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Overview

Barcelona - Overview


Barcelona is a large, cosmopolitan city on Spain's north eastern Mediterranean coast, and is the second largest city in Spain, behind Madrid. It is also capital of the proud community of Catalunya, and strives to keep its local language Catalan alive.

The city is known for its spectacular architecture, in particular Gaudi's creation of the unfinished church La Sagrada Familia, and other Gaudi designed buildings, and Las Ramblas, a network of small streets which are home to many shops, bars and restaurants.

The city's proximity to both the sea and the Pyrenees make it a favourite with both sun-worshippers and skiers, and therefore an all year round destination for tourists. Many expats living in the city use these tourists as a customer base for their own businesses or self-employed services.

Over 1.5 million people live in the city of Barcelona, and 4 million in its wider metropolitan area, around 14% of which are expats, the majority coming from Africa or South America. The figures may be higher, particularly for European expats, as EU citizens are free to live and work anywhere in Europe, and although they are encouraged to register as a resident, many don't.

Expats can be found in most areas of the city, popular areas include El Exaimple, Gracia or the beach suburb of Barceloneta. Many expats also choose to live outside the city itself in suburbs such as Sitges or Llobregat.

Being such a cosmopolitan city, foreigners are generally accepted and welcomed. English is widely spoken and there are many shops, newspapers, clubs and events to make an expat feel at home.

There is a lot of English material about living in the city available on the internet, especially the Barcelona Town Hall website (Ajuntament de Barcelona) which details all council services, offices and other useful information for newcomers to the city. It can be found at www.bcn.es. On this site are details of help that is available to foreigners, of which you can read more here.

Other useful resources can be found at barcelona.angloinfo.com and www.barcelonaconnect.com.


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Expat Health Insurance Partners


Aetna

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Aviva

Health is your number one priority. At Aviva we understand this, which is why we’re focused on helping you and your family access high quality healthcare at home or overseas. Our award winning medical insurance will help you get the treatment you need or simply provide guidance and advice wherever you are, 24/7.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.