Your guide to being an expatriate in Spain

Caffeinate Your Spain Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Spain is a mesmerizing country located in the south-western part of Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It has a long and eventful history, with influences from the Romans, Muslims, and Christians shaping its culture and architecture over the centuries. Spain's modern-day appeal lies in its stunning landscapes, enchanting cities, and fascinating art and music. Sports enthusiasts can partake in traditional sports such as bullfighting, basketball, and football, while foodies can indulge in traditional dishes like paella, tapas, and churros con chocolate. With an estimated population of 47 million people, Spain is home to a diverse mix of ethnicities and cultures, with Castilian and Catalan being the two most commonly spoken languages.


Expat destinations in Spain

Demographics of Spain:

Ethnic groups

Spain is predominantly European, with significant populations of Moroccans, Romanians, Ecuadorians, and Colombians. Approximately 86% of the population identifies as Catholic, while smaller percentages of the population follow Protestantism, Islam, and others.


Castilian Spanish is the official language, and Catalan and Basque are recognized regional languages. English, French, and German are commonly spoken in tourist areas and major cities.

Religion Overview

Spain is predominantly Catholic, with the religion's order being recognized as a state institution. Religion plays a significant role in Spanish culture, and many religious festivals and events are celebrated throughout the country.

Major Religions


Spain's climate is varied, with the north being characterized by rainy and cool weather, while the center is mild, and the south is hot and dry. The Mediterranean coastline enjoys a temperate climate year-round, with mild winters and hot summers.

Economy Overview

Spain is a high-income economy, with one of the largest economies in Europe. The country's economy is diversified, comprised of industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, technology, and tourism. Spanish companies such as Banco Santander, Telefónica, and IAG (International Airlines Group) are prominent global players in their respective industries.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture (e.g., cork, olive oil, wine, fruit)
  • Manufacturing (e.g., automotive, textiles, electronics)
  • Technology (e.g., telecommunications, software development)
  • Tourism (e.g., beach resorts, cultural landmarks, gastronomy)

Major Companies

  • Banco Santander
  • Telefónica
  • IAG (International Airlines Group)
  • Repsol
  • Inditex (Zara)

Culture and Language Overview

Spain's culture is a compelling mix of heritage and modernity, with traditional festivals like La Tomatina andRunning of the Bulls being celebrated alongside innovative art, music, and design. The Spanish language is diverse, with Castilian Spanish and Catalan being the official languages, and Basque, Galician, and Aragonese being recognized regional languages.

Cultural Highlights

  • Paella (rice dish with chicken, saffron, and peas)
  • Tapas (small dishes, typically eaten as appetizers)
  • Churros con Chocolate (fried dough pastry served with a thick hot chocolate dip)
  • La Tomatina (tomato-throwing festival)
  • Running of the Bulls (festival in Pamplona and other locations)
  • The Alhambra (historic fortress and palace complex in Granada)
  • Park Guell (public park with sculpture and architecture works)
  • Picasso Museum (art museum dedicated to the works of Pablo Picasso)
  • Flamenco (a traditional music and dance genre)
  • Sebastian Faulks (a British novelist based in Spain)

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Spain's geography comprises diverse landscapes ranging from the rugged mountains of the north to the stunning beaches of the south. The country's major landmarks include fortresses, castles, cathedrals, and other architectural marvels.

Notable Landmarks

  • Alhambra in Granada
  • Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa
  • Catedral de León
  • La Sagrada Familia (under construction church in Barcelona)
  • Poble Espanyol (an open-air museum in Barcelona)
  • Puerto Banús (marina in Marbella)
  • Santillana del Mar (beautiful town in Cantabria)
  • Navagio Beach (also known as Shipwreck Beach in Zakynthos, Greece)
  • Bodegas Ysios (a futuristic wine-cellar building in Rioja)
  • Playa de las Conchas (a beach in Santillana del Mar)

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Día de Reyes (Three Kings' Day, January 6)
  • Good Friday
  • Holy Saturday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Easter Monday
  • May Day (May 1)
  • Saint John's Day (June 24)
  • San Jose's Day (March 19)
  • Spain's National Day (October 12)
  • Aragonese festival (in late September/early October)

Political Stability

Spain is a parliamentary democracy, governed by a constitution that promotes political and civil rights. While the country has experienced political instability in recent years, it remains a prosperous and stable member of the European Union.

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