Barcelona, the famous Catalan capital, known world over for its people, culture, and politics. If you are dreaming of a new home in Spain, Barcelona is probably right at the top of your wishlist. The weather here is lovely and the social life is quite vibrant. There is a lot of culture and architecture spanning decades to be enjoyed for the lucky few who call this place home.
That said, moving to Barcelona is not as simple as packing your suitcase and setting sail or boarding a plane. You will have a better experience relocating if you are aware of the little annoyances and challenges of moving here. Living here can be different from spending a couple of days on holiday. Here is what you need to know when moving to Barcelona.
A Roof Over Your Head: Not A Walk in The Park
Nothing can be as challenging as finding a house in a new city. It is even harder in a city like Barcelona with a new language, a lot of bureaucracy in property acquisition and volatile prices.
Accommodation in Barcelona is certainly not cheap; you need to look in the right places.
Newcomers looking for a permanent home have to compete with a large number of tourists visiting the city all year round. You might need to put up on temporary accommodation in the city on a short-term lease as you find a permanent home in Barcelona. Expats are encouraged to use an online service to book a furnished apartment before they arrive. You can use this online portal to find the best furnished flats in Barcelona.
Are You Allowed to Move Here? (Paperwork!)
Getting permission to settle in Barcelona permanently can be a pain in the butt for newcomers. EU residents need an NIE (a foreign ID card) while those outside the EU need a TIE. You are then required to register with the town hall, apply for medical insurance, and for peace of mind, get a local bank account.
Learn A Bit of The Language
While Barcelona is an international city with people from all over, you will find it easier to settle if you can speak and understand a bit of Catalan. Most of the people you interact with will assume that you can speak Catalan. There are free Catalan classes in the city where foreigners can learn the language and interact with other expats.
Learn Common phrases such as hola-hello; bon dia! -good morning; Estic bé and Quant costa? – How much is it? These phrases are easy to learn and will help you to interact with the locals and get around. Yes, people in Barcelona speak Catalan, not Spanish just in case you are confused like I was the first time!
Barcelona is a great city to move to if you can get past the little obstacles and annoyances at the beginning. So many expats have called this place home and many more visit annually to enjoy the sandy beaches and vibrant social life. Benvinguts a Barcelona!