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It isn’t hard to see why Spain is such a popular destination. With a rich culture and heritage, high standard of living and, of course, the luscious Mediterranean climate, it is the home of choice for a vibrant expat community seeking a relaxed outdoor lifestyle. Community is an important part of settling into a new country, so we’ve put together a list of our top expat forums in Spain for those making the move.

There are many benefits of joining an expat forum and being connected with local people can be a powerful resource in sourcing information, understanding the culture and finding out about all the hidden gems reserved for local residents in the know!

Forming connections and asking for advice through forums for expats provides access to a wealth of information. Spanish communities are warm, welcoming and friendly and joining an expat forum is the perfect way to make the most of your new, sunnier, life.

Benefits of Joining Expat Forums in Spain

  • Information about the best local amenities
  • Forming friendships and accessing nearby clubs and groups
  • Seeking help with navigating the local rules
  • Advice about the best places to visit, shop and eat
  • Help with the ‘life admin’ associated with moving to a new country such as registering with a nearby bank
  • Finding like-minded people in your area
  • Asking for help breaking down any language barriers
  • Searching for the best schools, playgroups and nurseries
  • Seeking great tradespeople to help with any renovation work
  • Recommendations to make the most of all your new home has to offer

To help find the best online communities, here are the top expat forums in Spain:

  1. Expat Exchange

This forum has been around since 1997, and so hosts a huge database of information, articles and advice. The focus is very much on an exchange of information, and many forum users who are on hand to offer support have themselves benefitted from using the forum during their relocation.

Members receive help both from expats who are always delighted to help new users find the information they need, as well as international relocation professionals who can assist with technical or financial queries.

Forum topics covered include real estate, healthcare, visas, banking and tax, retirement in Spain, international shipping of your pets and starting up a business abroad; to name but a few!

Expat Exchange is free to join, and you have the options of signing up for The Foreign Exchange weekly newsletter, The Daily Update – both the global or local edition – and their Let the Adventure Begin newsletter that guides new expats through the relocation process.

  1. Expat Forum

As well as a forum where registered users can ask questions and seek advice, Expat Forum acts as a social hub to help new expats join clubs, find new friends and become integrated into their new community.

Members can share photos, maintain contact lists to have available whenever they need them, and use the Social Groups pages to connect with people in the area who share their interests in particular sports, crafts, hobbies and interests.

The newsletter is delivered via email, and includes updates about visa and immigration advice, opportunities for meetups and social events and highlights the most popular forum discussions of the week.

  1. BritishExpats.com 

Primarily aimed at British expats as the name suggests, this forum hosts a national forum, as well as area-specific threads to help people moving to certain regions of Spain.

Users discuss a variety of topics from how to fix your TV, where to find gluten-free flour, advice with pensions and taxes through to business advice.

The Welcome Inn is designed for new members to be able to introduce themselves and start making contacts in the forum. It is a friendly space covering all manner of information about moving, living and working in Spain.

Resources include the Living and Moving Abroad pages, with advice about managing your relocation, Working Abroad for job opportunities and business support, and more casual social pages divided into The Lounge, The Lab and The Locker Room.

  1. Expat.com

This website is for expats worldwide and has a section dedicated to Spain with an easy to use layout and a modern fresh interface which is regularly updated. The website includes lots of options for chatting, asking for help and finding general information, but also offers access to services for members such as health insurance, flight tickets, travel insurance and learning a new language.

With a large membership, most new posts attract a high number of views, and the forum tends to respond quickly. There is also an Events page, which offers ways for new expats to get involved. These include nights out, dining experiences, support seminars and business events.

The Discover section is packed with information – there is a general guide and a regular e-magazine. The forum also helps with finding jobs, looking for staff and searching for housing.

  1. InterNations

With an emphasis on providing networking connections, InterNations offers members ways to meet new people and make direct contact to expand their social circle, gain business contacts and seek out advice from expert expats.

The network is large, and hosts over 390 forums, each specific to the country and with advice guides, social events and open forums to help new expats access all the information they need.

Topics covered include everything from schooling, property, finding places to shop, to understanding where the best places are to live, work and socialise.

There are lots of events, which users can sign up to online. Sporting activities, beauty nights, and dinner clubs – you name it! InterNations also provides a wealth of links to other resources and groups to join, whether you are looking for business support, getting involved in the local dining culture or are hoping to brush up on your language skills to make communicating that little bit easier!

Chase Buchanan is a highly regulated wealth management company, specialising in providing global finance solutions for those with a global lifestyle.