Advantages & Disadvantages of Living in Spain

If you are searching for jobs and work in Spain then you must also consider what it would be like to live in Spain on a permanent basis. Sure it is nice if you’ve been on holiday to Spain and perhaps you’ve stayed in a tourist resort which had a lovely beach.

Yes you enjoyed swimming in the sea and lounging by the pool, but living in Spain and having to go to work each day and make a living is completely different to being on holiday!

Living in Spain

Too many people believe that finding a job in Spain is some sort of dream and they believe all the problems that they have in their current situation in life will be solved by moving to the sunny climate of Spain.

Many people arrive in Spain and take months to snap themselves out of holiday mode. By that time their money has dwindled and many find themselves in an extremely difficult financial situation.

The purpose of this article is to give you some advantages to living and working in Spain as well as the disadvantages – so you can pursue your quest to find a job in Spain with a healthy dose of reality and not with your head in the clouds. This will make for a more successful relocation.

Advantages of Living in Spain

Weather and Climate.

Certainly climate is by far the biggest reason people will look to find jobs in Spain.

The weather and climate is much kinder than other Northern European countries.

It should be pointed out that in the winter it certainly does get cold and many regions of Spain experience snow, ice and plenty of rain.

Having said that, Spain has a mild climate and the ability to often wake up to clear blue skies and warm sunshine is a blessing.


Most jobs in Spain will be located in the many popular tourist resorts up and down the coast. Typically these resorts will have wonderful sandy beaches and many bars and restaurants with great possibilities for nightlife. It does make for a very good way of life because everybody is much more relaxed and friendly.


The ability to be outdoors much more and perform many different sports activities is very much a massive advantage towards your health and longevity. As well as the many opportunities for exercise, the diet is also recognised as being extremely healthy and liable to add years to your life.


Moving to Spain is a great cultural experience which will widen your horizons and that of your family. If you have children they will pick up and become fluent in Spanish and meet many nationalities and experience many cultural differences.


Spain is a great choice if you’re looking for work because it is only a short flight away from the United Kingdom and other countries such as Germany and France. Usually in about 2½ hours you can be back in UK with one of the many cheap flights From Ryanair or EasyJet.


The Spanish people are typically very friendly once you show that you are willing to make an effort to integrate and speak their language. Certainly they have a great attitude towards enjoying life and making the most of it, just look at the amount of fiestas (festivals) and holidays they have as evidence!

Disadvantages to Living in Spain

Cost of Living in Spain 2013.

Wages and salaries are much lower in Spain than in other more developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany and the USA. Although your immediate reaction is probably to think that the cost of living in Spain is much lower, that is something of a myth these days.

Not only are wages low, hours are also very long because of the traditional siesta in the middle of the day.

Yes that was the case in years gone by, but with the introduction of the Euro the cost of living in Spain has increased dramatically. In fact it may not even be any cheaper whatsoever to live in Spain as compared to the United Kingdom!


Spain can take a great toll on personal relationships. Unfortunately many people search for work in Spain because they believe it will be an answer to all their problems that they currently have. In actual fact, moving to Spain is likely to increase the pressure in a personal relationship because you will be together with your partner much more than you would be at home.


While in general we would say that the Spanish are a friendly nation that doesn’t apply to everybody and there will always be people who are racist and resentful of foreigners who are moving to their country and potentially taking their jobs.


Do be very careful if you are thinking of buying property in Spain. We certainly recommend you rent first and get settled in a job before you commit to a mortgage. Another reason is because there have been many problems with planning permission in Spain whereby many properties have been built illegally and people unwittingly have lost their entire life savings.


The red tape and bureaucracy in Spain is infamous. Getting the simplest things done often involves many trips to the Town Hall with multiple photocopies of various forms. It can be incredibly frustrating when you move to Spain to encounter all these obstacles.


While the public health care system in Spain is recognised as being of a good quality there does exist a lack of support structure for elderly people. For example there are not that many care homes and it is assumed that elderly people will be looked after by their relatives. Many jobs in Spain will not come with an official contract and therefore you will not be entitled to free medical care. This will put you in an extremely vulnerable situation as a worker and you will need to pay expensive premiums towards private healthcare.

Lack of Mental Stimulation.

Many people looking for jobs in Spain underestimate the effects of boredom. In most towns and villages in Spain there are far less facilities and amenities than you would get in a developed country such as the United Kingdom. After a while this can get boring and something that you miss. Many of these bustling tourist resorts become virtual ghost towns in winter.


You really need to weigh up the pros and cons if you are relocating to Spain with children. Their opportunities later in life will be far less because it would be natural for Spanish nationals to be given jobs in preference to them. While it is great that they are learning another language, it is often the case that they move back once they have finished their education.

Missing ‘Home’.

Certainly a disadvantage to working in Spain is that you may miss your friends and family back home. Although they may not be too far away, in other words just a short flight, it can be hard and expensive to constantly be flying back especially if you have grandchildren back at home.


Having lived and worked in Spain we can honestly say that it is a fantastic country with a wonderful climate and people. Yes you can have the most amazing lifestyle but only if you are financially secure.

Get the right job and you will most likely never want to leave Spain but get the wrong job, which is often a more likely option, and you may regret completely your decision to up sticks and relocate to Spain.

Unfortunately it is the harsh reality that working in Spain and surviving financially is extremely difficult because good paying jobs are very rare especially to people who only speak English! Be careful to do as much research as you possibly can before you make the huge decision to move to Spain.

Most Popular Related Reading…

Living in Spain – Expat Stories & Accounts

Finding Work in Spain

Home Page

Full Index of Pages


  1. Barcelona is a beautiful, cosmopolitan city. Nonetheless, outside the city, I have found Catalonia very disappointing and provincial. The quality of the service in restaurants and hotels is not competitive with other nations, such as Italy. Then, Catalans in general are not much welcoming to other Europeans.

  2. 12 years ago i sold my house and drove down to oliva, valencia, looked at some wonderful homes but something just told me “no” its not right for you…………..6th sense, i dont know but though i have had many wonderful times in spain since the 60’s, my partner and i decided, now we are early retired, to spend a month in the late spring and also in late summer, renting cheap flats – a couple of yrs ago we had a 2 bed, 2 bath appartment in Pego with use of a pool, huge balcony, underground parking and wonderful views of orange groves and mountains – all for 400 euros for a month from late september – wonderful weather, not too crowded as the schools had gone back – all in all we find its much the better way to do it – so even if you are working – you can take your annual holiday maybe for a month in the cheaper season when its bearably warm and enjoy all the benefits and pleasures of spain without commiting to living in a country which may not suit you on a permenant basis…………..

Help Add To This Page - Send Us a Tip or Comment - Add a Photo - Suggest a Correction...