If you are moving to Barcelona to start an incredible adventure abroad, have a look at this brief guide and discover what you need to know before you settle in.
Are you ready to live one of the best experiences ever? Moving to Barcelona will turn into a lifetime adventure, even though getting out of your comfort zone and living in a foreign country may sound a little scary.
Barcelona will amaze you with its unique beauty, a mix and match of an incredible architectural design, international vibes and a modern style.
What to expect from your adventure abroad? Barcelona will let you meet hundreds of young internationals, their cultures and languages. You’ll come back home with acknowledgement, new skills and broaden horizons...or not: you will fall in love with the city and decide to stay there. Who knows!
What do you need to know before moving to Barcelona? A great adventure is a balance between improvisation, going with the flow and a good planning.
In order to help you to settle in, we provide you more information about the cost of living in Barcelona, its local culture, accommodation, dining, daily life, etc.
If you’re still asking yourself “why moving to Barcelona?”, here we are with some reasonable answers! The inner beauty of the Catalan capital is undeniable: a city by the sea, which is surrounded by mountains. It's the Spanish capital of architectural design (plenty of Gaudí’s masterpieces) and home to many beautiful spots: La Sagrada Familia, the huge open-air Plaza Real, the Gothic neighbourhood, the Magic Fountain, the panoramic views from Tibidabo amusement park and many others.
Barcelona has a great citylife, offering uncountable activities by day and a sensational night entertainment (Spaniards do it better!).
Moreover, here you’ll find great services, public transportation and healthcare systems - even if the general prices are above the Spanish average, they are still lower than most of the famous European cities.
One of the first steps to take is settling a budget, deciding the type of accommodation and the area you will live in.
Our tip for young internationals moving to Barcelona (both students or young professionals) is to renting a room in Barcelona (or a studio) for a short period of time, such as 3-6 months.
This way you can find out the neighbourhood that suits you better. Furthermore, by sharing a flat in Barcelona you have the chance to get to know other young people from all over the world, learn more about their cultures, languages and living unique memories with them.
You also have to know that the rental market prices in Barcelona are the highest ones in Spain, around 450-650 euros per room (depending on the features, what’s included or not, location, etc.) If you want to live in the centre of the city, like most of the young expats here, sharing an apartment is the perfect housing solution for your budget!
As you know, the moments before your arrival can be confusing and we recognize that moving abroad can be a bit difficult, especially in the early days. Fortunately we thought about this too; in fact, thanks to the exclusive collaboration we have reserved for you with Anyvan, we offer our tenants the best parcel shipping service on the market. This way you can send or receive parcels of any size and weight, quickly and safely, as well as personalized service and low costs.
This is our favourite part! Learning a new language is one of the most challenging yet fun things. Barcelona is such a cosmopolitan city and here you will find many young people to practice with. Go on Facebook groups for language exchange or sign up on specific mobile apps and meet other people!
But Spanish, unlike English, has a complex grammar and vocabulary. Therefore, we suggest you to take some classes before your arrival or as soon as you come here.
Last but not least, if you want to truly integrate with the local folks and level up your language skills, you could try to learn Catalan, the official language in Catalunya, Valencian community and Balearic island, spoken by over 9 million people.
*The information below has been collected by the helpHousing team. Please, keep in mind that we are not directly related to any legal or government office and the information may change.
If you're thinking about moving to Barcelona you need to learn everything about the legal paperwork (get a look at this useful article by our friends at Citylife Madrid and learn everything about Spanish immigration laws and how to deal with them!)
First thing first! The most important document for foreigners in Spain is the NIE (Número de Identidad Extranjeros) or TIE (equivalent to NIE for Non-Europeans). You can apply for it online (here) and select the legal proceeding you need.
The compulsory documents to take with you on the day of the appointment are:
One more important thing to think about when moving to Barcelona is the healthcare system. You are lucky, because Spain boasts one of the best in the world, according to the WHO. For citizens and those who get their Empadronamiento (Residency card), the assistance is free. But if you are a Non European student, coming for an exchange experience here, we suggest you to purchase a private insurance; you can find many at a very reasonable price.
First, there are two general points to think about before opening a bank account in Spain.
How long are you going to stay in Barcelona? If it is longer than 6 months, then you should think about opening a Spanish bank account (especially for the Non-Eu citizens that will save a lot of money on commissions and change!).
Second question: are you moving to Barcelona to study or to work? Students don’t really need to open a Spanish bank account, but workers will be asked to do so, in order to receive the salary.
What do you need to do to open a bank account in Spain?
You can check if the bank you chose lets you do it online before your arrival, since some banks nowadays only need a few documents.
But generally it’s better to personally go to the office; there you can choose between opening the account as a resident (using NIE or TIE), or as a non-resident in Spain.
The documentation you’ll be asked to show is:
Nothing left to say. We truly hope these few points will be a good start to plan your move to Barcelona. Are you ready?
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