Moving to Spain solo

Hello everybody,

Moving to Spain is a challenge in itself, but even more when you decide to go alone. If this was your case when you arrived, we would like you to share your experience. It might help other people who are also preparing for this new life in Spain.

Do you have any tips for people who are about to move to Spain on their own? Is the country suitable, for instance, for a single woman?

What was your state of mind when you arrived in Spain?

What type of accommodation did you choose: house-share, self-contained accommodation or apartment complex?

How did your integration go once settled? Do you think that being alone made it easier to make friends?

Did you encounter any particular difficulties, being alone when you arrived? If you had to do it all over again, would you take a chance?

Thank you for your contribution!

Cheryl, team

I'm very curious to read any replies to this post as this can affect my future decision on moving to live in Spain at the age of 63 and with a Celta training certificate obtained from Seville International House in March 2019.  Had a summer camp job in the UK shortly afterwards and then I had a short teaching experience from September '19 until Christmas '19 in La Campana in Seville province where I was totally isolated as the only English speaking person in the area. Hell for me, so so lonely, awful. The people were wonderful but we could not communicate because of my non-existing Spanish.

Having moved to France and speaking no French when I arrived 18 years ago . I have been doing Duolingo Spanish for 18 months before I arrive in Albacete in a couple of weeks. I want to integrate I want to be able to order my food and drink in a restaurant and I want to be able to have a discussion with someone in Spanish. I am by no way fluent but hopefully be able to be understood.

Hello everyone,

@Rosnashane, I really hope this thread will help you. However, you can also have a look at other threads on the Spain forum. They might be very useful too.  :cool:

@compel, so how was the learning process? How difficult was it for an English speaking person to learn Spanish?  :/

Are you moving to Spain for work or study?

As soon as you are settle in Albacete, do not hesitate to share with us your experience as an Expat in Spain. We would love to hear your story.  :top:


Cheryl team.

I moved to Spain as a solo 63 year old. At first I lived in a shared airbnb. This turned out to be
a good move, as I met many nice people and formed a few friendships.
The key is learning the language, for obvious reasons. Another way for a solo person to learn the language and make friends is to take a language class. I have made friends in almost every class I've taken and you meet people from around the globe who are often dealing with the same issues adapting to a new culture. 
Also, try and attend language exchange meetups. Pre-pandemic I went to many of them and met people.
It can be hard being solo in a new culture. Try and stay busy, meet new people and engage with the culture. Having someone you know in your chosen locale helps a lot. I was fortunate to have a great friend who I could count on meeting once a week.
Spaniards are really into their families, it drives their social life.

It is a pity also here in Spain, that the Spanish don't learn any other language, most of time.

I was alone also here in Spain in the beginning but I am very sociable and now I have friends. I spoke only French and Enlish.


Same same I m 63 single
  Covid restrictions permitted I will spend winter in Spanish just to investigate places and maybe  plan to settle there for good!

I give you my email  so we can exchange  information .
I m french but I speak English  Italian and Spanish.
[link moderated]

Keep in touch


Hi there it was good to read your post and I agree Spanish people are so family orientated and I sort of think there probably is no reason to make friends with outsiders which is what I saw in Sevilla province, unfortunately. Having said that, I'm sure joining classes of various kinds will most certainly open doors.

Some don't like strangers also. You feel that with some people.

Hi everyone.  I'm 61 from UK.  I've worked hard in the last couple of years to get a good online self-employed business to allow me to be in another country.  I"m looking at both France and Spain, and will be solo. My French is schoolgirl standard, and spanish a couple of months on Duo Lingo and Paul Noble on Audible (who I find really good).   My girls are adult and got their own lives now, so I'm feeling a bit redundant and want to live in the sunshine.

If any other ladies in a similar position would like to set up a supportive Whattsapp group to help ourselves with confidence and tips - it might be a nice idea?  Let me know if you would like to? 
Carmen :-)
I think it is difficult to move to another country at any age.
But in the 60s can be challenge of learning the language, obtaining work, making new friends.  UK people tend to find each other no matter where they go.

However, to get to really know the place you are moving to, you will need Spanish friends.

Also, you are not alone. In the next 10 years, a good part of Europe will be over 60. Many will move South.
Hello Carmen,

Like freddesrosiers, moving to a new country is difficult at first.

But if this is what you really wish to do, I would encourage you to take the leap.

At the end of the day, I know it will be worth it.1f60e.svg

I hope other members contact you soon,


Yoginee team
Hi Carmen!  I live with my 12 year old son just north of Barcelona on the costa brava.  I have business here online and offline and would be willing to assist you if you have any problems. After living in France for 28 years, I found Spain to be more attractive in many ways: security, lower cost of living,  great beaches, less unrest with the general
Population, etc…
Let me known if you need assistance, lodging, information, etc.  Would be glad to help!
Hi Isabelle:
If you need information I'd be happy to assist.
Moderated by Cheryl last year
Reason : No advertising on the forum please
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct
This is easy to change your live into an other country. I think that need to want!!!
Sorry for mi English. I speak French and Spanish better than…
I'm un little more 61… I'm living in Spain since 4/5 years. No speak Spanish before…
Best regards.
Hasta luego 👋
Jean Michel

@isabellebocquin hello, I m contemplating moving to France or Spain next year. I m going to both countries next May to see how I feel about them. I d like to say in touch

I'm Not a company and can very well offer kindness and assistance informally. 

I just moved to Spain as a solo amputee female (with reduced mobility) and I feel perfectly safe here, even though I live near a city that has a bad reputation.

I have found moving here no problem at all, under a few conditions:

1) Start learning the language even before you come over, do not expect anyone here to speak your language

2) If possible, explore the area as a tourist and get to know the lay of the land before moving there

3) When you arrive in your new place, immediately start looking for a local (not expat!) sports or hobby association. It's probably the best way to meet like-minded local people. E.g. I'm an openwater swimmer and it didn't take me two days to get added to the WhatsApp group of the local sea swimming crowd. :-)

4) So dive in, but be patient with yourself as well as with others and humbly keep an open mind: of course there are exceptions but in general the people here are extremely friendly and helpful. If you don't understand something, it's often good to wait before emitting a negative judgement because it's completely normal for a freshly debarked foreigner to not understand why the locals behave in certain ways ...but you'll get there!

P.S.: A small trick is to start a routine such as having coffee every morning at the same place; the servers will soon recognise you and consider you as a local client. In this way you will have at least one daily dose of friendly interaction, which helps a lot to counter the overwhelming feeling of being isolated in a foreign country.

@rangfar Thank you very much for your advice


Hi, I'm probably too late replying to your message, but I would be interested in the WhatsApp group. Great idea ☺️

@rangfarThks .I take your trick.It won t be a hard job to have my breakfast daily in front of the sea.Have a nice day

@Cheryl I am now in Spain almeria so what next

I have just bought an apartment near Valencia and lived there for 2 months (but Brexit!)  I learned Spanish on Duolingo before, which really helped.  The people are generally friendly and patient, and appreciate you having a go. 

I'm mid 60s and have never felt unsafe, walking or on the bus/train.  I found a conversation class through a local FB site and have met some great people from other countries.  And I've been very fortunate to have found a lovely neighbour who talks non-stop and has been very helpful!  I'm so pleased to have made the move.  Even in November it's mild, though windy, and I wake up to blue skies and great views. 


Hiya, i would be interested in a Whats App group. I'm thinking about moving to Spain.

I will be in Arrancapins area of the city of Valencia from April 25-May 5 apartment hunting.  Do you live close to that area?  Can you give me more details on finding a in-person spanish tutor? Thank you Pamela

This is a good site to search and look at places.  I would do some research on the various consulting services that can help you with the bureaucracy; what to look for in a lease, finding the right neighborhood.  There are quite a few of these consulting companies around (look on reddit and youtube).  Typically these companies can help you with tutoring as well.  Just curious, when are you planning your move?  I am going to start looking later this year.

Cheers, best of luck!

Thank you Colette

I will be in Arrancapins (neighborhood in Valencia City) April 25 - May 5.  Any chance you will be in Valencia at the same time?

I don't think so.  I will know after March, when I will be visiting again.  I am looking into Alicaante and Valencia.  I have some contacts from previous trip and I just want to look at places and neighborhoods. 

I need to work on my Spanish as well.  They do have meetup groups for expats who want to practice Spanish and for Spanish speakers that want to practice English. 

I don't know the neighborhood you are specifically looking at, I am going to be looking to be away from the central area.  I for sure would look into some of those consulting companies.  Shop around and get quotes for the services.  Especially if you are going to sign a lease, you need someone who understands how things work in Spain who can advise about that.   Also, take a tour with a local.  You can usually customize those for whatever you are looking to do, all inclusive.  Viator or something.  I have had great experience with tours by locals. 

All good information.  Thank you.  The neighborhood Arrancapins is near the Historic District.  My son and his Valencian wife live in that area; hence looking to be within walking distance.  Please keep me posted on your plans.  I am working with a realestate agent who is looking for flats for me.  My son assures me the agency is reputable. Please let's stay in touch.  Pamela

Great discussion. I am actively searching Idealista for 1-2 bedroom apartments in Alicante, Is it possible to share the name of the agency you are working with?  [or does the site not permit such sharing?]

I am going to Alicante March 19 and look to meet expats while visiting this year.

Hey everyone - I am planning on moving to Barcelona from LA in May/June timeframe. Does anyone in this forum live there? Would love to make some connections!

We have lived in Barcelona for a year. Love the city . Have had difficulty picking up the language. Some people seem to have had good luck with DuoLingo so might try that. i assumed there would be English language social groups here but haven't found any yet.


That's awesome! are you loving Barcelona? How has your exoerience been? I am planning on taking language classes several times a week to (hopefully) become fluent . I have started using Babbel which is kind of fun. Not sure yet how much I'll get from it!

@pamelareadingsmith  Hello,   May I ask the name of the agency your are working with?  I will be there 3/27 through 4/4 and wanted to try to see some flats.  Also, what is the cost they are quoting you?  Cheers,

@charmingeve81  Will be in Valencia 3/27 through 4/4, going to get to Alicante also. Probably just for the day.  Will you be in the area then?  Cheers,

@lmurphy213 I have been visiting Barcelona for 2-3 months almost every year since 2013. Missed one year due to  the pandemic. Rented apartments for each of those years. In November 2022, we found one we wanted to rent long-term and moved here.

My roommate and best friend is Ukrainian. We keep telling each other we will start Spanish language classes but still haven't. I want to take in-person classes so we can meet other expats. I speak some Italian and thought it would make learning Spanish easier but it hasn't. Does help at our neighborhood gelato shop and pizza place because the workers are Italian. 

I don't get why you want to live in Spain to meet other expats! There are great mixer interchange groups  for foreigners wanting to learn Spanish (and catalán) and locals wanting to learn English that might help you meet both and learn to communicate.

@jchilton What cities do they have those mixers?  That is something I am very interested in doing when I get settled.  I have a little Spanish, but I need practice in conversational Spanish.  I am looking to move to Valencia or possibly Alicante.