Living Long-Term in Barcelona as an Expat – a Brief Guide | Pommie Travels

Living Long-Term in Barcelona as an Expat – a Brief Guide

People are waking up. Earlier this year, we were all thrust into working from home. Shortly after, many realized that living in a city for work is dead. If you don’t like where you live, you can move without losing your job.

If you’ve been lusting after Barcelona, you’re not alone. In the past few years, this livable city has become a favoured base of operations for digital nomads.

Want to join them? In this post, we’ll run down the basics of getting started in Barcelona.

Get Your Visa Sorted

Spain is a destination popular with Northerners for its sunny winters. Over the years, many have opted to stay longer, making places like Barcelona their home. However, you can’t show up and expect to stay indefinitely. To do that, you must obtain the Spain Non-Lucrative Visa.

To qualify for this document, you must prove several things. First, you must not engage in employment activities in Spain. However, this excludes work done in other countries, which makes non-lucrative visas popular with digital nomads.

Second, you must not be a burden to the country’s health care system. To meet this requirement, you must prove that you hold private health insurance.

And third, you must show that you have the financial resources to sustain yourself during your stay. By showing savings, investment income, or evidence of remote working proceeds, you can tick off this last box.

Aside from that, a clean criminal record will ensure your acceptance. Apply as soon as you make your plans to avoid any costly delays.

Secure an Apartment

After getting your non-lucrative visa, focus on getting a roof over your head. Finding a quality apartment for rent in Barcelona can be difficult, especially in high season. Because vacancy rates are low, available units can be quite pricey as well.     

Start by booking a temporary pad on Airbnb. Yes, locals loathe this site, but it’s still the quickest way to find a crash pad in a new city. You won’t want to stay long-term in these suites anyway, as their proprietors price them to make money off tourists.

Once you’ve gotten settled, start looking for long-term accommodation on sites that locals use.,, and all get massive traffic from Barcelona residents. If you know a Spanish speaker, have them help you. This way, you may be able to get a better deal.

The inconvenience of moving from place to place can be a little taxing. There are platforms such as Homelike that offer extended stay apartments in Barcelona. You can find the right apartment for you based on your budget and amenities preference. Just make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of the rental apartment before signing the contract. In this way, you won’t face any penalties or legal obligations later on. 

Meeting Fellow Expats

When abroad, we all want to mix with the locals. However, the language and cultural barrier may leave you feeling lonely. For this reason, we recommend connecting with expats in Barcelona as soon as you get settled.

As web resources go, works well. On this site, you’ll find events of all types that attract expats and locals alike. Search for what interests you, and you’ll find your tribe in no time. Additionally, expat-focused groups on Facebook, Internations, and Expatica are also great ways to connect with fellow humans.

Check social media groups relating to Barcelona expats. Get to connect with them even if you don’t meet face to face. Their suggestions and insights about living in Barcelon will be very helpful to make your stay meaningful and less stressful.

Love Where You Live

You no longer have to go where the opportunities are. These days, you can live where you want, and find opportunities on the internet. If Barcelona is calling your name, the resources in this post can help get your new life started.

If you decide to move abroad and live and settle in Barcelona, then it’s all up to you. There are plenty of opportunities awaiting, not only for your career, but also for your love life. Getting married and starting a family life in this romantic place isn’t far from happening.


Now, you’re pretty sure that you can live happily for long-term in Barcelona as an expat with the tips shared above. Don’t hesitate to explore online and offline sources, talk to locals, and meet fellow expats to make your stay is more fun and productive. It would be nice to learn from those who have lived in the area for quite some time.

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