Spain is the perfect country for remote workers. Full of coworking spaces, fiestas, sunshine, great food and fibre-optic high-speed internet. If you want to live the life away from the freezing winters and experience a country that still has a great sense of fun, which is steeped in history, and is inhabited by possibly the most welcoming people on the planet, you should try Spain.
Flats and apartments in Spain are so much cheaper than in the US or the UK. Even in the very heart of Barcelona it’s cheaper (though not exactly cheap) to rent a flat than it is to live 10 miles outside London or New York. But a lot of flats are old, use this checklist to help you when you find a flat you like:
Are there signs of damp, flaking paint or infestations of any kind?
Is there any sign of dodgy wiring, loose wires or faulty plugs or lights?
Do kitchen appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers work?
Check the bathroom(s) and make sure taps are not leaking. Does the shower work properly?
Are the sealants around the bath and shower intact? Check for damp in the corners.
Are you allowed to decorate?
Are there enough electrical and phone connections and are they in the right places?
Even flats which look like they’ve been refurbished can have some pretty fundamental issues so make sure you do your homework, and speak to the landlord. Or.... call Globexs.
You need to jump through a few hoops to get yourself settled in Spain. The empadronamiento is one of the first things you’ll need so you need to go to the local Town Hall (ayuntamiento) with your passport, and a contract for your flat to prove you reside there. Get a 5 of them printed.
You also need a NIE, which is the national ID card for expats. Take your empadronamiento and your passport to the local police station and they’ll give you all the advice you need to get this.
To get a bank account you need the above two documents, but once that’s fixed, you’re all set!
You know better than anyone what equipment you need, but be careful when you’re buying or replacing in Spain. Keyboards are a different layout, so if you’re working in English, you need to get keyboards from Amazon, you could try with a Spanish keyboard but most people we know that have tried this found it to be extremely annoying.
The internet in Spain is fast, expect to pay around €50 per month. The ISPs are just as evil as they are all over the world. But Spain is not quite so strict as the UK so you generally still don’t need a VPN, though one is recommended to get access to US/UK website content.
Spain can be noisy, especially in the more bohemian, hipster places you’d be wanting to settle in as a remote worker. Through the day they are perfect, nice bars, good food, local shops, happy people, warm sunshine. But Friday and Saturday night can get hectic. In the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona people keep a glass of water by the window to soak the revellers who make too much noise. There is quite a problem emerging with noisy tourists in the city centers the weekend, if you want to work in peace, try to find somewhere closer to the edge of these areas and not right on the tourist track.
Spain has some of the best coffee in Europe. The latest fad in Nespresso, which is a machine with capsules, but the purists go for the hexagonal screw-fit coffee percolators and some good ground coffee from the market. The bars serve coffee for €1 and it’s quite common for Spaniards to pop down to the bar for 15 minutes. It’s high in caffeine so be aware that returning to normal freeze-dried coffee in the future will not be an option.
Give us a call if need any information on life in Spain. We have helped lots of people both in long-term and short-term stays and we’re here to help. It’s big thing, we get that.
Globexs is the reference for service and quality regarding temporary rentals for solo travelers, expats and digital nomads. We guarantee the authentic Globexs Experience. Click below to apply for an apartment or contact us for more information.
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