According to Nomad List, Barcelona, Spain, is the second-best city for digital nomads after Canggu, Bali. The Catalan capital, Barcelona is home to the third-largest number of freelancers in Europe and has dozens of monthly events for freelancers and digital nomads. If you’re looking for an affordable, warm, beachside location with plenty of other digital nomads, consider joining the community of digital nomads in Barcelona. Here’s how to do it:
1.) Where to Live
This is a big city, so if you’re going to live there and join the community of digital nomads in Barcelona, you’ll want to avoid the touristy areas such as the Gothic Quarter – especially in the summer, when tourism is at its peak. Sant Martí and Poblenou are two neighborhoods with large digital nomad communities (and lots of working spaces), so it’s great if you like to network.
But be warned: Places fill up fast, so don’t expect to show up and find an apartment on day one. You’ll need to start looking at least a month in advance, and be prepared to share an apartment, as single apartments can be hard to find.
Barcelona has been cracking down on Airbnb rentals, so, while they do exist, you won’t find as many availabilities as you would in other cities. Instead, try Facebook groups such as Barcelona Rentals or Idealista.
If you’re interested in co-living spaces, check out CoWorkation: Located about 20 minutes by foot from the city center, the space has a beautiful rooftop terrace and describes itself as “a modernist mansion in the exclusive neighborhood of Sarria, with a palm tree hanging over the beautiful green garden, with tables and chairs to work al fresco,or enjoy a vino and BBQ in the evening.” The home can accommodate approximately 20, and prices start at around $600/month per person.
2.) Where To Work
Digital nomads in Barcelona have it easy when it comes to co-working spaces, cafes and even parks, as Barcelona features free public wifi pretty much everywhere you go. The downside is that most require you to connect through your Facebook account and check in; but again, it’s free, so we can’t complain too much.
If you like the idea of networking among other digital nomads in Barcelona, there are a plethora of great co-working places in Barcelona:
- Betahaus: Located in the trendy Gràcia neighborhood, Betahaus attracts the creative types and hosts hip events on everything from 3D printing to street food. Akin to SoHo House, Betahaus doesn’t take just anyone: In order to become a member, you must pass a series of interviews with existing members. That being said, you’re still welcome to test the space on a daily pass for about $30, and, if approved for membership, packages start at around $170 monthly.
- Valkiria Hub Space: Located in Poblenou, Valkiria starts at about $84/month. Offering mentoring sessions and events, it is renowned as a chill, creative and collaborative co-working spot, ideal for graphic designers and others in the visual arts space.
- Makers of Barcelona (MOB): Located in Eixample, MOB (pictured above) was founded about three years ago and describes itself as an “ecosystem that inspires growth, collaboration and creation.” The space features daily events and is open 24/7. Monthly packages start about $70.
If working from a cafe is more your scene, a few favorites among the digital nomad community in Barcelona are:
- Sopa: Located in Poblenou, Sopa is actually a vegetarian restaurant frequented by digital nomads in Barcelona. It’s a large space with plenty of natural light and even offers yoga class on-site. Yes, it gets busy during the lunch rush, so take that time to either eat lunch at Sopa, or go elsewhere and then come back.
- Federal Café: Located in the Gothic Quarter, Federal provides free wifi, good and affordable coffee, and plenty of space – what else could you ask for? Yes, it can get a bit touristy, but sometimes those touristy areas are good for inspiration!
- Coco Cofice: Located in Sant Antoni, Coco Cofice is a fusion of “co-office”and “coffee” – hence, a “cofice”! It’s a cozy space open from 9 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday, and you can either pay as you go, or pay a monthly fee – which includes free food and beverages.
The above are just a few favorites amongst the digital nomads in Barcelona, but we’re sure you’ll find a few of your own favorites as soon as you step outside your front door!
3.) Who To Connect With
Life as a digital nomad can get lonely; you’re always on the go, and it can be hard to make new friends. If you’re worrying about finding friends and people to network with within the digital nomad community in Barcelona, however, fear not – there are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of groups for digital nomads in Barcelona. A few of our favorites include:
- Barcelona Freelancer’s Meetup Group: This group has 2,700-some members and sponsors regular get-togethers for freelancers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and other digital nomads. It aims to be “an inspiring and supportive community where you can enjoy the company of like minded-people, and share the experiences, joys and challenges of working outside the 9 to 5 schedule.”
- Girl Gone International Barcelona: an excellent resource for female digital nomads in Barcelona. With over 4,000 members, it’s an expat community not just for digital nomads, but anyone looking to make friends in Barcelona. You can use the forum to ask questions about living in Barcelona, or join events the group hosts such as lunches, happy hours, dinners, and more.
- Barcelona Entrepreneurs & Digital Nomads: With just shy of 1,500 members, this group is an excellent resource for those seeking to network with the community of digital nomads in Barcelona community.
If you still have questions about being a digital nomad in Barcelona, join the above groups and ask away. You’ll find the communities incredibly friendly, and more than likely you’ll be invited to socialize over tapas and canas (beer) you first week in the city.
4.) What To Do When You’re Not Working
There are so, so many things to do in Barcelona: walk the city and get a feel for the different neighborhoods, see Gaudi’s influence first-hand, go to the beach, hike and so much more!
The first thing we recommend you do is walk around. Consider joining a free walking tour such as FWT, which starts every day at 11 am and 3 pm. It’s the perfect way to get a feel for the city and the vibe of the different neighborhoods as well as learn a bit of history and fun facts! If you’re not into official tours, make your own. Just make sure to take a stroll down La Rambla, the main pedestrian street of the city.
Next, you’llhave to learn a bit about Antoni Gaudí, the Spanish architect credited for Catalan modernism. While his influence can be seen throughout the city’s architecture, two of his most famous accomplishments, La Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, are found in Barcelona.
If you’re a beach bum, make sure you make your way down to the Mediterranean for some sunbathing, swimming or even surfing, and don’t forget to check out Barcelona’s Olympic Village.
5.) Where (and What) To Eat and Drink
If you enjoy eating and drinking delicious foods, you’ll love being a digital nomad in Barcelona. One of the best things about the food culture in Spain is that it’s about small plates. Tapas, or shared plates, are small plates of food meant to be shared among groups of friends. The next best thing is that it’s affordable! No matter where you go for tapas or pintxos, expect to pay less than $20 for multiple glasses of wine or beer, and enough food to leave you stuffed.
If you go out for tapas with a group of, say, four friends, it’s not uncommon to order 10 different types of tapas, perfect for those wanting to try everything on the menu. Favorites include patatas bravas (potatoes in red sauce), croquetas (fried balls of goodness) and tortillas (an egg and potato dish), to name a few.
Bar Cañete has been lauded by foodies and locals for years, especially for its suckling pig, croquetas, and bombas, a local delight comprising fried, meat-filled potato balls. Other favorites include Jai-Ca, located in the fisherman’s quarter of Barceloneta and famous for its fried seafood tapas.
Pintxos are also a type of small bites – a variety of culinary delights speared with a toothpick and served atop a slice of French bread – and are a culinary trend in Barcelona. Euskal Etxea, located in the Gothic Quarter, was one of the first pintxos bar in Barcelona and serves 30 different types of pintxos.
Want to be a digital nomad in Spain, but don’t think Barcelona is the right city for you? Click “Next Story” for “Your Guide to Becoming a Digital Nomad in Madrid.”