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You are here: Home Moving to Getting Started Your survival guide to living in Spain
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24/11/2009Your survival guide to living in Spain

Your survival guide to living in Spain Thinking about moving to Spain? Just moved here and need help? Check out our guide, your one-stop shop for surviving and thriving abroad.

Just arrived
Embassy contact information
Visas, residence permits & international marriage
Getting around, public transport
Housing advice, renting & buying
Working and employment
Doing business abroad
Getting connected
Learning Spanish
Spanish culture, dealing with culture shock
Family, children and pets
Health, fitness and well-being


Below you will find several features that will help you. If you prefer to consult an expert, Expatica is equipped with the experts you need. If you'd just like to ask other internationals, then visit our discussion forums, where thousands of internationals meet to chat. If you're looking for a relocation company, doctor, teacher or any business, look in Expatica's English-only A-Z Listings.

•    Ten things to know before moving to Spain
•    Spain country factbook
•    An introduction to Spanish basic ingredients
•    Speaking Spanish - from introvert to extrovertido
•    Checklist for expats moving to Spain
•    Groups and clubs in Spain - Part 1
•    Groups and clubs in Spain – Part 2
•    Favourite restaurants in Barcelona
•    Top 10 restaurants in Madrid


Go to our A-Z listings for embassy information. If your embassy is not listed in our A-Z Listings, please let us know at


Chat with other internationals in our legal problems forum, or find a lawyer in the A-Z Listings. If you're looking for expert advice, consult an expert in our Ask the Expert Section.

•    Obtaining a visa for Spain
•    Guide to marriage, partnerships and divorce in Spain
•    How to apply for a Spanish work permit
•    Dating in Spain
•    Getting married in Spain
•    Filing for divorce in Spain


If you're a Euro-commuter, we have a forum just for you.

•    Obtaining a driving licence in Spain
•    How to import, buy or lease cars in Spain
•    Driving in Spain and the trouble with Spanish drivers!
•    Driving you crazy: Strange anomalies with driving licences
•    Getting your driver's license in Spain
•    Guide to Spanish roads
•    Guide to parking in Spain
•    Rules for driving in Spain
•    Guide to the Spanish railway network
•    Public transport in Madrid
•    Getting around in Barcelona

Find housing through our housing search or Free Classifieds, or chat with other expats in our housing forum. If you're looking for expert advice, consult an expert in our Ask the Expert Section or within the A-Z Listings.

•    Spanish NIE Numbers
•    Ten things to know before buying a house in Spain
•    Spanish property: a wise investment?
•    Property in Spain: It's not all gloom and doom
•    Illegal homes: a loophole to save expat buyers
•    Illegal building: an expat's nightmare
•    Property moguls help expats with life in Spain
•    A good time for Spanish mortgages
•    Rules for renting a home in Spain
•    How to prepare your house for sale


Search for a job through our job search or in our classifieds, or get career advice from our recruitment expert.

•    Management culture in Spain
•    Job hunting in Spain
•    Looking for work in Spain
•    Finding a job in Spain
•    Teaching English in Spain
•    When it's not all sunshine and success
•    Why expats must think local
•    Culturally correct CV's
•    Unpacking your career
•    Recruiting in the Spanish job market


To secure your financial situation abroad, consult one of our experts or get advice from other internationals in our Finance forum.

•    How to open a bank account in Spain
•    Choosing a Spanish bank
•    A guide to Spanish inheritance tax
•    Expert tips: Tax and accounting advice for expats in Spain
•    Expert tips: Financial planning


Discuss business in our Business forum, or promote your own business in our A-Z Listings for free (premium listings also available).

•    How to go freelance in Spain
•    Doing business in Spain
•    Avoid the pitfalls to setting up a business in Spain


Get connected by reading the features below or asking fellow internationals in our forum. Need a second-hand printer or computer? Look in the Free Classifieds.

•    Emergency numbers in Spain
•    Getting connected in Spain
•    Guide to Spanish radio and television
•    How to connect to utilities in Barcelona


If you can't get your questions answered through the following features, consult one of our expert teachers, chat with other internationals about education, or find a school through our A-Z Listings.

•    Education system in Spain
•    Picking the right school in Spain for your child
•    Finding the best schools for your children
•    Bringing up baby abroad? The trials of finding a nursery in Spain
•    Applying for schools in Barcelona
•    Public and private schools in Spain
•    Should our kids go native too?
•    University and higher education in Barcelona


Find a language-exchange partner within our Learning the Language forum, ask an "Expatica Expert" Spanish teacher your grammar questions, or find a school within our A-Z Listings.

•    Spanish courses in Spain
•    Tips on learning Spanish
•    What happens when my child starts learning Spanish
•    Useful Spanish phrases
•    Spanglish or Spanish?
•    The tongue-tying trauma of life in Spain
•    Learning the lingo
•    Speaking Spanish like Bob Dylan


Expatica has plenty of features to offer you advice, but you can also or seek counselling advice from one of our experts or chat with other expats in our Discuss Spanish Culture forum.

•    Speaking Spanish - from introvert to extrovertido
•    Discovering your new identity
•    Culture shock and how to deal with it
•    Non-EU expats adjust to live in Spain
•    How restaurant service in Spain has evolved


Chat with fellow internationals about family matters in our Family forum, or get your questions answered by one of our experts. Need services that relate to family and child-rearing? Find a business or organization in our A-Z Listings.

•    Ten things to prepare before giving birth in Spain
•    Giving birth the Spanish way
•    Bringing up baby abroad
•    Moving the family to Barcelona
•    Expat Teens get their community website
•    Helping children avoid the pitfalls of global living
•    Bringing your pet to Spain
•    Animals abroad in Spain
•    Relocating pets
•    Pet hotels in Spain


Looking for a gym, yoga studio, doctor, or church? Check out the features below, or look in our A-Z Listings, ask one of our experts on in a variety of fields relating to health and well-being, or speak with other internationals in the forums that might be able to offer advice.

•    Best pools in Madrid and Barcelona
•    Healthcare In Spain
•    Guide to the Spanish healthcare system
•    The Spanish healthcare system: one expat's experience
•    Grow old gracefully in Spain
•    How the health service varies across Spain
•    Key hospitals
•    Beating jet lag
•    Surviving the summer in Costa Blanca

If there is something you need that is missing above, please let us know by emailing You can also follow Expatica Spain on Facebook and Twitter!

We at Expatica wish you success with your life in Spain!

Expatica November 2009

photo credit: cesarastudillo

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Inside Expatica
Editor's Guide: Getting Started in Spain

Editor's Guide: Getting Started in Spain

Expatica's Getting Started section will provide practical information on how you can open a bank account, exchange your driving licence, improve your Spanish, and more.

Groups and Clubs in Madrid

Groups and Clubs in Madrid

Here's a guide to an extensive list of groups and clubs in Madrid for expats, from sports groups to social and family gatherings.

Groups and Clubs around Spain

Groups and Clubs around Spain

A brief introduction to our Tax section for Spain, from help with inheritance tax to accounting advice.

Groups and Clubs in Barcelona

Groups and Clubs in Barcelona

Here's a short introduction to our Banking section for those living in Spain, from what to ask the experts to opening a Spanish bank account.