! Spanish News Today – Pros and cons of living in Barcelona
What are the best and worst aspects of living in Barcelona as an expat?
Here is a brief overview of the pros and cons of living in the city to help you make your final decision.
Barcelona is a cultural hub for some of the finest architectural feats in the world. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions the city has to offer. Whether or not you’re an expert on the subject, these impressive buildings lend a unique vibe to the city. The Gothic Quarter, in particular, is full of unique sights.
Other than that the town has a great layout and it is a joy to explore the area. There are many trees, squares and pedestrian areas.
Cost of life
Even though Barcelona is one of the most expensive cities in Spain, it is relatively cheap compared to other major European cities. Rental prices for apartments have fluctuated a lot in recent years. In order to stop any further increases in rent prices, the city has proposed a rent cap.
Apart from these accommodations, the city also prides itself on good weather and a lower cost of living than other cities in the world.
Are you the nature type? Then you will love staying in this city. It has the best of both worlds: beaches and mountains for people with an active lifestyle. This means that all year round you have the opportunity to spend time outdoors. During the hot summer months, you can schedule a kayaking session or go sailing with your friends. In winter, you can bundle up and change your view by going on a hike.
Beyond seasonal activities, you also have plenty of options for weekend excursions. There are plenty of bike paths and casual hikes around the metro area that are easily accessible. Everything here points to one conclusion: you will never be bored in Barcelona!
With all the tourists coming in and out of town, it is natural to be concerned about how the local government is tackling hygiene and sanitation. However, it’s clear that Barcelona are well cared for. Many people think it’s much cleaner than Madrid.
Earlier in the article, we highlighted how Barcelona offers plenty of outdoor activities as it is opposite the beach and surrounded by mountains. However, these geographical limitations are also a drawback in other ways. As the city grows to accommodate more people, it struggles to find enough space for expansion.
This reality, combined with an increased number of individuals being born or migrating to the city, means rental prices are rising at an unprecedented rate.
The job market
Spain as a whole is struggling with a shortage of jobs and lower wage rates than the rest of Europe. Unless you already had a job in the country before moving, you may find it difficult to secure your livelihood.
This is why most expats who have chosen to settle long-term in Barcelona are remote freelancers. They don’t need to depend so much on Spanish wage rates or the local economy to secure their income.
A lot of tourists
Of course, there’s a certain pride in knowing that you live in a city incredibly famous for its culture and architecture. However, the crowds of tourists that flood the area can become overwhelming, especially during peak seasons.
While they may focus on certain spots, you might struggle with the initial culture shock of seeing so many vacationers and selfie sticks in the area. The presence of so many international tourists can also make it difficult to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city.
What is your idea of a relaxing weekend? If you were planning on going to the mall or shopping, then Barcelona might not be the best place for you. Indeed, most shops and supermarkets are closed on Sundays. The only ones open are essential services like pharmacies and convenience stores, especially in the most touristy areas.
If you come from a bustling city with plenty of amenities available to serve you around the clock, this can be a big culture shock. However, it is also an opportunity to spend your Sundays in a different way with your family and friends. Be sure to finish all your shopping in advance and stock up on essentials before that day arrives.