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Guide to Working in Spain

  • by: Jennifer Robinson
  • On: 9, May 2019
4 min read

Want to work in a country that’s full of history, diverse geography and cultures? Here’s our Guide to Working in Spain.

Accommodation – How Much Does It Cost to Live in Spain?

The cost of living will vary across areas of the country, for example between the capital Madrid and Barcelona, and between cities, suburbs and villages. However, here are the average rents and bills to help you plan your budget:

· Single/Couple Rent in Barcelona – One month’s rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Barcelona would cost around 704,05€

· Single/Couple Rent in Madrid – One month's rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Madrid suburbs would be 713,20€

· Monthly Utility Bill for Barcelona – Utilities for one month for 2 people in a flat in Barcelona would cost around 133,75€.

· Monthly Utility Bill for Madrid – Utilities for one month for 2 people in a flat in Madrid would cost around 142,27€.

Spanish Transport – How to Get Around

There are excellent bus (autobús) services in all major cities and towns in Spain and comprehensive long-distance 'coach' (autocar) services between major cities. Buses are the cheapest and most common form of public transport in Spain and most coastal towns and villages are accessible by bus.

Underground railway systems (metros) provide transport in large Spanish cities including Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Seville, Bilbao and Valencia, and tickets and passes enable travel on all modes of public transport including metro, bus and train services.


Spanish culture is widely known for Flamenco music and dance, bullfights, beaches and sunshine.

Spain's architecture ranges from prehistoric monuments in Menorca in the Balearic Islands, to the Roman ruins of Merida
and Tarragona. Gothic cathedrals and castles are plentiful and and Gaudí's intricate fabulist sculptures in Barcelona are a must-see.


Currently income taxation rates are as follows:
  • Spanish income tax for incomes up to €12,450: 19%
  • Income tax for incomes ranging from €12,451 to €20,200: 24%
  • Income tax for incomes ranging from €20,201 to €35,200: 30%
  • Income tax for incomes ranging from €35,201 to €60,000: 37%
  • Income tax for incomes over€60,000: 45%

These tax rates on savings income are as follows from 2016:

  • Spanish tax rate on savings income up to €6,000: 19%
  • Tax rate on savings income from €6,000 to €50,000: 21%
  • Tax rate on savings income over €50,000: 23%


Spain has a mandatory pension system that is funded by contributions to its social security system. The country operates a
three-pillar pension system which is dominated by a compulsory and generous state pension, alongside a much smaller market of voluntary company pensions and private pension schemes for those who want to boost their retirement income. Foreign residents are entitled to pensions providing they meet specific criteria, and in some cases can transfer international pensions. 


All children living in Spain must attend school between the ages of 6 and 16 years old, which includes compulsory primary (educación primaria) and secondary education (educación secundaria obligatoriaor). After this, students can either continue onto optional upper secondary education (bachillerato) if they want to enter university, begin vocational training for professional careers or leave education for an entry-level role.

To enrol your child into Spanish education, you can choose between a state school, private Spanish school (most of
which are subsidised by the Government) or a fully independent school, which includes most international and foreign
schools. Homeschooling is also an option for parents living in the country.


Some key phrases for those thinking of moving include:

  • Hi = Hola
  • Yes = Sí
  • No = No
  • Thank You = Gracias
  • Bye-Bye = Adiós
  • Sorry = Lo siento
  • I'm = Soy
  • You're welcome = De nada
  • How are you ? = ¿Cómo estás?
  • Well = Bien

Travel Opportunities

If you live in Spain you can easily travel to other countries such as:

  • France - cafe culture, village markets and world-famous cuisine

  • Portugal - medieval castles, cobblestone villages and golden beaches

  • Italy - home to many of the world's greatest works of art and architecture

  • Morocco - the gateway to Africa and a country of brilliant history and diversity.

Why You Should Live in Spain – Things to Do 

  • Visit La Sagrada Familia – Antoni Gaudí's renowned unfinished church, started in the 1880s, with museum and city views.

  • See the beautiful UNESCO-listed Park Güell – North of Gràcia, Güell is where famous architect Antoni Gaudí turned his hand to landscape gardening.

  • Explore the Museo del Prado, one of the world's best art galleries. More than 7,000 paintings are held in the Museo del Prado’s collection.

  • Admire the amazing Alhambra in Granada.

  • Walk fearless along the Caminito del Rey in Málaga.

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