Barcelona

Spain

A Bastion of Spanish Tradition and Culture

Barcelona is an intoxicating city that epitomizes the heart of Cataluña. Effervescent and seemingly always bathed in sunlight, it is a place that exemplifies a culture, way of living and tradition that sets it apart from the rest of Spain. The city itself is a visual feast that combines modern sophistication with provincial charm. Old and new exist seamlessly side-by-side and those that explore this unique area, will find colorful and flamboyant modernisme-style architecture sandwiched between medieval romance and Gothic treasures.

Very few European cities can compete with the cultural experiences on offer in Barcelona. The city celebrates its remarkable artistic legacy at every turn and expatriates living here can while away hours visiting the numerous galleries, museums and exhibitions that are devoted to the likes of Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies and Pablo Picasso museum. Couple this with the luxury of Barcelona’s 4.2 km beach and the Parc de la Ciutadella and you are presented with

Those who prefer a faster pace of life will be enamored with the amazing nightlife on offer. From the decidedly-Spanish, yet undeniably delicious Spanish cuisine on offer in the many restaurants and taverns, to the numerous bars, cafes and clubs, there is always something to do and a new experience to enjoy.

The locals are accustomed to visitors and expatriates from abroad and the majority of them are welcoming and friendly. However, it is important to note that the language of the region is Catalan, not Spanish and unless you speak a little of this language you may find it extremely difficult to communicate. The major tourist areas (hotels, attractions etc.) will have English-speakers, as will some banks and other services, but English is not as wide-spread as that you will find in other European capital cities and you will need to familiarize yourself with the basics.


What’s the draw?

  • A thriving city that offers sun-soaked beaches, a great nightlife, cuisine and legendary art.
  • A sophisticated, cultured city that is unique in character and outlook.
  • Great year-round weather and plenty of sunshine.

Live there:

Expat Info Desk recognizes that relocating to Barcelona can be like falling down a Gaudi-designed rabbit hole. In this area of the world, you need two things to settle in effectively: patience and knowledge. We can’t help you with the patience but we can offer all of the knowledge you will need.

This relocation guide is the result of hard-won personal experience in dealing with visas and residency, apartment-hunting, car buying, schools, language barriers and more mundane but necessary activities like grocery shopping and getting around. In other words, it is the helping hand that everybody needs when moving overseas. Enjoy Barcelona with us, and the incredible surrounding areas that make up Catalunya - arguably the most beautiful region of Spain.

About Barcelona we have

Our guide was written by Imogen Moore and Aarthi Rajaraman and last published on Sunday 12th December 2010.

Read this guide »

Five top tips

01Get a bank account: This will be the first thing most utility providers, telecom connectors and employers will require.
02Get your NIE: This is a ´foreigners number´ and will probably be the second thing that utility providers will request.
03The government offers free Catalan lessons to foreigners, in order to promote this rare and unusual language, so take advantage of it.
04Agents in Spain can ask for up to nine months worth of rent as a deposit, ensure you have sufficient funds to pay this.
05Spain is notoriously bureaucratic, allow between three and ten times as much time as you normally would for administration tasks.

Interesting fact

Drivers in Barcelona are ranked as the worst in the world. According to statistics, a car accident occurs every 19 seconds on weekdays.