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European Destination Guide – Spain

Posted on 20th September 2016

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Fact file on Spain

Capital City: Madrid

Population: 46,095,093 in 2016, making it the sixth largest country in Europe.

Currency: Euros

Language: Spanish (Castilian) is spoken by 74% of Spaniards and is the country’s official language. Catalan is spoken by 17%, Galician by 7% and Basque by 2% of the Spanish population.

Business opportunities: 40% of new businesses in Spain are started by female entrepreneurs.

Climate: There are three different climate zones: Atlantic (mild and humid, can experience high rainfall and frequent snowfall in certain regions), Continental (hot summers and freezing cold winters), Mediterranean (mild winters and pleasant summers, without very high temperatures).

The Spanish way of life

  1. Adjust your clock

Spaniard’s lead a slower, more relaxed lifestyle, where time is relative and the word ‘evening’ does not exist. August is a month when the whole of Spain is on holiday, so you should avoid this month when planning to schedule in meetings.

  1.  Learn the native tongue

As we have mentioned, the majority of the Spanish population speak Castilian Spanish. So, rather than relying on hand gestures to try and describe what you need to the locals, you should brush up on the language before you move to avoid isolating yourself in your new area.

  1. Get active

Make the most of the stunning scenery and climate by venturing outdoors to go on a bike ride, set sail on the open sea or have a walk along the beach.

  1. Savour the Spanish delicacies

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Despite being renowned for its tapas and sangria, there are so many other Spanish delicacies for you to try, such as gazpacho (chilled soup), pollo al ajillo (chicken and garlic) and paella. Test different dishes when visiting local restaurants to sample what authentic Spanish food and drink truly has to offer.

  1. Economical position

Not only is the cost of living in Barcelona and capital city Madrid almost half the price of living in London, but the Spanish economy is growing at a rapid rate. However, many have questioned whether the country has fully recovered from the ‘Great Recession in Spain’ which saw the property market collapse and a rise in unemployment rates. Despite the government’s struggles to step up to the plate, the economy has shown great resilience and Spain is set to be one of the fastest growing economies over the next few years.

Managing your finances in Spain

It’s imperative to set up a bank account in Spain, particularly if you are planning on staying there for a long period of time. Before travelling, make sure you have an offshore bank account so you can manage your cash and make banking transfers easily while abroad.

If you are planning on opening an account in Spain, remember to book an appointment with an English-speaking assistant to ensure you understand the process completely. To open a bank account in Spain, you will need to take along your passport, Foreigner Identification Number (NIE) and certificate, proof of address and proof of employment status. It’s also worth noting that the opening hours for banks in Spain are usually 9am-2pm Monday to Saturday.

Ease of moving

Although thorough research and preparation is always key when moving, it’s even more important when moving abroad! For a smooth running experience, and to ensure you settle into your new surroundings as quickly as possible, here’s a checklist of the things you must remember to:  

  • Arrange a moving date and remember to confirm this with all parties involved
  • Consult with mortgage advisors and lawyers to confirm moving details on your Spanish home
  • Declutter your home by choosing which items you want to take to Spain, those you will store in the UK and those you plan on selling
  • Receive quotes from at least three removal companies
  • Buy moving boxes and bubble wrap, making sure you label each and every box when packing
  • Notify banks, doctors, dentists and authorities of your change of address
  • Check dates on passports
  • Organise travel insurance and a green card for your car insurance
  • Take out enough cash to cover your journey – remember to convert the required amount into Euros for when you arrive in Spain

Whittle International Movers

As one of the leading specialists in European Removals, we will ensure your relocation to Spain runs as smoothly as possible. We will appoint a removals manager who will overlook your entire move, from the initial survey and packing up your belongings, through to transporting everything to the new destination.

Not only that, we can also facilitate moves from Spain back to the UK, offering a highly competitive price with an outstanding removals service to match. To find out more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team today.

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