There are now more digital nomads in Spain than ever before. Many Spanish cities receive thousands of visitors every year, who seek culture, fine cuisine, and of course, sun.
If you are a nomad looking for a new destination, or you are considering Spain as your next adventure destination, you’ve come to the right place!
Below, I will share my experience and expertise as a digital nomad in Spain, to help you plan your relocation to the country. In particular, I will focus on:
- How to be a digital nomad in Spain
- The best destinations to live in Spain.
- The main reasons for becoming a digital nomad in Spain.
How to become a digital nomad in Spain?
Spain’s new Startup Law has finally been approved. Finally, digital nomads from outside the EU have the possibility to live and work in Spain.
To become a digital nomad in Spain, apply directly through a consulate or embassy in your home country, or you can enter Spain using a tourist visa and apply from inside Spain, but don’t wait more than 3 months.
There are a number of requirements you must fulfil to be eligible to be a digital nomad in Spain. We have an entire article dedicated to the digital nomad visa to Spain.
To apply for this visa in December 2023, do the following:
- Fill in the application form and pay the visa fee.
- Take out travel insurance – See recommended
- Provide a proof of income.
- Submit documents proving your online activity.
In this article, we will detail the requirements and steps to apply for this visa.
Where do digital nomads live in Spain?
All of Spain’s regions have a wealth of natural and cultural riches, with different languages, climates, foods and much more. So, if you want to be a digital nomad in Spain, I recommend exploring the country first to see which place attracts you the most.
Currently, the Spanish government has a programme for digital nomads from all over the world, where they invite you to live in picturesque and sparsely populated villages. The Red Nacional de Pueblos acogedores (National Network of Welcoming Villages).
However, foreign professionals tend to cluster in the big cities. Cities like Madrid and Barcelona really do offer everything you could ever need to have a good time combining work and adventure.
The top 10 favourite places for digital nomads in Spain in 2023 are:
- Canary Islands (Tenerife, La Palma and Fuerteventura)
- San Sebastián
City, beach, or both?
As I mentioned before, all of Spain’s autonomous regions differ significantly, varying in language, cuisine, and culture. So, choosing the best place to live and work depends on the tastes and style of each nomad.
Recently, the Canary Islands have become one of the most popular places for remote workers from all over the world. The reasons? The warm climate and the breathtaking nature. If you’re considering being a digital nomad in Spain, take note!
In the main cosmopolitan cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona or San Sebastián, you will find the biggest expat scene of digital nomads in Spain. They are also better to find more Coworking and Colivings options.
Of course, I must mention the cosmopolitan Spanish cities that also have beaches: Barcelona, San Sebastián, Málaga, and Valencia, just to name a few!
Why be a digital nomad in Spain?
Spain is one of the most popular meeting points for nomads from all over the world. People who decide to move to another place to work and live for a while, generally have similar criteria for selecting a destination:
- Weather conditions and climate
- The quality of internet connections
- The leisure and entertainment activities
- The cost of living
Needless to say, Spain meets all the criteria!
Climate and nature in Spain
Spain’s warm climate is undoubtedly one of the biggest attractions, especially for people who decide to escape the cold weather in their countries. Here you can see the average yearly temperature in Spain by region:
- Between 10 and 12.5 °C: in most of the Northern Plateau, especially Castilla y León.
- Between 12.5 and 15 °C: in most of the Southern Meseta, especially Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura.
- Between 15 and 17,5 °C: in most of Andalusia, Catalonia, Valencia and Murcia.
- Between 17,5 and 20 °C: in southern Andalusia and the Balearic Islands.
- Over 20 °C: in coastal areas of the Canary Islands.
Calling all adventurers: it is true that beaches and sunny areas are more tempting to visit, but I highly recommend you to check out northern Spain. Throughout Galicia, Catalonia and Basque Country you will find beautiful green forests and mountains.
You can also explore and hike, for example in the mountains such as Picos de Europa, or the Pyrenees. No matter what time of year you travel, there’s always good weather, endless opportunities and adventure.
Cost of living in Spain
Spain is well known for being affordable compared to many countries in the rest of Europe. However, this does not necessarily mean that being a digital nomad in Spain is cheap.
Eating out is cheap. In Spanish cities, you can find restaurant menus to suit all budgets. On the other hand, accommodation tends to be a bit more expensive compared to other European countries. This is due to the high tourist demand.
Even so, many digital nomads in Spain prefer to stay here large parts of the year to save money and prepare for their next destination. Some even move permanently, especially to the Canary Islands, as they have lower taxes than in mainland Spain.
The 5 most expensive Autonomous Communities to live in Spain are:
- Basque Country.
- Balearic Islands.
On the other hand, the 5 cheapest Autonomous Communities to live in Spain are:
- Castilla La-Mancha.
Digital nomad culture in Spain
Teleworking in Spain is becoming increasingly popular. That’s why it’s easy to find special working spaces for digital nomads in Spain. There is a great variety of coworking locales and colivings.
The digital nomad community in Spain is quite tight-knit, and organised. In many cities, such as Barcelona, Valencia, or the Canary Islands, there are all kinds of plans for international professionals who are travelling. Which is great for networking.
You can also take advantage of working in cafés and parks, as it is quite common to sit in a bar and have a drink while you work on your computer. This will also help you to connect with the local culture.
Transport and connectivity
A good nomadic destination should have facilities for getting around, both domestically, and internationally.
It is important to have airports with a variety and availability of flights and destinations, and an efficient public transport system that allows you to travel around the country easily and comfortably. In this respect, Spain does not fail.
Most airports are very well-connected worldwide, so it won’t be difficult to plan your next destination without fear of missing flights or taking complex connections. Here is a list of the main airports in Spain and the number of destinations they connect to:
Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas
Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat
Málaga-Costa del Sol
Aeropuerto Santiago-Rosalía de Castro
Tenerife Norte-Ciudad de La Laguna
In general, you won’t need to take taxis or improvise to get from one place to another. The public transport systems in Spain’s cities are quite convenient and works very well for getting to any part of Spain without wasting too much time.
Spain’s diverse cuisine is undoubtedly one of the most striking features of this part of the Iberian Peninsula. If you enjoy trying new food, you will love the diverse range of culinary experiences you can have as a digital nomad in Spain.
The coasts have an extensive offer of fresh seafood and fish. The famous paella from the Valencian coast, the famous Iberian ham from the country’s interior, and Galician octopus, all wonderfully tasty. And that’s not even scratching the surface!
One of my favourite things about Spain is the traditional tapas. In some regions, they serve them for free if you order a couple of beers. In regions such as Madrid, Castilla La Mancha, Galicia or Granada, you can be sure you’ll get a free entrée.
These are the typical Spanish dishes that every digital nomad should try:
- Cocido madrileño (chickpea stew)
- Serrano ham
- Gazpacho and salmorejo
- Tortilla (potato omelette)
- Galician octopus
- Lechazo (Castillian lamb)
- Fabada Asturiana (Asturian bean stew)
- Calamares a la roma and pescaíto frito (fried fish)
- Callos (beef stew)
Security is a crucial aspect for digital nomads. Especially if you are traversing unknown territories, and you don’t have people to advise you about which places are suitable to work with your equipment, or where you can walk alone at night.
In general, Spain is a safe country, with a low crime rate and a good health and safety system. However, as a traveller, I believe that you cannot be 100% confident in a place. We must be cautious and attentive at all times.
That is why it is always recommended to travel with travel insurance for digital nomads, which covers you in case of theft abroad. Some policies even take care of processing your documents with your country’s embassy, so you don’t have to interrupt your adventure.
Internet and connectivity
Not having a good internet connection is one of the main fears of remote workers when travelling. Having a reliable Wi-Fi connection is essential if you want to lead a balanced nomadic lifestyle.
Digital nomads in Spain can use public connections to do their work in any café, bar, or library. Cities such as Barcelona and Madrid have free outdoor Wi-Fi in most parts of the city. It’s not the most useful for working long hours, but it works in case of emergency.
There are plenty of coworking spaces for digital nomads in Spain that will give you the space and connection you need to do your work productively, and meet other digital nomads in Spain.
You can also buy a SIM card that will give you a few gigabytes, and you can use it all over Europe if you plan to move to another country. The main telephone operators in Spain are:
There are a number of different official languages in Spain. However, Spanish is spoken in all regions, alongside local languages and dialects.
Most signage and visitor information is written in both languages. So don’t worry if you don’t know Catalan, Basque or Galician, although it doesn’t hurt to learn a few words to please and be polite to the locals!
Spaniards are not known for their command of the English language. Travellers who are not fluent in Spanish may find it difficult to communicate. However, Spain has a large international community, so you’re sure to meet people you can talk to.
I would still advise any digital nomads in Spain to learn as much Spanish as they can. After all, it’s a language spoken as a native language by over 450 million people!
Is it worth being a digital nomad in Spain?
If you’ve made it this far, you must be truly set on becoming a digital nomad in Spain! If you’re planning to spend some time in Southern Europe, I can’t recommend Spain enough.
Spain is an incredible country. The climate, the nature, and the culture come together to form a beautiful and eclectic mix of experiences and possibilities. The wide variety of cities and towns make it a such a charming destination.
There is so much to see and do in Spain. I recommend calculating how much time you have to explore, and choosing places according to your tastes and style. I assure you, Spain will provide you with endless little surprises that will make you want to stay.
I absolutely love being a digital nomad in Spain, and I’m sure you will too!🌍 🇪🇸