Live in Spain: Complete Guide

20 de December, 2023

Live in Spain: Complete Guide

Can a foreigner live in Spain legally? Absolutely! We explain here how this is possible and what it's like to live in the country!
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Reading: 5 min

Living in Spain is an unforgettable experience. I speak from personal experience. It’s a country with a rich culture, stunning landscapes, and spectacular gastronomy! The main cities of Spain offer a blend of tradition and modernity, each with its own style and uniqueness. But how to live in Spain? What do you need to know before moving? Discover here a step-by-step guide to get there!

Why live in Spain?

Spain is known for its high quality of life, being considered the best country in southern Europe in this aspect. The country excels in various areas, including health, safety, education, food, and transportation. Additionally, the pleasant climate, low cost of living, extensive travel connections (over 40 major airports), leisure opportunities, and vibrant social life are factors contributing to the popularity of this destination.

Do you want to live in Europe?

Realizing your goal of living in Europe or obtaining European citizenship can be simpler than you think. We offer personalized support to make the immigration process more accessible and uncomplicated.

How’s life in Spain??

Population and Territory

The Kingdom of Spain is the sixth most populous country in Europe, with a population of 48.1 million inhabitants, with Madrid and Barcelona as its most populous cities. It spans over 500 thousand square kilometers, comprising 17 autonomous communities, two oceanic islands (Canary and Balearic Islands), and two autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla). Its population density is 93 inhabitants per square kilometer, and 81% of the population lives in major cities. The average age of its inhabitants is 44 years.


Regarding the climate, the country has three distinct zones. The Atlantic zone experiences mild temperatures and significant rainfall in winter. The continental zone sees very cold winters and extremely hot summers. Meanwhile, the Mediterranean zone, covering most of the country, is characterized by mild winters and dry, hot summers.

Political Organization of Spain

In terms of political organization, the country is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a head of state (King Felipe VI) and a head of government (Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez).


In terms of religion, it remains predominantly Catholic (around 58% of the population), but also includes many atheists, agnostics, or people without any religion (37%).


The Spanish economy is the sixth largest in Europe, highlighting agriculture, industry, and tourism, with a GDP of 1.5 trillion euros (IMF 2022). Within the tertiary sector, the production of pharmaceuticals, automobiles, footwear, and textile products stands out. In the primary sector, there’s significant production of barley, corn, pork, olives, grapes, wheat, among others. Spain is also a major producer of electrical energy.

Monument in Valencia
The modern city of Valencia

What language is spoken in Spain?

While the official language is Spanish, there are bilingual areas. Additionally, there are four co-official languages in six of the 17 autonomous communities:

  • Galician (Galicia)
  • Basque or Euskera (Basque Country and part of Navarre)
  • Catalan (Catalonia, Valencian Community, and Balearic Islands)
  • Aranese (Part of Catalonia)

Yes, these languages are spoken on the streets, in schools, used in documents, and are present in TV programs! They are also often taught for free for those who wish to learn them. When I lived in Barcelona, I learned a little Catalan and found it very interesting!

Besides Spanish and the aforementioned co-official languages, there are also dialects spoken in certain regions, especially by the older population and in smaller cities. Some of these include Asturian, Leonese, Aragonese, Valencian, Andalusian, Murcian, etc.

Despite this variety of languages, rest assured: 99% of the population speaks Spanish. However, English is not widely used by Spaniards.

How to Live in Spain with European Citizenship?

Those who already hold European citizenship (other than Spanish citizenship) can live in Spain. They just need to obtain the European Registration Certificate. This document serves to formalize your residency in the new chosen country to live in, in this case, Spain. It’s worth noting that it’s only required if you plan to stay in the country for more than 90 days.

The tradition of Seville

How to Move to Spain with a Residence Visa?

There are various visas that allow a foreign individual to legally reside in Spain. Among the most popular are:

Non Lucrative Visa

Geared towards retirees and holders of passive income; in other words, individuals who have earnings without the need to work. Learn here who can apply for this visa.

Remote Worker Visa (Digital Nomad)

Designed for those who can perform their work remotely for foreign companies (outside of Spain). Read here for the requirements.

Student Visa

Targeted for university and postgraduate students wishing to pursue a course lasting a minimum of 6 months in Spain. It’s important to highlight that this visa does not permit work, and its holder cannot count this residency time for a future Spanish citizenship application.

Golden Visa allows living in Spain

This is a straightforward path frequently chosen by those who have the required resources to invest in the Spanish Golden Visa. The real estate option is still available without geographical restrictions. In other words: it’s possible to invest in a property in any city and obtain residency permission. The minimum investment value should be 500,000 euros. Explore all available options by clicking here.

Choosing Where to Live in Spain

This won’t be an easy part. The options are all very appealing. See here a list with our selection of cities with an excellent cost-benefit ratio. But if you prefer bustling and more populous cities, take a look at this list with the main cities in Spain.

If you intend to buy a house through financing, you can check with Habeno to see if you meet the requirements and what the maximum amount that could be financed based on your profile is. Habeno is our partner and offers the first consultation for free through this link here!!

But if the intention is to rent, we recommend visiting the Uniplaces and Flatio websites. Both are long-term rental platforms that offer the possibility to see the property and reserve it remotely. Click on the previous links to not miss any ongoing promotions, thanks to our partnership!

Immigration Consultancy Assistance

You can apply for the visa on your own. However, it’s always better to have the help of someone who understands the subject, knows the laws, and can solve issues that may seem unsolvable at first glance. With 7 years in the market, Atlantic Bridge celebrates a 99% approval rate on visas and citizenship applications. Going through us, it’s nearly impossible for your project to go wrong. We guide our clients to ensure the process complies with the law, avoiding errors, problems, rework, and extra expenses. Not to mention the peace of mind in knowing that your project is in good hands. Speak to our consultants and start your Spain project.

Silvia Resende


Silvia Resende

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