Tips for Expats Moving to Barcelona
Barcelona is an attractive prospect for anyone looking to sample a little more sun in one of the most vibrant and characterful cities on earth. The city is packed with mesmeric architecture and ultra-chic people. However, we advise that it’s best to arrive with some idea of how to navigate Catalonian life. If you’re looking to move out on a more permanent basis. Here’s a list of tips for getting on your feet in Barcelona.
If you’ve upped and left on a whim, then you’ll be looking at staying in a hostel before you find a solid apartment. There’s plenty of cheap hostels in the city center, in addition to many ‘party hostels’ that are always fun. It’s best to know the districts and neighbourhoods well before you dive into comparing rental prices and localities. It is highly recommended not to secure a booking until you have been able to see the apartment in person.
It’s important to have a good think about what you’ll be looking to live near. A metro or bus stop, maybe even a larger train station? These are all good locations for someone who likes to travel around with ease. You might want to position yourself close to some of the more boisterous neighbourhoods where you can party until dawn. Perhaps instead you want to angle towards a more relaxed pace of life. Living on a leafy boulevard, with a balcony overlooking beautiful houses and quiet roads. Do your research so that whatever accommodation you secure suits your needs, tendencies, and desires.
Usually, moving to a new country for an extended period of time would entail opening a bank account in the country you’re going to. This can be tedious, especially if you’re a stranger to the language and have little documentation – like a home address, a referee, or even an employer – to provide to the bank. While it’s not a terrible idea to open an account with such a bank, mobile banks are the best direction to take in terms of financing your time abroad: they often have no overseas withdrawal fees and will work if you happen to leave Barcelona for France or Portugal, too.
Above and beyond the normal banking needs, you’ll also profit from looking into the likes of BONSAI FINANCE, who offer flexible, tailor-made loans online with super-fast speed so that you’re never left in a sticky situation in a foreign land without the money to make rent one month. Online and mobile services such as these will really help you keep a check on your spending while assisting you in accounting, ensuring your stay in Barcelona is stress-free when it comes to your economic situation.
It’s a mark of respect, even if you’re only a tourist in Barcelona, to get some basic Spanish under your belt. Even if you just learn the pleasantries, greetings, and things you’ll regularly ask for at cafes, bars, and restaurants. If you’re staying for a longer period of time, you’ll find yourself picking up more Spanish. Many new expats choose to take evening classes or head to language cafes. Here you can spend some hours in the week concentrating on improving your Spanish.
As Barcelona is the capital of the Catalan region, there’s also a specific language dialect to the area. We recommend learning some if you’re setting up a permanent life in Barcelona. This will make your travels in the Catalan region a pleasant breeze, with locals guaranteed to show you an appreciation for learning their language as well as the Spanish language.
Way of Life
Barcelona is one of Europe’s main tourist cities and has played host to recent protests concerning both Catalan independence and a certain animosity to tourist numbers, which tend to exceed that of the native population throughout the summer. Read up on the cause for Catalan independence so that you’re able to be sensitive to this issue while meeting and chatting with locals. Be aware that Barcelona is a city proud of its heritage and identity, and that you should adapt to their way of life in order to fit in.
Like many cities on the continent, Barcelona boasts that special brand of cafe culture that is so beguiling for those from the UK and the US – it entails long chats in the shade with an espresso in hand. Or balmy evenings sat out on LAS RAMBLAS with cool Spanish beers in hand, and an endless conveyor belt of tapas arriving at your table. Make sure to throw yourself into everything as soon as you arrive in the city. It’ll be the best way to make friends and enjoy yourself.
Most people who move to a new city for a long period of time have a job that either dictates or allows for such a move: perhaps at an international bank or a European-wide set of offices. However, you may be moving with an unemployed partner or friend who’s looking for a job once they arrive in Barcelona, or you may indeed require one yourself.
There are literally thousands of jobs going in the tourist sector, especially when the long summer rolls around. This could be a good starter job for anyone making the move to Barcelona jobless. Then there are jobs that’ll appreciate a fluent English speaker and will advertise as such. Furthermore, the English language tutoring or teaching jobs are ubiquitous across the continent and always a safe option. Enquire everywhere and look online and you’ll not be jobless for long. Are you looking for more advice on applying for jobs in Barcelona? Have a read of our blog “How to find a job in Barcelona“.
Barcelona has so much to offer anyone who moves there, from wild parties to sophisticated dining experiences. Remember these tips for your move, so that you hit the ground running. It is most beneficial to soak up the culture as soon as you touch down in Barcelona.