Celebrating a Birthday in Spain? Here Are Some Ideas to Make it a Memorable one ….

birthday in Spain

 

The best birthdays in Spain as in any country are the ones that are memorable. You want to make sure that your loved one has a birthday they will never forget. There are many ways to do this in Spain, and we will focus on a few aspects you will have to consider to make it memorable for your loved one.

 

Try To Identify Their Favourite Spanish Activity Or Interest

If your loved one enjoys a certain activity, try to make their birthday revolve around that. For example, if they love Spanish food, then take them out for an authentic Spanish meal. Or if they love going to the beach, spend the day at one of Spain’s beautiful beaches. This will make the day more special for them if it is something they enjoy doing.

You could find some help by asking other people they’re close to for ideas.

You’ll have to actively listen to your loved ones throughout the year to understand what they like. That is why planning ahead is essential to make sure their birthday is extra special.

Do Multiple Things To Make Their Day Memorable

Doing one thing for their birthday is great, but if you want to make it even more special, try doing multiple things. This could include getting them a cake and presents, taking them out for lunch or dinner, and maybe even going out for drinks afterwards.

You could also get creative and do something unique that they will remember forever. For example, you could organise a treasure hunt around the city or write them a heartfelt letter expressing your love for them.

The sky is the limit when it comes to making someone’s birthday memorable. It just takes a little bit of creativity and planning on your part.

Relocating To Spain

Getting Them The Ideal Present

A lot of the time, people think that the most important part of a birthday is getting the perfect present. While presents are great, they are not always necessary. What is more important is that you put thought into what you get them.

It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, but it should be something that they will appreciate and remember. For example, if they love reading, get them a book by their favourite author or if they love art, get them a painting from their favourite artist or of their favourite Spanish landscape.

The key is to get them something that shows you know them and care about them. This will make the day even more special for them.

If you’re out of ideas, doing research online can be a great help for some inspiration. For example, you can read blog posts like “The 33 Best Gifts For New Parents In 2022” or “How To Make A Birthday In Spain Extra Special”.

Don’t Forget The Cake

A birthday cake is a must when it comes to birthdays. It is a tradition that has been around for centuries and is still going strong today. There are many different cake recipes out there, so you can find one that your loved one will enjoy.

You could also get creative with the design of the cake. For example, you could make a Spanish flag cake or a castle cake if they love history. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making a birthday cake. You could find some inspiration by researching which cakes are popular in Spain.

The most important thing is that you enjoy making it and that your loved one enjoys eating it! Remember to sing them a happy birthday song. If you’re up for it, consider learning the happy birthday song in Spanish too!

Make A Birthday Video

One of the best ways to make a birthday special is to create a birthday video. This can be a montage of pictures and videos from throughout their life set to music, or it could be a funny video you made yourself.

Videos are a great way to capture memories, and they will be able to look back on them for years to come. If you’re not sure how to make one, there are plenty of tutorials online that can help you out.

Making a birthday video is a great way to show your loved ones how much you care about them, and it will make their day even more special.

Secondary Education in Spain

Remember To Take Photos On The Day

Another way to make a birthday special is to take lots of photos on the day. This way, they will have memories to look back on for years to come. Make sure to get photos of every activity and location you visit on the day.

If you’re not sure how to take good photos, there are plenty of resources online that can help you out. You could even hire a professional photographer if you want to make sure the photos are perfect.

Taking photos is a great way to capture memories, and it will help your loved ones remember their birthday for years to come.

There are many ways to make a birthday special for your loved one. It just takes a little bit of creativity and planning on your part. The most important thing is that you enjoy making it and that your loved one enjoys their day.

What’s The Best Barcelona Neighbourhood For Your Personality?

Best Barcelona Neighbourhood

 

 

When it comes to making any move to Spain, it’s natural to consider traditionally popular inner-city areas including locations like Barcelona. After all, as if its stunning architecture wasn’t enough to tempt any potential resident, Spain’s second-largest city is something of a dream location for many, providing the best that Spain has to offer for anyone looking to feel more cultured in the wake of their move here. 

 

Barcelona’s thriving art scene and generally stunning views have certainly made it a popular option for anyone looking to lay down Spanish roots. However, as with any location, ensuring that you’re making the most of what the city has to offer means considering the neighbourhoods which best suit your unique requirements and personality. Of course, taking a quick exploratory trip here yourself and dropping your bags in luggage storage Barcelona while you look at what the city has to offer is your best option for settling. To get started, however, it’s first worth considering whether the following personality types and their neighbourhood pairings ring true to you. 

 

# 1 – Lusting after landmarks

 

Barcelona’s iconic landmarks are its main selling point, and they pose a pretty tempting argument as to why a move here could be worthwhile. Once a craftsman’s district, El Born is one of Barcelona’s oldest neighbourhoods and is therefore tempting for anyone looking to enjoy the most iconic areas of the city. As well as century-old shops that make it feel like you’re stepping right back to the heart of Spain’s charm, El Born is an especially tempting option for your move considering that it’s home to the gothic church Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar, and is within walking distance of the city’s other landmarks. 

 

# 2 – Looking for atmosphere

 

Often, people moving to Spain are looking for a generally calmer way of life. In Barcelona, this atmosphere can be best achieved in areas like Gracia. Once an independent municipality, Gracia certainly isn’t afraid to stand apart and ensures a great atmosphere for locals thanks to a range of trendy stores, local folklore, and popular events. Gracia’s famed squares are, however, its best selling point, and are typically filled with residents young and old from around 7 pm.

living in Barcelona

# 3 – In love with the beach

 

If you love the idea of living in Barcelona but are attached to sea views and salty air, then Barceloneta may be the best option for you. Originally a traditional fishing neighbourhood, city harbour expansions have since seen this tourist-favourite becoming a great place to settle down and still enjoy the sea, complete with an iconic promenade and walks around the old harbour, Port Vell. Barceloneta beach itself is also famed as one of the city’s best despite being the most tourist-heavy, with entertainment always on-hand. 

Other best places to live in Barcelona include El Raval and Sants, and each of them offers something different depending on what you’re after. Simply consider what that is, and which locations stand to tick the most boxes on your list of requirements.

The Benefits Of Getting Pregnant In Spain

pregnant in Spain

 

Spain can be an excellent place to raise children and live with them for a variety of reasons. However, what you do with the kids when they arrive isn’t the only question that might be on your mind. How you welcome those children into the world matters as well. Whether you’re expecting or planning to be expecting, it’s always a good idea to understand what it’s like to get pregnant and give birth in the country that you’re in. Here, we’re looking at some of the benefits, as well as the caveats, of doing it in Spain.

 

The quality of care that you should expectBook about Moving to Spain with Children

Of course, one of the most important factors throughout your journey towards having your little one is being able to expect a decent quality of care. Spain ranks as one of the best-developed countries in terms of contact between expecting mothers and the medical professionals that they are relying on. You’re going to get all of the tests and scans that you should do to ensure that you’re able to rest easy and see exactly how your baby is growing inside of you. What’s more, Spain benefits from public health care coverage for maternity services, though you can opt to go private for some extras.

 

Celebrating and welcoming your baby

Although they may not have always been a part of the tradition of welcoming a new member of the family, baby showers have now started to become a much more common sight in Spain. Sometime before the birth, such as a month before the due date, you can expect to have friends and any family members nearby attending to celebrate the birth, as well as bringing gifts to help take care of the new member of the family. Other modern traditions like planning a memorable gender reveal party is starting to become a lot more common, as well. Essentially, you can plan to have the same kind of fuss made over you as you would in most other western countries.

 

How much can you expect to pay to give birth?

No matter where you are, there’s always some cost to giving birth and that’s no different for Spain, of course. Even if you don’t have insurance, the costs of giving birth in Spain can be fairly low. In 2018, those costs came in at around $1,950 even for those who aren’t on the public insurance that’s available to many. Additional complications tend not to add too much to that bill. As such, Spain is at least one of the countries where you don’t have to worry about the costs of giving birth, which can be pretty exorbitant in other parts of the world. All the while, you’re getting that high standard of care mentioned above.

The big day itself

It’s always a good idea to have some idea ahead of time as to how the actual birth itself is going to go. When you do go to the hospital, it’s important to bring with you your passport, your NIE identification card, and any other necessary paperwork, such as insurance paperwork to get the care that you need. It can be vital to have someone who speaks Spanish with you if you cannot do it yourself, as English is not spoken universally, and you want to be able to ask nurses what is happening and to understand the process as it’s going. Spanish hospitals do not provide gas or air during childbirth, so if you want to manage pain, then you have to plan for epidurals or pethidine and ask for them. Similarly, alternative birthing methods that are becoming more common around the world, like water births, are not quite as widespread in Spain.

 

After the birth

Just as a lot of care goes into antenatal care in Spain, the same goes for postnatal care. Your child’s health will be monitored and the doctor or midwife will be there to check on them and to address anything that might cause any concern. It should be noted that midwives in Spain don’t give as much aftercare to the mother themselves, but that family and friends are expected to give them that care as well. Usually, you can leave with your child after 5 days, after which you should register your baby’s birth, within 8 days. Statutory maternity leave does exist, but it’s a little less than in some other countries, with 16 weeks of statutory leave available to all mothers.

 

No matter where you do it, every pregnancy and birth is going to have its ups and downs, its pros, and its bumps along the way (pun intended.) Knowing what to expect can be a major help in acclimating, so hopefully, the info above helps.

How to Keep Fit in Spain: A Guide for People Who Are Moving to Spain

If a relocation to Spain is on the cards for you, there will undoubtedly be many questions you will need to answer regarding the new change of lifestyle and the logistics of doing things you previously took for granted, such as shopping, commuting, and getting around your day-to-day life. 

buying property abroad

 

An important consideration is how you can still stay healthy while living in Spain. The Mediterranean diet is often classed as one of the best ways to eat and can help you get everything you need daily while still being delicious. Exercise, on the other hand, can be trickier. With over half of Spaniards surveyed saying they don’t participate in regular exercise, you can be forgiven for thinking there aren’t many options available. But this post looks at some ways you can stay fit in Spain.

 

Outdoor Gym

You can find some outdoor gyms right in the middle of the city, and they offer a variety of different equipment. For example, if you want to do some weightlifting while you’re working out, there are outdoor gyms that will have free weights and machines available. There are also outdoor gyms that offer other classes besides just weightlifting like boxing or yoga.

Outdoor gyms in Spain are free to use; all you need is to get some suitable footwear, find appropriate sports t-shirts and loose-fitting bottoms, put on some sunscreen, and you’re good to go!

hiking in spain

Hiking

The top 10 lists of the most popular hikes across Spain will give you plenty of options. As well as some good old fashioned walking, hiking is an excellent way to burn calories and get your heart rate up. It also boosts your mood and has been known to help people with depression. You can do many different hikes in Spain, from coastal walks with gorgeous views over the mediterranean sea or inland high mountain routes for more experienced hikers.

 

Walks or Runs On The Beach

The beach is a great place to start your day. This can be especially true if you’re lucky enough to live near the beach. There are many benefits to starting your day with a walk on the beach. First, it’s a beautiful way to get fresh air and exercise in a scenic setting. The clear air will provide ample opportunities for deep breathing and reduce any stress you might have before starting the day. And, of course, there’s the added benefit of having an active ocean view as you stroll along with the waves crashing in front of you! You’ll also have the opportunity to see new things and meet new people.

 

Swimming In The Sea

One of the most popular ways to stay fit in Spain is swimming in the sea. The Mediterranean diet and the saltwater will work wonders for your skin while you get your daily dose of exercise all at once.

Swimming is a great way to keep in shape while living in Spain. You can take advantage of the country’s many beaches and seaside towns and have a swim whenever it suits you. It has been said that this activity also helps with weight management while giving you a full-body workout.

 

Family Life in Spain

Dancing

If there is one thing they know how to do in Spain, it is dancing. There are so many different styles of dance you can learn in Spain. At one point, there were over 200 different styles of traditional Spanish dancing. These days, there are far fewer. However, dancing remains widespread, and you can find dance classes in any region of the country.Now sure what style to pick? Why not try a range of dances to what still you prefer before committing to any classes.

You can choose from:  Flamenco, Fandango, Pasodoble, Bolero, Zambra, to name a few.

 

Football

If you are looking to play a sport and join one of the country’s favourite pastimes, you need to enter a football club. Football is king in Spain, and they take their games seriously. 

Over 29,000 football clubs are registered in Spain, and around 23 clubs are classed as professionals. You can find a team pretty much anywhere, or you can even get to know your new neighbours and join a local team for fun to keep you fit.

 

In conclusion, there are so many ways you can get out and about and join in with different exercise styles or even make healthier lifestyle choices – did you know there are nap clubs you can head out in Spain for an afternoon siesta? Naps are taken seriously and are a great way to recharge and avoid the midday heat. So make the most of your move, get outside and explore everything Spain offers.

Don´t forget Padel 😉 Read more here!

 

Relocating To Spain? Tips To Oversee A Seamless Move

Any type of relocation can be exciting, but moving abroad is a particularly exhilarating prospect. It’s natural to approach a move with a mixture of trepidation and enthusiasm, especially when you think about the stresses of packing and organising logistics, but there are steps you can take to make life easier. Here is a handy guide to help you oversee a seamless move. 

Relocating To Spain

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/plane-wing-flight-sky-clouds-841441/

 

Finding somewhere to live

The first task to tick off your list when moving to Spain is to find somewhere to live. You may want to rent a house or an apartment while you find a permanent home, or you may prefer to buy a home to move straight into when you relocate. Explore both options and figure out where you want to put down roots. Consider locations based on where you plan to work or what kind of job you have, your lifestyle preferences and your budget. Spain is a country that caters to everyone and you can choose to enjoy city life, escape to the peace and tranquillity of the countryside or embrace outdoor living by the coast. Start narrowing down your options and use filters to find properties that match your wish list criteria. It’s wise to use virtual tours and to browse listings online before you arrange viewings. If you’re hoping to get over to Spain before you move to see properties, you’ll have a shortlist ready and you can visit agents to add any other properties that fit the bill. 

 

Learning the language

It’s not possible to learn a language in a matter of days or weeks, but if you’re counting down the days until you move to Spain, it’s a great idea to try to learn some simple phrases and common vocabulary. There are various options to explore, including taking beginner classes at home, learning Spanish online through sites like Memrise and hiring a tutor. If you have friends or family members who speak Spanish, you could also ask them to help you learn some words and phrases before you relocate. You can also watch TV programmes in Spanish with English subtitles and use activities and exercises to hone your speaking and reading and writing skills. Once you get to Spain, and you’re immersed in the culture and people around you are talking Spanish, you’ll find it easier to pick up common phrases, improve your accent and expand your vocabulary. 

 

Building friendships

It can be daunting to leave family and friends behind and embark upon a new adventure, but technology has made it possible to make friends and build relationships without actually meeting people in person. When you know where you are moving, look for community groups and social media accounts you can join or follow to meet families living in the area and get to know people before you move. Being sociable online can also help you access practical information and useful tips to make your move simpler. You might want to ask about schools or colleges, local amenities or how to set up a bank account, for example. People who know the ropes and have experience of relocating can help you. 

Relocating To Spain

Image by https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-family-hanging-out-building-a-sand-castle-on-the-beach-8623434/

 

Relocating to Spain is an incredibly exciting prospect, but it’s natural to be stressed or a little anxious before a big move. If you’re preparing for a new adventure, take these tips on board!

Moving to Spain: 4 Simple Ways to Help Your Child Cope

Before moving to Spain with your family, it is essential to know how best to help your child dig in and transition. This guide will provide you with four simple ways that will help ensure that your child is happy and prosperous in their new life in Spain.

moving to spain with kids

Discuss with your Children About the Move

It is essential to let your child know you will move to Spain. You want them to know that the new home they will move into is unique for everyone. It would help if you discussed the reasons for the move, so your children can feel at ease. A more straightforward way of describing it is by saying that you are on an adventure. Your children will benefit from this information as it helps them understand why things may seem different.

Pack and Ship Before You Move

You will want to ensure that your child’s room has plenty of their belongings, but you will also want to make sure you don’t pack everything until they arrive. Pack and ship most of your child’s belongings to Spain before you arrive. It helps your child feel like they already have many things with them when they get here. It can frustrate a child if their clothes and toys are still in boxes even after they’ve moved into a new house.

Give your Child New Exploring Opportunities

When you arrive in Spain, please encourage your child to explore their new home and surroundings. When they are out exploring, have a map of the area so your child can become familiar with their surroundings and to help them easily find their way back home.

Since it is a new area, take all precautions necessary to ensure that they are safe. You may choose to appoint someone to accompany them as they explore the new location. Better yet, to be safe, you can track your child’s cell phone without having to install any tracking app; you can read the guide here.

Language Classes

Once you arrive and settle, get your child involved in language classes. These language classes will give them the tools to continue to learn and pick up additional phrases and vocabulary about Spain and themselves.

The teacher can also be constructive in this process as they will try to decipher how your child learns. It is helpful because they will find a method to help your child keep learning and comprehending things better.

Conclusion

When you take these steps to help your child adjust to their new home in Spain, they will feel right at home. Your child will feel like they belong wherever you live, and it will show in their behavior and lifestyle.

You want them to flourish in this new environment, so the extra time and effort you put into getting them to acclimate to the new location are worth it. As a parent, you want them to thrive wherever they are. Spain is great for kids to live and grow up in, so make it work for your family.

Your Garden in Spain: Tips for Tidying Up

One of the chores that you should have on your list right now is the one where you clear out your garden in preparation for the season ahead. It may still be a place to capture winter sun, but plants in Spain still go through cycles in temperature. A seasonal cleanup is always good for your garden, and whether you call in an expert or you do it yourself, your cleanup is going to be a great thing to do to keep your plants and your lawns healthy.

Garden clean-ups prevent pests from building up, weeds from strangling your good plants and it makes your home look tidy – which is exactly what you want. You can clear out the garden and enjoy a newly blooming space, because you’ve taken the time to clear up. If you need some new parts for your garden tools, you can get those replaced before you wrap your things up into the garage or shed for the season. Clearing out the garden shouldn’t be a huge issue but it should be done so that you don’t have to worry about it anymore! Let’s take a look at the tips you need to get it right.

your garden in spain

Image Source: Pexels

 

Steps for tidying up your garden in Spain:

  1. Removing the pests. Disease and pests can eat through your garden and make it look awful, kill your plants and cause infestations you really could do without. The first tip for cleaning out the garden is to sort your pest issues out and call in an exterminator for those pesky bugs that just won’t let go! 
  2. Maintain your compost pile. You don’t want to have any issues when it comes to your compost, so make sure that you prevent mold growth and seeds from blooming in your compost bin. Re-line the bin and make sure that the lid stays firmly closed. You can spread the compost over your perennial plants and feed them nutrients along the way. It protects from weed growth, too!
  3. Clear up the vegetable patch in your garden if you have the chance. You want to know that your vegetables can thrive and grow without being strangled by weeds and that means raking, pulling back, and clearing off dead leaves. The compost can keep them looking good for springtime, and that’s what you want for your plants.

How To Get Settled Into Your New Home & Location

Moving to a new location and into a different house is a significant change and may cause you some anxiety or worry initially. While it can be an exciting time in your life, it’s also probably a bit nerve-wracking.

What will help ease your emotions is to take actions that will help get you settled into your new home and location as soon as possible. The following ideas will ensure that you feel comfortable getting acquainted with your new surroundings and that you can make your new house a home.

 

Unpack Your Boxes & Get Organized

One step for getting settled into your new home after you relocate is to unpack your boxes. Get organized by finding places to store all your items and making sure your home is clear of any clutter. Leaving your boxes packed and a mess around your home may make you feel more stressed out than usual. Go through your items and figure out where you want to store all you own and get organized so you can find what you’re looking for at a later date. The reason you want to get unpacked and organized is so you can start decorating and feeling comfortable in your new space.

 

work in spain

Look into Job Opportunities

When you move you may also be starting over with your career and professional aspirations. You may want to find full-time work or maybe you decide you want to Find courier jobs on Shiply that you can take on in your free time or when the kids are in school. Either way, you’ll want to discover ways to earn money or an income and how to support your family in your new location. Working will give you purpose and help you get more familiar with the area.

Get into A Routine & Schedule

It’s also in your best interest to get into a regular routine or schedule shortly after moving into a new home and location. Get settled by figuring out how you want your days to unfold and making sure everyone is on the same page about how the days are going to go. Avoid letting your move bog down and disrupt your life too much. Show your kids and family that while moving may have been a slight disruption to your life, that you can soon get back into the swing of things and enjoy your new location.

Explore the Community

You can get settled into your new home and area by exploring the community. Get out there and meet new people and your neighbours. Figure out the best places to eat and where you can shop to buy new clothes or items you need. Work on building a local support group and getting to know others in the area so you can be there for one another and have friends to spend time with. You can increase your emotional well-being and satisfaction with your home life by engaging with those in your area and getting more involved in the local community. 

Where are the Best, Safest and Cheapest Places to Live in Spain?

places to live in spain

One of the biggest questions when planning to relocate to Spain is where, exactly, you should choose to live. Of course, this is subjective depending on exactly what you want out of your move, but we have nevertheless tried to narrow down some of the best places to live in Spain for ex-pats.

As well as suggesting what we think are some of the nicest places to live in Spain, we’ve also tried to point out some of the cheapest for those planning a move on a budget, and will also discuss whether or not you need to pay for a Spain work visa if planning to take up employment. 

Secondary Education in Spain

Where is the best place for British families to live in Spain?

We might be a bit biased on this, but we truly believe that one of the best villages to live in Spain for Brits is Mijas Pueblo in the Malaga province.

It not only provides easy access to the extensive coastline and beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol and the famous whitewashed villages in the region, but it’s also close to the Montes de Málaga Natural Park.

If you’re planning on moving to Spain with family, you can also rest assured that there plenty of great educational facilities for kids in the area, both at private and state-run schools.

Of course, if you’re a city kid at heart, you might not be so eager to give up the hustle and bustle and move to the coast. In that case, a great alternative option is the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Valencia, one of the most popular metropolitan areas for British ex-pats in Spain.

Some other great destinations worth considering if you’re moving to Spain include:

  • Alicante, especially the stunning Costa Blanca coast
  • Malaga, Marbella, and Alhaurin el Grande, all on the Costa del Sol
  • Oviedo in Asturias considered the cleanest city in Spain
  • Madrid, which boasts a large ex-pat community

If your main reason for moving to the country is the ample sunshine, you might consider relocating to the Canary Islands. The capital, Gran Canaria, is the warmest place in Spain in the winter and has the best climate year-round.

Best places to live in Spain as an American

While Brits tend to favour the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca areas, if you’re planning to move to Spain from the US then you’ll find most of your fellow American ex-pats living in the two biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona.

Madrid, with its vibrant culture, large green spaces, and excellent international schools, is a particular favourite among Americans who live in Spain as an ex-pat, although those who like to have a beach and the seaside close by tend to favour Barcelona.

If you’re only planning to stay for a short time in the country, these cities are also probably the best places to live in Spain for a month or two, as they provide the biggest samples of Spanish cultures.

inland costa del sol

What is the safest city in Spain?

Barcelona and Madrid are also considered among the safest places to live in Spain and are in fact regarded as among the safest in Europe.

However, if the large amount of tourist interest in these major cities doesn’t really appeal to you, there are plenty of charming coastal towns that are just as safe (or safer!).

Some of the best small towns to live in Spain along the country’s coast include Altafulla in Catalonia, Ribadesella in Asturias, and Salobreña in Granada.

What is the cheapest city to live in Spain?

If you’re relocating to Spain on a tight budget, the living costs in your destination may be one of the biggest factors in your decision. Luckily, there are plenty of cheap places to live in Spain that are equally as pleasant and pretty.

For example, Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is often considered the cheapest city to live in Spain, and it is a positively gorgeous place with beautiful historic architecture.

Other places in Spain where the overall cost of living is low include:

  • Granada
  • Alicante
  • A Coruña
  • Cordoba
  • Las Palmas
  • Pamplona
  • Vigo
  • Valladolid

Saying this, the cost of living will vary for everyone no matter where in Spain you choose to relocate. It’s always possible to get by on a budget in most places if you inform yourself of the cheapest neighbourhoods to live in beforehand.

swimming pool mijas

 

How to Live in Spain for Free

The good news for Brits planning to move to Spain is that, as EU citizens, they do not currently need to pay any visa or permit fees, although this may well change if you’re moving to Spain after Brexit.

If you’re planning to live in Spain for more than 3 consecutive months, however, you’ll have to register as a foreign resident and pay a small fee to get a resident’s permit at a local police station.

Once you register for residency and begin contributing to social security, or are retiring in Spain, you and your family members will also able to use Spain’s public healthcare free of charge. But that my friends, is an article for another day …

 

Things To Know Before Going To Spain

When people think about going to Spain, they often think about packing their sunglasses, making sure they have a hat, and the number of beaches they’re going to enjoy. But actually, Spain has much more to it than just beaches and balmy evenings. There are several things that you should know before you head to Spain. 

swimming pool mijas

Of course, you want to plan your hot look with gorgeous sunglasses, a beautiful summer dress or some cool linen shorts, but like everything is better when you’re prepared.

 

Learn some Spanish

Like almost all countries, many people speak some (or fluent) English, however, learning a few key phrases is just proper etiquette. You’re going to want to be able to ask some questions like Donde Esta…? Where is…? And some simple greetings like Buenos Dias or Hola. And yes, you’re going to want to finish with gracias, because it’s just nice

What is important to note, is that Spanish is not the only language; in fact, some regions have a second official language like Catalan, Basque, or Galicia. And while you don’t need to learn these extra languages, as almost everyone will speak Spanish, it wouldn’t hurt either.

Here you can learn some basic Spanish phrases: 67 Essential Spanish Phrases

Water

Many people who visit quite a few European countries still don’t know that you can actually drink the tap water. Big cities like Barcelona and Madrid both have very safe tap water to drink. In fact, in Madrid, it comes fresh from the Guadarrama mountain range – if you like cool facts. So you’ll be much better off bringing a reusable water bottle, then you will keep buying bottles of water in the local stores. It will save you money in the long run.

Hospitality

Spain is famous for its Tapas culture. This means when you order a drink in almost all cases, it’s going to arrive with a small bite to eat. Sometimes it’s potato chips/crisps other times its olives. It may even be ham or cheese, depending on where you are. 

This is a polite gesture and is an indicator of how hospitable Spain can be. This free and tasty snack is simply meant to be enjoyed alongside your drink.

Goodbye Siesta

The siesta was historically common throughout Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and even in mainland China. That traditional daytime nap has been put to bed. It has been reported in previous years that Spaniards actually work some of the longest hours in Europe, making a siesta something that most of them are not likely to see. 

However, if you’re there on holiday, or have a very generous working schedule, you can feel free to nap. But you’re unlikely to see people taking a siesta. 

Fashion

When you arrive in Spain, whether it be for a holiday or for a relocation you’re going to notice the Spaniards are pretty snappy dressers. And you can spot a tourist a mile away with flip-flops and jogging bottoms. 

Choose lightweight fabrics and you too can deal with the heat while looking fabulous. 

Midday shopping

It’s not uncommon to find that many shops and businesses will close for a couple of hours in the middle of the day. So ideally try not to plan to have anything done between 1pm – 4pm while you are on holiday; other than enjoying the fact that you are on holiday. 

Many people enjoy long lunch breaks, especially when the midday heat is so hot. In the bigger cities, supermarkets and larger stores are often open, but you can’t guarantee that you’re going to find a smaller shop open in the middle of the day if you live in a village. 

Although you will find the shops do stay open later in the evening. And many people, especially people who enjoy shopping, enjoy the fact that Barcelona and Madrid usually stay open until around 10 pm in the evening.

Ditch the Sangria

Unless you really love Sangria, then it’s quite a tourist drink. Most locals instead enjoy a Tinto de Verano, which is a summer wine. It consists of red wine and lemonade mixer. 

Ideal for those long warm evenings. If you’d rather blend in with the locals than tourists and avoid paying a premium for that overpriced Sangria, go for the Tinto de Verano.

Meat Eaters

If you are a meat-eater, there is something that you simply cannot leave Spain without sampling. You will find it on most menus because it is one of the most beloved foods, called Jamon. Jamon is cured ham, and the most likely one you’ll find is Jamon Iberico. This is the best quality that you can get, and that comes from Blackhoofed Iberian pigs. 

These pigs are quite luxurious and are fed extensively on acorns, which gives them their unique flavor.

Public Transport

Public transport is efficient and fast. The Spanish train system is ideal for getting between major cities, however in the south of Spain and certainly, towards some of the smaller cities, there aren’t always those connections. Here buses are equally fast and efficient and certainly are the best option if you’re going off the beaten path. 

It should be noted that the train can be the most expensive option for public transport.

Eating Time

When the shops are closed, lunch is on. This means you will enjoy a wonderful lunch between 2 and 3:30 pm, but that pushes evening meal hours to much later in the day, typically from 9 pm till 10.30 pm. So you have to plan trips accordingly or take snacks in your bag if you can’t get with the schedule. 

Tipping isn’t required and isn’t expected, it’s really something that you should just do anyway. Outstanding service or service, in general, should always be respected. 

Indulge in the Culture

Many people when they get to Spain want to eat as much paella and drink as much Sangria as possible. And while that’s fun for many, there is a better way to enjoy Spanish culture. You will notice that the Spanish culture is much more about taking your time, enjoying the people in your family that you are spending time with, and the scenery. Relaxing and enjoying life. Go with the flow rather and fall into the tourist traps. 

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Rest on a Sunday

You are unlikely to find anything that is open on a Sunday, this is a designated day to get lunch with friends, visit family, relax and unwind. So if you’re planning on being in Spain for a Sunday, or you really want to make the most of that Spanish culture while you’re integrating; then plan Sunday as simply to be a day of family, food, and fun. 

Big Cities and Little Villages

Large Spanish cities are busy and modern and filled with people from all over the world. They’re exciting and have a lot to do. It will give you a considerable taste of Spanish culture, but there are many tourist traps to keep an eye out for. 

The smaller villages remain a space for century-old traditions that can still be found to this day. Spain is known as a country of traditions and culture. But to understand all of the different facets of that, try a few days in the city followed by a few days in smaller villages.

 

Spain is exhilarating and welcoming, with a rich history and the lives of culture. If you like spending time with family and friends and indulging in wonderful food, then it might be just time that you spent a little bit longer in Spain.

 

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