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WORKING IN SPAIN

Ten of the best cities for digital nomads to move to in Spain

With Spain set to launch a new digital nomad visa in 2023, many non-EU remote workers are now considering which Spanish city would suit them. Here are ten of the best places for digital nomads depending on their preferences.

Ten of the best cities for digital nomads to move to in Spain
Cuenca could be a great place for digital nomads in Spain. Photo: César León / Unsplash

Where to live and work as a digital nomad in Spain will greatly depend on what you want out of your experience here.

Is your objective to connect with other nomads and meet as many other travellers as possible? Do you want to learn Spanish? Or do you want to keep costs to a minimum?

Whatever your preferences are, the door to remote working in Spain has opened to thousands of non-EU workers thanks to a new digital nomad visa (also available to company workers who want to relocate) that will make the process for gaining residency and paying the right taxes much easier.

READ ALSO – Spain’s new digital nomad visa: Everything we know so far

If you’ve already decided that Spain’s the place for you, but can’t decide on where, then we’re here to help. From the best places for co-working and digital nomad culture to the best place for cost of living and for integrating into Spanish culture, we’ve got you covered. 

Best for co-working spaces – Málaga

digital nomads spain

Málaga is on the coast, it’s well connected, it’s stylish and has a growing digital nomad population. Photo: David Becker/Unsplash

According to the latest report on the Status of Coworking in Spain in 2020-2021, Barcelona has the most coworking spaces, but Málaga has the greatest offer of coworking spaces at the most affordable prices. According to the report, in 2021 the average price of a desk in a co-working space was €156 per month in the Andalusian city. Malaga also offers great weather, beaches, lots of art museums and it’s a great transport hub from which to explore the rest of Andalusia. 

READ ALSO: Spain’s Málaga voted second best city in the world for foreign residents 

Best for connecting with other nomads – Barcelona

digital nomads barcelona

Barcelona is arguably Spain’s most international city. Photo: Mari Carmen Díaz/Pixabay

The biggest and most active digital nomad groups in Spain can be found in Barcelona as the city has the biggest concentrations of young foreign professionals in the country. Barcelona has the most co-working spaces in Spain and you’ll find digital nomad activities, meetings and events on almost every week in the Catalan capital, often listed on Facebook and Meetup. This could be everything from a simple networking event to a workshop on blogging or cryptocurrency. According to By Digital Nomads, a website to help remote workers who want to travel around the world, Barcelona was ranked number 10 in the 16 best places in the world for digital nomads in 2022. It’s an incredible city with so much to offer, but it does have some drawbacks.

READ ALSO:

Best for cost of living – Cáceres

caceres digital nomad

Life in Cáceres and Extremadura as a whole is cheaper than in most of Spain. Photo: Manuel Torres García/Unsplash

Extremadura may not be on your radar as a digital nomad thinking about Spain, but with its low cost of living and great historic attractions, it soon may be. Cáceres is located in Spain’s western region of Extremadura, on the border with Portugal, and has some of the lowest numbers of both foreign residents and tourists, meaning it offers a lot of value for money. According to cost-of-living website Numbeo, a 1-bedroom apartment costs around €350 per month in the city of Cáceres. Remember this number will be slightly higher if you’re renting somewhere for less than a year, but you’ll still find it a lot cheaper than some of the more popular cities on our list. The government of Extremadura has ensured that the region has the necessary infrastructure and the firm commitment of its institutions to make it a place that is ready to welcome digital nomads.

Best for Spanish culture – Seville

digital nomads seville

If you’re fascinated by quintessential Spanish culture, Seville is the place to go to. Photo: V2F/Unsplash

If you really want to immerse yourself in Spanish culture – the type of culture that you’ve been expecting such as flamenco and tapas, then you can’t do much better than Seville. The city is also filled with architectural gems, from the Moorish Real Alcázar and La Giralda cathedral tower to the whitewashed houses of the barrio de Santa Cruz and the grand pavilions of the Plaza de España. Seville is also rising in popularity among digital nomads according to the Nomad List and has a significantly cheaper cost of living than other big Spanish cities such as Madrid and Barcelona.

Best for integrating with the locals – Oviedo

oviedo digital nomads

Immerse yourself in Spanish society in Oviedo or other less touristy towns and cities in northern Spain. Photo: Héctor Martínez/Unsplash

If your aim as a digital nomad is to integrate as much as you can into the local culture, then you’ll want to avoid big cities with lots of other digital nomads and foreigners. The capital of the region of Asturias could be a great option. Oviedo is classy, friendly and not on the tourist trail, so you’re sure to improve your Spanish quickly. The Asturian government launched a plan in 2022 to actively attract digital nomads by improving its telecoms network and offering with a €211 million budget. But you don’t have to just focus on Oviedo, there are other beautiful places in Asturias offering similar with small foreign populations and lots of nature surrounding it, such as Gijón on the coast.

Best for warm weather seekers and nomad culture – Canary Islands

digital nomads canary islands

Fuerteventura is a great place to learn to surf. Photo: Eddy Billard/Unsplash

The Canary Islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Tenerife are already popular destinations for digital nomads, largely thanks to their great weather throughout the year and nomad culture. Nomad List ranks Gran Canaria (and in particular its capital Las Palmas) as its top digital nomad spot in Spain for its cost of living, internet, fun and safety, followed closely by Fuerteventura and Tenerife which take spots two and three. All three of them are rising in popularity too and have lots of digital nomad events and meetups where you can connect with others. While most of mainland Spain gets cold in winter, the mercury in the Canary Islands hovers around 20C, meaning that you can continue to enjoy the archipelago’s nature and outdoor activities throughout the year.  

READ MORE: Moving to Spain’s Canary Islands – The pros and cons

Best all-rounder – Valencia

valencia digital nomads

Valencia has it all, even the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences. Photo: Chris Holgersson/Unsplash

If you’re looking for somewhere with great weather, beaches, and a lower cost of living than the likes of Barcelona and Madrid, but still a great digital nomad community, many co-working spaces and lots of culture in terms of museums, then Valencia really covers it all. According to Nomad List, it has excellent scores for internet, fun and safety.

READ ALSO:

Best for a quieter town life – Cuenca

digital nomad cuenca spain

Find peace and tranquillity in beautiful Cuenca. Photo: Anastasia Borisova/Pixabay

Let’s face it, big cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Seville are full of culture and events, but they’re also extremely busy and noisy. If you’re looking for a quieter pace of life that’s more laidback, then Cuenca could be just the place. Located in central Spain in the region of Castilla-La Mancha, Cuenca is a stunning city, set atop a dramatic gorge and with ancient houses clinging to the cliff faces, known as the Casas Colgadas or Hanging Houses. Cuenca Town Hall has recently launched a new initiative called Cuenca Teletrabajo Friendly, which aims to make Cuenca the perfect city for remote workers and digital nomads to base themselves. There will be an online event on November 22nd at 10am Spanish time for people who want to learn all about it here 

Best for culture buffs – Madrid

madrid digital nomad

Madrid is more expensive on average as it’s the capital, but it has so much to see and do that you’ll never be bored. Photo: Juan Gómez/Unsplash

If culture is the main factor when you’re moving around the world, then it’s hard to find somewhere with more cultural spots than the Spanish capital – Madrid. Whether it’s art museums, live music, theatre or nightlife, Madrid has it all. It may be one of the most expensive cities to live as a digital nomad in Spain but it can’t be beaten for its infectious vibe. Madrid is also a great place to learn Spanish with countless language schools and is rising in popularity among remote workers, meaning you’ll find lots of digital nomad events and co-working spaces too.

Best for foodies – Granada

digital nomad granada

Eating out in Granada can be a daily thing as it’s so cheap and enjoyable. Photo: Hiki Liu/Unsplash

Cuisine may indeed be one of the reasons you choose to move to Spain and if that’s the case, then why not live in the famous free tapas capital of the country – Granada? That’s right, you get a free plate of tapa every time you order a drink in Granada and in some places, they’re so elaborate they’re almost like mini meals. Granada is also a great university city with a good atmosphere, lots of great bars and friendly locals. Add this to one of Spain’s best architectural sites – the UNESCO-listed Alhambra and you’ll soon see why it’s a good choice. Granada has a wide array of cheap co-working places and local authorities are looking to attract more digital nomads to its city and the surrounding villages.

READ ALSO: Where can you get free tapas in Spain?

Member comments

  1. What about Zaragoza? It is a beautiful city, with great Bars and Restaurants. The University is very IT oriented. The pace of life is whatever you want: noisy vibrant Tubas but lovely peaceful tree shaded squares as well.

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WORKING IN SPAIN

Men earn 21 percent more than women in Spain

The gender wage gap is still a problem in Spain and not only do women earn less than men, but twice as many women are also low-paid employees.

Men earn 21 percent more than women in Spain

Women earn on average 21 percent less than men in Spain and they are in the minority when it comes to the highest wage brackets, according to recent data from Spain’s National Statistics Institute’s (INE) Active Population Survey.

The survey also found that the number of female employees with the lowest salaries is double that of men. This is due to the fact that women still do the majority of the low-paid work in Spain.

And it seems the situation is not improving. The gender wage gap has barely narrowed by six points since 2006 and has even increased by two points since 2020 when the difference was 19 percent.

Men earned an average of €2,276 per month in 2021, while women earned €1,883 per month or €393 less.

The wage gap widens even further when it comes to salaries in the highest-paid jobs. One in three men received a high salary compared with one in four women the study found.

When looking at the lowest salaries – considered to be less than €1,376 –, 40.5 percent of women received below this amount compared to only 20.2 percent of men.

According to researcher Florentino Felgueroso at the Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (FEDEA) women in Spain are often less skilled and have low-paid jobs because the burden of childcare, as well as care for the elderly, usually falls on them.

The jobs held by women in Spain are also some of the most precarious. According to data from the INE, the lowest-paid jobs are in domestic work as cleaners or care workers and 90 percent of these are women.

The study found that this is also true of the second lowest-paid jobs in the hospitality industry and admin sector.

At the other end of the scale are the highest-paid industries – one of which is electric and gas workers, where there 30 percent more men employed than women. There are also twice as many more men than women working in the information and communications sector, another industry with high salaries.

Among the poorest workers, 10 percent of men earn a salary of €595, while the poorest 10 percent of women receive just €562. On the other side of the spectrum, the richest 10 percent of men earn €5,130 per month, compared to €5,029 per month for women.  

Another factor that widens the pay gap the study discovered is that there are six times more women with part-time contracts than men in Spain – 22 percent compared to just 6.6 percent.  

Spain’s gender pay gap is higher than the EU average of 13 percent according to the latest data from the European Commission.   

The latest data available for France shows that men earn on average 16 percent more than women while in Germany it stands at 18 percent. 

According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics the latest data from April 2022 showed that men earned 8.3 percent more than women.

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