Expat Spain

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for expats in Europe. This once super power continues to show off her beauty, culture, architecture and art to those that visit this fascinating place. If you are looking for a truly exotic location in Europe to visit in which almost each town or city is unique, Spain should be on the top of your list.


Spain’s climate is known to be extremely hot in the summer time; however, for those that seek the sun, Spain is a perfect with plenty of sunny days throughout the year. The hottest months of the year are during July and August and winters can be cold in some parts of Spain, specifically Madrid and the high central areas. For those looking for comfortable weather, visit Spain in the spring time or fall. These times of year are very comfortable. You should note that if you are off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, you should expect lots of rain during the fall season.

Spain also has a wonderful coast lines with plenty of high quality sandy beaches. For those that enjoy water sports, boating, fishing and the beach life, Spain truly delivers.


Spain is officially a constitutional monarchy and her reverence for its once thriving empire continues to be seen till this day. Spain was once one of the most powerful and richest countries in the world. While Spain is no longer a super power, it still plays an important role in Europe, Northern Africa and the world.

Spain has a bustling economy and is rated as being 8th in the world, quite a feat for such a small nation with about 40 million people. The currency in Spain is the Euro and for expats looking to live in Spain, the process is fairly simple. For Americans, you can visit Spain for up to 90 days at a time, to further your stay; you must leave the country, receive a stamp from a non Schengen country and then reenter. For more information on Spain, you can visit the Embassy of Spain in Washington D.C. or the United States Embassy in Madrid.

Tax System

The tax system in Spain is very high compared to many other European countries and especially the United States. The highest rate for individual income tax is 45%. The highest rate for corporate tax is 35%. Besides income taxes there are also other types of taxes including value added tax (VAT), a property tax and transportation tax.

If you are looking to invest or start a business in Spain, it is best to contact the US Embassy or Spanish Embassy for any assistance.

Medical Care

For those expats looking to live in Spain for the long term, you will be happy to know that Spain has universal health care. If you are a worker, you will receive the care for free, which is actually taken out of your taxes. For those starting a business, you must pay additionally for universal health care. The hospitals in Spain are adequate, however many hospitals might not be up to Western European or American standards. For those that require just a check up or non serious medical treatment, you can visit clinics that focus on the expat or tourist populations. These facilities speak English and have western style medical offices. If you require serious care, Spain is adequate, but you may feel more comfortable back in your home country or visiting a specialist in greater Europe.

For those expats that are considered tourists, you may want to purchase international medical insurance or travel insurance that includes medical coverage.

Real Estate

For the most part buying real estate in Spain is straight forward and simple. Many people choose Spain for their second home due to the tremendous amount of sun and its warm climate. Real estate prices in many of Spain’s areas are lower than the rest of Europe which makes Spain ripe for bargain hunters.

While property in desirable locations can be as high as other parts of Europe, older farm houses in the country side of Spain can be very affordable. Many expats love to renovate farmhouses and enjoy the slower pace of Spanish life. Apartments in most major cities are affordable as well and even if you are on a limited budget, you can find many flats to fit your wallet. For those that are on a rock bottom budget, you can usually find many people willing to share an apartment or home with you, keeping your payments from 100 Euros to about 300 Euros per month.

Just one note, don’t expect older apartments or homes to be modern, renovated or even in habitable conditions as one is used to in the states. In many areas in Spain, older homes can require lots of renovation. For those that are looking for modern living, choose newer apartments near or in major cities.


Spain has some of the best shopping in the world. While large cities have malls, boutique shops and open air markets, small towns can have wonderful leather goods and beautiful crafts that are sold at bargain prices. Many people come to Spain just to shop, as an expat you can find plenty of great hand made products and luxury goods.

As far as entertainment goes, Spain has one of the best nightlife in the world. The Spanish people are certified party animals and they begin partying late at night all the way through till the morning. Many people decide to live in Spain just for the fantastic party scene. Whether you love great food, bars, night clubs or open area raves, you will find plenty of events to keep you occupied in Spain.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Spain is relatively affordable. If you are living in large cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, expect higher costs, however even in these large cities, bargains are extremely easy to find. If you choose to live out in the country side or in a small town, you can literally live like a king if you have a substantial savings due to the fact that most necessities such as shelter and food are extremely affordable.

Spanish Gun Laws

Private individuals may obtain a license to possess long guns (rifles and shotguns). Military and police members can obtain licenses to own automatic weapons privately.

Private individuals may not own handguns unless they are members of the Spanish Federation of Olympic Shooting. At that point, the person can only carry the handgun to or from the shooting range.

As with many countries, special licenses are available to individuals with political connections which enable them to carry a defensive handgun at all times.

For more information on Spanish gun laws, contact Marbella-Lawyers.

Articles for Expats in Spain

Moving to Spain FAQ

List of Frequently Asked Questions about moving to Spain.

How Roland Cruse imported and registered a used English right hand drive car to Malaga Spain

An educational story about victory over Spanish beauracracy.

Public Holidays Spain

A listing of public holidays in Spain.

Laying the foundation for a villa in Spain

A guide to dealing with lawyers, builders, and beauracrats when building a villa in Spain.

Web Sites for Expats in Spain

Spain Country Guide

Country guide to Spain from ExpatForum.com.


AngloINFO provides the English-language information you need for life in Spain.

Ronda Today

The Serrania’s largest English language web portal for tourists and expats.

Surf Andalucia

Listing of Expat Associations and Clubs in Barcelona.

The Costa Blanca Live Expatriate Information Centre

Information for expats, those considering expatriation and for those who merely wish to visit Costa Blanca.

Design Home Sales

More than just an Estate Agent, the Design Home Sales philosophy is to put our customers at the very heart of everything we do. On our site you will find only the finest property selection for sale at the world famous La Manga Club and new resorts in the Murcia region (e.g. Hacienda del Alamo, La Torre, El Valle).

Blogs from Expats in Spain

Scribbles from Tenerife

Dog walker, cat feeder, school taxi driver… life under the microscope from an expatriate resident of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Or is it just an ex-smoker dealing with his nicotine cravings by writing inanities about life in the misguided belief that others may find it amusing?

Extradition from Spain

Extradition treaty between Spain and the US
was signed on May 29, 1970

This treaty was entered into force on June 16, 1971

Map of Spain