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Pros and Cons of Living in Spain

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 03, 2023

Summary: The pros of living in Spain include its beautiful climate, its rich culture and history, its vibrant cities, its delicious cuisine, and its friendly people. On the other hand, the cons of living in Spain include its high cost of living, its language barrier, and its lack of job opportunities for non-EU citizens.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Spain?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Spain responded:

"Like: social life and community, Healthcare, University, Library and bookstores. Historic sites, food and bakeries. Walkability. Dislike: Weather in winter could be better, landlocked location, not much to dislike," remarked another expat in Salamanca.

"We have found the experience to exceed our expectations when we arrived. No plans on living in U.S. again," explained one expat living in Alicante.

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What do expats in Spain appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expats in Spain appreciate the relaxed atmosphere, the friendly locals and their warm hospitality; the beautiful climate, the large variety of different landscapes, the Mediterranean Sea and beaches; the great food and drink, including tapas and sangria; the historical towns and cities, especially Barcelona and Madrid; the vibrant festivals, vibrant nightlife and exciting Flamenco culture; the rich cultural history and art; and the many cultural activities, such as bullfighting and opera," explained one expat living in Spain.

"Wow, the culture is quite diverse (many subcultures) here but Catalan culture is impressive because values quality food, books, time with family and friends while in the U.S. most people only care about accumulating capital," said another expat in Barcelona.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats often find it difficult to adjust to a new culture, language, and lifestyle. They often must cope with feeling of isolation, homesickness, and a lack of support. They may also struggle to obtain visas and work permits in some countries. In addition, the cost of living can be higher in a new city or country, adding additional stress. Furthermore, expats may lack access to healthcare or other services, depending on the location. Some may even experience culture shock or find it difficult to make new friends in a strange place," replied an expat in Spain.

"Spaniards, like most people from Southern Europe, love loud music, even late at night. I'm more a quiet person," remarked another in Barcelona.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Help others in Spain by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Spain.

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