Spain Explained

A guide for foreigners on every aspect of safe property ownership in Spain

Posts filtered by Life in Spain

Help Vega Baja

Help Vega Baja is a not-for-profit association, helping people out in the local community. In our question and answer session they explain what they do, how they might help you and how you could help them too. Who are you? HELP Vega Baja was established more than 30 years ago and during that period has […]

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Time to get a Spanish driving licence

It’s been one of the longest lasting debates in the forums in Spain. Must you exchange your foreign driver’s licence for a Spanish licence? The camps have been equally divided for years and you will hear countless stories in the bars about people who were told this, or that, or even the other. So what […]

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Why bother learning a language?

It is hard learning a language, especially if you are slightly older in years and you’re starting from scratch. You can think because you live in another country or visit it regularly that it will somehow come to you naturally. That you will absorb it just by being there. But it doesn’t happen like that. […]

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Banks poaching insurance in Spain

We all know how difficult it can be to find the right insurance policy. There is a lot to be made from commission and companies will jostle each other for your custom. No matter how carefully you read through the small print your policy can still turn out to be a disappointment when you do […]

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Graffiti in Spain

It’s everywhere. Or so it seems at times. Graffiti is on walls, trains, bins and fences. Anywhere there is a spare square meter of space to record names and messages. Although some of this graffiti is pretty banal there are examples of street-art that have artistic flair and imagination. In some cases it is even […]

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Standing in the way of progress?

The internet has transformed our lives. The way in which most people communicate, research, work and relax has changed immeasurably and it won’t stop there. We cannot imagine what the next twenty years will hold in terms of this revolution. And it is a revolution. The internet has changed the fundamentals of the way we […]

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Motorways in Spain

Driving in Spain can be a pleasure. Once you put the city centre behind you, you can find long stretches of motorway without a traffic cone or tailback in sight. Spanish motorways seem to be extraordinarily free from road works and are generally enjoyable to drive on. There are two types of motorway in Spain: […]

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Seeking employment in Spain

It’s a sad fact; in most European countries currently work is in short supply. The unemployment figures fluctuate but the trend is still down and we are seeing generally a better-qualified workforce earning less, if they’re earning at all. Some employers are exploiting the situation with zero-hour contracts, internships or through employing migrants at low […]

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The sales in Spain

Do you love the sales? Most people seem to fall into one of two groups. Those who love rooting through piles of clothes to find a bargain and those who will avoid the shops until it’s all over. The Spanish word for ‘sale’ is ‘rebajas’ and traditionally, the sales in Spain, have been carefully regulated. […]

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Skiing in Spain

Spain is a country of contrasts. Only a few hours from where they’re basking in the sun on the beaches they’re skiing down the slopes in three layers of clothes and woolly mittens. One of the amazing things about Spain is the variation in its climate and its landscape. For the majority of people Spain […]

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All I want for Christmas… is to be somewhere else

Do you like celebrating Christmas at home? Is your idea of the ideal Christmas one that involves your home hearth, slippers and a good helping of turkey? Or do your prefer to slip away and let someone else do all the donkey work? Most people fall into one of two groups – those who want […]

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Where to shop in Costa Blanca South

Love them or hate them, the out-of-town commercial centre is here to stay.  Their presence in Spain has gradually increased over the past ten years. They do have their advantages. You can leave your car in one place whilst you browse amongst all the major high street shops. Parking is easy and usually free and […]

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Taxi!

We often take them for granted, but if you have ever lived in an area that’s short of local Spanish taxis you will recognise just what an underestimated resource they can be. In Spain, obtaining a licence to run an official taxi is expensive and it stipulates a range of conditions and requirements that make […]

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A quick guide to what’s happening in Catalonia

National borders have a lot to answer for.  Countries continue to battle over where the lines are drawn and who gets to fly the flag. But who should decide what belongs to whom? The issue has been carefully documented in both Britain and Spain recently. With the potential secession of Scotland, came a rethink for […]

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What to do if you have a traffic accident in Spain

When you’re travelling in a foreign country, having an accident might be one of the last things on your mind. However, the risk is probably greater than in your own country. Driving a hire car on holiday, the majority of people have probably not studied the traffic laws too closely. Even living abroad, you can […]

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The Spanish Highway Code

It might not always seem like it when you’re on the roads in Spain, but there is a very comprehensive Spanish highway code. The Código de Tráfico y Seguridad Vial was last modified on 22nd May 2014 (download here). It consists of 941 pages and 385 articles. So it’s unlikely that you’re going to want […]

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Have you got your facts right?

What percentage of the population do you think are immigrants in Spain? Out of every 100 people in Spain how many do you think are over 65? These are two of the questions on Ipsos MORI’s new global survey, ‘The Perils of Perception’. The survey highlights the misconceptions of the public across 14 countries in […]

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Supporting Elche c.f.

There’s a phrase that states that you are never too old to learn. Some people may disagree with this. Certainly if you’ve tried to learn Spanish at an older age you’ve probably recognised that it doesn’t fall into your lap easily. But what about developing an appreciation of another sport, say football? For one reason […]

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Making a denuncia in Spain – the right way

In the article  ‘Making a police report (denuncia) in Spain’, David Ruiz explained what a denuncia is and how to go about making one. In this article he takes us through the right and the wrong way of doing it. Since 2010 I’ve been helping my clients as their interpreter when making police reports. There […]

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Where to go in Alicante

Have you ever been guilty of not visiting the places on your doorstep? It can often happen that where you live is the place you’re least likely to fully explore. For example, it’s all too easy for Alicante just to become a stepping stone on the way to somewhere else. You travel to Alicante to […]

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Taking account of the weather in Spain

It seems an obvious thing to state but, it’s important that we take the weather into consideration. Anyone watching the electric storms in September in Spain must have felt just a little humble in the presence of such a force of nature.   We are, after all, at the mercy of the elements, no matter […]

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British passport problems continue

It’s one of the nightmare scenarios – you’re holiday’s booked but your passport needs renewing. It’s getting closer and closer to the date when you fly. Will it arrive back in time or should you make a last minute ditch attempt to retrieve it in person from the passport office? This scenario became reality for […]

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What is a vado in Spain?

You’ll have seen the signs on the outside of walls – a circle with a line through it that seems to appear at every spot where you want to park. The ‘Vado’ sign is usually found outside garages, entrances to drive ways and other places where, if you parked, you would block access.   The […]

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Prescription charges in Spain

 Whether you are on holiday or living in Spain, chances are that at some time you will need to pay a visit to the Spanish chemist or ‘farmacia’. The chemist in Spain is usually extremely good and in most outlets at least one member of staff will speak English. They give advice and hand out […]

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Finding your own piece of Parador in Spain

Have you come across this Spanish word before? A ‘Parador’ is a state-run tourist hotel usually found in rural beauty spots or places of historical interest. The Parador in Spain is often converted from interesting buildings such as castles or monasteries and offers much more than just bed and breakfast. The origins of the Parador […]

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