So, you’ve decided to take the life-changing, soul-shaking decision to move to, quite possibly, the greatest city in the world. Good for you… You’re going to love it!
Still, ask any long time Barcelona expat and they'll tell you that there are a number of things they wished they’d known before making the move. And, while hindsight makes everything clearer, so do we at TEFL Iberia.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of seven things you should know before moving to Barcelona, from life admin essentials to invaluable cultural insights.
Ah, the infamous NIE. Or, if you’re a Brit moving to Barcelona post-Brexit, the TIE. Newcomers in Barcelona are often told tales of never-ending queues, unbearably rude staff and applications rejected at the last minute. Unfortunately, a lot of the tales are true – Barcelona’s bureaucratic system is, at best, very disorganised.
Which is why you should take all the help you can get. Those applying to become English teachers at schools like TEFL Iberia will not only receive help obtaining a student visa in Barcelona, but you’ll have assistance in getting your ID card, from booking the appointment to ongoing advice and guidance and everything in between.
Opening a Spanish bank account is definitely an important thing to do. And the sooner you do it the better. Having a Spanish bank account, as opposed to using an overseas account, means avoiding extra costs when it comes to day-to-day living.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most companies will only pay into a Spanish account. So if you’re hoping to find work in Spain, getting a Spanish bank account should be a high priority. Again, TEFL students get lots of help when it comes to opening an account.
There are some useful online portals where you can find like-minded people to live with, or even find your ideal place all to yourself. Then there’s the TEFL route – TEFL Iberia offers its own accommodation service tailored to the needs of our students. Find out more here.
Barcelona’s amazing transport system is definitely one of the best things about living in the city. Regular buses, an excellent metro network, lots of bike lanes and a city bike rental scheme mean getting around the city is easy.
It’s also very affordable – the government even introduced a discount on some travel tickets, making it even easier to get there and explore this incredible city!
Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city and English is widely spoken, particularly in the central parts of the city. However, to make the most of your experience here and interact with locals, learning Spanish is definitely recommended.
You’ll also come to realise just how important Catalan is to local daily life. Learning basic Catalan will definitely gain favour with the locals and will stand you in good stead if you’re planning on staying in Barcelona for the long term.
Barcelona is an epic city – but did you know the surrounding area is absolutely stunning? When the weekend rolls around, many people will escape the city to the amazing landscapes on offer in Catalonia.
Plus, there’s no need to have a car – there are so many great day trips by train in Catalonia, from quaint little towns to beachside getaways.
Barcelona is an excellent city when it comes to enjoying life on a budget. There might well be expensive parts of the city – particularly the parts aimed at free-spending tourists – but there are plenty of opportunities to live the high life without spending a lot of money.