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Expats moving to Spain are likely to have many concerns about adapting to the pace of life in this Mediterranean country. Here are some answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about expat life in Spain.
What is there to do in Spain?
Spain is an endless sea of things to see and do. The major cities are cosmopolitan dream worlds of museums, nightlife and shopping diverse enough to suit any personality. For any sports lover, the football culture is a huge part of Spanish society and the clubs have massive fan bases and rich traditions. There are four distinct climates in Spain, meaning that there is no shortage of hiking, beaches, forests and landscapes to explore. Rural Spain still retains much of the traditional cultures and is worth investigating.
Spain contains almost too many historical sites to visit in one lifetime. After the Carthaginians and the Romans left, most of southern Spain was conquered by the Umayyad dynasty and the Caliphate of Cordoba ruled over an educated and enlightened society. The collapse of that dynasty gave rise to the Christian Empire of Ferdinand and Isabella, who linked by marriage the territories of Castile and Aragon, sent Columbus off to the new world, and began the infamous Spanish Inquisition.
What are the best ways to navigate Spanish bureaucracy?
The Spanish are obsessed with bureaucracy. Every contract should be supervised by a Spanish lawyer, which becomes even more important in the case of expats who have limited Spanish language skills.
Almost every significant action an expat is required to take will require a form of some sort to be filled out and there is a lot of paperwork to be done before departing and on arrival. However, once it is all done and dusted there should be time to finally enjoy the country.
Which city is the best for expats?
As a tourist one might try Barcelona, which has long been regarded as the Spanish cultural capital. Madrid is the financial and commercial hub, so expats in these industries are likely to be based there. Rural Spain is also offers a great standard of living so this is also a good option depending on a person's priorities.
►Learn more about the local people and social etiquette in Culture Shock in Spain.
Are you an expat living in Spain?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Spain. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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