land registry, if there are any outstanding debts, such as a mortgage on the property. Any lawyer who exercises in Spain must be registered with the Bar Association; although, obviously, such registration does not guarantee the honesty or competence of the lawyer, but it is a first step.
You may also need the professional services of a surveyor or architect to certify that the property is as described and is structurally sound.
Looking for a job in Spain
Depending on the country of origin, salaries may be lower in Spain, but compared with the cost of living, working in Spain may be worth it.
Adapting to the Spanish rhythm
Spaniards eat late, lunch from 2–3 pm, and do not expect to have dinner before 9 in the evening; you will notice that even TV has adapted to this schedule, offering quite extensive programming during later hours. In the same way, don’t go out before 10 pm because the nightclubs are usually empty before 2 am. Usually, it is best to start the day at 9 am. You will understand all this when you experience the Spanish summer, where it is basically impossible to go shopping before 5 pm.
Spaniards are quite sociable, and there is a lot of life on the street, especially thanks to the weather and the way Spaniards are: fun, communicative, smiling and warm-hearted.
Discover the different points of interest in Spain
You have finally snuggled into your new Spanish home, and you are curious about everything around you: remember that you are in one of the main tourist destinations in the world, sporting the Alhambra in Granada, the mosque in Cordoba, the Giralda in Seville, Madrid and its history, the modernity of Valencia, the natural beauty of Asturias and the Costa del Giralda, so take advantage of these sites and get to know the country and its diversity.
At ‘Welex’, multilingual law firm in Spain, we provide legal, labour-related, tax and accounting advice. With our vast experience and professionalism, we also proudly offer legal security for our clients. We are a group of lawyers, economists, accountants and social graduates prepared to answer your questions and defend your interests.
Do you need a lawyer in Spain? Do you need an accountant in Spain? Contact us now!