I HATE SPAIN! 7 Shocking Secret Truths of Living in Spain (2023)

By Nick Anders, disillusioned expat in Spain.

Thinking of living in Spain?

Maybe hate is too strong a word but ok then I dislike Spain, I’ve had enough, get me out of here – whatever your choice, the end result is the same. I’m leaving Spain to go back to the UK.

I’m not the only one who now hates Spain. It’s a bit like the thin line between love and hate.

I moved to Spain to start a new life and at first I loved it but now I hate Spain and can’t wait to get out.

So you want to know what it is like living in Spain? Here goes!

There are lots of downsides to living in Spain and I just didn’t know about these when I moved to Spain.

I’ll tell you why living in Spain is bad, I’ll list the problems and give you insights into the biggest mistakes expats make.

I’ve been living in Nerja which is a coastal town with nice sandy beach on the Costa del Sol of Spain, I won’t bore you with my tales of woe but I wanted to write this to let off some steam but also to warn anyone thinking of moving to Spain to be very careful.

At least move to Spain with your eyes wide open – aware of all the negatives about living in Spain.

An expats life in Spain can be really hard, a constant struggle, make sure you are prepared for all of this because you haven’t seen anything like this on A Place In The Sun and nobody involved in the property/estate agent business will ever warn you of the downsides and disadvantages to moving and living in Spain.

Note from Spain Made Simple Admin – © Please respect our copyright. Yes we do allow this article or excerpts to be repurposed or republished but we do ask that you credit us by linking back to our website, thanks.

Reasons I Now Hate Living in Spain and Want To Move Back to the UK

Crime in Spain

I felt safe in Spain when I first emigrated and moved here. I didn’t see any crime, people were friendly, I thought crime hardly existed here.

Until I found out that often when people are burgled in Spain they are bound and gagged. The luckier ones are gassed. Even houses with dogs – and have you noticed how many people have big dogs – yeah now I get it – get hit because they poison the dogs.

No, I don’t like living in fear and I’m sure the recession will only increase crime in Spain.

Trouble is Spain is very close to some very poor African countries and there are lots of poor immigrants, mostly illegal and from places such as Eastern Europe, South America and Morocco, who will do anything to survive.

Living and Working in Spain

I moved to Spain for a better life. I hate how I now work harder in Spain than I ever did in the UK. I moved to Spain with savings of £15,000, now I have pretty much nothing but the shirt on my back.

I figured that with so many expats living in Spain that there must be a bundle of potential new business opportunities or companies looking for staff. I was so wrong!

I soon found out that jobs and opportunities in Spain were few and far between apart from the obvious ones.

Fact – I hate villa cleaning, I hate cleaning pools, I hate working in bars until 2 am waiting for the last drunken expat to leave, I hate building work in the baking midday sun. I hate Spain!

The Word Manana

Like everyone else, I thought this was a funny joke at first. Every time a person in Spain – whether Spanish or British let me down I would grin and say manana like it was ok or normal. When I’m paying for a job I want it done as promised – and on time – or am I mad for expecting this?

Customer Service in Spain

What I hate in Spain is when I go into a shop and stand waiting while the assistant chats away to their friend or relative totally ignoring me and everyone else.

In this global economy you just can’t see the Spanish having a chance against the likes of American, British or Indian companies who are hungry and put customer service first.

There is NO customer service in Spain. Much of the time you are served when people feel like it, you get little help and assistance and often you are not even greeted at the counter – you greet them. It is like you are doing them a favour by shopping there!

I hate getting anything done in Spain. Often I end up going to the local town hall and being sent from one department to another where I am told conflicting advice. The paperwork and bureaucracy are horrendous. If you are coming to live in Spain bring a photocopier!

Getting Ripped Off in Spain

I hate that people prey on each other in Spain. Everyone seems so desperate that getting cheated is a story every expat I know can tell. I personally put a €8,000 deposit down on an apartment and the estate agent did a runner with my cash. God knows where they are now but I won’t stop looking until I find them.

Other common expat stories are ones such as being sold a property that was actually illegal, didn’t have planning permissions etc and often the people had a Spanish lawyer so they were not cutting corners and they still have lost their life savings.

Corruption is a problem in Spain and often there are stories in the newspapers about local town hall officials being involved in shady/illegal deals. Anything and I mean anything, can happen in Spain.

When I first moved to Spain the currency was the Peseta. The cost of living in Spain was low as most food and drink was cheap compared to northern Europe. Then the Euro came in and it seemed everyone took the opportunity to raise their prices – typical – now I think it could actually be possible – no I’m sure it is – that Spain’s cost of living is now higher than the UK!

When I go back to the UK I notice sales, discounts. When I go shopping in Spain, despite a so-called recession I don’t see shops dropping the prices, I don’t see special offers, I don’t see much evidence of competition between retailers. In my local supermarket when food goes out of date they don’t slash the price, instead, it stays on the shelf and so you have to be careful what you are buying.

Poor Roads/Facilities in Spain

I hate the lack of infrastructure in Spain. The motorways/autoroutes are superb as a lot of EU money has been given to Spain but locally our roads are terrible. The amount of tyres we go through because of holes in the road is ridiculous.

There is no drainage so when it rains heavily places get flooded and roads are washed away. Areas that used to soak up the water have been built on due to pure greed. The councils just don’t seem to invest back into the community, instead the money collected from me in taxes is blown up – literally – by stunning firework displays that even Disney would be proud of.

I wish I had never moved to Spain and I urge anyone else thinking of Spain seriously to consider my story, especially any young families who I see writing on the expat forums about how they can’t wait to move to Spain, how they are fed up with life in the United Kingdom etc – you don’t realise how lucky you have it! Don’t even think of moving to Spain if you have no money – it is not the cheap place to live that it used to be – the cost of living in Spain continues to match UK levels.

What they don’t read about are the thousands of young families who have moved to Spain and who would love to move back to the UK, if they only could afford to as they have no money. Or the ones who have moved back already having realised their mistake in moving to Spain in the first place.

If you are thinking about selling up and moving to Spain then my advice is, if you really MUST try living in Spain then don’t sell your house in the UK, don’t burn all your bridges, try live in Spain for 6 months or 1 year by renting a house for that length of time. Then you can truly decide and you can move back to the UK or wherever you came from originally without ruining your life. Sorry to sound so negative! Adios!

Editor’s note – This article is a reader’s opinion of life in Spain, it is not shared by us but it does represent the thinking of many people who currently live in Spain or of those who have subsequently moved back to their home country.

We are always being asked, is it good to live in Spain? We do encourage you to carefully consider your decision in advance, living in Spain has both pros AND cons and you need to balance these out, judging what is most important TO YOU in life. Remember that many expats absolutely love living in Spain. Read some responses to Nick’s opinion below and in our comments section and please do share this article and like it on Facebook.

Before we get to some replies to Nick, we have a special section for those of you who still want to move to Spain and have not been put off so far! We get so many questions on where the best place is to move to so we cover some of the frequently asked questions for you below. Don’t worry, most people love Spain!

Where is the best place to live in Spain (for expats) in 2023?

We simply cannot give you one town or city and tell you that is the best place to live in Spain because it does depend on your criteria and your likes and dislikes. We will however be able to give you some definite suggestions based on these preferences in the different sections below in which we narrow down the categories and nationalities of expats seeking to live in Spain on a permanent basis. In short, we give you all the pitfalls, pros and cons of living in different areas of Spain.

Many people ask questions such as what are the best places to live in Spain for 1 month, 2 months, 3 months or 6 months etc. Basically, if you are looking to live in Spain for a short time only then we suggest a busy area such as one of the cities or Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca where you can experience as much in a short time frame as possible. The Costa del Sol would be our pick – from here you can visit many places such as Seville, Cordoba, Ronda, Marbella, Malaga, Granada etc. while enjoying the Andalucian way of life, beaches etc.

Where do most UK expats live in Spain?

First, make the obvious choice between living in areas full of expats (most are British) or for truly trying to integrate with the Spanish which usually means living away from the busy coasts. By busy we mean Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and to a lesser extent also Costa Almeria, Murcia and Costa Brava. If you do wish to live by the sea we suggest northern Spanish regions such as Galicia and Asturias (Costa Verde) or Costa Tropical, Costa del Azahar and Costa de la Luz.

Below we have a table with statistics from 2020 showing the most popular 12 nationalities living in Spain. Not on that list are also large numbers of Germans (Costa Blanca), Irish (Lanzarote and Tenerife), Americans (Madrid and Barcelona) and Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden (Costa Blanca). As you can see a lot of South Americans come to live in Spain, mostly illegally. They come from poor countries to try get a better way of life for themselves and their families back home, unfortunately these usually very friendly people are often looked down upon by the Spanish.

The population of Spain is 47,431,256 to be exact or approximately 47 million people (and rising).

Country of Origin Population
Spain 46,450,795
Morocco 935,089
Romania 578,228
Colombia 514,110
Ecuador 416,527
Venezuela 396,188
Argentina 293,037
United Kingdom 268,957
Peru 244,827
France 210,529
China 208,788
Dominican Republic 186,395


But really you want to be slightly inland. Prices drop as soon as you get into the countryside. Expats (especially the British) are few and far between and you will have to speak Spanish, the locals will appreciate any effort and will usually be patient to you. We like Extremadura, a beautiful ‘undiscovered’ region of Spain. Or how about some of the inland areas such as the Jalon Valley on the Costa Blanca where you can reach the coast in 20-30 minutes but still feel part of the ‘real’ Spain? On the Costa del Sol you have similar villages such as Frigiliana and Benahavis (although there are plenty of expats in both).

Be careful to think about getting older. As idyllic as a house in the countryside sounds, what about when you get older and maybe cannot drive? Public transport is often minimal in Spain. How far away is the nearest medical centre and supermarkets?

If you want to know the best places to live in Spain for British people or for expats then you want to be in areas that have international schools which attracts families. We suggest Costa Blanca towns such as Javea, Moraira or Calpe, all are beautiful with great beaches. Benidorm if you want cheap food and drink and nightlife. On the Costa del Sol you have Marbella, Malaga and Puerto Banus. The Costa del Sol is the wealthiest area attracting the rich and famous. The climate is the best of mainland Spain and you can even ski just two hours away at Sierra Nevada, perfect! The inland Andalucian towns and villages such as Ronda and Mijas Pueblo are very pretty. If you are looking for the best villages to live in Spain these are definitely up there with the best.

What about living on the Spanish Balearic islands such as Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca? They are lovely islands but you can get island fever where you want to get away and you feel enclosed. You will be in fairly near proximity to tourist resorts so the island will fill up in the summer months and potentially be overcrowded. We would prefer the mainland so we can jump in the car and explore different terrain and regions but that is our opinion.

What about living on the the Canary islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote? Well similar to above but at least these islands have a consistent temperature all year round being situated off the coast of Africa. Even in summer they tend to be around 25 degrees Celsius and in winter only a little less with days in January mostly having temperatures in the early twenties. They are however much less green and scenic than the Balearic islands and much of mainland Spain. Many expats choose these islands but do beware of getting island/cabin fever.

Where is the safest place to live in Spain? Zoe Conlong wrote in to say: “I have lived in Spain for over 21 years. Inland is definitely the safest place to be, the infrastructure is superb, locals are friendly, schools are excellent, however, you must be prepared to learn the language and integrate! I live in Ontinyent, 40,000 inhabitants approx.”

Tony Burgess writes: “Brexit may scupper many Brits retirement plans.”

Peter Brian Gillon recommends: “Benejuzar Alicante, we have a place there, so underrated, must admit my wife and I wondered if we’d made the right decision at first, very few expats, not to be disrespectful but that’s what we wanted, now, not one regret, Spanish locals so friendly and accommodating, we laugh trying our Spanish and they, their English, such a beautiful place surrounded by orange groves and neighbouring farmer supplies our oranges free after every crop picked. Can’t wait to become a permanent resident there.”

Where Do Most British People Live in Spain?

According to popular website Statista.com, the 10 most popular autonomous communities for British residents in Spain are:

  • Andalusia – 88,233 British residents (includes Costa del Sol with popular cities such as Malaga, Marbella, Torremolinos & Fuengirola)
  • Valencia – 85,025 (includes Costa Blanca with popular towns and cities such as Alicante, Benidorm and Valencia)
  • Canary Islands – 28,723 (includes Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife)
  • Catalonia – 23,940 (includes Barcelona)
  • Balearic Islands – 17,953 (includes Menorca, Mallorca & Ibiza)
  • Murcia – 16,625
  • Madrid – 11,605
  • Galicia – 2,315 (north of Spain)
  • Basque Country – 1,676 (borders France)
  • Asturias – 1,135

What are the cheapest places to live in Spain?

If you need to get a job in Spain in order to survive, we have some bad news because you will have to live in the most expensive areas to live. Most jobs will be the major cities or in the populated Costas such as Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. These are very developed areas filled with well-off foreigners and prices are usually higher than remote countryside areas with little English-speaking people.

If you are a retiree with a choice of living anywhere in Spain then you need to seriously look at the lowest cost of living. We have a whole page on where is the best place to retire in Spain. If you still want to live by the sea Spain has an awful lot of coastline so you can easily avoid the Costa del Sol, and Costa Blanca.

How about northern ‘green’ Spain such as Galicia which has wonderful cities such as Santiago de Compostela. It is however the wettest region of Spain but it is cheap for property and eating out. We also like the coastal cities of Santander and San Sebastian on the northern coast of Spain.

What are the best cities to move to in Spain?

If you are going to move to a city then surely you should live in the biggest busiest cities such as Madrid and Valencia in our opinion. The third biggest city is Valencia but that is like a small town when compared to the big two.

So which one?

Reasons to move to and live in Madrid would be the culture as it has three major art museums and the nightlife is vibrant. The capital city can, however, be freezing in winter and baking hot in August when most residents leave for the coast, which is a long-distance away.

Our choice for the best city to live in Spain would be Barcelona because it is as big as Madrid but it has more tourist attractions and arguably a more mixed and vibrant expat scene. It is literally by the beach and close to mountains (the Pyrenees) for skiing.

Living in Spain in the Winter

For many people, particularly pensioners, Spain is the ideal place to choose when looking to escape the nippy UK winters. It is arguable that the Canary Islands are the best destination to spend your time in given that they’re located so much further South than Spain’s mainland. If lucky, the coldest months of the year can get up to 20 or 21 degrees Celsius, whereas if you choose to spend your time living in for example Madrid, you’d be dealing with cold 10-12 temperature degrees at best. If you were set on choosing to retire or move to the mainland, the Costa del Sol coast is the way to go; you’d be enjoying 14-15 degree warm weather making sightseeing during the winter completely do-able while also benefiting from the smaller crowds.

Living in Spain during the winter doesn’t require a far-fetched budget. When looking for affordability as well as the ideal temperature, Malaga has the best of both worlds. Being in Andalusia, its temperature is pleasant all year around and long term rentals are absolutely reasonable. Malaga offers culture such as the famous Picasso museum, beautiful beaches and the close proximity of so many other amazing Costa del Sol destinations one can enjoy on a day out.

As mentioned previously, the Canary Islands attract many with its fantastic weather. As a result of lots of competition, long term rentals and lets on the islands are very affordable. The best and most cost-effective of the islands are Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Due to their popularity, airlines have even increased their number of flights for Britons going out to the islands, which makes getting out there easier and cheaper as well.

What are the best places to live in Spain for Americans?

We have pretty much answered the question in the section above because the two biggest cities of Madrid and Barcelona have the largest American populations in Spain and many large multinational companies have headquarters or offices here which is ideal for getting work in Spain when you speak little Spanish.

Response From Silvia as a Spanish Expat in the UK!

I’d like to give my point of view as a Spanish expat in UK.

The problem comes when you move to another country without enough information about the place. When I came to UK I spent months searching information about the country and its people. Because I really wanted to fit in. And I think a lot of British don’t do that when they move out to Spain. They spent their holidays in Spain and they think they know the country. I had been in London before but I knew that it wasn’t the same. The life as a tourist is totally different than the life as a citizen.

And, to be honest, after all this time I don’t know where I prefer to live. There are bad and good thing in both countries. But I want to focus in what you said in your post.


– Spain: Really?? Didn’t you speak with a Spanish person before you moved to Spain?? Any Spanish had told you about the problems we have in Spain with this. And it’s not only about find a job, it’s when you get one what conditions you’re going to have: low salary, a lot of extra unpaid hours, asshole managers….

– UK: I’m graduated and I have several experience years in my sector but I was working for 2 years making sandwiches why?? Because my English wasn’t good enough. And when it improved, it took a lot of time to have a better job, because I had experience but not in UK. So I had (and I still have) to fight for my opportunity. Because I have to prove I’m a better option than a native or someone from another place. I have to fight against the topic “Spanish are lazy people thinking in anything but take siestas and eat paella”


I worked more hours here than in Spain. 56 hours is just illegal in Spain…. the good thing is: UK they pay every single hour you work.

A bad thing in UK is when you get sick, for example. They don’t pay you, even if you had an accident at work and you’re sick or injured because of it.

I remember I had to work having a terrible flu because I couldn’t afford stay at home. Another time I cut my finger so deeply with a knife at work and I had to keep working bleeding!!! Do you know how dangerous is that a sick person makes sandwiches for customers? But I, as many other people, had to do it because we have to pay our rent.


– Spain: It’s true, the crime in Spain increased lately because of the crisis. You have to watch your belongings because of the pickpockets. And obviously, when you’re going to pay for something (as a deposit) you have to be sure you are giving the money to a formal agency. Scammers are in all the countries. But usually Spain is safe as the statistics say. We have a lot of police patrolling the streets.

– UK: One thing that surprised me about UK it’s that the windows of houses don’t have grilles; the doors are made with wood and glass, easy to kick and open. At first I thought it was because it was safer here, people aren’t going to get in your house and steal your staff. But not….that wasn’t the true. Your can be stolen at any time. Actually, there were 3 burglaries in my building in a year. And you could think “London is a place with a large amount of immigration, maybe that’s the reason”. Well, I have to say that the police caught the thieves, and 2 of the 3 occasions, they were English.

About the police, I don’t see them, they don’t patrol the street. They come up when something happens, but they’re not watching that nothing happen really. So I can see a lot of young people offering weed in every corner of the high street. And the fights in the street are something normal every single weekend….


– Spain: I really don’t believe someone doesn’t make the job you’re paying for. I just don’t believe it….In Spain there is something called: “consumo”. If you paid for something and you don’t receive it you have to go to consumo and they’ll fix it. Companies and self-employed don’t want a penalty from consumo, that’s for sure.

– UK: In UK, I worked in something related with construction, remodelling houses. You can’t imagine how many times I saw a work unfinished or wrong done when the customer paid a lot of money for it, and he just didn’t have what he paid. And you cannot do anything, because in this country “consumo” doesn’t exist. So if you want your money back you have to take that people to the court and spend a lot of money, and that is so unfair.
Another example, recently I moved to another house, and I was shaking because I remember how hard is here to get your internet supply. And I wasn’t wrong. I need internet for work, I contracted one of the most expensive internet providers and the instalation of optic fibre for that company was already done in this house. Well….It took for them 1 month to come to my house to plug the router. According to them this was something only its staff could do, so they weren’t going to send me the router to plug it for myself. The real reason was it charges me 10 pounds for the technical’s visit and they told me it was an offer because normally it was 40 pounds…..come on….

Customer service:

– Spain: that’s true, customer service in Spain sucks. It seems like they are making you a favour….and it’s something I hate form Spain. Companies don’t care about his employees, they pay a low salary, employees work a lot of hours, some of them unpaid, and this has repercussions in customer services. It’s a pity.

– UK: Normally, at least in London, the customer service is good. Except for GP and hospital receptionist; doctors and nurses are really charming but the staff in the reception 90% of times are rude and impatient.

Getting ripped off:

– Spain: The thing is I can’t speak about this in Spain, I don’t have any experience and I don’t know anyone that was in that situation, even my foreign friends. Maybe because I know the country and the language and it’s difficult for them try to rip me off. I don’t doubt that this happen as everywhere.

– UK: As in Spain I don’t have the experience to be ripped off in UK, but I know some people who do. They were cheated when they were trying to rent a flat or a room. And this is something so usual in London. I read about that before I came here and it’s for that I’m very careful when I want to rent something.
They main problem here are the landlord, you can be very careful but if you have a bad landlord it’s difficult to do something. And I lived and I heard terrified stories about some landlord and their houses.

Poor road/facilities.

– Spain: In this point, I totally disagree with you. I’ve driven in both countries and in many areas of them, and I have to say that Spanish road have a high quality if you compare them with France ones or England ones. Obviously, you live in a village, you can’t expect the same road in Madrid (6 million hab.) with Nerja (21.000 hab). Some local road to connect villages to each other or a village with a main motorway could be worst. But the government just cannot invest in the best road for every single village in Spain, it’s just impossible; it’s a big country with a lot of small villages. I’ve travelled through Europe and I have seen lots of villages with dirt roads instead of highways and that it doesn’t happen in Spain, even in the smallest village in the middle of a mountain…

About the floods, that is something so difficult to fix because of the ground. That area is not used to getting so much water suddenly, and when it happens the ground can’t take it, even if it has the best sewage system. Something like that happened some weeks ago in Paris, so imagine in a village. But it doesn’t happen in the north of Spain for instance, because the ground used to get lots of water as in England.

– UK: Do you know how many council tax I pay in London? Like 5 times what I used to pay in Spain. Apparently it’s not enough to fix the streets. Every single tile in my street is not in its place, so I see every day people fall in the street because of this. The streetlight in front of my house is broken for 4 months, I’ve called 3 times to the council and it’s still broken.

The sign indicating the name of the street, two streets away from mine, fell down a month ago and god knows when they’re going to fix it.
And a special mention to the rubbish truck, which comes once every 2 weeks to take the rubbish. I know this country is not hot and the rubbish doesn’t smell as it does in hot countries but it brings rats and the foxes are fighting for the rubbish every night. And I’ll say the price we pay for the rubbish collection is far too cheap.
One good point, public transport is expensive but it works so well and I love it.

I don’t want to compare both countries, because it doesn’t make sense. They are just different, if you want to live in one of them you have to assume the change and be part of the community.

I love my country and I think Spain have something special that everybody likes and I love England and I see special thing here as well.

I know some Spanish and Italian people here and they always say “I want to go back to Spain/Italy”, and I don’t have that feeling. When I’m here in UK I miss Spain, the weather, my people, my food. And when I go to Spain, at first I’m happy, but then after a couple of days, I start to feel sad because I miss UK, I realized I miss the same things: the people, the food, even I miss the language.

The point is, my friends want to go back because they didn’t want to be part of the English culture, so they are fighting every day to keep their culture, to not change anything. They idealize their countries and forget why they decided to leave it. And when they finally return, most of them realise it’s not what they thought.

Is Spain a Good or Bad Place to Live? Shirley Loves Living in Spain!

Many people ask what are some of the best things about living in Spain?

Below we have a response to the ‘I Hate Spain’ article from Shirley who has a house in Ontinyent:

“After reading your article from Nick from Nerja, I would expect that you received many emails in reply.

I realise that life has become more difficult for many during this recession, and Britain is no different from Spain. I don’t know when Nick was in the UK last, but around half the shops in our town in South Wales have closed down, and many families are struggling to get by after being made redundant. I work as an estate agent, and we are getting several repossessions every week and house prices are not increasing, as a lot of people believe.

beautiful beach in Spain I wonder if Nick learned to speak Spanish before he moved out to Spain, as I would imagine it is quite difficult to get work anywhere that you don’t speak the language. He didn’t say what work he did in the UK or in Spain.

I have been learning Spanish for a few years now and wouldn’t expect to get work in Spain, other than by working for Brits, doing things like cleaning apartments and pools. How would a Spaniard fare in Britain getting work if he didn’t speak English?

I feel that the Costa del Sol is probably a much different place to live than the Costa Blanca in many ways and I’m not sure Nick is qualified to comment on the Costa Blanca uncovered newsletter! One of the reasons we avoided the South of Spain was that it’s closer to Africa and has more crime. I wonder how much research Nick did before choosing an area to live in Spain.

We don’t know any Brits in our area, although we don’t live there, and I don’t kid myself that we could move out and make a good living, certainly not in this economic climate. I also think that moving out with just 15k savings is a very risky thing to do!

We have had no bad experiences of being cheated by anyone, and have made some wonderful friends. I am always happy with the service I get in local shops and restaurants, although I do agree that certain things are more complicated, like dealing with the council etc.

But then there is no litter in our town, no discarded chewing gum stuck all over the pavements, and NO drunken louts fighting in town on a Saturday night out. My 21 year old daughter was recently assaulted on a night out in our home town in Wales, and head-butted in the face, by a complete stranger, another girl, completely unprovoked while walking down the street with some friends.

As for Manana, when we went to buy some air conditioning in July from a small retailers, they turned up, as agreed, the following day, and worked until late until the job was finished, which wasn’t what we expected after all the stories we heard!

We recently had a problem with our internet in the UK, and were told by our supplier that we needed a new modem, would arrange an appointment for their technician to call to replace it. We asked if they could send a replacement by post but were told no. They couldn’t give a specific time, but booked a morning appointment between 8am and 12 noon.

My partner took a morning off work to be there. No one turned up, and when he rang them, they said that there had been a fault in our area at the time of our complaint, so they had cancelled the appointment (without bothering to tell us!) When he pointed out that it still wasn’t working, they said they would send us a new one, which was what we originally asked for but were refused!

I might also mention that our fuel bills at present are £60 a month for electricity, £80 a month for gas (due to increase again soon), and £45 a month for water. My council tax bill here £120 a month compared to 189 euros a YEAR in Spain.”



Linda Whitehead is Also Moving Back to the UK…

“Hello, I am just commenting on the above writer’s online report on his life in Spain. I think he is so correct and it is not at all uncommon among expats. Here are some of the worst things about living in Spain…

I myself had once dreamed about sunny Spain and couldn’t believe it when my mum who already lived there told me its difficult to get jobs. Which is even worse now what with the recession.

Us Brits generally get the feeling that the Spanish do not want us here. Very often we hear them calling foreigners ‘Giddies’ and push through in the supermarkets.

Like so many people from the UK, I was bored of the climate back home and wanted something exciting. I didn’t want to hear negative stories of Spain back then. But now I appreciate what the UK has to offer. It may not have the climate but it is a country that can stand on its own two feet, economically. It has politically correctness and is generally more of a ‘forward’ thinking country than Spain.

Needless to say, I am going back home to England for good this summer and it can’t come quick enough.

Thanks for listening – Adios Espana.”

Reasons Not to Live in Spain by Rachel…

I have been living in Spain for 8 years, within the first 9 months of living here our house was robbed we had a Doberman at the time they threw tiles at him and kept him at bay with a pitch fork.

They do call us “guiris” but we call them “spiks” and we are a easy target to be ripped off. They think that the girls are all drunken slags and a easy lay and English men do nothing but cause trouble>

They believe we eat fried eggs, bacon and sausages for breakfast everyday and they swear down that our food is crap,

We also got ripped off by the estate agents and lawyers being over-charged on the house price, deeds being lost and being charged twice for the same thing, then she buggered off to get a boob job and we never saw her again.

Electric bill is around 100 Euros a month and sometimes can reach 160 a month to “Shirley Who Does NOT hate Spain!”

I speak fluent Spanish and I have no English friends in Spain, I moved to a small Spanish town with my parents when I was 20, my parents even call me a plastic spik because my outlook on life and the way I live is not that of a English person, I have no job, there is no work at all, there are no opportunities to climb any ladder within any company in Spain…

Most Spanish have moved out of Spain. The only good thing about knowing Spanish is that they know they can’t rip you off… that you have been here for a while and you have some contacts up your sleeves, but then again it’s not only the Spanish that rip you off, it is the English who rip each other off which is even worse.

The customer service in Spain is non-existent. When I was younger in the UK I did a NVQ in customer service and I found it very hard at first to adapt to the way you are treated here and I still find it frustrating.

It was only two days ago I was forced to turn around and say to the shop assistant “Can you chat to your little mate after and serve me I’ve got things to do!” and the other thing that Spanish don’t know what to do is queue in the correct manner.

They are all over the place, you have to guess who is last or they will tell you if they think your pushing in, they don’t open doors, most of the time you can see a mother with a pram struggling to get in or out of a door and they just stand and stare. Or if you do help them you get no thank you for it.

It is hard to adapt to a culture that isn’t familiar to that of your own. As the years have passed I have adapted in a way to not take any notice to these faults which in my eyes they are faults, but to a Spanish person they are not, it’s just the way they are. The town hall are time wasting, table humping thieving pen pushers.

Jay is Also Depressed in Spain

Nick Anders & Linda & Rachel you are spot on, I have lived in Spain since 2007 on and off and then permanently since 2009. We bought a place in Costa del Sol and since left that to rent another, as crime scary and was a bit remote and felt unsafe.

We had the bogus forceful gas men trying to gain entry to rip us off, etc etc so we rented to be nearer people and feel somewhat safer, I agree with Nick, just today as every day, in shops the Spanish seem to chatter to their colleagues, not even look at you, while you stand with your shopping, they do it to other Spanish too though not just us Guirres.

Spanish are nice though, if you can speak some Spanish it does make a difference, but everything is such hard work, everything is done the slowest, longest, way possible, costing time and money, no wonder it is in a state, not saying other countries are any better, I can’t say, but what Nick, Linda and Rachel put is so spot on!

It’s not a bed of roses, it’s a flaming headache at times, new laws all the time, anyway they can get money out of you they will, I am told today if you drive a Spanish car and have a UK licence you are fined?? A solicitor here, a UK chap, told my son, apparently you need a medical and have to apply for a Spanish licence and if checked you could pay a fine and if you don’t have the cash you can be frog marched to the cash point.

It’s all stuff like this all the time, you get to a point you can’t be bothered to go out in the car as you don’t know what’s going on next.

It was also my dream to move here and I have never been so lonely in all my life, I am so depressed and I try and snap out of it and it just doesn’t get better, it’s hard to make new friends unless you go to bars every night and drink like a fish and I just don’t want to do that, so it’s a dismal existence…

Sammy From Murcia Writes In…

I can see both Nick and Shirly’s point of view, but I’m afraid I have to agree with Nick on this one, Spain is going downhill and fast, much faster than England, I know the recession has hit both countries badly but there is no doubt that it has really taken it’s toll on Spain.

I live in Murcia and have done for 10 years with my parents and younger brother. I’m 20  almost 21 and my brother is 19 we both went to school here as children at the ages of  10 and 11 and both speak Spanish fluently now most people think that I am Spanish unless I inform them otherwise.

It took me 3 years to speak fluent Spanish and in this time I was bullied badly by the Spanish just for being British, they would shout guiri as I walked by and insult me and tell me to go back to my own country, my brother had a hard time coping with this and disliked school so much that he dropped out early. I stuck it out and left at 18, got a job as a teacher in the city teaching English at an academy.

Not bad, my employer is English too. What I didn’t know is whether you speak Spanish or not, makes no difference once you apply for a job working with Spanish people and they see your documentation and discover you are actually English, the job is then passed to anyone else providing they are Spanish.

Being almost Spanish , having lived here 10 years i will always be a foreigner to them, no matter how good my Spanish and how Spanish I may look, the job will always be given to Spanish first.

So I studied my whole teenage years (with a few English friends at school who later left as they didn’t like living here and being classed as a foreigner and picked on constantly, while their parents struggled to find work to keep them going)

I find myself alone most nights in or at work with the few friends I have their, who are English as the Spanish don’t tend to mix with the English too much not unless you are willing to pretend to be Spanish, dress like them, eat their food, socialize only with Spanish, then they might accept you more or less, but never completely.

My parents have both struggled for work, since we arrived here my dad is a builder and my mum worked in England as a secretary to a doctor, here we have tried cleaning jobs, private teaching in my area for little money and unreliable students who do not even bother to ring when they decide not to even show up most days.

There is no doubt about it, if you are deciding to move to Spain, DO NOT EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN HERE. The bullying drove most of my friends into a depression and breakdown before leaving. I have to say it was not an easy time, the only time it improved was when I was fluent in Spanish then my classmates would actually acknowledge me, yet I was still the outsider, and was always treated as “dumb” or a “stupid english guiri” or as they like to say extranjera.

If you move to Spain and have young children be prepared for all of this as it will be a very very difficult time for your kids no matter what age they start school they will more than likely be bullied.

At the end of the day Spain is a lovely country with the sun and the laid back way of life, but once you scratch the surface, it is a holiday resort , that puts their own people first regardless of what any other person may have to offer, and life is definitely a lot more tougher than England here.

But hey, it’s been an experience, mostly bad times but some good, I’ m off to England soon to try and finally fit in!

Also may I add we came to Spain with A LOT of money,  and all of it has now gone. The Spanish should be grateful for the amount of English people that plowed their money into their economy. But no …

And Shirley, what is your plan, to stay in Spain and retire possibly  without a pension ? or survive on little money? Who will look after you in your old age?  What happens if the Euro crashes?

All I can say is good luck Shirley..

And I have read the other messages and am glad that you all agree more or less that Spain is not the place to be..

Places to consider living on the Costa Blanca: Albir, Alcossebre, Alcoy, Alfaz del Pi, Algorfa/La Finca, Alicante, Almoradi, Altea, Beniarbeig, Benidoleig, Benidorm, Benijófar, Benimar, Benissa, Benitachell, Bolulla, Busot, Cabo Roig, Calpe, Campoamor, Castalla, Catral, Caudete, Ciudad Quesada, Cumbre Del Sol, Denia, Dolores, El Campello, Elche/Elx, Els Poblets, Gandia, Gata de Gorgos, Gran Alacant, Guardamar, Hondon de la Nieves, Hondón Valley, Jalón Valley, Javea, La Drova/Barx, La Empedrola, La Fustera, La Marina, La Mata, La Nucia, La Zenia, Las Ramblas, Los Altos, Los Montesinos, Mar Menor, Mazarrón, Mil Palmeras, Monovar, Monserrat, Moraira, Oliva, Orba, Orcheta, Orihuela, Pedreguer, Pego, Pilar de la Horadada, Pinar de Campoverde, Pinoso, Playa Flamenca, Polop, Punta Prima, Rafol de Almunia, Relleu, Rojales, San Miguel de Salinas, Sanet Y Negrals, Santa Pola, Santiago de la Ribera, Sax, Teulada, Tibi, Torrevieja, Totana, Vall de Laguar, Villajoyosa, Villamartin, Villena, Villotel.

Places to consider living on the Costa del Sol: Algarrobo, Algatocín, Alhaurín de la Torre, Alhaurín El Grande, Almáchar, Almargen, Almogía, Álora, Alozaina, Alpandeire, Antequera, Árchez, Archidona, Ardales, Arenas, Arriate, Benadalid, Benahavís, Benalauría, Benalmádena, Benamargosa, Benamocarra, Benaoján, Benarrabá, El Borge, El Burgo, (Sitio de) Calahonda, Campillos, Canillas del Aceituno, Canillas de Albaida, Cañete La Real, Carratraca, Cartajima, Cártama, Casabermeja, Casarabonela, Casares, Coín, Colmenar, Comares, Cómpeta, Cortes de la Frontera, Cuevas Bajas, Cuevas de San Marcos, Cuevas del Becerro, Cútar, Estepona, Faraján, Frigiliana, Fuengirola, Fuente de Piedra, Gaucín, Genalguacil, Guaro, Humilladero, Igualeja, Istán, Iznate, Jimera de Líbar, Jubrique, Júzcar, La Viñuela, Macharaviaya, Málaga, Manilva, Marbella, Mijas, Moclinejo, Mollina, Monda, Montejaque, Nerja, Ojén, Parauta, Periana, Pizarra, Pujerra, Rincón de la Victoria, Riogordo, Ronda, Salares, Sayalonga, Sedella, Sierra de Yeguas, San Pedro de Alcantara, Teba, Tolox, Torremolinos, Torrox, Totalán, Valle de Abdalajís, Vélez-Málaga, Villanueva de Algaidas, Villanueva de la Concepción, Villanueva de Tapia, Villanueva del Rosario, Villanueva del Trabuco and Yunquera.

I Hate Spain Page Summary: This page features the story of Nick Anders who has become fed up and unhappy living in Spain and intends to return back to the UK. Nick’s story is good reading for anyone thinking of moving to Spain.

We love living in Spain ourselves but we have agreed to post his article in the interests of fairness as most of his points have a degree of truth in them and at least they provide an antidote to the people who have a vested interest in telling you that moving to Spain is a bed of roses.

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  1. Seriously man? says

    So you moved to a foreign country with 15.000 GBP in your pocket, without speaking the language, without a job or apparently any marketable skills. However you expected the country to bow to you and provide with high income and opportunities, all that while keeping cost of living (i.e. salaries for local people) low.
    it didn’t go well. How shocking
    I lived in the UK for about 7 years, also Germany, US and Asia. Somehow, this type of entitled brat seems to be a uniquely British specimen. Like the British retirees that voted for Brexit and are now outraged about the dump in the value of the GBP and the fact they now have to pay for the free healthcare the Spanish taxpayer was previously providing. So, yes, don’t blame Spaniards for showing a bit of Schadenfreude when facing people like you.

  2. Most of the explanations made in this post against Spain are made by British biggots who thought living in Spain was like living on Holidays all year long.

    If you go to a country and you barely speak the language and barely understand the culture what the hell you expect? Adapt, you are the immigrant not them.
    A lot of the comments speak about Spaniards like they are immigrants when the people writing the post are a bunch of delusional foreigners living in Spain.

    Calling Spaniards spikes/spics while living in Spain it’s the equivalent of a Spaniard going to LIVE in England and calling them “guiris”. I think it’s rude no matter what, but you should get down of your ivory tower if you think it’s okay or justified to call names to the native population of the COUNTRY YOU MIGRATE TO. Also, it’s very hard to adapt if you go with children and nor you or your children speak
    the native language. It will take A LOT of time for an only English speaker to learn how to speak properly in Spanish
    (or any Latin language really), and any Spanish speaker in the world will agree with you that Spanish from Spain
    (usually refered to as “Castilian”/”Castellano”) is one of if not the most hard to speak variant of Spanish. Mainly
    because of the sheer speed of it. That you have a 500+ day streak on Duolingo doesn’t mean you speak the language
    at a native level, and let’s put aside accents, in Spain accents have a pretty strong role in the language since the country
    has a VERY long “uninterrupted” story that can be traced back to the days before the Greeks explored the Mediterranean sea.
    People in Galicia have Spanish+Galician, in the Vasque Contry they speak Vasque+Spanish, Catalonia has Catalan+Spanish, and so on.
    I see a lot of biggots who can’t take their heads out of their bums commenting about how bad Spain is compared to the UK
    yet they choose to come to Spain without knowing the culture, the language or the diferent “regional” cultures Spain has (and the whole Iberian Peninsula really). To put it simple: A lot of the people being uneducated biggots here expect Spain to be like England, not to be like the
    UK; In the UK you have Scotish people and their accents, people from Wales, North Ireland citizens, and English… All diferent, but then again,
    the people commenting here expect Spain to be monocultural when Spains history in general is far more multicultural than England or Uk will ever be.

    If someone is reading this and want to know the downsides of living in Spain I will mention them in a realistic manner, some points might be more extent but I think it’s a quite straightforward summary.

    1.- Climate: Can be very good and if you are a foreigner you probably thing Spain is living on a sunshine, But north Spain and England
    climate it’s not that diferent. Heat in Barcelona is way more hard hitting than heat in Madrid because humidity. Viceversa with cold. Summer in
    south Spain is literally North African summer climate and North of Spain has an average 22-25 degrees Celsius during August.

    2.- Language: Even Latin Americans/Hispanic American citizens have a lot of trouble adapting to Spains Spanish; if you don’t even speak native Spanish, expect to struggle quite a lot, specially with spoken speed. That said, it’s the “standard” for Spanish, so if you learn it you are
    more than good to go to travel to any Spanish speaking countries, and that includes to an extent Israel and the Filipines.

    3.- Multiculturalism: As I mentioned before Spain has a ton of diferent cultures. Catalonia might come of as the most “pro European”,
    the Vasque country has the most ancient language in Europe and the World; Galicia suffered a lot culturally (and not) speaking so they are trying to not let their roots die; South of Spain, Andalucia in particular was very heavily influenced by Arabic cultures and by the Reconquista so they are quite unique and weird. If you are not willing to understand that traveling from Madrid to Vigo is the Spanish equivalent of going from England to Scotland (for example). You are better staying wherever you are.

    4.- Recent history: Spain’s history can be “culturally traced” to the early Phoenician colonies. And it’s anthropological history can be traced from around 35.000 BC to modern day.
    During all those times a lot of cultures have influenced Spain: Phoenicias, Greeks, Latins/Romans, Goths, Visigoths, Berebers, Gipsies, Celts, Gallic, Arabs, Jews/Hebrews and so on. But in the last century Spainish people have tried to overthrow Monarchy using democratic elections, and both times they were struck with coups d’état that slowed down and already declining Spain and both times the rest of Europe looked in other directions while Spaniards were being killed by the thousands. Spaniards are quite fond of people like George Orwell or Ernest Hemingway because they came to defend democratic ideals when Spain was sufering in that regard, but neither USA or the UK (or Europe) moved a finger. Before WW2 that scar intensified A LOT because Spain found itself surrounded by countries condemning fascism or concerned about it but nobody tried to help a Spain that suffered a fascist coup d’état while fascist Italy and NAZI GERMANY bombed civilians during years. All that ended in Spain sufering a dictatorship for 40 YEARS, seeing that same dictator shake hands with Europe and the US and die in bed mourned by the fascists at power while many Spaniards held secret celebrations to rejoy about their dictators’ death.
    Due to all that and more, Spain’s citizens are understandably scared and scepcitc about foreign genuine contribution to Spain’s lands.

    5.- Tourism: This is simple, most of the British, German and American people who travel to Spain during Holiday end up being anoying drunks
    who only make loud noise, destoy things and puke/piss on the streets. It’s a bit of a shame because there’s plenty of healthy tourists as well, but specially from the UK and Germany there’s A LOT of “scrub tourists” who act entitled and only cause trouble.
    It’s sad but if you combine this with point number 4 you will probably have a grasp on why the bad reputation of (specially) British and Germans in Spanish soil. If you want to live here you will have to understand that and prove the people you interact with that you are not like those street peing drunk scum they are so used to see.

    6.- European Union. Europe has been slowly relegating Spain to a touristic paradise and not much else, so the country is becoming day by day more and more reliant on tourism, making the “offseason” periods pretty uncumfortable. That’s a 100% Spain’s fault for allowing it to happen but you have to keep in mind depending on where you want to live in Spain there will be periods of time where scarcity is a reality.

    7.- Historical racism: Spain has sufered historical racism during a lot of it’s history. (without going further to the past than this)Spain was ostrasized by the rest of Europe due to the Arab long ocupation of a huge part of the Iberian Peninsula and the massive immigration of Jews during the long period the “Reconquista” (Reconquering) was. Look up what Martin Luther said about Spaniards to have a bit more “in depth” info about the subject, but basicly Europe thought that Spaniards had “European blood stained by Jewish and Arab blood”. That sentiment lasted centuries and allowed the “Leyenda negra” (Black legend) to be born. The Black Legend is basicly an exageration of the atrocities Spaniards comited combined with litteral lies popularized by rival powers at the time. Hollywood played a big part on keeping that sentiment of “Spaniards are the descendants of the blood and gold thirsty Conquistadors”.
    Being permanently subject to lies (and truths, let’s be honest: Spanish Imperia era wasn’t full of saints) made a toll on Spaniard culture allowing their people to be a bit more reserved and wary with foreigners. Combine that with 40 uninterrupted years of rulying by the only European Fascist head of state that survived WW2 and you will find that sadly there are parts of rural Spain were racism or xenophobia is very strong, even racism against other Spaniards (Usually Catalans and Vasques take the bigger hit on that matter).
    Also keep in mind that Spanish culture has thrived around half of the globe while being constantly harassed by specially anglo saxon global powers, so there’s also this “insular” mentality about not needing to learn/comprehend cultures outside of Spain, “since anyway half of the planet speaks Spanish”. It’s a bad mentality, but don’t be surprised to find biggots in Spain, sadly biggots have no nation but fear of the diferent and no flag but intolerance.

    8.- Corruption: To put it simple, Spain ruling class has been the most corrupt of Europe way before Spain lost it’s colonies. The balance of power might have shifted during the centuries but one thing always crippled spain: The blatant unpunished corruption of it’s ruling class.
    If you look up the story of Iberian Spain you will find that their people tried since VERY eraly on to stablish a more democratic aproach to life and one way or another the corrupt ruling class opresed the Spanish people. Same goes to Imperial Spain: There’s plenty of data from “less powerful” sources like catholic priests and intelectuals who fought for the literacy and the preservation of the native population of the Spanish colonies and even succesfully preasured the more powerful to stablish laws protecting them. But corruption was still rampant and the breaking of those laws was quite extended on many colonies controled by corrupted high profile members of the nobility.
    This hasn’t changed, Fascist coup d’état was the perfect “playground” for blatand corrupt higher classes to thrive and the more than questionable transition that Spain had from dictatorship to Democracy allowed those corrupts to still wield the power.

    9.- Mafia. Spain has no mafia. If you want to understand why I think the erradication of Italian mafia by Mussolini it’s a perfect example.
    Spain corrupt ruling class is Spain’s Mafia. There’s plenty of evidence in the recent years of corrupt people going unpunished after crippling Spaniard society in unforgivable ways. There’s also A LOT of cases of people who got caught being blatantly corrupt that died in “strange and not investigated” circumstances (“Almost Epstein style”). There’s also plenty of data showing how opressive towards “non profitable progress” spanish ruling class is. They literally made up a tax on sunlight that made solar energy economically speaking non viable for anyone not willing to get ripped off.

    10.- Friendly Spaniards: There’s an aspect of Spaniards that many foreigners take as rude that is Spaniards being rude. Many Spaniards will be rude on a joking matter. In many places of Spain (and Hispanic America really) it’s quite common to mess with the people you respect or love to an extent. Thus a Spaniard calling a foreigner “Guiri” in Spain it’s not as ofensive as a British for example calling “Spike” to a Spaniard in the UK. Don’t missunderstand, Guiri it’s a ofensive word that means basicly “foreigner” or “tourist”. But if you find that people who seem friendly to you call you “guiri”, they probably mean no harm and they will stop if you tell them you feel ofended by that word.
    Also don’t take that as a free pass for being insulted. It’s okay to be a little disrespectful with the people you love/respect because it’s considered “heavy banter”. But that shouldn’t be an excuse to allow you being called all sort of names and treated with hostility. But again, try to diferenciate between someone being rude and someone who is starting to be fond of you and baters with you to show acceptance. Yet again, rural parts of Spain tend to be “all or nothing on this”. Either super hostile and biggoty or super welcoming and friendly, learning where the line is drawn will allow you to diferenciate between bater and disrespect. But keep in mind in Hispanic culture it’s a sign of acceptance to certain extent to call names and mess a bit with the people you show acceptance to, a genuine cordial and straightforward talk about any thign that ofends you should prevent you from being ofended in the future by Spaniards who just were showing acceptance to you.

    11.- Depression: Spainards have been depressed for longer than the European Union have been “alive”. It’s a country which their people took the hits to protect the ruling class most of the time (larn about Napoleonic wars in Spain if you want to witness a tragicomedy). So many people are exploited by their employers, badly paid or uncertain of thei nearby future, piling up axiety to it’s population. All that combined with being more and more depentent on tourism. Normally Spaniards are friendly but the general atitude has become more jaded over the last two decades. It’s hard to have a positive atitude when you are overworked, underpaid with an uncertain nearby future all while a english speaking biggot customer has a negative atitude towards you because you can’t speak native english in Spain while working on a job that didn’t require to know any language besides Spanish and (MAYBE) some regional Language like Catalan or Galician.

    12.- Crimes: They happen, they are more common in recent days and they are tightly tied to drug abuse and nord african immigration. So if you can’t live protected from those things (for example’s sake: coming to live in a high income neighbourhood) you are likely to face pickpocketing, bullying and drug abuse around you. Beaches, metro stations and very high tourism density places are red points on the map that tend to have those negative aspects.
    Last tips:

    If you don’t know Spanish, and you are unaware of Spain’s Spanish. Don’t come to live to Spain. You will struggle a lot, specially if your attitude is entitled and rude as many of the comments from English expats that i’ve seen here. And even if you come with the best intentions possible, if you don’t know Spain’s Spanish you will struggle quite a lot on a daily basis. Bigger cities might allow you to do daily stuff in english but that’s all. Also if you try to learn Spanish, the bigger cities are the worst places unless you go to a college in that city. Many Barcelona and Madrid citizens (for example) tend to try to speak you in english (if they can) once they find out you don’t know Spanish very well, making the learning process of learning native Spanish even harder.
    So basicly: Have a pretty good grasp of Spain’s Spanish if you are an adult thinking about living in Spain.

    The country won’t get better. Corruption it’s crippling the country very hard and the population will slowly boil until it explodes like what happened in Catalonia. Don’t expect that living here will be great and easy just because coming here on vacation is awesome. The “native” population of Spain is paying the prize for being so “vacation friendly”.

    Put effort. In my experience the same has happened to me in England, i had been very well treated the time I was there because I learnt English on a British Enlgish school. So many of the Brits I made were very amused by the fact that I spoke “British english with spanish accent” and treated me incredibly well. Same thing happens in spain, the vast majority of Spaniards will straight up melt if you show them you are trying to learn their Language and their culture and will try to cheer you up (maybe will be overwhelming, care).

    If you travel to a place, no matter what, don’t base your point of view on biased biggots like many of the delusional comments I’ve read here. You will find bad and good people, but having an open atitude towards learning the culture of the country you want to live in will open you many of the doors that biggots in this coments tell you are closed. Thanks for reading, I hope it helped you.

    • Spainforever says

      Wow. What you wrote is simply amazing and the pure reality. I would have never explained it as good as you did.
      I have lived in Spain for 20 years and I agree with you at all.
      Begginins are hard.
      If you want to live here, open mind.
      If you only want to come on a vacation, you are welcome.
      Grettings from the south of Spain.

  3. Notsomeonyouknow says

    Yeah Spanish people are crazy rude people.And some are friendly… I will say mix 50/50..But if i lived here for long prolly think 70% are rude…But again so are many other cultures to and depends how much you wanna learn the culture(if their culture you dont care blabla)…I would not stay long in a Spanish country though many dont understand english kinda dealbreaker..But hey cant have it all i think most Spanish people suck not all but alot:)))cheers

  4. There’s no need to put down Spain and say there’s better countries to live in. It depends what you are looking for, but if you know yourself and search a little bit the things (before buying a house for ex or else you wouldn’t encounter that many problems). I am french and have lived in Ireland, Australia, New Zeland, Mexico and Chile so far. I have adapted myself and changed my ways to try to fit in and of course not everyone will accept you. Changing country can be an amazing experience but also the worst one depending on your expectations. There is no country that fits everyone’s desire, all have pros and cons. Key is to adapt and try to understand the people, find a circle that accepts you, get out of your confort zone, dot things you wouldn’t be doing back home and learn the language. Sometimes you are simply unlucky but you can take actions and try to maximize that luck factor and then create yourself the experience that you want to live. Knowing yourself and being understanding and respectful towards people can bring you a long way. focus on people that made your experience better. Spain is not for everyone and it is fine of course but is it fair to bring down a whole country because you didn’t have it your ways?

  5. You don’t have a problem with Spain, you have a problem with yourself

  6. Firesword says

    I would never have paid for a house in a foreign country without knowing anything about its legislation. Even when I am buying on Amazon, I make sure to understand the rules to avoid problems.
    So if I pay without informing myself and without knowing anything about the matter, it is not fair to blame the country, in any case only those people, and lastly those who were not previously informed.
    Anyway, no one forces anyone to come to Spain and buy a house or whatever, so if you don’t like how Spain works, you can stay in the UK forever.
    Everybody is welcome here.
    Keep calm and stay in the UK, lol.

  7. Britain is arguably the dirtiest country in Europe, with highest infaltion rate, crime and stabbings everywhere and massive unemployement.
    Not to mention Brits are not very fond to take showers… they say running water is expensive there.
    Best thing is to send all the brits living in Spain (+/- 1 million) and all the brits living in the EU (+/- 1 million) back to the tiny little dirty island

    • Spain is the dirtiest country in Europe. Cities coated in dog mess and rubbish from the overflowing communal on street bins (not helped by the bin dippers). And in the summer, wholes cities can stink of… from the drains.

  8. sue williams says

    I sympathise with this disgruntled ex-pat. I moved to the Costa Blanca in the early 90’s after owning a small house on an urbanisation for five years. Thankfully, we rented out our home in Wales until we were sure. No-one could have been happier than my husband and I the day we drove down through Spain to start our new life. The excitement soon evaporated over the following months. Everything he says is true now as it was 30 years ago only food and utilities were marginally cheaper then. The Spanish people and authorities do not like the English, with good reason in most instances, but tolerate us because of the massive influx of money every year. The country was almost bankrupted during the pandemic. We returned after one year of constant fighting local councils for amenities not supplied that were paid for in advance. They also love to pretend they have no idea what you are saying. We were lucky we sold our property to a local Spanish family and got out quick. There were so many people desperate to come home but had burnt their bridges and had no funds or means to get back and were at the mercy of the ever changing rules applied to foreigners. We never regretting coming home, we secured jobs immediately and settled back into the life with thought we didn’t want. Be careful what you wish for.

    • DocMaligno says

      People in Spain have improved the country, public services and their standard of living, therefore now tourists and residents pay more. I believe that is normal.
      In Spain there is a lot of immigration of people with few resources and there are no problems with it. It looks like something normal. How can they not accept people with money? that’s absurd.
      Regarding the bankruptcy of Spain during the pandemic, I have to say that we are almost the same as Spain.
      England’s public debt amounts to almost 100% of GDP. Spain’s debt is 115%.
      In addition to Brexit and inflation which is going to hurt us.
      In addition, in Spain they have limited the price of electricity and they want to put a real tax on electricity producers.
      I think we can learn a lot from Spain

    • Oh yes indeed!! They really pretend not to know when they want to. I tried to get a new NIE certificate post Brexit, oh boy, nasty little idiots!!

      • What you say is funny because what is very difficult after Brexit is to find qualified workers, in addition to residence, of course, in England. If this was difficult before, now it is impossible.
        And then there is the matter of wanting to send immigrants to Rwanda.
        England seems more and more like V for Vendetta or the Years and Years series.
        What a pity.

        • Spain is being carved up between the Chinese and South Americans. The VOX moment is coming, like it or not.

          • You have given yourself away with that comment. VOX is a fascist party, as you. That kind of party will never govern in Spain again, whether you like it or not “buddy”.

      • Your NIE is your NIE for life. You cannot change/exchange or renew it. It’s similar to the National Insurance Number you get in Britain! Doh.

    • “massive influx of money every year”
      Englanders and British (tourists or immigrants) in general have always been a burden to the Sistema de Salud and the taxpayer.
      Not to mention their chronic monoglottism and alcoholism.
      Now you understand why they are not too popular in Spain or the rest of the EU, no?

  9. Tony Tokel says

    Turns out, everyone’s experience is unique based on their expectations, financial situation, language ability or desire, flexibility, and much more. Knowing yourself is a better way to determine how a move like this will affect you. And do your research without encasing the idea in gold. Look logically at a place, recognizing it isn’t a vacation when you move – it’s living.

  10. Oh my friend. First thing, you are an immigrant and not the fancy white washing word expat. You faced the life of an immigrant going to another country with little to no money except you thought it would go through smoothly as you are a brit. You wanted to live on the beach, make lots and lots of money, and be adored by the locals as you thought you were special….a brit. Do not go to another country unless you are ready to work your butt off, use the education you earned, or bring in a ton of cash. Just like what the brits expect from their immigrants is what you should so if you are one

  11. Manuel López says

    Cacha el nombre gringo que tienes!!
    España es igual o peor que Sudamérica, porque están en Europa se creen europeos!!! Ja ja!! Ponte la mascarilla y no emitas opinión. España es TERCER MUNDO

    • Mástontoynonaces says

      Jajaja. No paraces muy latino, más bien pareces anglosajón haciéndote pasar por latino.
      Ya te gustaría que eso fuera cierto. No se puede comparar a España con Sudamérica en nada, bueno si hay una cosa, en las playas, España tiene de las mejores playas que hay.
      Por eso España ha recibido y recibe cada año cientos o miles de inmigrantes que buscan una vida mejor, y por supuesto muchos de ellos provenientes de Sudamérica, de donde huyen de las pésimas condiciones que allí tienen, como asesinatos, hambre, inseguridad, falta de trabajo, etc.
      Te noto con resquemor por algo que te haya podido con algún policía por la mascarilla, y es que machote, en España hay normas y reglas, y se cumplen, y sino te gustan pues ya sabes que puedes quedarte o volverte, que en Sudamérica se vive mejor que en España jajaja.

    • Que cazzo podés saber vos de Sudamérica, forro con ojos?
      Sudamérica es un desastre, sólo superado por el Reino “Unido” (LOL) en violencia y suciedad.
      Inglaterra es lo más parecido a un villa miseria.
      Tu problema es que nunca saliste de ese villorrio miserable in Northern England.

  12. I moved with my husband to Spain in 2002, having sold our 5-bedroom house in Hampshire and bought a finca in Alhaurin el Grande in 2000. We didn’t know about Spanish Inheritance Tax that has to be paid by the widow/widower and cannot be raised on the property so we’d have to find around €30k in that eventuality. We found that out after seeing front-page articles in the EuroWeekly every week in 2005/2006 about how to minimise that risk – not realising that it was illegal and a scam! I left in 2010 and moved back to England and have a very happy life now but the court case is still going on and the other party insisted I attend court in Coin next Tuesday 5th April. My ex-husband is now too disabled to travel but I booked my flights and accommodation. On Monday I emailed the Abogados there with my itinerary – to receive a reply that the case has been adjourned – too late to cancel my plans now! It’s so typical of the Spanish to do this and I’m absolutely livid!

    • Spainsword says

      Sorry about reading your experience, but I think it was your fault, I mean you were scamed for some people, not for Spain. Maybe you should have done some research before paying for anything.
      Spanish Inheritance tax is not never paid for a buyer, that tax is only paid for a relative when they are going to inherit a house or a property from a relative.
      Talking about lawyers, what can I say? They are lawyers…

      • Such a typical Spanish response. Everything is explained away (poorly) so there is no fault in the end. Spain sucks sometimes, especially for people used to countries with better functioning systems, so just get used to reality.

        • Spanishway says

          I would never have paid for a house in a foreign country without knowing anything about its legislation. Even when I am buying on Amazon, I make sure to understand the rules to avoid problems.
          So if I pay without informing myself and without knowing anything about the matter, it is not fair to blame the country, in any case only those people, and lastly those who were not previously informed.
          Anyway, no one forces anyone to come to Spain and buy a house or whatever, so if you don’t like how Spain works, you can stay in the UK forever.
          Everybody is welcome here.
          Keep calm and stay in the UK, lol.

  13. Alistair S. Duff says

    Very helpful. Good on spainmadesimple.com for publishing critical views and responses. I admire the Spanish for surving fascism until 1976. How these good people must have suffered. I cannot fault them.

    • Ihatevox says

      Thank you.
      In fact, we are still fighting fascism. Most of us hate it but there are some people who want that back. I hate VOX.

  14. reggie andrews says

    i feel fed up with my past so i wish secret leaves wayt to torrenaivija location for good so i am deaf gay person and 81 y/o so please help me about nice home UP TO 400 TO 450 PCM FOR RENTS TY TOUH SOON

  15. Funny youd mention roads, never seen worse infrastructure as in Scotland. Should these lovely folks get the independence and I kid you not, in less than 5 years this region would turn into some failed African state.

  16. Web sites and TV programs avoid mentioning disadvantages of moving to Spain (or anywhere for that matter). There are disadvantages in Spain such as high unemployment, low wages, bureaucracy, tax affairs, an inefficient legal system…

    You have to visit Spain a few times for research, especially on tax affairs. I’ve found that British tax consultants in Spain are the best since they know the system in both countries and give direct advice. Make sure you are aware of the consequences of Brexit, the process for buying or renting property, schools, getting driving licences changed and so on.

    Oh, and you’ll need far more than 15,000 € to set yourself up anywhere!

  17. I wonder why some British could believe they have better infrastructure in the UK, after having visited Spain. This is not true. Not true at all. I think it’s due to some kind of “nationalistic blindness” (and this premise can be extrapolated to many areas as I have seen). When I lived in the UK I really missed an efficient public transport net like the one we have in Spain. Spain has the largest network of highways and freeways in Europe. Spain’s network of excellent highways and freeways extends over 17,000 km, much higher than the European average… And Spain ranks first worldwide in road connectivity according to the WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2019.

  18. Spain is a joke of a country and has been for a long time.
    No longer relevant in any conversation from a political, social, cultural or economic viewpoint, it offers very little to anyone who has known and lived through better.
    It’s where British people run away to when they don’t know what else better to do, or can’t afford anywhere better. Speaks to their lack of ambition and imagination.

    A country in decline, noise pollution issues, corruption issues, et al. This country suffered under Franco, now it allows foreigners to pick at the carcass, while largely ignoring its own people, so no surprise locals try to rip off foreigners. Try living in a country like Finland and see how far you get as a non native, even when you’re married to one. But that’s a country with a lot to offer and it knows it. Very little has changed post Brexit and in reality for most people nothing will, they’re not going to stop the only people dumb or classless enough to spend their retirement/savings money in another country.

    Truth be told, if you like living in Spain, it’s because you don’t know there is better out there. For the record better places: Switzerland/Thailand/Australia/Bulgaria/Croatia/Kenya/Cuba/Barbados, I could go on.

    People need to stop with this Spain propaganda. Leave Spain to the Spanish so maybe, just maybe, they will focus on trying to improve it for their own people, instead of trying to accommodate leeching ex pats.

    • BastardSpaniard says

      No one forces you to come here for looking for a job or for living.
      You used to come here to get free surgeries or for a vacation.
      In fact, we do not need more stupid people here, we already have a lot.
      I hope you don’t need a surgery in your beloved UK.

    • KEVIN MILLARD says

      Total load of rubbish! You talk about much better places to live such as Barbados, Australia and Switzerland. You cannot just up and live in these countries. Spain is a lovely country but inhabited by a lot of ex pats, many who behave as if Spain owes them a living and show bow and scrape to them. Wrong. In any country of the world home drums beat first and that is exactly how it should be. Too many Brits move to Spain thinking they can just relax in the sun all day and do nothing else, even in their 40’s and 50’s. Again wrong. Living anywhere costs money. By all means live in Spain but act like you are living, not on holiday, and the money will stretch a lot further. A common problem with Brits is that they do not want to adapt to another country, but want that country to adapt to them. It doesn’t work like that. And then they want to blame Spain for all the problems that are their doing, not Spain’s. And as for people saying the UK is better and has a lower cost of living what a load of tosh. Poll taxes, energy bills, petrol, lying politicians, woke brigade etc etc etc. Welcome back to the UK for all you Spanish haters!!

      • Unfortunately as clearly evidenced by these replies humans hate anyone that is different from them. It should change at some point to where people in different countries can focus on and recognize both the positive and negative qualities of other countries and of their own. Hopefully one day the foolish human brain evolves towards a point where it doesn’t need to point out perceived faults of other countries to feel superior, but instead to learn from them and also to learn from the positive aspects (likewise may we all recognize the positive and negative aspects in our native country). Every country has good and bad qualities; pretending in either direction solves nothing. And this comment is the same thing people from the UK say about the polish and other immigrants or people of any country say about immigrants in general; I don’t understand how replicating the same behavior helps.

      • so True Kevin,
        I don´t understand these negative views, Spain is a great country, I am Australian, have lived in the Barcelona area for over 30 years, Also lived in the UK, nice countryside, hated the weather!
        I have never experienced any of the things people are saying here …, rude people, dirty country, crime, Yes, we have crime, unfortunately so do most European countries, including the UK! and sorry to say, but, most are people from Latin America, North Africa.
        I have always found everyone very friendly and interested to know where I am from, I speak Spanish fluently of course now.
        Most of the places mentioned here are tourist areas, frequented by drunken foreign tourists, a disgrace to their country, are you surprised that they are not welcome!
        Many Brits seem to think they are a superior race and that they do not need to learn the language of the country they live in, this is so disrespectful.
        What type of job would a foreign immigrant get in the UK if they didn´t speak English?
        Nick, moving to a foreign country with 15,000 pounds!! you must be joking.
        Yes, wages may be lower here, but, dining out, beers, tapas on the beach, alcohol, public transport
        cigarettes, all these are so much cheaper than in the Uk… plus so many days of sunshine and good weather.
        People like Nick and many others who have put such biased comments here are certainly not welcome, not here, or in Australia or anywhere else, so just stay in your own country.,

    • Australia?!! Seriously? Please indulge me with your rational argument as to how it’s better than Spain in any meaningful way?

    • Cuba??? Really? You do not even know what you are talking about, you mentioned a country which is a total ruin, where a doctor makes half of a policeman’s salary, where parents cannot afford a glass of milk for their children, where elderly people are unable to get a tiny piece of bread, the city of Havana is nothing but a dumpster falling apart, soon there will be nothing left of a country which used to be the pearl of the Antilles. Now, it is nothing thanks to a communist dictatorship that has lasted for 63 years. Come on, it shows your lack of education and knowledge mentioning that miserable excuse of a ravaged country. Just explain as how Cuba it’s better than Spain in any way when the country is ruled and owned by a communist clan who doesn’t give a damn about its enslaved citizens? I have visited Spain and I have nothing negative to say about it, I think is very beautiful with a very rich culture, and its people are the nicest. I got lost several times and people went out of their way to help me out, I was treated in a very kindly way. If you do not like Spain then crawl back to your third world country where you came from.

  19. Adrián López says

    Españoles pobres!!! Hasta hace poco iban a buscar trabajo en Chile. En los 70s era mejor Argentina o Venezuela que España. Por algo la juventud se va de allí a Inglaterra, Alemania o Suiza, porque es un país de tercera clase. Geográficamente en Europa. Adrián de Quito.

    • Seremos muy pobres pero aquí vienen los de tu país a buscar una vida mejor, huyendo de la inseguridad y la miseria 😉

    • De Quito?
      Pero ustedes son una villa miseria… de que pobres hablás, pedazo de pelotudo??
      De tu familia miserable?

  20. You shouldn’t move to Spain with only 15k end of. Nerja is a tourist hot spot with all that entails crime, rip offs etc. Thorough research on areas to live and correct funding in place before moving is essential.
    I’ve lived here 3 years as a retiree and love it
    One final point..a fool and his money are soon parted.

    • Hello Badger,
      The main reason in my view people who knock Spain have no done any research, for the three years prior to moving here to live I looked at all things that would be relevant to me and also came over three times to look at different areas at the end of the last visit I had a few hours to spare to before going back checked out another area, stopped the car got out and said to myself,THIS IS WHERE I WANT TO BE,job done and moved here nines years ago.
      Viva Espana.

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