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Expats living in Sitges, near Barcelona

Local Knowledge

  • ​Public holidays/Fiestas
  • S​itges supermarkets (international supermarkets like Carrefour and Lidl)
  • Expat housing
  • Banking system (Opening an account and paying taxes)
  • Obtaining work and residence permit (holidays)
  • Doing business, corporate etiquette and working practice
  • Transport, buying a car and the rules of the road
  • Cost of living (unforeseen expenses)
  • School system / International schools (Enrolment and choosing a suitable institution)
  • Healthcare system
  • Barcelona with a backdrop of mountains and hills. Banking and logistics sectors are particularly big
  • Catalan donkey
  • sardana (rather than flamenco)
  • people don’t usually sleep during siesta (they do shut their shops however, much to the irritation of expats/foreigners used to more regular hours)
  • sipping mojitos at chiringuitos
  • nibbling on Spanish and Catalan delicacies on open squares in Barri Gotic, El Born and El Raval
  • opera at the Liceu Theatre
  • classical performance at the Palau de la Musica Catalana
  • Barca FC at Camp Nou
  • skiing in Andorra
  • mountain biking and kitesurfing during summer in Pyrenees
  • Costa Brava coastline
  • Weekend trips to Madrid and Valencia, and even San Sebastian are all possible as well.
  • Spanish food = Tapas/small portion
  • Paella and sangria
  • Catalan food tends to be earthy rustic fare
  • chefs like Ferran Adria blazing a trail/Tickets Bar
  • Spain/Catalonia’s Cava country/The Penedes region vineyards
  • European Health Insurance Card = short term/for tourist emergencies
    Relocating to Spain, register for Tarjeta Sanitari for health privileges as a native Spanish / Catalan residents (health practitioners and medical centres (English-speaking doctor)
  • English-speaking accountants
  • “Catalan is the official language of the city and region” – And not only that. Catalan is the language of ca. 10 million people in the world across 4 countries, including 4 autonomous regions in Spain (Catalonia, Valencia Region, Aragón and the Balearic Islands – yes, Majorca, Ibiza, etc!), the official language of Andorra (yes, a fully independent country) and also spoken in parts of southern France (formerly, Catalonia) and Italy. Catalan is a language derived from vulgar Latin just like Spanish, Italian, French or Portuguese, yes, at the same level. It is therefore not a dialect or a mix of Spanish and something else. There are records of written Catalan since the 9th Century.
  • Parliament (yes, not only do we have one, it’s also one of the oldest in the world, older than the English Parliament itself), passed a bill to ban it.
  • ​Agencia Tributaria Tax Year : 1 Jan to 31 Dec – 30 June is Tax Return due date

National Income Tax Rates once 183 days p/a in Spain: 24.75% to 17,707.19€ then 30% to 33,007.19€ then 40%
Compulsory declaration of assets and rights located abroad