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How is it to live the perfect expat life in CREC Coworking Barcelona?

Are you moving to the metropolis of Barcelona? I am Sophie Bruurs, coworker from CREC Coworking Barcelona, can tell you like no other what it is like to end up as an expat in the second largest city of Spain!


Sophie Bruurs, coworker de CREC Coworking Barcelona


I’m Sophie, coworker from CREC Coworking Barcelona, and I am going to introduce myself…

Hola, my name is Sophie! I am from the Netherlands and I am 24 years old. I already have about 1,5 years of Spanish experience abroad. When I was 18 years old, I lived in Barcelona for five months for an internship during my education. This past year, I moved to Spain for my job as an internship specialist in AE Internships; I lived in Madrid for five months and in Barcelona for three months. Through this blog, I can tell you exactly what it is like to live in the amazing city of Barcelona as an expat. Hopefully this blog will decisive for you and before you know it, you will also be a proud inhabitant of the greatest city in Spain!




Many expats choose to move to Spain, which of course is not surprising. About 50 million tourists a year visit this country for holidays. This makes Spain the most visited country in the world. This is mainly due to the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. However, this is not the only thing Spain has to offer. The most popular city trip city in Spain is Barcelona, which is often visited by young and old. Spain is also popular for students, every year thousands of students move to Spain. This is mainly for internships but also to study at the highly regarded universities.


My experiece


Everyone has been in Barcelona, for a city trip, a day trip or a long holiday. Barcelona is a city where you will easily find your way as an expat. More than 300.000 expats live in Barcelona, which is 20% of the total number of inhabitants. This is partly due to the fact that large companies are located here because Barcelona has an important port and the quality of life attracts many expats and multinationals. There is enough to do in Barcelona, think of the many attractions such as all the special works of Gaudi, a beautiful park namely; Parc de la Ciutadella, La Ramblas and of course the famous beach of Barceloneta. With 4,5 km of sandy beach, this also attracts many people.


La coworker de CREC Eixample, Sophie Bruurs

“More than 300.000 expats live in Barcelona, which is 20% of the total number of inhabitants”


Barcelona has nice neighborhoods with narrow streets, my favorite barrios are El Born and El Gòtico. These districts are filled with boutiques and cosy tapas bars. It is also great to see the view over Barcelona from different highlights. Think of the Bunkers el Carmel, Montjuic, Tibidabo, Park Guell or different rooftop bars like Edition hotel. It’s also nice to get away from the busy city from time to time and visit some of the quieter coastal towns that are easily accessible by train. These are villages where the Catalans can also be found to avoid the hustle and bustle of Barceloneta beach during summer. In my opinion Sitges, Calafell and Calella are the best ones. If you are a nature lover, I would definitely recommend going to the 1,236 m high Montserrat mountain. This is really worth a day trip and is one of the highest mountains near Barcelona.

The nightlife in Barcelona is vibrant, there are big clubs like Shoko, Opium and Pacha but the smaller bars at Passeig del Born are my favorite. There are also plenty of parties at the beach until early in the morning. In short, a wonderful city to live in where you will definitely never be bored.


Finding a job


When searching a job in Barcelona, you have to take into account the current crisis and the fact that jobs in Spain are not easy to come by. However, as a cosmopolitan city, Barcelona also attracts many national and international companies and has become an important start-up hub in recent years. This of course offers many opportunities for expats, entrepreneurs and self-employed people. In addition, there are also many jobs in the hotel and catering industry, where especially people with a multilingual profile have extra chances. It is important to keep in mind that salaries in Spain are a lower than in other European countries.


El trabajador de AE Internships, Antonie Molenaar

“Barcelona also attracts many national and international companies and has become an important start-up hub in recent years.”


Making the final move


When you decide to move to Barcelona, there are a lot of things that you have to deal with. From arranging practical matters like insurances and contracts, or finding a new home, to getting used to a new culture and language.

There are a number of things that need your attention, such as deregistering with your municipality and cancelling all contracts and subscriptions at home. Once in Barcelona, you need to find a suitable house, apply for your NIE number, register with the municipality, open a Spanish bank account and arrange a Spanish telephone number. After all the paperwork, you can really start to enjoy your life in Barcelona. Apart from that, I can add my experience in CREC Coworking Barcelona which allows me to avoid working fom home. That helps a lot to keep my job and my personal life apart!

If you are moving to Barcelona temporarily for an internship, language course or Erasmus program, then as a European citizen you can simply take your passport and suitcase to Barcelona and start looking for a place to live immediately. Make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in case you need to see a doctor. If you are planning to stay in Barcelona for more than 3 months and have a job on the side, you will need to apply for a NIE number and follow all the procedures to be allowed to work in Spain.

Now you are ready to move to Barcelona.
Just do it, like me! We will wait for you in CREC Coworking Barcelona! 😉

Sophie Bruurs

My name is Sophie from the Netherlands and I’m working for the internship agency AE Internships. People describe me as a skilled self-starter who is decisive and loves to take risks. I’m always looking for big challenges while constantly staying in contact with people.

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