Spain Relocation Research
To find ideal locations to relocate to in Spain.
- Spanish cities are quite diverse in tastes, with each having its own distinct rhythm and character. However, all are considered very walkable with good public transport and local activities.
- Bilbao, while more than 100,000 residents, is located in the less populated northern Basque country of Spain. As such, it receives fewer tourists and expats than other parts of the country. The riverside city has an industrial past, but modern architecture fuses this older factory feel with cutting-edge design.
- The waterfront is being revitalized. For example, the titanium Guggenheim Museum brings a unique feel to riverside walks. Other contemporary landmarks include the Zubizari Bridge, Casa Monteroand the Azkuna Zentroa.
- This city is quite unique, as Basques love to celebrate and preserve their culture, while at the same time the city happily embraces all things modern, emerging from a 1970s economic crisis revitalized and fresh.
- Bilbao is often described as a city of a high standard of living, clean and safe but with Spain's excellent wine and food choices. Northern Spain is known for having very clean cities.
- Bilbao is also home to the world's biggest covered (farmer's) market, perfect for finding fresh, quality, local produce.
- Schools in the Basque country are considered among the top in the country. The region is ranked 2nd for education, behind only Asturias. The top 2 schools in the region are Lauaxeta Ikastola, which is about 23 minutes from the center of Bilbao, and Colegio Vizcaya (in the easter part of the city).
- Bilbao is family-friendly, with good parks, playgrounds and interesting attractions.
- Again, its lack of popularity with visitors and tourists actually increases its favorability as a place to live, as it does not feel crowded despite its green spaces and interesting attractions.
- The region also gets slightly cooler temperatures, making being outside more pleasant in hotter months.
- The air quality in Bilbao is moderate, generally not better or worse than other Spanish cities. The outer suburbs, of course, have improved levels, notably on the southwestern edges of the city.
- Bilbao has excellent ratings when it comes to quality of life in terms of healthcare.
- The city has one yoga studio (Centro de Yoga IYENGAR® de Bilbao) that teaches Iyengar yoga. There are two other instructors certified in the practice, possibly working for other studios or teaching privately.
- Bilbao is widely equipped with high-speed internet. While not a top city, the disparity between different Spanish cities is quite marginal. The fastest ISPs are Euskaltel (~55 Mb/s), Masmovil (~47 Mb/s) and Vodafone (~44 Mb/s).
- The area has a robust expat community, with over 3,000 members on just one Facebook group.
Proposed next steps:
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We propose continuing this research to identify 2-3 more places in Spain that would serve as excellent places to live for a family. We will use the attachment (https://askwonder.com/api/attachments/HJPlHKoP8) to form our research, then defending our choices based on stated preferences. Briefly, the place should have urban life but not too crowded, have a modern/up-and-coming/forward-thinking feel, be safe and clean, have great schools, access to good quality fresh food (produce), be family-friendly and have high-speed internet access.
Additionally, we can also research the process for a family interested in relocating to Spain. Assuming visas are not an issue (e.g., the category one would permanently immigrate under does not need to be figured out), we will compile a report on how to start, things to consider, a vague order or timeline of the process and any other relevant information. The assumptions will be that the family owns their own home in Seattle, will either sell or rent out the property after moving, and will rent their first year in Spain.