Advantages + Disadvantages of Living in Spain 2023: Pros & Cons

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, don’t worry, we give you some honest advantages, as well as disadvantages, before you consider making the big move.

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!

This video explains the pros and cons of living in Spain:

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 2023.

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.

If you are still keen to move to Spain then this page is full of STRONG opinions on what it is like living in Spain.

Most Popular Related Reading…

Living in Spain – Expat Stories & Accounts

Finding Work in Spain

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  1. Spain is so beautiful and free country, which i visit two times a year. People are friendly and helpful. They will try to help you everywhere you go and ask them. Many times we arrived late in the towns have problems finding our ABNB accommodation. When people see you wondering with map where to go they stopped and help you, i am Bulgarian and leave in a few countries – South Africa, Canada and currently USA.
    The worst experience we had in Canada. WE arrived there as a landed emigrants. They pretend are not rasist and give chinses to every one, but this is complete government scram. I spoke decent English and every where i applied for a job they ask you for Canadian experience. Thanks god my husband had a good luck to be invited for interview and got the position in Architectural co, only because the owners were from South Africa. If you are not native Canadian no one wants to meet you for interview. You can not have nice apartment even if you have money ( 20 years ago they asked for 25000. dollars for family when you arrive as landed emigrant) ) People were shammed from rental companies. You pay more than 1000 can dollars for a crampy apartment with mice. You loose your saving there for a few months. .To make the story short now i leave in USA, have my successful business. Unfortunately life here is only working and everywhere you go have to be by car. I plan to move in Spain in a few years and i will open business tere too. I can ot believe how inexpensive the rents are there, For my restaurant in Florida the rent is 8000USD. I t is not possible to purchase commercial property here. I am not scare from bureaucracy at all in Spain, I have many Bulgarian friends who leaves happy in Spain and have their own successful businesses. When you are emmkgrant you have to work hard and integrate in a society.. My big problems is it is sobeautifull everyowhere so it is hard where to go, Barcelona, Costa Blanca, Costa del Soll Madrid

  2. Deforavindran says

    I find this article very patronizing (Raj attitude, anyone?) and disrespectful. The expectations of this kind of immigrants are stupid. They think that all of Spain is a holiday resort, where the locals have to change their ways to accommodate for them. Some kind of Butlin’s under the sun, where you can spend 365 days a year.

    That’s pretty unrealistic. Those tourist resorts where they go, in very specific places in Spain (ergo, easily avoided) are not made for full-time living, just for the holidays, so of course they become ghost towns in winter. People who own homes there (I mean Spaniards) study and work elsewhere, and only go in the summer. The few locals who live there have the disgrace of seeing house prices rise and salaries drop, and they hate expats’ guts to death, for ruining the landscape and the local economy. You’ve turned their quiet fishermen towns into a nightmare and a symbol of tackiness for Spaniards.

    Cost of living in Spain is the same as in the UK, and most British immigrants have no skills whatsoever to earn a living, since they can’t even speak Spanish, not to mention other necessary languages in Spain like Catalan or Valenciano, so they aren’t fit even for doing low-skilled jobs such as changing nappies in a care home. They often can’t spell in English and write like dyslexics. And still they have the cheek of expecting to live in Spain a lavish life by the sea, as if they were millionaires, when they are just aimless riff-raff.

    Do you keep your Christmas decorations throughout the year? Well, tourist resorts are the same. They are not aimed at everyday life, so they don’t cater to everyday needs.

    You complain about the lack of close friendships. Haven’t you entertained the thought that Spaniards might find you too chavvy and uneducated? It is a common blind spot among British immigrants. Mind you, common attitudes that you find normal such as heavy drinking, obnoxious behavior and underdressing are social faux-pas in Spain. And paunchy gammons and women with shrieking voices and gaudy outfits are seen as the height of vulgarity.

    I hope this Brexit mess will send many of them back home and will curb new arrivals, so they can complain in Britain about Polish and Pakistani people, while queuing at gas stations and looking at empty shelves in supermarkets. Just as they complain about Spaniards in Spain.

    • I couldn’t even finish reading your full reply but it seems you are blindly defending a country with more flaws than I can list here.
      I am married to a Spanish woman and just over a year ago we moved to Spain. So far, for last 14 months I have not ONCE had any trivial task go smoothly, and without me having to wreck my nerves and spend countless sleepless nights. Every single task like opening a bank account, or registering with a GP or a dentist, getting a driving license etc. etc. is riddled with a horrendous bureaucracy that makes absolutely no sense. And every person I’ve met here (including my wive’s relatives) have countless stories of similar nature how nothing seems to work and how nobody can be held responsible.
      I mean… I haven’t even found a single website (bank, healthcare, town halls, big retail chains etc.) to work properly. It’s either under a DDOS attack, or it’s missing security protocols, or menus don’t work, or some other issue (and no, it’s not my problem (tried 3 different browsers on 2 difference PCs).
      Back in the UK I was getting paid £1,450 (1,700 €) for a simple cleaning job. Here in Spain a receptionist in an office gets paid a little over 1000 €.
      Supermarket prices in many cases are the same or even higher than what it was back in the UK. The only cheap thing is alcohol which I actually don’t care about at all.
      And I do speak both Spanish and Catalan as I happen to like languages. This does absolutely nothing in helping me to find a job. Hundreds of jobs where they expect you to work some silly 4 hours a week, or only need you for a month etc.
      Don’t even get me started on tax evasion. From buying a car to getting some construction work done in our hose everyone is doing everything possible to evade paying taxes.
      I really wish I hadn’t taken the lame decision of coming here….

      • I can also say that I have never had any trivial task go smoothly. Everything is a struggle that requires me to turn up in person, with every piece of official paperwork that I’ve ever been in receipt of.

        Culturally, everyone seems to hate emails, so as a result of that, if you’re not a fluent Spanish speaker, the nature of a simple task is frequently opaque, time consuming and very stressful.

        I love being in Spain, but if I’d thought for a second that every _single_ thing I’d need to do would be such a monumental struggle, I’d have taken my remote working capability and foreign salary (that I pay taxes on here) and moved elsewhere in the EU.

  3. Aurora: If you’re North American or Northern European, embrace yourself and remember to only complain in these blogs and hold back on these opinions with your Spanish counterparts! I already know I will get some nasty messages for some of the things I wrote.

    Leonarda (commenter right after Aurora): The imp, Aurora, who wrote last has lots of psychiatric baggage that she happily brought along when she left for Spain.

    Me: Laughing in hysterics

    Aurora put out the disclaimer that the Spanish will get defensive on this one lol. She was spot on!!

    Leonarda, ‘imp, are you on drugs, not- willing-to-integrate refugees.’ This is exactly what Aurora was ranting about. Whatever your argument was, it got torn to pieces with your xenophobic and rude comments.

  4. The imp, Aurora, who wrote last has lots of psychiatric baggage that she happily brought along when she left for Spain.

    We, Spaniards, are indeed a very proud people because we had centuries of glorious culture and civilization that has made great contributions to this day. No matter how you highlight Spain’s negative aspects, your being in Spain speaks louder than your shallow rants.

    Lack of diversity? You are on drugs, right? Or you are among those who are trying to squeeze into Spain millions more of those unskilled, not- willing-to-integrate “refugees” who are depleting our country’s resources? Have you not seen that Spain’s major cities and even smaller towns are already overwhelmed by them?

    We, Spaniards, don’t care at all if people such as you want to destroy your homelands, but it’s not your business at all to tell us how we run our society, not least when our culture has been centuries older than yours, and certainly NOT when you live on our soil. Why don’t you sail back to where you came from and get your nose out of Spanish business?

  5. Hi! So, I’m a Canadian living in Spain- yes, there’s a few thousand of us here believe it or not. There’s no way as a foreigner that we can write or comment on this article without offending the Spanish- they are a very proud people, but I think all of us can be when it comes to defending out countries or cultures. I’ve been here over a decade, so I was nodding when reading the different points in the article.

    Agreed- climate is great overall, but I guess you could feel differently if you lived in Galicia or the North where it rains more. I live in the South and I personally find it way too hot in the summer and the winter is just perfect. In my ideal world I would live in Spain during the winter months and then go home in the summer months.

    Beaches- yes, very good compared to many other countries, but it’s certainly not Tahiti or the Maldives. Another downer to the beaches is the NOISE and just the overall ‘crowdedness’ in the summer months. Last summer I remember I went to the beach near my home and it was just pergolas everywhere, kids running around not being controlled by their parents who knew they were kicking sand in our faces, and their tacky dads blasting their reggaeton as if we all wanted to listen to their music. Sadly, this is a reality on many beaches. I personally like the beach as a view from my kitchen window.

    Health and Hospitals- universal health care is something accessible for most Western countries, so I take this as more ‘exotic’ for the Americans. The Spanish take pride in their system as one of the best, but I think the pandemic just shredded this stereotype into tiny pieces. Health- depends on where you live. I live in the South near the beach and as a Canadian I don’t find the lifestyle here geared so much towards health and fitness. Gyms can be super dirty- my local gym, (at least pre-pandemic), nobody would clean their equipment after they used it and the owners certainly didn’t care. The best I’ve got for hiking is 90 minutes away in the Sierra Nevada. The locals here are more interested in walking next to the sea, and some young people show interest in fitness, but it’s not like my homeland. That being said, I had a totally different perspective in Madrid. I thought everyone was awesome when it came to cycling, going to the Sierra de Madrid to hike, frisbee tournaments on the weekends, etc. Again, I would boil this down to regional culture.

    Nobody can deny Spain has a rich and interesting culture. However, there is a lack of cultural diversity. It’s a very homogeneous country in the sense that if you’re a person of colour walking into a small town, people will stare at you. I couldn’t imagine having a child of colour here and sending him/her to school. I’ve heard so many horror stories from English teachers that have worked in the public school system telling me that Spanish kids in class will remind a child of African or Asian descent that he or she is not Spanish (yet that little Asian boy or African girl is born and raised in Spain and will speak Spanish better than I ever will)…and of course, this leads to the topic of racism. Are they racist overall? I would say no in large, but I have a few horror stories from people of colour who do live here and I really suggest you take a look at SOS racismo’s page if you insist that racism doesn’t exist here. I also recommend the book ‘Kinky Gazpacho’ which is the story of an African American woman who lived here in Spain and even married an Andaluz! Don’t tell me racism doesn’t live here after reading that book!

    There’s a whole lot of ignorance here, but a lot of it is due to the fact that this is a very homogeneous country in which immigration didn’t really boom until the late 90’s. At the same time, Vox is taking Spain down a dangerous new path of xenophobia and yeah, a whole other discussion.

    Regarding flights and travel- this was the big one for me- everything is nearby and for a great price. You can find some great deals!

    Cost of living and the economy- ouch! I know Madrid and Barcelona are dangerously overpriced but cost of living gets much better once you leave these big cities. That being said, unemployment is at an all time high (hasn’t it always been?), and there is zero culture for entrepreneurship. Spain has some of the worst conditions for freelancers in all of the OECD countries. Moreover, the economy and job situation are so bad, there’s literally been a vacuum effect in which a lot of talent and brains has been sucked out of the country, known as the great ‘brain-drain. There’s been a massive migration of highly skilled and talented Spaniards that have flocked to the UK and other countries because there’s such a lack of prospects here. I think the pandemic is just going to kill Spain’s economy, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Not only do I see more Spaniards leaving the country in the next few years, but many foreigners living here may decide to return home or go elsewhere.

    Ok, so the writer mentioned ‘relationships’ but didn’t really delve into relationships in Spain. The Spanish are generally much warmer than their Northern European counterparts, but it’s hard to make friends here- yes, I just said it. And yes, I speak Spanish, and yes, in my homeland I am a social butterfly so this one quite shocked me. Family is number one in Spain, and friends are a FAR second. In my experience and also speaking with many other expats here, friendships can be more superficial. You meet up with your Spanish friends for a drink, but let’s say you need to call on them to help you with a move, or attend your PhD graduation ceremony, they may not show up. Why? It all goes back to family. Maria won’t come to your grad ceremony because she would rather meet up with her family for lunch. Juan Diego won’t help you move because he may think this crosses the line- family does these kinds of things, not friends. And I don’t see this as a black and white, bad versus good thing, it’s just a cultural difference. As well, in my observation while living here, it’s really hard to pierce a group of friends that may have been friends with one another since they were children. Maybe you’re that ‘juernes’ friend that they like to meet up with because they can practice their English with you- OK, so that maybe a little mean, but I have heard of expats being ‘used’ for their English. Regarding romantic relationships, I think love is complicated- period. It doesn’t matter where you’re from so I won’t go into this one.

    Regarding corruption and bureaucracy, I was just nodding and going ‘Amen’ to her whole blurb on these topics. Lack of mental stimulation totally depends on the person. If I’m a nature enthusiast and I live in the Pyrenees, I’m sure I wouldn’t relate to this point.

    CHILDREN!!! Wow, this is a big one. Advantage: your children will most likely become fully bilingual and speak like a Spaniard if they come here before the age of 13! That’s a huge one. The downer- the education system. Of course, I’m just speaking about the public-school system. If your child goes to a good international school maybe this isn’t an issue.

    So, what’s my issue with the schools here? The system itself- it’s just a bunch of memorizing and spitting out what you memorized with no emphasis on the practical aspects of the subject being taught. Unfortunately, for Spanish children this will become a way of life for many of them. The education system and many parents (I didn’t say ALL), encourage their kids to take endless exams till they are 25 or 30 so they can get that coveted job as a ‘funcionario’ or take useless Masters so they can work in a large company for a crappy salary.

    This is the ‘dream’ here- definitely not one that I would teach my child. Then you have to add to the fact that parenting is wildly different here. If I’m raising a kid here other parents may look down on me when I tell my 16-year-old to get a job in the summer so they can pay for their clothes and social activities from September to June. This could be seen as ‘cruel’ as ‘kids’ don’t really work here until they finish university. My kid may think ‘but Muuuuum, Lucia and Alba’ don’t have to work, their parents just say they have to focus on their studies and not worry about money till they finish university and get a job.’ Wowwww, I can just imagine the future arguments I would have with my child on this subject.

    One last story on this topic, a Spanish colleague told me that parents here could get extremely offended if you approach their teenage daughter to babysit your children. They could say ‘do you think my child is a charity case? She has to enjoy this summer so she can study hard in September. How dare you tempt my child with fast money!’ So yeah, I think you can raise your kids however you want here, but there will be a point where your kids may start comparing their experiences to their peers and this will be a whole lot of ‘fun’ for Mum and Dad to explain.

    I can’t wait till I tell my 7-year-old daughter ‘sorry 10 pm bedtime,’ (which I wouldn’t even do back home), but she hears other kids on the playground outside her window. So much fun to explain my parenting choices to a 7-year-old!

    My conclusion- you can live well here, but you have to accept that although the climate and food can be really good, there’s a lot of disadvantages (as there would be in any other country). I think if you’re Italian or Greek, this move may not be a hard one. If you’re North American or Northern European, embrace yourself and remember to only complain in these blogs and hold back on these opinions with your Spanish counterparts! I already know I will get some nasty messages for some of the things I wrote

  6. I totally agree. We bought a villa on the Costa Calida last year with a ciew to using it as a holiday home/letting to others. My husband lost his job and my 23 year old daughter was depressed. I also have chronic asthma and sinus issues. We decided to move out permanently here in April. Yes at first it was like a never ending holiday. My daughter was lucky enough to find work. Our savings are dwindling and my husband and I are struggling to make money and not ready for retirement. We hate where we live and feel very isolated. I am determined to get back to the UK but dont know where to start. I’ve tried an overdose as desperate. Yes the weather is great, its nice to sit on the beach but living here the reality of living day to day is very difficult.

  7. Yanky Grumby says

    I remember my last visit to Spain meeting a couple great people who were very open, though I was a young, somewhat vibrant guy. Other people were impossibly to penetrate. My problem is my brain has been trained in three other languages, and, unfortunately, spanish was not one, though I’ve picked up a few things, but probably not enough, and I don’t feel at my age it’s reasonable I will learn Spanish well, but maybe it’s possible.

    To me, whether you’re bored has as much to do with you as anything. I don’t expect to count on Spain for my income, thankfully. I am, worried, however, by a culture that has played servant to decades of tourists and how the locals feel a visitor is worth a good fleecing. The bureacratic nightmares are legendary, and noone needs to deal with that crap if you’re actually buying property. Your rights as a foreigner are likely not well protected.

    THat said, let me tell you how much fun life in the USA is. Guns and shootings quite frequent, prob double the rate in the worst nations of Europe. the USA loses like 30-40k people a year to guns. THe driving in the USA is never ending, and if you want to live somewhere where it’s better, it costs 500k minimum in any popular West coast city, far more in California. Vancouver BC is over, taken by the Chinese, though there are a fair amount of creative jobs there, but rents are so sky high, it’s just ridiculous. THe choice if you want cheaper property, in the 200k range, is to live 2-3 hours outside of a city in nutcaseville, with driving all the time, guns, polite people at least, sometimes pretty scenery. You have to go to the southwest to avoid winter, and the southwest is in a fair degree of general turmoil for a host of reasons.

    Don’t even think of moving to the deep South of America. The midwest is cheaper with good people if you like driving, tornadoes, and 6-month snowy winters, maybe longer these days.

    The world is becoming uninhabitable. One day, Spain will get very very hot for very long periods of time, since areas to the North are now having California style summers.

    I have heard repeatedly, including from a newlywed couple last year, that the Portuguese are an infinitely friendlier people. The Spanish used to have an empire. They’re still ticked at the anglos who took over the world, mostly because the West and the North wasn’t mired in catholicism. Spain is lucky it’s as modern as it is, since Latin America is a catastrophe, mostly because of the broken and failed thought patterns catholicism creates on almost every level in the human mind.

  8. I am really surprised after reading this article… I am Spanish and I do agree with many points, but I completely disagree with other points. I think Carmen above has perfectly explained what I think. I just want to add something; I have lived in Ireland and I am now living in the Netherlands. I can say that I have had similar problems and that sometimes you may feel alone, but you can not judge a country based on that. On the one hand, my experience in Ireland was amazing and I always recommend it to everyone. On the other hand, I am not liking my experience in the Netherlands. I do not like MY EXPERIENCE. This means that if you ask other Spanish people living here, they can say it is the best country in the world. I think it is very sad that after living in a different country and meeting its culture ( which in Spain is absolutely amazing and I do not think you can deny it) you make that kind of arrogant comments. The worst one; “developed country like the United Kingdom”. I think you should think about that. The truth is that I always thought that traveling and living abroad opens people’s minds, but there may be some exceptions. By the way, I am going back to live in Spain for good in 6 months and I can not wait.

    • I agree with “developed country” comment, I was appalled to read that… where are you from that you consider Spain an undeveloped country!?!?? I have lived in Cambodia, Serbia, Philippines, Mexico…. I would not even refer to those as undeveloped, maybe underdeveloped in some cases (well, okay, SE Asia, in general, is rather underdeveloped, but you can thank the politicians pocketing billions while most make $200/month and can’t even afford trash removal).

      That said, this is a difficult discussion, clearly. I won’t even state where I’m from, because of all the prejudice that comes with it (I left for a reason, believe me, I do NOT like it), but it’s considered a highly developed country. I have lived in 10 different countries across Europe and Asia. I am now considering a move to Spain, and don’t even know what to make of anything after reading this blog.

      I have never heard from ANYONE that the Netherlands is an easy place to socially integrate – beyond their already rigid social norms, while I find them friendly in general, I have heard from others to make good friends living there long-term is VERY difficult. I have heard from most people that Spain is insanely social, that if you sit alone at a café someone will invite you over, that it is so extroverted it can be scary to people like me who lean introverted and are more sensitive.

      I guess the only question I’m still left with is social integration in Spain. I guess it’s very different to go for a drink with someone than have someone you can truly talk to about things, and count on for something. At the same time, I value the safety and availability of healthcare that exist there (though if someone were to go the ‘arraigo’ route, you may not have access to anything but emergency rooms, which would be similar in other places). I was in Portugal for a while, and while I don’t wish to start commenting on people there (it could be a book of unpleasantness, which I know many may disagree with), I spent my entire time VERY isolated – in all that time I had coffee with a couple people, and that was IT. No dating (nor would I even want to date there given the attitudes of the locals, but never even had the chance), no sex, no dinners and drinks, NOTHING. It isn’t even healthy to live that isolated, and after almost a year, I had to give up. I went to Mexico, where I am now, where I’ve met more people than I can count, have no trouble meeting women, but with regards to how I’m treated (taken advantage of at every opportunity, harassed by panhandlers regularly, called ‘gringo,’ the culture generally lacks respect for others) and crime rates, this is not a place I feel particularly comfortable. So I look to Spain, as a place to truly settle, as I love Europe and Spain is much easier on immigrants than most other countries from a legal standpoint, but now wonder what to do. I was literally about to book the plane and Airbnb for while I look at apartments, but now don’t know…

  9. Chris Robinson says

    :How many Brits could write as well as this in Spanish?

  10. By looking at the points:

    Lack of Mental Stimulation.

    It seems to me like the racism don’t come from Spain but rather from the post writer.

    In the point Lack of Mental Stimulation, writing about a ‘…developed country like the United Kingdom…’ seems to put Spain in a second position, lower than the UK. Which seems a bit too arrogant.
    And in Children, you are saying that after a family puts their children into Spanish Education, integrate them with the community, they become fully bilingual…they still have to go back to the UK for work opportunities? I think you are creating a distorted version of the reality, and again showing like the UK is the only place where they can find job opportunities, again it sounds arrogant.

    • l don`t think the writer of this post showed ANY racism, she merely said SOME can be racist , as they obviously, obviously can be anywhere!! And yes, it`s very likely that Spanish children will be given preference over bi lingual kids from other countries, the uk does the same. These are FACTS NOT prejudices, it`s not arrogant to state facts. The writer did a very good job of pointing out the pros AND the cons so l can`t see why some people are getting so upset or offended by that or is it in vogue to be offended by anything and everything these days, if it is it`s pathetic !!!

  11. Suzanne! And othersI could not help getting frustrated because as the next month I am officially being relocated to the the Spain for educational improvement reasons so I have recently heard was completely different from what you guys told about Spain! Now I even want to cancel on the deparuture!

  12. I have lived in small town Spain for six years, I speak very good Spanish (my ex speaks no English) and I have a limited company here. I completely agree with the post. I do wonder why Carmen as a Spanish person is hanging around these types of websites and she clearly does not like anyone critising her ‘wonderful’ country. I am sellling up and leaving Spain and I cannot wait!! Spanish are the most horrendous gossips and sorry Carmen but a lot of Spanish people are very racist and narrow-minded. I am sick and tired of being referred to as a guiri. Interesting we have no word equivalent in English so it says it all about the culture, doesn’t it?

    • Paul Millward says

      English word for Gurri is Grockle

    • Suzanne, do you think it’s because you’re in a small town you face more of the ‘discrimination’ (I put in quotes as I’m not sure it’s the best word, not at all to diminish your experience) as a foreigner? Maybe someone from a larger city can comment on their experiences? I sort of figure in Barcelona, for example, there would be less of that, than in a town where people all probably know each other, and ANY outsider might face some difficulties.

  13. I am Spanish and I’m truly offended by this article… Not only because it draws us as racists but because these absolutist statements might have been taken seriously by some readers, when it´s only someone´s opinion about moving overseas and being unable to find their place, what could have happened anywhere. It´s even contradictory, as it says we are friendly as an advantage at the same time that you say that we are racist, there´s a lack of mental stimulation and your relationships would be affected by living in Spain?? Ufff, does anyone else see as well that a relationship doesn’t get any better if you stay all the time at home and don’t mingle with anyone in a new place where they speak a different language and they have slightly different cultural background??
    And, yeah, you probably have more chances to get a good job if you speak the language, is that racist??? is that so crazy? Would you give the opportunity to Spanish people coming into your country for jobs if they don´t speak English? -Hello, so what’s your experience regarding customer service? -Sorrrry, me not anderrrstan! – Oh, great, you got the job, you are perfect!!!! (Come on……!! )
    You are saying we are protectionist towards our jobs when you voted for Brexit? Did you know it’s hardly impossible to get a job in Spain if you don’t have an English certificate that shows you are able to speak and understand some English? You, as an English Speaker, even have more chances to get some jobs in Spain better than us, and no one I know complains, we just keep spending money on English academies, and every single time someone tries to ask for directions or talks to us in English we take the opportunity to rehearse our learning in English… is that the same in the UK with Spanish or any other language?…Anyway, I don’t want to look like an intolerant person, I love Uk, both for travelling and living in, my husband is English and I have absolutely no problem with them, but with the wrong statements and stereotypes in this article, cuz it´s quite insulting.
    What I mean is that by extrapolating your own personal experience to what Spain is, is absolutely wrong and subjective, and you are making people judging our wonderful and welcoming country by a blurry and unreal snapshot.
    I do agree with you at some of your points, it’s true that there have been several scandals regarding corruption lately, but still it’s a democracy, not a mafia. I also understand the bureaucracy point, totally agree, it can give you a big headache and it might get out of your nerves, absolutely true, though I have been going through the same in several countries I’ve been to… but yeah, that one is completely real.
    But what really was the trigger for me to get to write this answer and to spend 30 minutes of my time on replying was the following disadvantages you stated as they were true, when they are mere feeling you had probably cuz you weren’t lucky in your experience in Spain as you didn’t really connect with anyone and you were judging from a really insecure position. I understand that, I have witnessed myself that too when I didn’t really feel at home at some places I tried to work and live in where the language was a challenge too. What I mean is that it’s normal to feel that, but what I don’t think is normal is to judge a country by your partial side experience and throw it to the world as if it is a generalized situation, cause it´s not.
    Relationships???? Because you spend more time with your partner??? you may not have been lucky or social enough, but Spain is normally a quite open country where socializing and living outside is a foundation of their people.
    Health as a disadvantage??? Really? it´s the 7th best Healthcare public system in the world, and it’s completely free!!! depending on your visa you may have to pay some for it, but if you are a resident and you go for the public healthcare system, which is really good and efficient compared to most of the countries I have been to, you won’t normally have to pay for it. Again, probably in your situation you went for the private one.
    Anyway, I hope this gives you another point of view. Spain is a wonderful country, where good quality of life is affordable, yet an European country where healthcare, education, law, freedom and stability are fundamental. Even though you might be getting confusing and disturbing news and images from some events that happened lately (Catalonia´s antidemocratic attempt for independence, antiglobalization movements calling themselves “anti-tourists”, terrorist attacks, as in all Europe, and some corruption scandals…) I´m telling you it´s much smaller than what it might look like internationally, it´s a quite secure country too, so don’t be scared about coming here, there are more than 127.000 retired britons living in Spain, enjoying life, I wonder why they chose our country. I´m sure they don’t agree with this article…

  14. 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.

  15. 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…………..

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