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When moving to Spain there is a lot to consider because while it is not a huge country, each region in Spain is very different. This Guide to the Regions in Spain will help you decide which region in Spain is best to live in for you when moving to Spain!

Spain has 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities that you can choose to live in. Autonomous communities are basically the different states or regions in Spain. Each autonomous community is further broken down into provinces, typically named for the largest city in each of them. For the purpose of this Guide to the Regions in Spain, we will refer to the autonomous communities as regions.

Regions of Spain Where to Live
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Depending on how you are moving to Spain will determine whether you can choose any region to live in or if you are limited to specific regions, like with the Auxiliares de Conversación Program to teach English in Spain.

Many Americans come to live in Spain to work as auxiliares de conversaciones and have to select 3 regions in Spain to potentially live in. Therefore, this Guide to the Regions in Spain has information about the Auxiliares de Conversación Program for each region. It includes whether or not the Auxiliares de Conversación Program is available in each region and whether or not the auxiliares get paid on time.

If you are not moving to Spain to work as an auxiliar de conversación, you can ignore this part of the Guide to each region in Spain as it’s specific to those living and working in Spain through this program.

Read more about the Auxiliares de Conversación Program or How to Apply for the Auxiliares de Conversación Program in Spain.

Andalucía (Andalusia)

Guide to the Regions of Spain Andalucia
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Andalucía is one of the most popular regions in Spain for auxiliares and tourists. It’s the second largest region in Spain and encompasses most of southern Spain from east to west. Some of Spain’s most famous cities, like Sevilla, Málaga, and Granada, are located in Andalucía making it one of the most visited regions in Spain.

Major Cities: Sevilla, Málaga, Granada, Jaén, Huelva, Córdoba, Cádiz, and Almería

Language: Spanish is the only language spoken in Andalucía. However, there is a strong andalúz accent which is difficult to understand at first, especially if your Spanish is not that strong. 

Thoughts on Living in Andalucía: “Córdoba is a beautiful, historic city with so much to offer, including a record of four UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s small enough that it feels authentically Spanish and Andalusian, but still offers plenty to see and do. It’s well-situated within Andalusia and easy to reach Seville, Madrid, and the coast by car or public transport. My only real complaint would be the lack of a functioning airport for passengers (the Cordoba airport does exist and is operational, but doesn’t serve commercial flights), and it also can get ridiculously hot in the summer (upwards of 45º C/113ª F is normal).”

Read more about living in Córdoba at Viatic Couture.

“Málaga is a city located in the autonomous community called Andalucía, famous for its incredibly warm climate, flamenco dancing, tapas, and great beaches. Andalucía includes some of the most visited cities in Spain. The three cities Granada, Sevilla, and Málaga are like a triangle that many visitors circuit for their gastronomy, culture, and scenery. Located in “La Costa del Sol,” Malaga is a sunny beach-side city with high-rises that almost seem to rise from the sea, but you can also hike around Moorish ruins. Granada is a mountain city with a hippie vibe where you can see flamenco dancing in a cave and get free tapas with your cerveza. Sevilla is a tourist hotspot where you can gawk at a 138-foot-tall cathedral and travel back in time to Plaza Espana (although depending on when you go, it can be inundated with tourists.) Besides the crowds, another downside of Andalucía is that it is incredibly hot in the summer, so hot that I finally understood why Spaniards have a ‘siesta’ from 2 to 5pm – it’s because during summer, anyone outside at that time might melt. Overall, I would wholeheartedly recommend visiting or living in Andalucía, but make sure not to go in the middle of summer, and try to avoid the tourists and explore some of the less-traveled corners.”

Read more about living in Málaga at Where is Amber?

Visit Granada

Auxiliares Program in Andalucía: Yes, Andalucía has a huge number of auxiliar positions available each and every year with most of them being in or near bigger cities and provincial capitals, like Sevilla, Málaga, Granada, Jaén, Huelva, Córdoba, Cádiz, and Almería. 

Remember that while you might want to live in those cities, you could also get placed at a school in rural Andalucía and have to live in a pueblo due to lack of transportation.

Paid on Time: In the past, there have been some issues of on-time payments for auxiliares. On-time payments in Andalucía can vary by province. 

Rent in Andalucía:

  • Córdoba: €130-250 (shared piso), €450+ (your own piso)
  • Granada: €200-275 (shared piso), €400+ (your own piso)
  • Málaga: €250-400 (shared piso). €300 (your own piso outside the city center)
  • Sevilla: €275-355 (shared piso), €650+ (your own piso)

Aragón

Guide to the Regions in Spain Aragon
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Aragón is a less visited region in the northeastern part of Spain. While it’s a large community, much of it is rural with Zaragoza and Huesca being the two largest cities in the region. Zaragoza is well-connected by train to other parts of Spain, like Madrid and Sevilla. 

Major Cities: Zaragoza, Huesca, Teruel

Language: Spanish is the only language spoken in Aragón. 

Thoughts on Living in Aragón: Aragón is the 4th largest region of Spain by area but has a relatively low population density. Zaragoza is well-connected to the rest of Spain compared to other cities in the area because it is on the AVE line. You can get to Sevilla in only a few hours! 

Aragón, while not a region most auxiliares select, is filled with beautiful small villages, like Albarracín, and spectacular mountains if you like outdoors activities, like hiking.

Zaragoza, Spain

Auxiliares Program in Aragón: There are some placements here, and it is not a popular region for auxiliaries to choose. Most placements are in Zaragoza and Huesca.

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know 

Rent in Aragón:

  • Zaragoza: €500 (your own piso in the center) or €200-300 (shared piso)
  • Huesca: €170-250 (shared piso), €400-600 (your own piso)

Asturias

Asturias Spain Region Guide
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Asturias is a small, lesser known region in northern Spain along the coast. It’s bordered by Galicia and Castilla y León. There are beautiful beaches, mountains, and a lush green landscape. However, it is known to be gloomy and rainy in this part of Spain, especially in winter, so keep that in mind if you are moving to Asturias.

Major Cities: Gijón and Oviedo

Language: Spanish is the predominant language in Asturias. However, they do speak Asturiano. It’s not as prevalent as the other regional languages in Spain because it’s not as engrained in school, workplace, and culture, but it still used. 

Thoughts on Living in Asturias: “I consider Oviedo to be one of Spain’s best kept secrets. It has an incredibly lush, varied landscape with mountains, cliffs, tucked away villages, sandy beaches, hidden surfing towns, and a kind, generous community. It can feel isolated from the rest of Spain which can be both good and frustrating. 

For flights, a 4-5 hour bus ride to Madrid or about a 3 hour bus ride to Santander is usually your best bet, so planning is required. 

Winters are gray and cold, with frequent rains that can feel pretty miserable, but the summer months are beautifully temperate and provide some of the most idyllic outdoor weather you can imagine. And the outdoors are always close by. Walking from the city center you can climb to the top of Narranco, a small peak, in an hour or less. And local bus transportation can get you to many other sites like La Senda del Oso or the Lagos de Covadonga. In my opinion, someone wanting to live in Oviedo is someone looking for an unconventional Spanish experience, prefers mid-size cities, and has a love for the outdoors.  It’s one of my favorite cities in Spain.”

Follow @micah.orton on instagram

Auxiliares Program in Asturias: Asturias has a very small auxiliar program that is typically reserved for those in their second year. 

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know

Rent in Asturias: 

  • Oviedo: €250-300 (shared piso in the center), ~€200 (shared piso outside the center), €450-650 (your own piso)
  • Gijón: €250-300 (shared piso in the center), €600-700 (your own piso in the center)

Cantabria

Spain Region Guide Cantabria
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Cantabria is a small community along the coast in northern Spain that often gets forgotten about as it’s next to País Vasco. However, this is truly one of the hidden gems of Spain and a region worth at least visiting.

Major Cities: Santander

Language: Spanish is the only language spoken in Cantabria.

Thoughts on Living in Cantabria: Cantabria is one of the smaller regions in Spain and offers a wonderful chance for people to live in an authentic Spanish city. Its largest city is Santander at about 180,000 people, so not many tourists visit here making it a great place to learn Spanish and be immersed in the culture. Cantabria also does not get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter, so it’s a comfortable climate to live in. There are lots of pueblos to visit, beaches to relax on, and mountains to climb in this small region in Spain. 

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Auxiliares Program in Cantabria: Yes, but there are very few placements.

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know

Rent in Cantabria:

  • Santander: €220-300 (shared piso), €600+ (your own piso)

Castilla-La Mancha

Castilla-La Mancha Guide to the Regions in Spain
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Castilla-La Mancha is a largely rural region that is not very populated. It’s a large inland region just south of Madrid, but north of Andalucía. It’s perhaps best known for the famous windmills from Don Quixote.

Major Cities: Albacete, Talavera de la Reina, Guadalajara, Toledo, Ciudad Real

Language: Spanish is the only official language in Castilla-La Mancha. The accent in more neutral and easier to understand than that of its neighboring region, Andalucía.

Thoughts on Living in Castilla-La Mancha: Castilla-La Mancha is a medium-sized region in Spain, but it is one of the least dense, meaning that even if you are living in a city, it will probably feel like a pueblo. Living in a pueblo gives you the opportunity to really connect with Spaniards, learn Spanish, and be able to save more money. 

However, it’s more difficult to travel to other parts of Europe from Castilla-La Mancha, unless you live in Guadalajara or Toledo which are just outside Madrid. Depending on where you live in Castilla-La Mancha, you will be close to other popular cities to visit in Spain, like Valencia, Madrid, Granada, Alicante, and much more!

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Auxiliares Program in Castilla-La Mancha: Yes, there are auxiliar placements in Castilla-La Mancha, but not as many as other regions this size.

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know

Rent in Castilla-La Mancha:

  • Albacete: €150-250 (shared piso), €400+ (your own piso)
  • Ciudad Real: €130-200 (shared piso), €350+ (your own piso)

Castilla y Leon

Castilla y Leon Guide to Spain Regions Auxiliar
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Castilla y León is a huge region in Spain that covers most of inland northwest Spain. There are quite a few larger cities where people live, but because the region is so large they vary in cost of living and things to do quite a bit. 

Major Cities: León, Salamanca, Valladolid, Burgos, Segovia, Ávila, Soria

Language: Spanish is the only language spoken throughout this region, and the accent is standard of Castellano (Castillian Spanish) and easy to understand.

Thoughts on Living in Castilla y León: With Castilla y León being so large and having so many cities, there are huge differences in people’s experiences with living in this region in Spain. Soria is a small city without much to do, whereas Segovia is very close to Madrid and is heavily visited. Salamanca is a big university town. León is a larger city that’s further north and has free tapas when you order a drink!

Overall, living in Castilla y León is great experience if you don’t mind a smaller city that might not be near a major airport or be super well connected to other parts of Spain. It is, however, cheaper to live in and one of the best places to learn Spanish in Spain as the accent is authentic Castellano and easy to understand. There also aren’t many tourists, so you will be surrounded by Spaniards. 

Auxiliares Program in Castilla y León: Yes, there are tons of placements throughout one of Spain’s largest regions. 

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know

Rent in Castilla y León:

  • León: €150-250 (shared piso), €450+ (your own piso)
  • Salamanca: €170-250 (shared piso), €400+ (your own piso)
  • Burgos: €175-250 (shared piso), €450+ (your own piso)

Cataluña (Catalonia)

Cataluña Auxiliares de Conversacion Region Guide
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Cataluña is the second most populous region in Spain, right behind Andalucía and right before Madrid. It’s crown jewel is Barcelona, but there are plenty of other cities in the region that are overlooked because of Barcelona. 

Major Cities: Barcelona, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Terrassa, Sabadell, Tarrangona, Girona, Lleida

Language: Cataluña has two official languages: Catalán and Spanish. Along with País Vasco and Galicia, Cataluña has a very dominant official language that is not Spanish. There is strong regional pride—national pride too if you see Cataluña as its own country—so people will often speak to you in catalán first, English second, and Spanish third, especially in Barcelona where English is more prominent because of tourism. 

Thoughts on Living in Cataluña: Cataluña is somewhere a lot of people want to live, mostly because of Barcelona. It’s also right on the Mediterranean Coast, so you get the beach too! It can be a challenging place tol learn Spanish though because of the strong influence of catalán, but it’s not impossible. Barcelona also make the rest of Spain and Europe so accessible. One big downside is the cost of living, especially in Barcelona. As apartments turn into Airbnbs and rents skyrocket, it can make it difficult to afford to live in the center of Barcelona, especially as an English teacher.

Auxiliares Program in Cataluña: Yes, but it has not always been offered, and there are very few placements. They used to run the program, but then ended it because of payment issues and the Comunidad de Madrid took over running it. If your heart is set on living in Barcelona or Cataluña, check out other programs to teach English in Spain.

Paid on Time: Currently yes, but there have been significant issues in the past. 

Rent in Cataluña:

  • Barcelona: €400-600 (shared piso), €800+ (your own piso

*The closer you are to the center of Barcelona, the more expensive rent will be. 

Extremadura

Guide to the Regions in Spain Extremadura
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Extremadura is often a forgotten part of Spain, both by foreign travelers and Spaniards. It is very rural and tucked away between Portugal and other rural regions of Spain. However, Extremadura has a lot of hidden gems that most people unfortunately miss because they skip over it. 

Major Cities: Badajoz, Cáceres, Mérida

Language: Spanish is the only language of Extremadura.

Thoughts on Living in Extremadura: Extremadura is a region most people don’t want to go to to live in Spain. The cities aren’t large, and it’s very rural. It isn’t even that well-connected to other parts of Spain, and especially not the rest of Europe. However, the cost of living is super low, and you can really immerse yourself in the Spanish culture. People are open and welcoming in Extremadura, so it’s a fantastic place to live if your goal isn’t to jet-set around Europe on the weekends. Extremadura is also where jamón ibérico comes from, so you can get world-class jamón for low prices!

For auxiliares de conversación, Extremadura offers €935 per month for 16 hours per week of work making it a great bang for your buck!

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Auxiliares Program in Extremadura: Yes, and they oftentimes cannot fill positions. 

Paid on Time: Typically, yes, but there was a problem with on-time payments for the 2020-21 school year reported on the Auxiliares de Conversacion Program Facebook Page.

Rent in Extremadura:

  • Badajoz: €150-225 (shared piso), €425-550 (your own piso)
  • Cáceres: €130-225 (shared piso), €350-500 (your own piso)
  • Mérida: €150-250 (shared piso), €350-500 (your own piso)

Galicia

Best Places to Live in Spain Galicia
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Galicia is most well-known for being the end of the Camino de Santiago. Thousands of people each year make their way across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela and finish their pilgrimage. Unfortunately, this is sometimes where people’s visit to Galicia ends. This region in northwest Spain, just above Portugal, has some of the best seafood in all of Spain. Although it rains, it also has some of the best landscapes with miles of coastline and mountains. 

Major Cities: Vigo, A Coruña, Ourense, Lugo, Santiago de Compostela

Language: Galicia, similar to Cataluña and País Vasco, has another official language to Spanish, gallego. Gallego is widely spoken, especially in pueblos. It’s taught in schools and required for public jobs. However, you can still learn Spanish while living in Galicia.

Thoughts on Living in Galicia: Galicia has a very high quality of life in Spain. The cities are large enough to feel like a city, but they aren’t super expensive to live in. They are also pretty well-connected and Santiago de Compostela has a decent-size airport. Galicia also is very close to Portugal, so you can easily go on weekend trips to another country! The food in Galicia is remarkable, especially if you love seafood as it’s caught right off the coast. Galicia is one of the best places to live in Spain for auxiliares too because you can really stretch your budget since you can make €935 per month for working 16 hours per week!

Auxiliares Program in Galicia: Yes, there are quite a few placements too!

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know

Rent in Galicia:

  • Vigo: €180-250 (shared piso), €450+ (your own piso)
  • A Coruña: €160-250 (shared piso), €500+ (your own piso)
  • Ourense: €150-250 (shared piso), €480+ (your own piso)
  • Santiago de Compostela: €160-250 (shared piso), €400+ (your own piso)

La Rioja

Where to Live in Spain La Rioja
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La Rioja is the smallest region in mainland Spain, both by size and population. While it’s often overlooked by tourists and Spaniards, there is a lot to do between hiking, drinking wine, and exploring pueblo festivals. If you love wine, La Rioja is one of the best regions to live in, in Spain!

Major Cities: Logroño

Language: Spanish is the only language spoken in La Rioja. The accent is pretty clear and easy to understand, so it’s a great place to learn Spanish.

Thoughts on Living in La Rioja: La Rioja is one of the most underrated regions in all of Spain. Its capital city, Logroño, is not very big (~150,000), but it has one of the best gastronomic scenes in all of Spain and rivals the much more famous food scene in San Sebastian. For only €10, you can get about 4 pinchos and 4 glasses of Rioja wine on the famous Calle Laurel

While the city is smaller, it is very compact, so you can be in the city one minute and in the countryside within about 20 minutes on foot. It’s a fantastic region to live in for people who love hiking, biking, running, or outdoor activities. 

La Rioja Auxiliares de Conversacion

As Spanish is the only language spoken here, La Rioja is also one of the best places to live in Spain to learn Spanish. There are not many tourists who come through La Rioja, so you will not have to worry about being around a lot of other English speakers. The accent is also easy to understand as it is very clear. If you are living in La Rioja as an English teacher, you will also have no problem finding private English classes to teach because there is little competition for English speakers.

The biggest downside to living in La Rioja is the lack of airport and connection to other parts of Spain or Europe. The closest airports are a 2 hour bus ride to Bilbao or a 4 hour ride to Madrid. There is a train station, but not many trains. However, you can still get to other parts of Spain by bus from Logroño or train via nearby Zaragoza.

The cost of living is also very low and the quality of life very high, making La Rioja one of the best places to live in Spain!

Auxiliares Program in La Rioja: Yes, and most can live in Logroño and commute to any pueblo.

Paid on Time: Yes

Rent in La Rioja:

  • Logroño: €150-250 (shared piso), €500-700 (your own piso)

Las Islas Baleares (Balearic Islands)

Balearic Islands Auxiliares de Conversacion Guide
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Las Islas Baleares—Balearic Islands—are located in the Mediterranean Sea off the east coast of Spain. The four major islands are Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera. However, there are other smaller islands. Ibiza is by far the most well-known island in Las Islas Baleares. 

Major Cities: Palma de Mallorca, Calvia, Eivissa Vila (Ibiza), Manacor

Language: Spanish and catalán are both official languages in Las Islas Baleares and are widely spoke and seen on signs. German and English are also widely used because of the number of tourists that visit, but they are not official languages.

Thoughts on Living in Las Islas Baleares: Las Islas Baleares have a lot to offer with great weather and beaches. You get to live in a place most people just dream about vacationing in! However, you can also get island fever because you can feel trapped on the island. 

If you are doing the Auxiliares de Conversación Program, you might also be placed on a smaller island, like Menorca, instead of in the larger Mallorca. This can really make the feeling of being stuck on the island worse.

Auxiliares de Conversación Islas Baleares
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Auxiliar Program in Las Islas Baleares:  Yes, the Auxiliares de Conversación Program does have placements here, but there are not too many of them.

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know.

Rent in Las Islas Baleares: 

  • Palma de Mallorca: €700+ (your own piso in the center), €300-400 (shared piso)
  • Menorca: €500-800 (your own piso)

*Rent can get very expensive because of vacation homes. It also gets more expensive the closer you are to the beach.

Las Islas Canarias (Canary Islands)

Canary Islands Moving to Spain Auxiliares
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Las Islas Canarias are a group of islands that belong to Spain and are located off the western coast of Morocco. They have really unique geographic features and marvelous beaches, but are pretty far from mainland Spain. However, they are the only place in Europe bananas are grown…

Major Cities: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, San Cristóbal de La Laguna

Language: Spanish the primary language in Las Islas Canarias. However, English and German are also widely spoke because of tourism. 

Thoughts on Living in Las Islas Canaries: Las Islas Canarias offers fantastic weather year-round. You can actually surf all year with a wetsuit! The islands are volcanic, so the landscape is varied and has tons of unique outdoor activities you can’t do in other parts of Spain, including the highest point in all of Spain Pico del Tiede at 12,198 feet. The downside to living on an island is the feeling of being stuck on the island as you need a flight to get to most other places in Europe.

islas canarias auxiliares de conversacion
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Auxiliares Program in Las Islas Canarias: Auxiliares are placed in here, but there have been years where they don’t have the program.

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know

Rent in Las Islas Canarias: 

  • Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: €250-350 (shared piso), €700+(your own piso)
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife:  €200-350 (shared piso), €550+ (your own piso)

Madrid

Guide to Regions in Spain Auxiliares de Conversation Madrid
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When Madrid is listed as a region of Spain, it is actually the Comunidad de Madrid. The Comunidad de Madrid includes the city of Madrid, but also an area surrounding the metropolitan area and some pueblos that are pretty far out. THIS is even still Madrid!

The vast majority of people living in the Comunidad de Madrid live in Madrid, but there are some people who live in the pueblos. If you are moving to Spain and doing the Auxiliares de Conversación Program, you cannot pick exactly where you will work, so you might receive a placement in the more rural parts of the Comunidad de Madrid

Major Cities: Madrid

Language: Spanish is Madrid’s official language. It is the capital of Spain, and while Madrid is an international city, Spanish is spoken everywhere.

Thoughts on Living in Madrid: “Can I just start by saying I LOVE LIVING IN MADRID. Madrid has been my happy place since I studied abroad here back in 2011. I even have Madrid coordinates tattooed on my side in case I ever get lost and need to be returned home. 😬 Needless to say, when it comes to living in Madrid, my list of pros highly outweighs cons, but I’ll try my best to provide some perspective and balance.

Madrid is known for its social atmosphere and bustling nightlife which is one of my favorite parts about living here. There’s ALWAYS something to do, somewhere to go and someone new to meet in Madrid. Living here you’ll never have a shortage of cultural events to choose from, and at any given time, (rain or shine) you’ll find the city’s many outdoor terraces overflowing with chatty caña drinkers. Madrid also boasts an excellent public transportation system (one of the best in Europe), plentiful green spaces and parks, a rich international foodie scene, and an optimal location for travel around Europe.

As for cons, (and maybe this is obvious), Madrid is extremely landlocked with the closest beach over an hour away by AVE (high-speed train). Also, when it comes to Madrid’s cost-of-living, most Spaniards consider the city very pricey. Average rent prices are relatively cheap when compared to other European cities, but much higher than other regions in Spain. This varies a lot from neighborhood to neighborhood, and the general rule of thumb is the closer you are to the center the steeper the rent, especially thanks to the Airbnb effect. That being said, there are lots of living options around the city from co-living spaces, to group or room rentals.”

Lauren Bonheim is a moving abroad and expat coach who’s lived on and off in Madrid for the past 6 years. Check out her Madrid Travel Guide!

Auxiliares Program in Madrid: Yes, Madrid has the highest number of auxiliares in all of Spain. If you pick this as your top choice, you will probably be placed here unless your inscrita number is very high.

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know

Rent in Madrid:

  • Madrid: €350-400 (shared piso), €700-1200 (your own piso close to the center)

*Rent prices in Madrid can vary a lot depending on how close you are to the center and tourist areas where prices are driven up by Airbnbs.

Murcia

Spain Region Guide Murcia
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Murcia is a small region in southeast Spain that sits along the Mediterranean coast. It has gorgeous beaches and a few bigger cities. However, Murcia is not super well-connected to the rest of Spain and has a very difficult accent to understand.

Major Cities: Murcia, Cartagena

Languages: Spanish is the only official in Murcia, but the accent in Murcia is very difficult to understand.

Thoughts on Living in Murcia: Murcia is a fun region to live in, especially if you are looking to learn Spanish and immerse yourself in Spanish culture. There are few tourists here, so you can really meet Spanish people because you will be forced to hangout with them, instead of being with other foreigners. Murcia also has a low cost of living and fantastic weather, so it’s a good place to live in Spain if you are living on a tight budget.

auxiliares de conversacion murcia
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Auxiliares Program in Murcia: Yes, with quite a few placements

Paid on Time: Yes, but in the past, there have been issues with being paid on time in Murcia.

Rent in Murcia:

  • Murcia: €150-250 (shared piso), €350-500 (your own piso)

Navarra

Navarra is, perhaps, best known for Pamplona and the Running of the Bulls, San Fermín. Pamplona is by far the largest city by population in Navarra, but there are also a lot of great pueblos in this region.

Major Cities: Pamplona

Language: Spanish and euskera (Basque) are the two official languages in Navarra. Euskera is more prevalent in pueblos, but it can still be heard throughout Navarra. It isn’t as prominent as it is in País Vasco though.

Thoughts on Living in Navarra: Navarra is a smaller, much more rural region, compared to other parts of Spain. Its largest city is Pamplona at about 200,000 people, and it’s more spread out than other smaller regions, like Asturias, Cantabria, and La Rioja. This means you might have to live in a pueblo depending on where you work. 

Navarra has a lower cost of living, great festivals, like San Fermín, and is a wonderful place to live to learn Spanish, even though euskera is spoke here. It is also easy to get to surrounding places, like País Vasco, Barcelona, and Zaragoza. If you are fine not living in a huge city or easily getting to one, Navarra is a great region in Spain to live.

Auxiliares Program in Navarra: Yes, but there are not many placements in Navarra, and they are all over the region, not just in Pamplona.

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know

Rent in Navarra:

  • Pamplona: €275-350 (shared piso), €600-900 (your own piso)

País Vasco (Basque Country)

Basque Country Region Guide Spain
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País Vasco is the most populous region, as well as most visited, in northern Spain, not including Cataluña. There are big cities, beaches, and mountains, so lots of variety for you to explore!

Major Cities: Bilbao, San Sebastián, and Vitoria-Gasteiz

Language: Euskera, or Basque, is spoken in País Vasco, along with Spanish. It’s one of the most prominent other languages spoken in Spain. Euskera is not like Spanish, or any other known language at all, and is very difficult to understand and learn. However, most people in bigger cities will speak to you in Spanish because not many people not born in País Vasco know euskera. In the pueblos, it is more common to hear.

Thoughts on Living in País Vasco: País Vasco is a great region of Spain to live in. There is a lot to do, and it’s right on the coast. However, the beaches aren’t made for swimming all year-round as it gets pretty cold and rainy in winter. Like much of northern Spain, the rain keeps it green though. 

There are a lot of fun cities and villages to visit in País Vasco. Plus, it has some of the best food in Spain with its famous pintxos!

Rent is a little more expensive in the Basque Country than other places in Spain, especially in Bilbao and San Sebastian, but they are larger cities with a lot to offer. If you are an English speaker, you might want to consider teaching private English classes on the side to make extra money.

Bilbao also has a bigger international airport making travel in and out of País Vasco easy. It’s also close to France, so driving or taking the bus or train there is easy too!

 Auxiliares Program in País Vasco: There are plenty of placements, and most auxiliares are able to live in a major city and commute if needed.

Paid on Time: Yes, as far as we know

Rent in País Vasco: 

  • Bilbao: €300-400 (shared piso), €600-800 (your own piso)
  • San Sebastian: €300-400 (shared piso), €700+ (your own piso) *both more expensive closer to the beach
  • Vitoria-Gasteiz: €250-300 (shared piso), €550+ (your own piso)

Valencia

Guide to the Regions in Spain Valencia Auxiliares de Conversacion
(Source)

Valencia is a beautiful region that sits along the Mediterranean coast. It has incredible weather and mountains but is sometimes forgotten about, even though it has the 3rd largest cities in Spain, Valencia.

Major Cities: Valencia, Alicante, Elche, Castellón de la Plana

Language: Valencia has two official languages: Valenciana and Spanish. Valenciana is widely spoken, but it is more similar to Spanish than other regional languages, like euskera in País Vasco. 

Thoughts on Living in Valencia: Valencia is a huge city that usually goes overlooked by people visiting Spain, other than for Las Fallas. It is cheaper than the other big cities of Spain, Madrid and Barcelona, and has great weather and a beach. It might seem a little disconnected from other parts of Spain, but it’s not really that disconnected. Overall, Valencia is a great place to live in Spain if you want a large city that is not overrun by tourists and on the beach. 

(Source)

Auxiliares Program in Valencia: Yes, but in past years, they have canceled the program here.

Paid on Time: No, there have been numerous problems throughout the years with on-time payments. This is one reason it has been cancelled before. If you choose Valencia as an auxiliar de conversación, please come with enough money to live off of through at least December in case you don’t get paid on-time.

Rent in Valencía:

  • Valencia: €250-350 (shared piso), €700+ (your own piso)

Autonomous Cities — Ceuta and Melilla

Spain Autonomous Cities
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceuta

Aside from the 17 regions in Spain, there are 2 autonomous cities. However, they are very small and located on the continent of Africa, which is why they are not fully included in this Guide to the Regions in Spain. The 2 cities are Ceuta and Melilla.

Neither city has the Auxiliares de Conversación Program and not many people moving to Spain opt to live there unless it’s specifically for work.

Check out these posts for information on Ceuta and Melilla.

Hopefully, this Guide to the Regions in Spain has given you a unique outlook on each of the different regions in Spain, so you can decide which one is best for you for when you decide to move to Spain!

If you are an auxiliar de conversación, keep in mind that you have to select 3 regions in Spain for the auxiliar application, so pick 3 of the regions in this Guide to the Regions in Spain that you would feel comfortable potentially moving to.

No matter why you are moving to Spain, remember that each of the regions in Spain has something unique and special to offer. Spain is really a country of many different, smaller countries with many differences between regions, so keep an open mind and use this Guide to the Regions in Spain as a way to get an idea of the best place to live in Spain for you.

Do you have a favorite region in Spain? What would you add to this Guide to the Regions in Spain?

4 Comments

  1. As someone who is looking Into the program, this is very helpful! I am trying to find information on Aragón participation since I wasn’t able to find a Facebook group for 2020/21 auxiliaries in Aragón.

  2. Hi, love this article! I’m applying to Asturias, Madrid, and Galicia. I was a little thrown off by the estimated wage in Galicia. You listed the wage was 935/month for 16 hours. I haven’t read this anywhere else. I was under the impression it was 700-800 for 12 hours. Do you mind linking where you found this information? Thanks!

    • Those are all great regions! The 935€ for 16 hours was listed in the Auxiliares de Conversacion Facebook Page. Some regions will do this if they are in need of auxiliares, so it might change year to year. As of last year, they were offering it though. Thanks for reading, and let us know if you have other questions!

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