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flag Spain Spain: Living

In this page: Communities of Expatriates | Ranking of Cities | Renting an Apartment | School System | Health System | Tourism and Culture | Individual and Civic Freedoms | Religion


Communities of Expatriates

The Number of Expatriates
The census shows that the number of foreigners in the country represent one tenth of the population that is 4.5 million people.
Hotel reservation websites
Directory of expatriate clubs
Immigration Authority
Interior Department
Transportation Companies For Moving/Removals
International packers and movers located in Spain
Gil Stauffer
Grupo Amygo

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Ranking of Cities

Cost of Living
According to the latest available edition of the Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings Survey by Mercer, Madrid is ranked 83rd out of 227 cities worldwide in terms of cost of living.
Quality of Life
According to the latest available edition of the Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings Survey by Mercer, Madrid is ranked 46th out of 231 cities worldwide in terms of quality of living.
Hotel reservation websites
Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings (Survey by Mercer)
Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings (Survey by Mercer)

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Renting an Apartment

Average Lease Term
The contract is open-ended. If it is drawn up for less than 5 years, it will be automatically renewed each year up to 5 years, unless one of the parties terminates the contract or its extension 30 days before its expiry date. If it is drawn up for 5 years, the contract can be extended by a one-year period up to 8 years, unless one of the parties terminates the contract or its extension 30 days before its expiry date.

The annual discounting of the rental amount can be fixed contractually; if not, the official rate of the CPI (consumer price index) is applicable. Some building improvement work done by the owner can lead to a further increase in rent.

Average Rental Costs

The guarantee required is usually a bank guarantee or another payment security.

In addition, it is necessary to pay off:
rent for 1 month (rents are payable in advance, from the 1st to 7th of the month in question),
1 month's rent or 10% of the annual rent if one goes through an agency or a property manager,
and get water, gas and electricity connections, if it is not already available in the accommodation.
Rental Agency Websites

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School System

The Education System
Public education is free and compulsory up to the age of 16 years.
It is made up of:
- Child education: from 0 to 3 years: public (or private) day-care centers (only paying type) and from 3 to 6 years: kindergarten.
- Primary education: 6 classes free with an assessment in 4th year
- CSE-Compulsory Secondary Education: 4 classes with an assessment in 2nd year and a completion diploma
- Baccalaureate or Professional Training: 2 classes with a final diploma
- Entrance exam for the « Selectividad » University or for higher professional education: 3 years of university studies or Professional Training with a final diploma equivalent to the bachelor's degree. At the University, the studies can be continued to obtain a master's degree or a doctorate.

Private education follows the same curriculum and is usually set. In Catalonia, teaching of all subjects is in Catalan.
International Schools
National association of British schools in Spain, International schools in Spain,
You can find the international schools in the National registry of schools by typing the keyword "internacional".
Hotel reservation websites
Ministry of Education and Science

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Health System

The Healthcare System
Spanish healthcare system follows Western European standards.. It is accessible to everyone, everywhere and free of cost except if you go and visit a private doctor.
International Hospitals
The healthcare system in Spain is generally of a high standard. Public hospital facilities are generally well equipped. For a list of hospitals consult this link.
Health System Insurance Body
Seguridad social

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Tourism and Culture

Different Forms of Tourism

There are many prehistoric sites (the Altamira caves). The eight centuries of Muslim invasion have left traces (the Alhambra). A number of castles, palaces, and medieval cities (Toledo).
Spain is a country with strong Catholic culture, but also Muslim and Jewish culture, since these 3 religions have coexisted (Toledo).
Various sites registered in the world heritage sites of UNESCO.
Various museums.
Folklore and traditions present during the fairs or the various festivals.
A number of theatre and dance festivals, concerts, bullfights, etc. especially during summer.
Many natural and national parks
Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela
Numerous churches, monasteries, convents, mosques and synagogues to visit.
A number of spas the tradition of which dates back to the Greek, Roman and Arab occupations.
With a vast Mediterranean coast without tides and sunshine, Spain is a paradise for "sunshine and beach" tourism. In the North, the Atlantic coast, often steeper, is especially suitable for water sports.
Winter Sports
Spain has around thirty winter sports resorts spread across the Pyrenees and the different mountain ranges of this mountainous country. The most popular is Baqueira-Beret in the Aran Valley (Catalonia), the southernmost is near Grenada.
Outdoor Activities
Golf , big and small game hunting, river and sea fishing,sailing, scuba diving, horseback tourismparagliding, hang-gliding, rafting.
Theme parks: Terra Mitica, Isla Magica.
Many water parks.
All the big Spanish cities offer significant options: presence of outlets of all the major Spanish and international brands (especially Madrid and Barcelona). Large shops El Corte Ingles, business centers, etc. Various products and artistic souvenirs can be bought during the fairs or markets.

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Individual and Civic Freedoms

Civil Liberty
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2021 report : 29/180

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Catholics 77% (50% practicing); Muslims, Protestants, etc.: 3%; non believers: 19%.

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Latest Update: February 2024