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Moving to Barcelona from the UK?

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How to Move to Barcelona from the UK?

Moving to Barcelona from the UK offers a fantastic quality of life for British expats including the delights of good weather, beautiful beaches, rich culture and a beautiful arquitecture and history.

There are around 320 000 British expats currently living in Spain meaning plenty of Brits communities to join. As the UK is currently still a member of the EU, visas are not required for people moving to Barcelon from the UK, although you should apply for a residency card (Tarjeta de Residencia) and foreign identity number (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) within three months of your arrival if you plan to stay long-term.

After the Brexit in march 2019 the UK government will probably try to negotiate free movement of its citizen within Europe.

Barcelona overview

Barcelona accounts for more than 25% of Spanish GDP, it has 5,5 million inhabitants the 6th most populous urban area in the European Union. It has a subtropical climate with an average teperature above 16°C 6 months of the year,

Spain is a democracy with 17 autonomous communities with each of them their Statute of Autonomy. As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona houses the seat of the Catalan government (Generalitat de Catalunya). Barcelona is governed by a city council formed by 41 city councilors, elected for a four-year term by universal suffrage.

The First Thing to do: Get a Spanish Tax Number NIE

Whatever you need to do you will need to first register for a NIE number before being able to buy property, a car, sign-up for insurance, enter into a contract for the supply of electricity, water or a telephone line, or contribute to social security. The NIE number, Número de Identificación de Extranjero, is a tax identification number. To register get a form at the nearest National Police Station in the Departmento de Extranjeros.  Applicants should receive their NIE from one to six weeks.

How to rent a property in Barcelona?

Barcelona features many high rise apartments from modern to traditional design. Prices vary between properties, but in general rent is about 15€ per square meter per month. Barcelona Estate agents  usually charge a fee equivalent of one month of rent. At Eliore Properties we will help you to sign a contract that includes deposits and agency fees. Spanish Rental contracts (Contrato de Arrendamiento) must be in writing it is usually for 3 years. A deposit (fianza) is usually necessary, and is equivalent to 2 months rent.

Utilities in Barcelona were before 2003 dominated by the monopolies of electricity distributor Endesa and gas distributor Gas Natural tey are still most used companies. Water is supplied exclusively by Aigues de Barcelona (Agbar).

How to look for work in Barcelona?

In Barcelona, Banking and logistics sectors are prominent, with the government pushing growth in the fields of IT and technology. Expats that can speak both Spanish and English will find themselves with a large advantage. Online recruitment websites are the best: infojobs, indeed, trovit, infoempleo, jooble, You can also have a look at Barcelona Metropolitan magazine written in english, the mail spanish local newspaper La vanguardia, El Pais the biggest national newspaper.


If you are looking to move to Barcelona from the UK, please browse Eliore Properties Barcelona rentals and Barcelona Properties for Sale on the website.

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