Along with its title of one of the most beloved touristic destinations in Europe, in the last few years, Spain also carries the crown for being one of the most favored countries among the remote work community. And it’s not a surprise.
When you think about Spain, the first things that come to mind are good wine, dreamy beaches, outdoor parties, extravagant dresses, flamenco, and beguiling villas – or in one word – hedonism. Under the burden of corporate jobs, this sunny and carefree life sounds like a dream escape.
Along with that, Spain’s geographical location has blessed this country with mild temperatures and sunny wheater throughout the year – something that most European countries can only dream of.
So, with the Mediterranean spirit, immense and diverse territory, affordable cost of living, and perfect weather – Spain makes a fun and desirable place for a remote office.
On top of everything, with all its gems, Spain is still a strong, urban, European country. This means that you will not lack any modern-day amenity, system, or infrastructure. It sounds like a win-win!
Are you thinking about working remotely from Spain? Let’s break down a few aspects to help you decide if Spain is the right country for your remote-working adventure.
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The cost of working remotely from Spain
Compared to the Western and Central European countries, Spain is considered much more affordable. Of course, this also depends on the region, but the whole country is abundant in beautiful, accessible places that do not cost a fortune.
For example, take Andalusia, a beloved region full of history, beautiful beaches, and enticing cuisine, and yet one of the least costly regions in Spain. For a digital nomad, 1500 to 2000 euros a month would be more than enough to have a comfortable stay and try out everything they want.
If you are a more frugal traveler, not into eating out for every meal or excessively spending on touristic attractions and field trips, and you’re more into living like a local on your trips (cooking at home, eating out 2-3 times a week, choosing what you visit, etc.) your monthly cost could easily be only about 1000 euros.
To further support this fact, let’s take one of the most popular places in 2021/22 for digital nomads in Europe (and, honestly, beyond) – the Canary Islands. Besides all the other benefits these islands offer, they are known for being shockingly cheap. And we’ll tell you, they are not the least expensive region in Spain, that’s for sure.
So, when it comes to the cost of living, we’d say that Spain can offer affordable solutions for most travelers. Coming from Eastern Europe, the standard in Spain will probably still be higher than in your country, but not significantly. For the Western, Central, and Northern Europeans, as well as the Americans, Spain is economically a good choice for remote work.
For more insights on the cost of living and the standard in Spain, we suggest checking Numbeo or Nodmalist.
One of the most important things for a remote worker is the Internet connection. There are so many beautiful and fun places in the world we would love to have as our office view, but due to lacking urban infrastructure, they aren’t providing a stable enough Internet connection that will allow us to keep working uninterruptedly.
Luckily, in Spain, this is not an issue. Being one of the most popular and developed European countries, Spain has a reliable and stable connection available almost anywhere. Of course, it would be harder to find good Wifi in remote places, but even that is slowly being regulated.
The point is that if you choose to work remotely from Spain, you will probably not have to worry about the connection. You don’t have to choose between nature and good internet there, because numerous options have both.
International community and events
With all the great things that it offers, Spain has a hefty international community throughout the country. Some places are more popular and thus have more to offer to foreigners in the sense of community, but you’re not limited to only one or two cities.
Spain is a big country and has a lot of urban cities that are very popular among foreigners, tourists, students, ex-pats, etc. All these big cities have communities that offer different events, parties, support, and advice to fellow foreigners.
Spain is also one of the most cordial countries in Europe, so different events for different groups, communities, and purposes are never lacking. Not even on a Monday morning. 😊
If you are specifically looking to connect with others during your stay, try doing a bit of research for Telegram groups or upcoming language exchange events that can lead you to more people.
Bonus tip: Coworking spaces are also a great place to meet like-minded folks and connect.
Spain is one of the safest countries in the world and even more interestingly, one of the safest choices for female solo travelers.
Of course, like in any other big city, there are neighborhoods that you should be careful in, maybe even avoid, but overall, if you don’t do anything extraordinary, you are not very likely to experience safety issues.
What you should have an eye for are scammers and pickpocketers. In big cities like Barcelona and Madrid, in the central squares and the busiest streets, you can often come across pickpocketing or people trying to gift you something and ask for money for it later. But, if you’re careful enough and keep your things close to yourself, secured in a bag in front of you, and you don’t take objects from what seems like „friendly“ bystanders, you shouldn’t worry too much.
Also, Spanish Guardia Civil is very present on the streets, even in the smaller cities, and they are very professional and responsive. So, even if you do come across a problem, you will probably be able to get help shortly.
If you’re a solo female and you’re going to a big party or a feria, maybe it’s best to have company. Spain is a safe country, but also full of frequent events with so many people drinking and partying on the streets, which can always be a possible predator setting. Even though it is not something that happens frequently, in these situations, it is wise to have somebody you trust so you can look out for each other.
Where to work in Spain as a remote worker
Now, the most vital question is where to work from, or – are there suitable places that remote workers can transform into reliable working spaces in Spain? The answer is yes, but you should plan ahead.
Unlike some other countries, not every cafe in Spain is good for bringing your laptop. In fact, most cafes in Spain are simple bars with food and drinks, and the focus is utterly on that. So, you should not expect the most typical Spanish cafes to have a suitable working environment. In some cases, the owners or workers might not even be content about somebody coming in with a laptop and sitting for 2 hours staring at their screen.
Spanish bars and cafes (which kind of fall under the same category in Spain) are for socializing, so the vibe is just not very good for a remote worker. And aligned with that, most bars don’t offer Wifi to their visitors.
So, to avoid uncomfortable situations, or avoid searching for a suitable bar for hours, plan ahead and look for cafes that are created for remote work. Luckily, they are increasingly getting more popular now, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find them. If you don’t know where to look, we suggest you use this app called Maika, which shows you nearby coffee shops with scores for remote work.
Other than cafes, the best option is to join a coworking office or a coliving space. Different coworking options and offices are now available in most bigger cities and digital nomad centers. They are not only good for a stable working environment but, as we already said, great for meeting new people. The same goes for a coliving where you will have a proper working setting with accommodation and community.
Even though Spain is in Southwestern Europe, its main time zone is CEST (Central Europan Standard Time), like in most of Europe. The whole of mainland Spain is in CEST, unlike their neighbor Portugal, which uses GMT like the UK.
Spain also uses GMT but only on the territory of the Canary Islands. The islands are displaced quite a lot from mainland Spain, so another time zone definitely makes sense.
However, it’s not very logical that the whole of mainland Spain uses CEST, so you will notice that the day starts and ends very late in Spain. In the summer, the sun might still be slowly descending at 10 PM.
Even with that time zone, life in Spain still doesn’t end when the sun sets. When the sun sets in Spain, that’s when the cities wake up.
So, the CEST time zone makes Spain a perfect location for most Europeans as there will be no time zone changes, but their lifestyle is also suitable for somebody working US hours.
For example, if you’re coming from the US and working Eastern hours, finishing up at 10 PM will not be tragic as not many people even go out before that. The bars are open, the people have just started going out, and you have plenty of night to catch up with the social life.
The only tricky thing about Spain to be aware of is the famous siesta. As the afternoons get very sunny and hot in Spain, in some regions most shops and bars close for a few hours during the day. It depends on the region, but it’s something to prepare for.
Best cities and regions to be a remote worker in Spain
So, what are some of the best places for working remotely from Spain?
The answer to that is not easy because it all depends on what your priorities are. However, we suggest starting from these options:
- Barcelona: has it all, but the standard is high
- Madrid: high standard and maybe not the most beloved Spanish city, but has it all because it’s the capital
- Valencia: urban, young, affordable, has a strong digital nomad community
- Tenerife: adventurous, surrounded by nature, affordable, not very urban, lacking city-vibe
So, what do you think – is Spain your next remote work destination? Not sure yet? Follow our blog, we’ll do a detailed guide on the best regions for remote workers in Spain, the Internet, and much more in the upcoming weeks.
Secure yourself the best remote work experience in Spain
- SafetyWing – The best travel insurance for digital nomads and remote workers. It is perfect for all people who want to experience this way of lifestyle.
- italki – Why not learn some Spanish before your trip and make your experience even better? italki is the perfect platform for that, where more than 3500 native speakers are waiting to help you with your Spanish.
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