Why Americans Move to Barcelona (and What’s Important to Them)

Why Americans Move to Barcelona (and What's Important to Them) 1 Why Americans Move to Barcelona (and What's Important to Them)

Why Americans Move to Barcelona (and What’s Important to Them)


Have you ever been to Barcelona? If you have, then you probably know the answer to the question: Why Americans move to Barcelona? Even if the question were: Why anybody from any part of the world moves to Barcelona? the answer would probably be the same: Because it’s Barcelona we are talking about! It is one of those magical cities nobody can stay immune to. But, getting to know Catalan capital as a tourist is a completely different experience from moving there. Now, let’s take a closer look at the reasons why Americans decide to move to Barcelona.

Why do people fall in love with Barcelona?

Spain is a country with a long, dramatic history and stunning natural beauty. From the long, golden, sandy beaches Costa Brava has to offer, to the gorgeous mountains of Andalucia, you will hardly be able to decide what you liked more. Barcelona is a modern, vibrant city that takes special pride in its history and famous architecture. The sunny weather all-year-round is a reason enough for people who come from colder areas to flock to this paradise. Barcelona is also famous for its restaurants and bars serving exquisite traditional food. The friendly locals will only fulfill the picture and make any holiday spent in this amazing city a memorable one. Now it is easier to see why many people decide to stay here.

People drinking cerveza

Tourists just love the Barcelona nightlife

Business opportunities

At the moment, Barcelona’s economy is recovering after being struck by global economic crises. The unemployment rates are dropping and things are looking up for graduates and unskilled workers who suffered the most during the crisis. The industries that are offering great opportunities are:

  • tourism – with so many people anxious to experience the Catalan capital’s charms, tourism workers should never stay out of work;
  • teaching – English teachers are always in demand in any non-English speaking metropolis, Barcelona is no different;
  • renewable energy engineering – it would be irresponsible to let those countless hours of sunshine go to waste. If this is your field of interest and moving to Europe has been your dream, maybe it is time to think about moving specialists who can organize and help you relocate from the USA to Spain!
  • medicine – another thriving industry that is attracting specialists from all over the world.

Even though the job market is much healthier than it was in previous years, the living standard still cannot be compared to the one in the USA. So, what is it that attracts the US citizens to move to another continent and have a lower salary for the same job they would perform back home? It’s the laid-back attitude towards work. The Spanish people celebrate 14 holidays within a year, and their paid holiday leaves last for 30 days! When you add that to the fact that the working week lasts for 40 hours only and that a working day never exceeds 9 hours, you will get a clear answer. Many US citizens would gladly leave their highly paid stressful jobs for more modest, laid-back posts and numerous off days.

Starting a new business here might be a challenge. You will have to cope with more than complicated paperwork. But, it is important to do it right. Just like you need to understand moving documentation so that you do not fall victim to a moving scam when relocating, you should take your time to study all the requirements for opening your own business in Barcelona.

Barcelona is a great place for raising a family

When you visit Barcelona for the first time, you will notice that kids go to bed a lot later than they would in many other countries. The days are longer and sunnier in Spain and it would be such a waste to spend them inside. That is why parents put their kids to bed usually after 10 pm. Seeing a child in a restaurant or a bar at night is also a common sight since Spaniards practice late dining and almost all of their restaurants are family-friendly.

Kid in a restaurant drinking milkshake

Almost every restaurant is family friendly


Expat families usually have no trouble fitting in this society since the locals are very warm and welcoming to families with children. One major difference that can hardly be overseen is that in Barcelona (and the rest of the country) children start attending school at a very early age – they are just three years old. That can be very convenient for parents who do not have many babysitting options. Also, such an early start is beneficial for children coming from English speaking families since the parents do not have to worry about their child being able to learn a new language. The age they are at is perfect for acquiring any new skill that is presented to them.

High standards of healthcare are also a plus for families moving to Barcelona from other countries. The health system is not among the most organized and quickest in the world but in comparison with the USA, it is so much more humane.

Americans move to Barcelona for education too

Barcelona has many international schools that are great for parents who would like their children to be (or remain) bilingual. The Spanish education system is significantly different from the one in the States. Schools are mainly state-funded, but of course, there are many private options too. Primary education lasts for 6 years and after that kids move on to another four years of obligatory secondary education. When students are 16 they can either leave high school or continue their preparations for college, art school or vocational training.

What many Americans love about the Spanish school system is that it has a rather casual feel in comparison to the States. The dress code is not so strict and children have their two-hour lunch breaks when they can really relax and socialize.

Young Americans move to Barcelona for education

Many young Americans move to Barcelona for education

Many young Americans come to Barcelona in search of education for themselves. Spain offers some great colleges and top universities that are not only located in Barcelona but throughout the entire country.

Some Americans move to Barcelona to cut down the living expenses

It is true that the average living costs in Spain are lower than the ones in the USA. But, naturally, living in a metropolis such as Barcelona cannot be cheap. If we take a look at the real estate market, we will notice that the housing prices are similar to those back home (when we compare similar regions). On the other hand, renting prices are much lower than the American average. When you move to Barcelona, you might be able to live within a walking distance from the ocean while paying only 25% of the amount you used to spend on your NYC rent. Plus, you’ll be living in Europe where everything is near!

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