In our last post entitled  Where to live in Spain: Barcelona v Granada .. Let´s kick off! , Molly, who writes for our Newsletters and her own website www.piccavey.com , gave us her thoughts about the positive reasons for  living in Barcelona and Granada.

By the end of the first half it was a pretty even match. In this second half, we take a look at the possible down sides of living in either of  these two wonderful cities. So let’s see Molly’s thoughts about where to live in Spain

The down sides to Barcelona 

  • Catalan can be a problem especially if you don’t speak Spanish and are trying to get to grips with a new language, it will be confusing to see both languages on documents and road signs.
  • Petty crime is a nuisance in Barcelona with most of my guests being pick pocketed at some point, it is a real issue for people speaking foreign languages as they are a target for the criminals in the tourist areas of the city.
  • The tourists can be a little bit annoying when you live in the city. Stag do´s, large queues for museums or big crowds on the ramblas and along the Paseo de Gracia.
  • I found that I can be difficult to mix with people from Barcelona in a long term sense. Networking with foreigners is really easy but these people tend to be short or medium term residents. To make friends or contacts for several years was not easy.
  • The cost of homes in Barcelona is higher than other places in Spain. Renting a flat can easily cost 1000 euros or more. Very few colleagues of mine managed to buy a property. Renting was the norm among the group I knew (mainly 30 something professionals)


live in spainThe downside to Granada

  • The public transport here isn´t so good. In Granada there are no underground or tram services. The trains are only long distance and timetables are vary sparse. The buses seem to come when they want to. They should come every 10 minutes but last Saturday I waited 30 minutes for it to come along. Taxis are not at all expensive. Usually 5 euros will get you pretty much anywhere in the city centre.
  • No Flights. The airport is pretty limited to fly internationally. Flight to Barcelona or Madrid are available. Most people travel 90 minutes to nearby Malaga by car to get flights from there.
  • If you are running you own business, freelance or online based OK. Work is pretty limited. If you want to find work here Spanish is obligatory. A good level of business Spanish. Currently in this area 1 in 4 are unemployed.
  • A problem here is the Enchufismo, this is where families stick together and give jobs to other family members, cousins, pass business among themselves and don’t let anyone else into the click. This mindset can be a particular challenge when doing business. (Not only for foreigners)
  • There aren´t many International restaurants or supermarkets. There are some but they may be toned down to suit Spanish customers. An Indian curry that´s always mild for example. It´s difficult (but not impossible) to buy special cooking ingredients. I often go for online suppliers.

Extra time

For my current lifestyle I am really satisfied with my lifestyle in Granada, the working week seems to be more relaxed, I walk to work which takes just 10 minutes (no buses, metro or queues) this suits me right now. When I was in my mid twenties I couldn´t imagine leaving Barcelona. It is such an exciting place to live. The important part of choosing a new city or town of residence is ensuring that it adapts to your lifestyle and that the way you will live you standard day with fit in with the destination. When you are on holiday it is a completely different ball game.

Thanks again to Molly for her honest feedback. Where would you like to live in Spain? Have you experienced living in Spain? Would you like to tell us why you love where you live? Would you like to take part in the next match? If so, please Contact Us and let us share Your Story about Life in Spain.

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Lisa Sadleir

Founder at Family in Spain SL
We love Family Life In Spain. Join us as we share experiences and essential updates, advice & assistance related to living in and moving to Spain. ¡ Olé !

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