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Living in startup hubs: Barcelona




10 minutes

This week we’re saying hola to sunny Barcelona in the second instalment of our series on living in different startup hubs.  

Missed our first post? Last time we covered bustling Berlin, which you can check out here. 

If you’re dreaming of relocating somewhere new, you’re not alone. Research has shown there are already more than 850,000 UK nationals living in the EU. 

In fact, Barcelona's British residents make up one of the city's largest foreign-national communities. According to data from its January 2020 city residents' register, Barcelona has over 9,000 UK-national residents.  


Want to know what it’s like to live and work in this vibrant Spanish city? We’ve got you covered... 


About Barcelona 

More than 10% of the city is covered by urban parks, making Barcelona a haven for those looking for green space. It’s also home to nine UNESCO-protected monuments including Palau de la Música Catalana and La Sagrada Familia. 

Barcelona is regularly featured in the list of the world’s smartest cities; their city council has invested heavily in infrastructure to improve the quality of life for residents. This includes buses powered by natural gas/ hybrid engines, smart lighting in public areas, city-wide free Wi-Fi and an electric bicycle sharing system. 



Barcelona is now home to 1.6m people. It's the 5th biggest ecosystem in the EU with the largest number of scaleups, according to the European ScaleUp Monitor 2020. 


Average salary 

Obviously this will depend on your job role, industry and level of experience, but research has shown that the average salary in Barcelona is between €34500 - €47600 (£29000 - £40000).   


Living costs  

  • Rent - 1 bed apartment: €622 -€818 (£525-£690) 

  • Monthly public transport pass€41,50 (£35) 

  • Coffee€2,33 (£1.96) 

  • Beer€3,50 (£2.95) 

  • Bottle of wine€6,38 (£5.38) 


Where to find a job 

As well as the usual suspects, like LinkedIn, Indeed and Monster, keep an eye on organisations like Info Jobs, Trabajos, and itnig for interesting positions as well as events. We’ve also compiled a list of our top 20 impact startups in Barcelona, for those looking for roles specifically at mission-led businesses.   


In-demand tech roles 

Barcelona’s technology sector is flourishing, with 31% of new job openings in Spain in the digital sector. Recent figures suggest there is already a shortage of over 100,000 workers with digital and tech skills in Spain. 

Reports show that the most in-demand tech roles currently are:  

  • Full Stack Engineer 

  • Backend Developer 

  • DevOps Engineer 

  • Data engineer 

  • Frontend Developer 


In-demand tech skills 

  • Java 

  • Javascript 

  • CSS 

  • HTML 

  • Angular 


Visa sponsorship 

You can visit Spain as a tourist for up-to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. But in order to work in Spain, you need to obtain a work visa. There are various types of work visas you can get by going to a Spanish embassy or consulate within your country of residence. It can take up to 8 months to process this work permit. You can find the entire breakdown of what you can do here 

What locals say about living and working in Barcelona 

"The pandemic situation has changed the way of working nowadays. I was working in Dublin and moved back to Barcelona - where I am from - during the lockdown. After 6 years abroad, I could notice the city has changed a lot workwise. 

There are many more job opportunities coming from international companies. Salaries keep increasing, making the city very competitive and attractive like other distinguished locations in Europe, such as London, Dublin, Amsterdam or Berlin. Thus, these days there are more and more different cultures in the city. 

The location of the city is excellent. It has great food and an easy-going lifestyle from the countries of the South of Europe, along with its proximity to France and the continental area. You can enjoy the sunshine and the lovely weather most of the year. Also, its beach is 5km long, where tons of people gather after work in summer. 

There are so many options for public transportation, which makes the ownership of vehicles not necessary. The most challenging thing might be speaking 100% in English in the city. There might be corners where they don't understand the language. Still, it's a very touristy city and nowadays almost everybody is fluent in English or another second language." Marc, Senior Software Engineer

Share your thoughts with us on LinkedInTwitter, or via email at contact@confidotalent.com. We’d love to hear from you! 

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