This post was written by Adam, a featured guest writer on this blog. Adam is a Canadian travel blogger who currently resides in Bilbao, Spain. He's had the privilege of experiencing the digital nomad lifestyle across multiple cities in Spain. In this post, Adam will cover why Spain is an excellent option for digital nomads, and he'll delve deeper by analyzing the pros and cons of the six best Spanish cities to work remotely from.
Affiliate Disclosure: If you make a purchase through a link, I may earn a wee commission at no additional cost to you. I promise I’ll use that $ to keep this blog running and to treat myself to some delicious Spanish tapas & paella. Cheers!
- Why Spain Is A Great Destination For Digital Nomads
- Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa
- Getting To Spain
- And That's A Wrap
- Connect With Adam
Why Spain is a Great Destination for Digital Nomads
Being a digital nomad allows for a flexible work schedule, the ability to work from anywhere, and the opportunity to experience new cultures and traditions. The digital nomad lifestyle offers a perfect balance between work and play. In this article, we will explore the best cities in Spain for digital nomads. What makes them so great, what to consider before going, and Spain’s new digital nomad visa.
Spain is an ideal destination for digital nomads because of its vibrant culture, rich history, and laid-back lifestyle. The cost of living is also more affordable compared to some of the other major European countries. The warm weather, stunning coastlines and flavourful cuisine make Spain a highly desirable place to live, work, and explore.
Spain’s Digital Nomad Visa
Spain has released a brand-new visa option for digital nomads. The visa launched in January 2023 and is geared towards digital professionals whose work is not bound by location.
The Digital Nomad Visa is essentially a residence permit that allows non-European Union nationals to reside and work remotely in Spain for up to one year. Thankfully, there is also a possibility of extending the permit up to five years.
This visa is essentially a residence permit that allows non-European Union nationals to reside and work remotely in Spain for up to one year, with the possibility of extending the permit up to five years.
To be eligible, you must meet several criteria, including being self-employed or working for a non-Spanish company that operates outside Spain. You also have to have a minimum monthly income ranging between €2,000 and €3,000.
You must not have a criminal record in Spain or any country where you have had residence in the past five years. Furthermore, you have to provide your own private health insurance and prove that you have a place to live in Spain, with sufficient financial resources to support yourself.
Pros of being a digital nomad in Malaga
Malaga has a warm climate and plenty of beautiful beaches, which will appeal to digital nomads who enjoy the outdoors. The city has over 300 days of sunshine per year, and its beaches are known for their crystal-clear waters and soft sand.
Some of the most popular coworking spaces in Malaga include COWorking Málaga, La Guarida Creativa, and HUB Malaga. The city's digital nomad community is friendly and supportive, which makes it easy to connect with like-minded people and collaborate on projects.
The city is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, and there are several museums dedicated to his life and work, such as the Picasso Museum and the Birthplace Museum. Malaga also has a beautiful historic center with charming streets, plazas, and churches.
Malaga is known for its fresh seafood, Mediterranean flavors, and local specialties like pescaíto frito. This dish is made of small fish and seafood that are coated in flour and deep-fried in olive oil. Malaga is a smart option for digital nomads who love good food and drink without the high cost of being in Madrid or Barcelona.
Cons of being a digital nomad in Malaga
Malaga is a popular tourist destination and is one of the fastest growing cities in Spain, which can make it crowded and busy, especially during peak season. This can make it harder to find affordable accommodation and enjoy some of the city's most popular attractions.
Pros of being a digital nomad in Bilbao
Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque region of Spain. It is known for its modern architecture, rich and unique Basque cultural heritage, with an excellent culinary scene.
Bilbao is a great destination for digital nomads who value modern architecture, and cultural immersion. It is also where I call home. The city has many notable architectural landmarks, such as the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Alhondiga, and the Zubizuri Bridge. Bilbao has an excellent food and beverage scene, with many traditional Basque pintxos bars and fine dining restaurants.
The city also has many coworking spaces, including Icaza coworking, and Zwap. There is also a Santander Work Café located at Moyua Plaza, which is centrally located in the heart of downtown.
Bilbao provides immersion into both Spanish and Basque cultures. It is a lively city with a lot going on without it feeling overwhelming. Digital nomads can take advantage of networking and business growth opportunities, as the city has one of the strongest local economies in Spain.
Bilbao is also only a 90-minute drive to France, making it a great launchpad for exploiting another country. You can be exploring Biarritz, France, located along the coast in 90 minutes. Bordeaux is only a three and a half hour drive away.
Cons of being a digital nomad in Bilbao
Bilbao can be rainy and overcast. Less English is spoken in Bilbao compared to some other larger Spanish cities, which can pose a challenge for some digital nomads. That being said, I am nowhere close to being fluent in Spanish nor Basque, and I don’t find it a problem often.
Pros of Being a Digital Nomad in Madrid
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a bustling city that has something for everyone. It has a rich history, excellent food, and a vibrant nightlife. The city is also known for its beautiful architecture and art museums. Exploring places like Plaza Mayor, Retiro Park, and Gran Via are sure to inspire.
Madrid has excellent coworking spaces in many different parts of the city, Some of the most popular coworking spaces include Impact Hub Madrid, La Terminal, and Utopicus. Madrid’s nomad community is vibrant and welcoming. It is full of opportunities to connect with like minded individuals and join forces for exciting collaborations.
Madrid is located in the center of Spain, which makes it an ideal base for exploring other parts of the country. The city has an excellent transportation system that includes high-speed trains to Barcelona, Zaragoza and Valencia. For digital nomads who want to travel and work from different locations, Madrid is a convenient and well-connected homebase.
Cons of Being a Digital Nomad in Madrid
Madrid is a large and busy city, which means that it can get crowded and traffic can be heavy. This can make getting around the city more challenging.
Madrid can be quite noisy, especially in the city center, which may not be ideal for digital nomads who prefer quieter and more natural environments.
Pros of Being a Digital Nomad in Valencia
Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain, is a modern and cosmopolitan city known for its beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean. The cost of living in Valencia is affordable, and the city has great coworking spaces including, Vortex Playa, Garage Coworking, and Regus.
The city's old town is home to historic buildings, plazas, and markets, such as the Mercado Central. Valencia is also famous for its futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex, which houses a science museum, planetarium, and aquarium. It is also home to the largest city park in Spain, Turia Park.
Valencian food is amazing and is considered the birthplace of paella. If you have never tried paella, you are missing out. This rice and seafood dish is one of the most famous and mouth-watering dishes in Spain.
Cons of Being a Digital Nomad in Valencia
The summer heat in Valencia can be intense. The humidity can also be high, making it feel even hotter. Less English is spoken compared to larger cities like Madrid and Barcelona.
Pros of Being a Digital Nomad in Granada
Granada is a smaller city known for its beautiful islamic architecture and free tapas. It is sure to appeal to digital nomads who value cultural immersion and historic charm.
The city's beautiful historic architecture, including the Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provides a stunning backdrop for digital nomads looking for inspiration.
The cost of living in Granada is affordable, and one of the cheaper places to go out for drinks and meals. A cool thing about Granada is the tapa culture. In many establishments if you order a drink they will give you a complimentary tapa. The tapas are larger than in other regions of Spain. It is possible to have your lunch or dinner for free if you have a couple of drinks.
There are a variety of coworking spaces in Granada including, Coworking La Variable, CoFamily Cowrking and CoWork.
Cons of Being a Digital Nomad in Granada
Granada isn’t on the coast. If you want to beach it, you are going to have to drive 45–60 minutes to get to the Mediterranean Sea.
While Granada offers a unique and charming experience, the city’s smaller size can limit networking opportunities compared to larger cities like Madrid or Barcelona.
Pros of Being a Digital Nomad in Barcelona
Barcelona, the Catalan capital and one of the most popular cities in Spain. It is known for its stunning beaches, museums, sporting events and its strong artistic tradition. For digital nomads who want to experience both Spanish and Catalan culture, Barcelona is an excellent choice.
Barcelona has a thriving tech scene, with many startups and established companies calling the city home. There are plenty of coworking spaces where digital nomads can network, collaborate, and find inspiration. Some of the most well-known coworking spaces in Barcelona include MOB, Betahaus, and Aticco.
Cons of Being a Digital Nomad in Barcelona
The cost of living in Barcelona is higher compared to other Spanish cities. It can be crowded at times and the touristy areas can make some people feel overwhelmed. During peak tourist season, it can be more difficult to find a quiet place to work.
Getting To Spain
Thinking about living in Spain as a digital nomad? Check out some of your flights options to Spain below with Skyscanner.
And That’s A Wrap!
When deciding where to stay as part of your digital nomad journey, Spain is strongly worth considering. I have been here for a while now and I love it. And if you get the digital nomad visa, you can come and go whenever you want, legally.
Spain offers digital nomads the perfect combination of work and play. It is an ideal destination for digital nomads because of its vibrant culture, rich history, and laid-back lifestyle.