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The beautiful Spanish city named best for British expats – but it’s nowhere near a beach | Travel News | Travel

A gorgeous European city has been named one of the best places for British expats to down roots due to its vibe, culture and lower cost of living prices. The capital city of Spain, Madrid, is one of the most popular choices among expats.

That’s according to Can Travel Will Travel, a review blog site which says: “No matter what time of the day it is, the city is buzzing and there is always something going on.

“Living in Madrid feels like you are having the authentic Spanish experience without even having to try. You won’t have any shortages finding things to do between the theatres, museums, and incredible tapas bars that line the streets.”

The growing number of people opting to live here is down to a wide range of factors, with a predominant English speaking community making it less of a language barrier for those who don’t speak Spanish.

A hotter climate is one of the obvious reasons expats are choosing life in this stunning city, but for others it’s also a home-from-home culture which many may take comfort from.

The culture in the Spanish capital somewhat mirrors the UK including the love for football, a pub culture, and an appreciation for a good cup of tea.

Expats have a much easier time finding jobs in Spain if they speak the language fluently. But, there are still roles available for English speakers, particularly with larger companies in the major cities that target an international audience.

It is reported that the average life expectancy in the Spanish capital is 84 while the monthly cost of living estimate is far lower than many pay in the UK, at £578.

The current estimate is that 520,177 of Madrid’s residents are expats – which means people taking the plunge to live here will be able to latch on to an expat community fairly easily, making the crossover a little less daunting. It’s also reported that Madrid has more cloud-less days than any other European city.

Apart from this, the city has many tourist attraction spots such as the Royal Palace, a living testament to Spain’s regal history, and the artistic treasures of the Prado Museum.

But for those seeking a new home with a sea view may not be opting to come to Madrid, due to its prominent location right smack in the middle of mainland Spain. In fact, it’s so landlocked that the nearest coastline is some 200 miles away.

The nearest beaches to Madrid are in the popular coastal holiday spot of Valencia, Spain’s third largest city. The AVE high speed trains make a trip to the seaside possible in an hour and 40 minutes.

British expats cannot move to Spain without a valid visa, as one of the post-Brexit changes to how UK nationals can travel, live and work throughout Europe. Non-European Union citizens that successfully apply for a residence permit receive a blue or pink identification card.

Short-term visas, or Schengen visas, allow visitors to travel to Spain for up to 180 days, whereas a long-term visa is suitable if you plan to live in Spain permanently or for over one year.

The rules around immigration and residency are dealt with by the Ministerio de Asuntos and Ministerio del Interior. You will need a visa or residency permit to take up employment, buy or sell a vehicle, purchase a home, register to pay taxes and use social security systems such as healthcare.

Professionals and working expats can apply for a work visa through the Ministerio de Trabajo y Economía Social. They must have a confirmed offer of employment and contract from a registered Spanish company.

Rules vary between the autonomous regions, each with a Work and Immigration office that issues work permits and handles renewal applications.


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