Spain Digital Nomad Visa Guide (2023)

Imagine going to the beach, swimming in the sea, and enjoying a glass of homemade sangria, cerveza, or refreshing juice after a long and tiring workday. 

It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

Well, dreams can come true thanks to the new Spain digital nomad visa — i.e. the Spanish Startup Act from 2022. 

The act mentioned above enables digital nomads from all over the world to come and work in Spain — and it also regulates their rights and responsibilities.

To help you better understand everything about the Spain digital nomad visa program, we have prepared this comprehensive guide. 

In our guide, you will find out more about: 

  • Rules and procedures for coming to live and work in Spain as a digital nomad, 
  • Benefits and drawbacks of living as a digital nomad in Spain
  • Best destinations in Spain for digital nomads, and 
  • Tips for living and working in Spain

Let’s get started!

Spain digital nomad visa guide - cover

Quick digital nomad visa facts for Spain

Before we explain everything in detail about Spain digital nomad visa program, let’s check out quick digital nomad visa facts for Spain. 

Spain visa questionsSpain visa answers
Does Spain have a digital nomad visa?Spain still does not have an official digital nomad visa. However, the rights and responsibilities of digital nomads are regulated by the Startup Act from 2022.  
Who can apply for the Spain digital nomad visa?– Anyone of non-EEA/non-EU nationality employed by a company registered outside Spain who needs an internet connection to work

– Self-employed internet workers whose incomes come from abroad or at most 20% of income comes from Spanish-registered companies

– Anyone who meets the other criteria stated later in the guide under the subheading Who is eligible to apply for Spain’s digital nomad visa?  
How much does Spain’s digital nomad visa cost? €80 (~$85)
Spain’s digital nomad visa length? 1 year 
Minimum stay requirement? At least 6 months per year
Possible to extend the visa?Yes, up to 5 years
Minimum income requirements? €2,332 (~$2,501) per month
Processing time for visa application?20 calendar days 
Can I apply for a digital nomad visa with family members?Yes, but only with your spouse and children 

What to expect as a digital nomad in Spain?

According to the available data, you can expect the following as a digital nomad in Spain. 

Spain digital nomad FAQSpain digital nomad answers
Average Internet speed: – Median download speed — 168.63 Mbps  
– Median upload speed — 114.09 Mbps
Best coworking space (highest Google rating and number of voters):OneCoWork Plaça Catalunya |
Barcelona Coworking (4.8 stars from 216 voters)
Friendly to foreigners: Yes, people are sociable, respectful, and used to tourists
Most popular place for digital nomads in Spain:Barcelona — it has been one of the main destinations for digital nomads for many years and locals are used to foreigners.
Weather in Spain’s most popular place for digital nomads:Average annual temperature — ​​21.2°C (70.2°F);

Coldest month average temperatures (January) — 9°C–15°C (48°F–59°F)

Hottest month average temperatures (July) — 22°C–29°C (71,5°F–84,2°F)
195 sunny days;

170 cloudy days;

Mild winters and summers, no large temperature fluctuations. 
Type of climate:Mediterranean
Annual air quality average:US AQI 44 (good quality, no health hazards) 

PM2.5 — 2.1x the WHO annual air quality guideline value (good)
Average cost of living: – Family of four: Around €2800 (~$2964) per month

– Single person: €887 (~$952,72) – €1,100 (~$1181) per month
Average coworking space cost: €165 (~$176) per month
Crime per 100k population:95.6
World Health Organization (WHO)’s ranking of Spain’s healthcare system:8th place
Interesting fact for digital nomads:Although Barcelona is still the most popular place for digital nomads, Malaga has become one of the new Silicon Valleys of Europe.

Spain digital nomad visa

For now, there is only one type of Spain digital nomad visa. It is valid for a year, and it can be renewed for up to 5 years. 

However, it is possible to get a digital nomad visa that is valid for 3 years from the very beginning — if you apply for it directly from Spain after you have received the so-called tourist visa. 

What documents do you need to apply for the Spain digital nomad visa?

Regarding the documents you need to apply for the Spain digital nomad visa, they are slightly different than those you need for other visa applications

According to the Startup Act, these are the documents you need to apply to get a digital nomad visa for Spain:

  • A passport,
  • The filled-out visa application form, 
  • Proof you have paid the corresponding application fees,
  • The document or the contract that proves that you have been working with the same company or a client for at least 3 months prior to Spain digital nomad visa application, 
  • A contract with the same company/client that is valid for at least 1 more year
  • A criminal record certificate, 
  • Proof that you have at least 3 years of relevant work experience before applying for a Spain digital nomad visa or diploma from a prestigious school or university, and
  • The certificate that proves you have at least €25,000 (~$26,821) in your bank account at the moment of application. If your spouse and children want to come with you and live in Spain, you will need to have an additional amount of €9,441 (~$10,100) per person in your account.

In addition, if you are a freelancer, you will need to have a contract with at least one company from abroad that clearly states you can work remotely. 

On the other hand, if you are not a freelancer but work for a particular foreign company, you need proof that the company has existed for at least a year prior to your application — and that your company allows you to work remotely. 

During the application process, both freelancers and nomads employed by companies will need to submit proof that they have found accommodation and have purchased private health insurance in Spain. 

Who is eligible to apply for Spain’s digital nomad visa?

The Spain digital nomad visa is intended for professionals from countries outside the EU and the EEA (European Economic Area) who work remotely and need an internet connection to do so. 

Applicants who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for Spain’s digital nomad visa:

  • Self-employed or employed by a company registered outside Spain.
  • Has a clean criminal record. 
  • Has not been a resident of Spain during the five years prior to their application.
  • Has proof that they have found accommodation in Spain.
  • Has purchased Spanish private health insurance before settling.
  • If they cooperate with Spanish companies, their income from the cooperation is not more than 20% of their general income.

Are you eligible if you are a United States citizen?

Yes, as a United States citizen, you are eligible for the Spain digital nomad visa. 

However, to get the nomad visa, you must fulfill the aforementioned requirements and go through the process we will mention below.  

Are you eligible if you are a US Green Card holder?

Yes, you are eligible to apply for the Spanish digital nomad visa if you are a US Green Card holder. It is still paramount that you are a non-EU or non-EEA citizen and that you meet the criteria mentioned above. 

Also, be aware that your Green Card expires if you remain outside the US for more than 1 year, and getting another one can be pretty difficult. 

Hence, think twice before settling permanently in another country as a US Green Card holder. 

Are you eligible if you are an EU citizen?

A digital nomad visa is intended for non-EU and non-EEA citizens. 

Therefore, as an EU citizen, you are not eligible to apply for the Spain digital nomad visa. 

However, there is an alternative that is even better for digital nomads who come from the European Union or Schengen area. 

Namely, they can stay and work in Spain for up to three months without registration. 

Most importantly, you can extend your stay for the period of your contract duration or as long as you have enough funds in your bank account by:

Are you eligible if you reside in any other country?

Yes, you are eligible to apply for Spain digital nomad visa even if you reside in any other country. 

As long as you are not an EU or EEA citizen, you can go through the process of getting a Spanish digital nomad visa.  

However, once you get to Spain, you would be registered there, so your former temporary residence permit might not be valid anymore. 

How do I get a digital nomad visa for Spain?

You can get your digital nomad visa for Spain by applying for it in the Spanish Embassies, online, or personally, from Spain.

By submitting the appropriate abovementioned documentation, you officially begin the process of applying for a Spanish digital nomad visa. The response time is short — you’ll likely get the answer in no more than 20 days

If the answer is positive, you will need to go to the police office in the Spanish city where you want to live and register yourself. 

After that, the police will give you the so-called residency card, and that’s it — the process is over! 

Is it hard to get a digital nomad visa for Spain?

Getting a digital nomad visa for Spain is not hard as long as you meet the requirements we mentioned above. 

Of course, it is essential to submit the appropriate documents and get useful legal advice from relevant sources. 

Watch out not to forget any required documents, because it can result in a negative answer. 

Can I live in Spain without a digital nomad visa while working remotely?

Yes, there is a possibility to work remotely and live in Spain, without having a digital nomad visa. 

Digital nomads from the following countries do not have to apply for any kind of work visa during their 3-month stay in Spain:

  • Japan, 
  • Israel, 
  • Canada, 
  • the USA, 
  • Switzerland, 
  • Australia, 
  • New Zealand, and 
  • The EU/EEA countries. 

However, after 3 months they need to register their residence in order to prolong their stay. 

On the other hand, remote workers from the countries not mentioned above must apply for a Spanish digital nomad visa or some alternative visa type we have mentioned below. 

Spanish digital nomad visa lasts for a year if you’ve applied for it outside Spain, and after that period, you can extend it up to 4 more years. 

On the other hand, if you’ve applied for a visa from Spain, it lasts 3 years, and after the second year, it can be renewed. 

After you spend 5 years in Spain, you get the right to permanent residency that makes you equal to any other employee born in Spain. 

What other types of visas suitable for digital nomads does Spain offer? 

If you want to move to Spain but do not meet the criteria for a digital nomad visa, we recommend you check out the following types of visas: 

  • Employee visa
  • Entrepreneur visa, and  
  • EU Blue Card

Type #1: Employee visa for Spain

To apply for the Employee visa, you need to have a signed work contract with a Spanish company.  

To get the Employee visa, you need to submit the following documents: 

  • Your passport, 
  • Visa application form,
  • Proof that you have paid the visa application fees, 
  • A standard passport photograph,
  • A work contract, 
  • Original and copy of the document called AUTORIZACIÓN DE RESIDENCIA Y TRABAJO POR CUENTA AJENA (Residence and work authorization for employees),  
  • A copy and the original clear criminal record certificate (not older than 3 months), 
  • Medical certificate proving you do not suffer from a contagious illness that might endanger public health in Spain,
  • Proof of residence in the consular district, and
  • If you are a minor, a copy of one of your parents’ documents. 

Obtaining this type of visa is a good option if you have signed a short-term contract with a Spanish company that lasts for less than a year. 

The Employee visa lasts as long as your contract lasts, so this can be a perfect opportunity to see if you like the life of digital nomads or not. 

After the termination of your contract, you can prolong your stay by getting another job and applying for a digital nomad visa. 

Type #2: Entrepreneur visa for Spain 

For digital nomads who want to perform entrepreneurial and innovative activities in Spain, the best option is the Entrepreneur visa. 

However, to grant you this type of visa, Spanish authorities also need to consider whether your activity will be of financial benefit to Spain. 

Here are the documents you need to apply for an Entrepreneur visa for Spain

  • Your passport, 
  • Visa application form
  • Proof that you have paid the application fees, 
  • A standard passport photograph,
  • A positive report on your entrepreneurial activity issued by the responsible Economic and Commercial Office,
  • Sufficient financial means (100% of the so-called IPREM (the Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator amount), currently — €7,200 (~$7,720) per year),
  • A copy and the original clean criminal record certificate (not older than 3 months), 
  • A document proving you have health insurance, 
  • Proof of residence in the consular district, and
  • The passport of the representative submitting documents for you, if applicable. 

If you are planning to create an innovative startup and hire many employees, an Entrepreneur visa might be a perfect choice. 

Type #3: EU Blue Card for Spain

The EU Blue Card allows highly educated non-EEA professionals to work in Spain and other EU countries, and eventually get a permanent residence permit. 

However, to obtain the EU Blue Card for Spain, you must be a skilled paid employee and a tertiary educated expert in a field in which Spain lacks the experts

After you sign a contract with a Spanish company, and the said company’s request for the Blue Card has been approved, you need to submit the following documents:

  • Your passport, 
  • The visa application form,
  • Higher education certificate or at least 5 years of relevant working experience,
  • The work contract with the company that lasts for at least 1 year, 
  • Proof that your salary will be 1,5 times higher than the average salary in Spain, 
  • Proof that you have paid the application fees,
  • 2 Photographs, 
  • Medical certificate proving you do not suffer from a contagious illness that might endanger public health in Spain, 
  • Health insurance, and 
  • Proof that you have a clean criminal record. 

When considering EU Blue Card, it is important to be in touch with the trends in the Spanish job market

If you, by any chance, find that Spain lacks experts in your field, depending on the situation, you can try to get a job with the EU Blue Card or with Spain digital nomad visa. 

Which Spain visa type is best for digital nomads?

Bearing in mind all of the aforementioned information, we think that a digital nomad visa would be the best choice for expats who want to settle in Spain. 

However, if you do not meet all of the criteria for a digital nomad visa, the adequate alternative would be the Employee visa

The Employee visa allows a digital nomad to work and live in Spain as long as they have a contract with a Spanish company. The visa can also be extended. 

Also, while residing in Spain with the Employee visa, you would be able to start the process of obtaining a digital nomad visa, if you see that you meet the requirements. 

Costs you need to consider as a digital nomad in Spain

As we have said above, life in Spain is not expensive if you have a good salary. 

With a monthly income of around €2,332 (~$2,501), you can live pretty comfortably in most Spanish cities. 

Let’s analyze the costs of living in Spain in detail and see how much you will spend there as a digital nomad. 

Expense #1: Accommodation (or rent)

For a 1-bedroom apartment in the best destinations for digital nomads in Spain, you need around €700 (~$750). 

On the other hand, for bigger, 2-bedroom apartments (more suitable for an average family of 4 members) you have to pay between €900 and €1,000 (~$960–$1070)

Naturally, in more expensive cities such as Barcelona or Madrid, you’ll need more — between €1,100 and €1,300 (~$1175–$1390). 

Here are the average rent prices for 1-bedroom apartments in the most popular places for digital nomads in Spain:

City in SpainAccommodation costs
Madrid €1100–€1300 ( ~$1175–$1390)
Barcelona€1100–€1300 ( ~$1175–$1390)
Valencia€700 (~$750)
Sevilla €700 (~$750)
Malaga€700 (~$750)
Tenerife€700 (~$750)
Gran Canaria€650 (~$695)

Expense #2: Groceries 

As you will see below, the prices of groceries are not so high. 

Although the rising inflation has been affecting the market and some prices have gone up, you can live without any worries, as long as you earn at least the minimum income required for digital nomads.

Here are the prices of most commonly bought groceries:   

GroceriesGrocery prices in Spain
A baguette  €0,50 (~$0,54) 
Water 1.5 l (~51 fl oz)€0,70 (~$0,75)
Milk 1 l (~34 fl oz)€0,78 (~$0,84) 
Beef 1 kg (2.2 lbs)€10,5 (~$11,26) 
Cheese 1 kg €9,77 (~$10,48) 
12 eggs  €3,32 (~$3,52) 
Bananas 1 kg €1,56 (~$1,67) 
Oranges 1 kg€1,42 (~$1,52) 

Expense #3: Utilities

After finding the cozy accommodation and buying enough supplies for the period ahead, you need to find out how much money you will need to set aside for the utilities. 

An average person spends around 100 kW/h of electricity per month and that means they have to pay around €30 (~$37) per month. 

The amount you’ll have to pay for natural gas depends on how much gas you spend during the heating season. The price of natural gas is €0,08 (~$0,085) per 1kWh. 

The price of water depends on the city where you live. 

Naturally, if you come with a spouse or children, you’ll have to pay more. Therefore, here are the prices of utilities in Spain, so that you can plan in detail how much you’ll spend per month: 

UtilitiesCosts of utilities in Spain
Electricity bill €0,30 (~$0,32) per 1kWh
Natural gas for households bill €0,08 (~$0,085) per 1kWh
Water bill (varies from city to city)€1,90 (~$2,04) for 1㎥ (1000l)

Expense #4: Gas and public transportation

Expats who get the Spain remote work visa have various options when it comes to transportation in Spain. 

For us, cycling is the best option because Spain has a well-developed cycling infrastructure. 

On the other hand, if you prefer to go to your destination in your own (or rented) car, here are the petrol prices in Spain you’ll need to take into consideration: 

GasGas costs in Spain
Diesel 1,74 €/l (~1,86 $/l)
Unleaded 951,70 €/l (~1,82 $/l)
Unleaded 981,78 €/l (~1,90 $/l)
LPG0,99 €/l (~1,06 $/l)
CNG 0,62 €/l (~0,66 $/l)

Public transportation is another option for getting where you want. However, public transportation prices vary from city to city. 

Here are the monthly ticket prices for public transport in our 5 favorite destinations for digital nomads: 

City in SpainPublic transportation costs
Valencia€41 (~$44) — for 1 zone

€53 (~$56) — for 2 zones

€61 (~$65) — for all 4 zones of the city
Malaga€39,5 (~$42)
Santa Cruz de Tenerife€19 (~$20)
Las Palmas €30 (~$32)
Barcelona €20 (~$21,5) — for 1 zone

€26,95 (~$28,9) — for 2 zones

€37,80 (~$40,5) — for 3 zones

€46,30 (~$49,5) — for 4 zones

€53,10 (~$56,8) — for 5 zones

€56,90 (~$60,9) — for all 6 zones of the city

Bear in mind that the aforementioned prices refer to the monthly tickets that can be used for every type of public transportation — bus, tram, and metro in Valencia, Malaga, and Barcelona. 

Expense #5: Bars and restaurants

As you can guess, prices in bars and restaurants vary across the country. 

However, on average, a meal for two in restaurants is between €10 and €40 (~$10,70–$42,80), depending on what you eat and whether you take something to drink, as well. 

Around 1,300 restaurants in Spain have a Michelin star, so you can never go wrong by visiting some of those places. 

After a perfect meal, it would be nice to go somewhere else and have a drink. 

If you prefer to have a draught beer after a meal, you’ll have to pay no less than €2,5 (~$2,7) in most cities, while in bigger cities that price is even higher. 

On the other hand, if you like wine, a glass of sangria is between €5 and €10 (~$5–$10,7), while a pitcher of the famous Spanish drink can be anywhere between €30 to €40 (~$32,10–$42,8).

Coffee lovers would be the happiest because the average price of espresso in Spanish bars is between €1,20 and €2,50 (~$1,28–$2,68).

Expense #6: Coworking spaces

Holders of Spain remote work visas would be happy to hear that the average monthly rent price of a desk in Spain is around €155 (~$165). 

For now, Barcelona has the most coworking places, with around 100 objects that digital nomads from all over the world can use. However, to get your own desk in one of Barca’s coworking spaces, you’ll need to pay more than in any other Spanish city. 

On the other hand, in cities such as Valencia and Malaga, you can find great coworking spaces for the amounts we mentioned above. 

Expense #7: Internet

Wherever you go to live, you’ll need a strong internet connection. 

Therefore, you will need to spend around €30 (~$32) per month for the internet. 

We doubt you’ll have to buy some more expensive packages because the ordinary ones are more than capable to provide you with a great internet connection and speed. 

The median download speed of fixed broadband internet in Spain is 168.63 Mbps, while the median upload speed is 114.09 Mbps.

Do digital nomads pay tax in Spain?

Digital nomads must pay taxes in Spain per the Startup Act

People in Spain usually pay their taxes between the 6th of April and 30 June, but the dates can change depending on the government order. 

Digital nomads are subjected to the Startup Act, which states that digital nomads can apply for a Non-Resident Income tax regime after 6 months of living in Spain. They pay their taxes in the flat amount of 24% of their income, as long as they earn no more than €600,000 (~$643,707). 

In other words, if you earn, for example, €27,600 (~$29.658) per year, the amount you’ll have to pay for taxes is €6,624 (~$7,106). 

Furthermore, you will not have to pay the wealth tax, as long as you are subjected to a Non-Resident Income tax regime.  

It is also worth mentioning that the digital nomad’s spouses and children (under 25) are also subjects of the tax regime described above. 

Documents required for paying taxes in Spain

After you have got your digital nomad visa and registered in the city where you want to live, you become a temporary resident of Spain. 

Therefore, to pay taxes in Spain as a resident, you only need your personal ID and the so-called Tax Form 100

You can pay taxes in your local tax office or you can do it online on a Spanish tax agency website

Also, on the website of the Spanish tax agency, you can find what Tax Form 100 (in Spanish Modelo 100) looks like. 

What are the benefits of being a digital nomad in Spain?

By looking at the following benefits of being a digital nomad in Spain, we understand why Hemingway said that Spain was the country he loved more than any other except his own.

Here are the main advantages of choosing Spain as your new temporary home and office.  

Benefits of being a digital nomad in Spain

Benefit #1: Satisfactory safety in most places

Spain has a crime rate of 95.6 crimes per 100k citizens. Although that is a pretty high crime rate by European standards, Spain is considered to be safe

The biggest threats you can face, especially in bigger cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, are pickpocketing and tourist scams. 

Therefore, if you are not careful enough, some bad people can make use of it.

Spaniards are tolerant and welcoming to foreign workers, tourists, people of different races, and the members of LGBTQ+ community. 

Along with the natural friendliness and tolerance of Spaniards, at the root of satisfactory safety in Spain is the Spanish dual penal system.

A dual penal system means — one system for heavy and one for petty crimes. 

Current laws on crimes that do not involve violence — such as minor misdemeanors and petty thefts — are lenient, according to many. Furthermore, perpetrators often get away without a prison sentence. 

On the other hand, violent crimes — such as armed robberies, burglary, and threats of physical violence — might result in serious jail time.

It seems that the strict laws regarding violent crimes discourage people from endangering anyone’s life  — making Spain safer for digital nomads. 

Benefit #2: High-speed Internet service

Spain holds 10th place in the world for the fastest internet speed on fixed broadband. 

That is a tremendous result because, for digital nomads, the internet is one of the basic needs. 

According to the experience of many people who have lived in Spain, even the basic home internet is fast enough for performing various activities online.

Therefore, you can rest assured that you will have a stable and quick connection for your online work and virtual meetings

For now, Barcelona has the fastest average internet speed — median download speed 199.35 Mbps/median upload speed 164.98 Mbps — but other cities are also improving and have good results. 

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

High-speed internet and beautiful weather that await you in Spain might not be important anymore if a problem in remote work communication appears. To learn how to avoid any communication problem in remote work, check out our article:

Benefit #3: Rich social life opportunities

Oh, where to start?

Almost every corner of Spain is bustling with activities and life. You can find anything from glorious and vibrant nightlife to magnificent traditional festivals. 

From what we have explored and experienced, almost every city has great bars, pubs, and nightclubs where you can spend your time (and salaries). 

Moreover, people in Spain are friendly, open to minorities, and eager to participate in various activities, so we guess it is only a question of time before you meet new friends there. 

When it comes to traditional festivals, we will single out the following: 

Without further ado, let’s see what we can expect from the above-mentioned festivals.

Festival #1 to visit: San Fermin

The festival of San Fermin (Saint Fermin), or the famous bull runs, takes place in Pamplona and lasts from July 6 to July 14. 

The opening ceremony is marked by spectacular fireworks and street wine/flour/water fights, while the festival days consist of:

  • Morning bull runs, 
  • Afternoon bullfights, and 
  • Late-night parties. 

Festival #2 to visit: La Tomatina 

Buñol is a small town near Valencia famous for its festival — La Tomatina, a tomato fight festival. 

The festival takes place every last Wednesday of August. 

Locals and tourists visit pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs, and have a few drinks to prepare for the day of the tomato fight in high spirits. 

The tomato fight lasts for around 13 hours, and when it is over, it is forbidden to throw any more tomatoes. 

Festival #3 to visit: Feria de Sevilla

Feria de Sevilla, one of the most iconic festivals in Spain, is famous for its colorfulness, energy, and transformation. 

It takes place two weeks after Easter. 

During the day, the festival is a family affair — children walk around with their parents, music is played on every corner, and a variety of traditional meals are available. 

However, when the sun goes down, the feria transforms. It turns into the festival of hedonism, where alcohol is poured mercilessly, and parties last late into the night. 

Not the worst way to make a pause from programming, right?  

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

People in Spain are open and friendly. It is highly possible that you will meet hundreds of various people there, and who knows, maybe even work with some of them. To learn how to communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds in the workplace, check out our article: 

Benefit #4: Affordable cost of living

While analyzing the cost of living in Spain, we have concluded that it is neither too expensive nor dirt cheap. 

Taking into account that Spain is one of the most attractive countries in the world, it is pretty affordable for digital nomads to live there. 

Prices vary depending on where you live, though. 

Of course, prices are higher in tourist hotspots such as Barcelona. But, even in Barça, you can live pretty comfortably if your salary is slightly higher than the minimum income requirement. 

As you’ve read earlier in the article, the average prices of basic products are moderate

According to our estimates, one person spends around €40 (~$42,91) for food per week. 

Naturally, if you decide to go to restaurants or buy take-outs, your expenses will be higher. 

Regarding accommodation in Spain, the situation is clear — living in big cities, such as Barcelona and Madrid, means you will pay much more for rent. 

On the other hand, you need to pay much less to rent apartments in smaller cities or towns. 

In any case, accommodation in Spain is not too expensive compared to other well-developed countries. 

According to Statista, the renowned platform for statistics and data, the average price of one square meter for rental in Spain in 2021 was €11.4 (~$12,23).   

So, around €600 (~$643) per month can get you a solid 1-bedroom apartment in almost every city in Spain, Europe’s sixth-largest economy.

Besides, you can always find a roommate. That way, you will pay less, save some money, and probably have a few more parties scheduled per week.   

Benefit #5: Well-organized healthcare system

To get a digital nomad visa for Spain, you will have to pay between €93 and €186 (~$100–$200) for private health insurance.

However, do not take it as an unnecessary expense. 

If you, by any chance, need medical help, thanks to Spanish health insurance and an adequate healthcare system, you would be in safe hands. Namely, Spain’s healthcare system is in the 8th place in the world, which means that it is one of the most efficient and well-organized in the world. 

Private health insurance allows you to go to both public and private healthcare institutions. 

For digital nomads, it would be better to go to private clinics and hospitals because you would not have to wait for treatment and could find more English-speaking personnel there.

Moreover, private health insurance covers dental care expenses, unlike public health insurance. 

Benefit #6: Great weather and air quality

According to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification, Spain has 5 different climatic zones: 

  • The hot-summer Mediterranean climate, 
  • The warm-summer Mediterranean climate,
  • The warm-summer continental climate,
  • The oceanic climate, and
  • The semiarid climate.

The hot summer Mediterranean climate is the most dominant, present all around the Iberian peninsula, except for the north. 

In the north, you can feel the presence of the ocean, warm-summer continental, and warm-summer Mediterranean climate. 

Spain is well-known for its mild winters and hot, dry summers. Besides, sea temperatures are amazingly pleasant. 

For example, during July and August, sea temperatures in summer holiday resorts can be between 17,8℃ and 24℃ (64°F–75°F).

Therefore, the Kingdom of Spain is ideal for people who like warm weather.  

According to the latest reports, Spain has air quality labeled as “good” — the US AQI reading is 40. 

However, further improvements regarding air quality are needed in big cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, as well as some parts of the country that are rich in industrial zones.

What are the drawbacks of being a digital nomad in Spain?

Although there are more advantages than disadvantages regarding moving to Spain, there are still a few drawbacks that might dishearten digital nomads who want to settle there. 

Here are some things we perceive as major drawbacks of being a digital nomad in Spain. 

Drawbacks of being a digital nomad in Spain

Drawback #1: Low English proficiency index

Applicants for a Spanish digital nomad visa should know that Spaniards do not speak English very well and have a low English proficiency index. 

Namely, around 60% of Spaniards do not know how to speak, read or write in English. 

Furthermore, in the 2022 English Proficiency Rankings, Spain took 25th place among 33 European countries that participated in the survey. 

Ten years ago, Spaniards aged between 25 and 34 were at the same level of English as their coevals in Italy, Portugal, and Greece. Nowadays, all the countries mentioned before have improved their English proficiency index, but Spain remains on the same level. 

All of the aforementioned data is not good news for foreigners who speak English only — because communication with the locals might be fraught with difficulties in overcoming language barriers. 

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

Low English proficiency level can be a huge barrier to effective communication. To learn how to overcome this and many other possible obstacles, check out our article: 

Drawback #2: Overtourism

Overtourism has become one of the biggest problems of attractive destinations in Spain — they have simply become overcrowded

If you are wondering what the signs of overtourism are, just take a look at the following list: 

  • Boulevards, pedestrian zones, and narrow streets become jammed with tourists, 
  • Locals avoid going to certain parts of the city because they are too crowded, 
  • Rent prices become too high for locals, and 
  • You have to book ahead if you want to see natural parks, landscapes, mountains, lakes, historical buildings, museums, etc. 

If you are a digital nomad who does not like living in a city packed with people 365 days a year, we recommend you avoid settling in big tourist hotspots such as Barcelona

On the other hand, if you want to live in Barça or similar, crowded cities, we suggest you explore the city and find some not-so-popular attractions and hidden gems that would make you feel like one of the locals. 

🎓 Pumble Pro Tip

Living in a noisy and crowded city means you will rarely have a chance to enjoy the silence, get a rest, and relax completely. With time, the problem of burnout might appear and your mental health might start to deteriorate. To learn how to prevent potential issues with mental health read our article: 

Drawback #3: Bureaucracy

One of the biggest drawbacks for expats who decide to apply for a Spain digital nomad visa is the complex bureaucratic system

Because of the vast number of immigrants who come to Spain to get a better life, local governments are under huge pressure. They often have neither enough employees nor enough capacities to resolve the foreigners’ problems efficiently. 

Therefore, the processes such as registration in the Town Hall, enrollment of children at primary schools, or any other type of administrative registration are riddled with difficulties. 

It is common for digital nomads to find themselves in the so-called administrative deadlock, which can be frustrating — especially for people who come from countries with more efficient local governments. 

However, there are ways for digital nomads to mitigate the consequences of this drawback: 

  • Tip #1: Expect that the processes would take time, so start them earlier. 
  • Tip #2: The person you are talking to in the majority of cases is not a decision-maker, so go easy with them.
  • Tip #3: Take into account that a lot of Spaniards, especially those over a certain age, do not speak English, so try to learn the basics of Spanish as soon as you can. 
  • Tip #4: Ambiguity is a part of life in Spain, and it is particularly visible in the administration system. Hence, get used to that, and avoid looking at things in black and white. 

5 Best destinations for digital nomads in Spain

The list of the 5 best destinations for digital nomads in Spain is the result of careful and objective research of the following aspects:   

  • Cost of living,
  • Social life,
  • Weather and air quality, 
  • Green areas, and
  • City attractions.

After a careful analysis, here are the best destinations for digital nomads in Spain. 

Top 5 destinations for digital nomads in Spain

Valencia — the best city for digital nomads in Spain

Population: 791,413

City area: 51.96 mi² (134.6 km²)

Time zone: UTC +01:00 (CET(GMT))

Average internet speed: median download 165.99 Mbps/median upload 102.38 Mbps

Average cost of living: around €1,000 (~$1,072) per month (with rent, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €700 (~$750) per month

Biggest advantage: Well-organized city 

Biggest drawback: Potential threat of overtourism in the future  

The city is located on the western shores of the Mediterranean sea. Its nature is so diverse that one can go hiking in the morning and swimming at noon without traveling to another city.

Public transport functions at the highest possible level, and there are various successful incentives for cycling. Consequently, there are no problems with traffic jams and air pollution. 

We have asked a digital nomad who lived in Spain, Nemanja Radaković, to tell us where you can spend your free time in Valencia:

Nemanja Radaković

“You can enjoy your spare time in a scenic park called Parque Central. And, just next to Parque Central, you can wake up the inner bohemian in yourself and enjoy one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Spain called Ruzafa (also called Russafa). Full of art galleries, bars, restaurants, cafes, and vintage shops, Ruzafa is a neighborhood where everyone can find something they like.” 

Although the prices of accommodation and food in Valencia aren’t so low, they are still lower than in Barça or Madrid. 

Depending on the neighborhood, you can find a 1-bedroom apartment for between €600 and 800 (~$643–858) per month. 

Regarding food and drink, around €50 (~$54) per week would be enough per person. 

Also, if you like going out to restaurants, you will love what our other expert and former digital nomad, Maja Bajić, said: 

Maja Bajić

“There are plenty of affordable restaurants with great food, all around the city. Some even offer food from other parts of Europe — we remember visiting one great Serbian restaurant.” 

Therefore, even with the minimal income for a digital nomad (€2,332), you could live a great life in Valencia. 

Where to work in Valencia

There are many coworking places in Valencia, but we have opted for the one that has the highest Google rating and number of voters — Vortex Playa Coworking Valencia. It has 4.9 stars from 214 reviews. 

Malaga — the best city for startups in Spain

Population: 571,026

City area: 153.74 mi² (398.2 km²)

Time zone: UTC +01:00 (CET(GMT))

Average internet speed: median download speed 214.69 Mbps/median upload speed 94.38

Average cost of living: Around €1,000 (~$1,072) per month (with rent, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €700 (~$750) per month 

Biggest advantage: Exciting startup scene 

Biggest drawback: Might become overcrowded with digital nomads from all over the world 

Malaga is located in the very south of the Iberian peninsula, 100 km from the Gibraltar strait. It is the second largest city in Andalusia, just behind Seville.  

One of the oldest cities in Europe has many beautiful things to offer to digital nomads who chose it for their destination. 

First of all, Malaga is well connected to other areas of Spain, due to its airport and connections to motorways. 

Secondly, the city has become a hotspot for startups, freelancers, and digital nomads

New startups located in Malaga like Freepik and Uptodown, along with huge corporations that have been there for some time such as Vodafone, IBM, and Siemens make us consider Malaga as one of the upcoming Silicon valleys in Europe.  

Furthermore, Google will open its third cybersecurity center in Europe in this Andalusian city. Google’s investment is a great signal for any startup or digital nomad to come and live in Malaga. 

Finally, the third biggest advantage of moving to Malaga is the cost of living

Although the city has become the home of many wealthy businessmen and IT professionals, middle-class people and professionals who do not earn millions can still find their place under the sun in Malaga. That’s because it is always sunny there. Okay, enough with dad jokes, accommodation and food prices are almost identical to those in Valencia. 

Where to work in Malaga

Since Malaga has become a hotspot for digital nomads, you should get your place in The Living Room Coworking Space (5.0 stars from 164 reviews) as soon as you can. 

Santa Cruz de Tenerife — the best hidden gem for digital nomads in Spain

Population: 204,856

City area: 58.14 mi² (150.6 km²)

Time zone: WET (UTC ±00:00) 

Average internet speed: median download speed 164.29 Mbps/median upload speed 96.96 Mbps

Average cost of living: Around €900 (~$965) per month (with rent, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €700 (~$750) per month 

Biggest advantage: Beautiful nature 

Biggest drawback: Far from any big cities in continental Spain

Tenerife is the largest of all Canary Islands and its capital is called Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

During the pandemic of coronavirus, various digital nomads picked Tenerife as their new home due to the wonderful climate that could be described with only two words — eternal spring.  

To break the stereotypes that living on the island is always expensive, we would pinpoint that a 1-bedroom apartment in the center of Santa Cruz de Tenerife would cost around €700 (~$750) per month. 

If you are interested in the culture of the place, you can visit the northern parts of the island, and see some interesting old Spanish and Canarian customs. 

Also, Tenerife hosts the second-largest carnival in the world, which takes place in February. 

The nightlife is legendary, especially in the summer months, when a lot of tourists decide to visit the island. 

If you enjoy nature, you will be amazed by the hiking opportunities and beautiful beaches the island offers.

On the other hand, if you do not like walking too much, you can use public transport that goes all around the island for around €3 (~$3,22). 

Finally,  you will need to spend around €20 to €30 (~$21,45–32,18) on groceries every week, depending on your affinities. 

Also, it is not expensive to go to restaurants — common restaurant meals are around €10 (~$10,73), while the specialties are often around €20 (~$21,45). 

Where to work in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Best coworking space, with the highest Google rating and number of voters, is The Zen Den Coworking Tenerife (5.0 stars from 116 reviews).

Although there are plenty of coworking spaces in the city, you can also go to wonderful seaside bars, cafes, or even public places with wi-fi and work from there occasionally. 

Las Palmas — Spanish low-price heaven for digital nomads 

Population: 378,517

City area: 38.84 mi² (100.6 km²)

Time zone: WET (UTC ±00:00) 

Average internet speed: median download speed 191.95 Mbps/median upload speed 106.86 Mbps

Average cost of living: Around €900 (~$965) per month (with rent, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €650 (~$697) per month 

Biggest advantage: Cheaper than other destinations from our list 

Biggest drawback: Isolated 

Las Palmas is placed on Gran Canaria island, which does not differentiate much from the aforementioned island of Tenerife. 

Therefore, all of the digital nomads who opt for Las Palmas, or any other smaller city in Gran Canaria, can enjoy beautiful white and black lava beaches, turquoise water, and various mountains for hiking. 

Nearby fishing villages can be a great weekend getaway for all of you who decide to live in Las Palmas. In villages such as Puerto de Mogan or Agaete Valley, you can feel and learn something about the local culture, as well. 

Regarding rental costs, it depends on where you want to live. Prices for the apartments near the beach are a bit higher — for example, the lowest price for such apartments would be around €600 (~$643) per month. 

If you want to commute by bus to some other parts of the town, the daily transport one-way ticket is €1.50 (~$1,60), while the monthly pass is €35 (~$37,50).

According to the experience of people who have lived in Las Palmas, you would need around €40 (~$42,90) per week for food and drink. Hence, the costs are similar to other places on our list. 

Las Palmas is a family-friendly city that, quite paradoxically, has a vibrant nightlife, as well. 

Therefore, it has something for everyone, it is up to you to choose what you need. 

Where to work in Las Palmas

Among 15 coworking spaces in Las Palmas, The House Club stands out. It has 4.9 stars from 216 reviews on Google.

However, you can also try to spend as much time as possible on wi-fi-equipped public beaches or in the seaside coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. It would be a pity not to use the beautiful weather whenever you can.

Barcelona — the most popular city for digital nomads in Spain 

Population: 1,620,343 

City area: 39.15 mi² (101.4 km²)

Time zone: UTC +01:00 (CET(GMT))

Average internet speed: median download speed 199.35 Mbps/median upload speed 164.98 Mbps

Average cost of living: Around €1,620 (~$1,738) per month (with rent, groceries, and public transport fee)

Average cost of rent: €1,100–€1,300 (~$1,180–$1,395) per month 

Biggest advantage: World-famous architecture 

Biggest drawback: Overtourism

While writing this guide, the song Barcelona by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé played on the radio — which helped Barcelona earn a place on this list. 

How to ignore the city described as the jewel in the sun

Tremendous history, beautiful architecture, scenic waterfront, vibrant social life, and great beaches are the first things that come to mind for Barcelona. 

Moreover, efficient public transport enables you to get wherever you want for €2.54 (~$2,72) (one-way ticket). 

Besides public transport that includes 8 metro lines, the city has also developed a great cycling infrastructure. 

Unfortunately, Barcelona has another side of the medal too.

The city is definitely for digital nomads with very deep pockets. 

If you are looking for a 1-bedroom apartment, you will need to pay at least €1,100–€1,300 (~$1,180–$1,395) per month. Besides the accommodation, food is also more expensive — you’ll need around €70 (~$75) a week to cover the expenses for groceries.

Barça has around 1.7 million inhabitants in an area of 101.4km², making it one of the most densely populated in the whole country. 

In addition, in 2022, around 9.7 million visitors have been to Barcelona, making overtourism a problem. 

Nevertheless, some people like buzzing cities, so if you are looking for something like that — Barcelona might be a perfect choice.   

Where to work in Barcelona

Barcelona is a real paradise for digital nomads who like to rent offices. 

Among 100 coworking spaces available at the moment, OneCoWork Plaça Catalunya stands out with 4.8 stars from 216 voters on Google.  

Tips for digital nomads in Spain

Settling in another country can be pretty difficult for digital nomads. However, knowing a few things about the country’s society and culture can make their lives easier.

Therefore, here are the tips for digital nomads in Spain that we are sure will help you settle. 

Tip #1: Research the real estate market 

Due to the huge discrepancies in prices, you have to be very careful when choosing an apartment in Spain. 

Beware of so-called tourist traps — i.e. apartments rented for far more than their real worth. Therefore, thoroughly research the real estate market, and, if possible, find someone who has lived in Spain — so that they can give you useful information. 

Tip #2: Contact legal teams specialized in Spanish immigration law

Getting a digital nomad visa for Spain is not a walk in the park, hence we recommend you contact legal teams specialized in Spanish immigration law. 

Naturally, some digital nomads are more resourceful than others, so they might not need anyone’s help. But, for others who are doubtful about the whole process of getting the visa, contacting the aforementioned legal teams is a must. 

Tip #3: Find the places enjoyed by local people only   

Although some places are still successfully coping with the problem of overtourism, they are still being visited by thousands of tourists every month. 

Of course, it is not something to be worried about, but still, if you come from a country that does not have many tourists it might be unusual for you. 

Therefore, if you do not like to spend time in areas packed with tourists, you can find some places enjoyed by the locals only — rustic bars, nightclubs for locals, hidden beaches, and mountains not explored by many hikers from abroad. 

This way, you’ll avoid crowded places and tourists, and you’ll live as the locals do.

Tip #4: Use bicycles

Spain has a great infrastructure for cyclists. Therefore, it would be a pity not to use it because it has many benefits.  

First of all, cycling will save you some money because you will not pay for gas or public transport. In addition, you will avoid potential traffic jams. 

Secondly, you will not contribute to air pollution, so yes, you will play your part in saving mother earth. 

Thirdly, by driving your bike around, you will see beautiful architecture and picturesque landscapes the Kingdom of Spain has. 

Tip #5: Always validate your transport ticket

Thanks to Maja Bajić, we have got a grasp of how strict Spaniards are regarding paying for public transport: 

Maja Bajić

“Paying for public transport is the sine qua non of living in Spain. Besides, bus drivers could be pretty unpleasant if they noticed someone was trying to avoid paying for the ticket.”

Therefore, if you are an everyday commuter, we recommend you buy a monthly ticket and not worry about a thing. 

Further reading for digital nomads in Spain

While writing this guide we have found a few amazing sources for digital nomads who decide to settle in Spain. 

Here are the sources we recommend you bookmark: 

  • Ministry of economic affairs and digital transformation is a great place to find new information about certain legislation that tackles spheres of digital nomads’ interests.
  • Spanish Tax Agency enables you to pay your bills online. 
  • The best website for digital nomads who look for accommodation in Spain is called Idealista. No matter if you want to buy or rent, you can find a variety of real estates all around Spain. 
  • Here are the links to some of the local public transport providers via which you can buy tickets: EMT Valencia, Guaguas Municipales (Las Palmas), Malaga public transport consortium, Tenerife public buses, TMB (Barcelona), EMT Madrid, and TUSSAM (Seville).  
  • Renfe — the official website of the Spanish national rail company, there you can buy intercity tickets or simply check the schedules. Renfe also allows you to buy train tickets or get information on various cities’ commuter rail networks
  • Alsa and Flixbus are also great, cost-effective options if you are looking for intercity bus transport.
  • Another reliable and cost-effective transport alternative is BlaBlaCar. Thanks to this app, you can join someone in their car and travel to your destination for an affordable price.  
  • Do you like clubbing, going to gigs, or having a nice meal in a restaurant? If the answer is yes, then Xceed is the best place to find what you are looking for. 
  • EL PAÍS is the most popular news source in Spain.
  • If you are a bookworm and want to learn more about the turbulent history of Spain in the 20th century, you can check Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls  and Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia

Spanish Startup Act helps digital nomads outside the EU/EEA to come and live in Spain

Thanks to the Spanish Startup Act, digital nomads from outside the EU/EEA who meet the aforementioned requirements can live and work in Spain for up to 5 years. 

After a period of 5 years, you can even apply for Spanish permanent residency and citizenship.

During this period, while you work, you can also get to know Spanish culture better, learn Spanish, and enjoy beautiful cities and nature. 

And yes, you will also pay taxes at a privileged rate, which gives you an opportunity to save some money and ensure a better life for you and your family.

To conclude, and maybe make a final impact on you to choose Spain as your new home away from home, we will quote legendary cooking RocknRolla Anthony Bourdain, who said: 

Any reasonable, sentient person who looks at Spain, comes to Spain, eats in Spain, drinks in Spain, they’re going to fall in love. Otherwise, there’s something deeply wrong with you. This is the dream of all the world.”

We owe special thanks to our experts and friends Maja and Nemanja, who lived in Spain for some time and who were magnificent contributors to this guide. 

Spain digital nomads visa guide disclaimer

We hope this Spain digital nomad visa guide has been helpful and that you enjoyed reading it. Throughout the guide, we have given you various links that might lead you to new interesting data or simply to articles that will expand your knowledge on various Spain-related topics.

Please bear in mind that our article has been written in Q1 of 2023, so any changes that are made in the Spain digital nomad visa procedures or laws after that time have not been included. 

Before you start the application process, we advise you to consult with certified representatives, lawyers, and institutions that can provide you with all the information needed. 

Pumble is not responsible for any negative responses, losses, or risks incurred, should this guide be used without further guidance from legal and other official advisors.


  • Balcellsg, & *, N. (2023, February 15). Digital Nomad Visa in Spain: A complete guide (approved). Balcells Group. Retrieved March 7, 2023, from 
  • EF EPI 2022 – EF English Proficiency Index. (n.d.). EF Epi 2022 – EF English proficiency index. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from 
  • Individual – Tax administration. (n.d.). Spain. Retrieved January 24, 2023, from 
  • IQAir. (n.d.). Spain air quality index (AQI) and Air Pollution Information. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from 
  • OECD Better Life Index. (n.d.). Spain. Retrieved January 22, 2023, from 
  • Speedtest Global Index. (n.d.). Internet speed around the world. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from 
  • Statistics Explained. (n.d.). Statistics explained. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from 
  • Weather Atlas. (n.d.). Barcelona, Spain – climate & monthly weather forecast. Weather Atlas. Retrieved March 7, 2023, from 

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