I gotta get out of this place

So far the blog has been aimed at the city break audience but I thought there may be a few of you wondering what it would be like to actually live here.

This entry has been prompted by recent experience of guiding a couple of new arrivals in the city through the process of settling here.

First thing that has to be said is that thinking of moving here to make your fortune is doomed to failure, salaries are significantly lower than the UK and if you have any month left at the end of the money you’re a better man than I.

If you do decide to give living abroad a go I’d suggest you have a wee bit of money behind you, especially if you don’t have a job lined up. accommodation costs, deposits for a flat and initial living expenses have to be paid and you will be at least a month before you pick up a wage so be prepared.

With regards to flat rental the bad news is that it’s expensive, a decent place will set you back a minimum of 800 euro a month and most places need the first month’s rent and two months deposit up front, if you use an agency then there is a further month for their fee on top.  That said don’t despair getting somewhere to stay can be done much cheaper than this.

When you first arrive here my recommendation is to book a cheap hostel for around 7 days, that allows you a bit of time to find a more permanent base without too much in the way of pressure. My mates recently stayed at this place and at 16 euro a night it was great value

Nest hostel

The best option for new arrivals is to find a room in a shared flat and you should expect to pay between 3 and 400 euro a month for something decent. The best resource for both accommodation and job hunting is loquo . Job-wise this is definitely something you could research before arriving in the city but accommodation does really require you to see the apartment and more importantly the area it’s in. That’s why I suggested finding a hostel as it gives you a little breathing space to get your bearings and a feel for the city.

Onto the job market, you may have noticed that there is a bit of a crisis happening in the economy in the UK and that is equally the case here in Spain, that means that finding work isn’t as easy as it was in the past. The reality is that your best option is not, as many think, bar work. Every “tourist bar” gets around 10 to 15 CVs handed in every day and the chances of someone just off the boat being offered a job are slimmer than Kate Moss. Your best chance of gainful employment is most likely to be in the sexy world of call centre customer service work. With costs being lower here in Spain there are a number of large companies who operate call centres that require native English speakers to service contracts. It’s probably not the life you had mapped out for yourself but in this city the saying “Work to live don’t live to work” is more of a truism than it is in UK. The job may be shit, the wages even shitter but your overall quality of life outside of work will undoubtedly be better.

A full time call centre job will pay around 11oo euro a month, and those of you who have a grasp of basic arithmetics (*stares in direction of sister in Campsie Glen*) will have worked out that you’ll have around 700 euro a month to live on. Don’t stress, avoiding the tourist areas, shopping, eating and drinking in your local area means that you can have a decent lifestyle on that sort of money. For a couple of examples, at the weekend the Mrs and I could spend a weekend on the beach, with a packed coolbox, for a tenner a day. When you can buy a can of beer for 25c and a bottle of rum for a fiver you can make your money go a long way with a little planning.  Also a night in your local bar necking 6 beers shouldn’t set you back more than a tenner.

I’ll finish with a wee story, when the wife and I moved here we had a few going away parties in Glasgow and the saddest thing wasn’t leaving family and friends. What saddened me most was the number of people who said “Good luck to you, when I was X age, I had the chance to move to *insert country here* and I didn’t go, I’ve regretted it my whole life” I was determined not to be that guy. If we ended up back in Glasgow after six months then at least I could say I had given it a go. My advice is that if you have a notion to try moving away then go for it. I’m pretty sure there will be blogs like this for most places so doing a bit of research ahead of a move is easy enough.

What’s the worst that can happen?

If any of you have any questions or any specific queries then leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.

About juanmanandhisdug

Used to live in Barcelona, now in Chorlton... It's not *that*bad
This entry was posted in Moving to Barcelona. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I gotta get out of this place

  1. Nic ( the barber ) says:


    Great to see yous are still living the dream in Barcelona. I came across your blog and I’ve been reading it all day inbetween customers. Lots a laugh out loud moments so I’m glad to see your patter has got better.

    Anyway I’d better get back to cuttin heids back in sunny battlefield !!

    Nicola x

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