Let’s go to live in Europe! Germany or Spain – which country can become your “second homeland”?

Have you decided to move to another country but don’t know which one to choose? Moving is not just about packing your belongings and buying tickets. You need to consider many factors: the cost of living in the country you’re interested in, the climate, the attitude towards newcomers, and many other nuances.

We will explain what you need to consider using the example of two European countries — Spain and Germany. Both have long been attractive destinations for relocators. According to a study by TBS Education-Barcelona, in 2020, Germany was in first place in terms of the number of migrants — 994,820, with Spain in second place — 415,150.




Pedantic Germany and Passionate Spain

Germany is a unique country that synthesizes various cultures and traditions. Oktoberfest, German classical literature and philosophy, architecture, and sculpture — it’s simply impossible not to fall in love with all this.


Spain or Germany


Advantages of living in Germany:

  • Favorable ecology and cleanliness in urban areas.
  • High level of medicine: high-tech equipment in the hands of top-class specialists.
  • High standard of living.
  • Low crime rate.
  • Quality European education.
  • Rich national cuisine.
  • Decent level of wages.
  • Developed infrastructure, comfortable environment for people with disabilities.
  • Social protection and benefits for citizens.
  • Rich cultural life.


Disadvantages of living in Germany:

  • One of the biggest downsides — high taxes.
  • High cost of services, of any kind.
  • Very expensive gasoline and other petroleum products.
  • Difficulties in learning the language and the wary attitude of the native population towards foreigners.
  • High cost of renting housing and utilities.


Spain is the birthplace of flamenco (a dance combining music and singing) and soulful cuisine, including paella and gazpacho. And, of course, the boiling blood of the local entertainment — bullfighting. A country with a diverse climate, divided into 17 administrative units.


Spain or Germany


Advantages of living in Spain:

  • Warm climate — the sun shines 300 days a year, especially in coastal areas like Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol.
  • Transport accessibility.
  • The possibility of visa-free travel to European countries.
  • Low cost of living: housing rent and food.
  • A multitude of events and fairs, architectural structures, and cultural places.
  • An abundance of diverse and delicious dishes for healthy eating enthusiasts.
  • Siesta — time for a full rest: for several hours in the middle of the day, most offices and shops close for lunch.
  • High level of medicine and education.
  • There is a simple procedure for obtaining a residence permit — it is necessary to purchase property worth from 500,000 euros (the so-called “golden visa” for investors).


 Disadvantages of living in Spain:

  • It is difficult to obtain a work permit. Local residents are more readily employed.
  • «Mañana» — literally means «tomorrow». Conditional agreements on any matters that do not have clear time frames.
  • Knowledge of the language is mandatory for a full life.
  • Central heating is rare in homes, and although winter is short, it can be cold, especially in the north.
  • Obtaining Spanish driving licenses is possible six months after obtaining a residence permit (exams are in Spanish).


Where is it better to live — in Spain or Germany?

Both countries are attractive for relocation and real estate purchases. Let’s take a closer look and find out which one is right for you.


Geographical location and climate

Germany is washed by the Baltic and North Seas, located in Central Europe. It is a state consisting of 16 federal lands with an area of 357,385 km2. The climate in the country is mild and humid: warm summer and cold winter.


Spain or Germany


Most of the territory is covered with forests. A small part of the Alps is located on the border with Austria. Germany is crossed by several large rivers. The Rhine is the longest of them, but there are also the Danube, Elbe, Weser, Oder, and Main.

Spain is a country of the Iberian Peninsula, which separates the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Portugal, France, Morocco, Andorra, and Gibraltar. The Mediterranean Sea and the Balearic Islands are located to the east.


Spain or Germany


The area of the country is 504,750 km2. Most of the territory is occupied by plains and pastures. The coasts are framed by beautiful beaches and bays. In summer, the air temperature is from 25°C to 35°C, in winter — from -6°C at night to 15°C during the day. But it all depends on the region, so this point should also be considered when moving.


Food — spiritual and essential

Entertainment and delicious food in Germany and Spain are on point. The national German cuisine is far from dietary, which cannot be said about Spain. The most favorite dishes in Germany are made from pork: various pâtés, sausages, and wieners. Yes, it is very caloric, but insanely delicious and pairs perfectly with a foamy drink. By the way, it is also presented in large quantities here, although local varieties are more traditional and there is not so much “craft” here. But participants of the famous Oktoberfest festival are hardly concerned about this. In addition to this — bakery products and potatoes in various forms.


Spain or Germany


The Spanish diet is distinguished by a large number of herbs, spices, seafood, rice, and vegetables. Relocators who adhere to a proper diet will prefer this country, but this does not mean that it is impossible to find healthy products in Germany.

Among the entertainments in Spain, La Tomatina is popular — an annual festival that takes place on the last Wednesday of August in the town of Buñol. The spectacle is truly epic: a tomato battle with more than 150 tons of tomatoes on the street. No less captivating are the bullfights — the well-known corrida, which is Spain’s “calling card”. The spectacle is as mesmerizing as it is dangerous: for several hours, bulls attack the matador and there is always a chance that this “meeting” will end with injuries for the latter. Dance enthusiasts will not be indifferent to flamenco — the famous dance of passion. Spanish nightlife also pleases — underground clubs and restaurants will not let you get bored.


Spain or Germany


Germany offers plenty of entertainment: there are all the resources for active recreation and nightlife. Germans have a penchant for clubs — from shooting to singing clubs. There are also unconventional entertainments: goths from all over the world flock to the Leipzig festival of gothic culture. Extreme sports enthusiasts will also love this country.


Standard of Living

According to the British analytical center The Legatum Institute, Spain ranks 23rd in terms of living comfort criteria: education, healthcare, economy, governance, and entrepreneurship. In Spain, it is easier to obtain a residence permit through marriage, family reunification, but more problematic in terms of work.

With an average salary of 1900 euros per month, Spaniards can afford several trips a year, go to cafes and restaurants three times a week — all this in addition to utility bills, taxes, and expenses for necessities.


Spain or Germany


In the Global Peace Index ranking, Germany holds a solid 15th place for economic stability and a high standard of living. It is important to understand what German stability is built on. Undoubtedly, it is order as the main feature of the mentality. Therefore, potential relocators will have to adjust their thinking towards strict compliance with the law — from paying taxes to proper waste management. The latter is strict in the country: Germans fight for environmental cleanliness and adhere to strict standards for waste recycling. Medicine, education, infrastructure — all this is at the highest level thanks to high taxes. The country is interested in attracting engineering specialists. An easy way to obtain a residence permit — getting a work visa. The minimum wage for unskilled workers is 1700-1800 euros. For comparison: monthly expenses for necessities — around 450 euros. Despite the positive aspects of the economy, many residents complain about high taxes.


Rental and Purchase of Housing

The main point when moving to another country is housing rental. Rental prices depend on location, time of year, and season. You can familiarize yourself with all the parameters and prices on our website. In Spain, renting property in large metropolises is slightly more expensive than in coastal resorts and suburbs. In Germany, it is similar, but there is a small difference: in Berlin, the cost varies between the western and eastern parts of the city.


Spain or Germany


Advantages of buying property in Germany:

  • Possibility of obtaining a multi-visa and even a residence permit.
  • No obstacles to property acquisition by foreigners.
  • The right to rent out, gift, and resell.
  • After 10 years of owning property, the owner is exempt from capital gains tax upon sale.


Advantages of buying property in Spain:

  • Possibility of obtaining a residence permit.
  • Good investment opportunity with the prospect of making a profit.
  • Simplicity of the transaction and no restrictions on acquisition by foreigners.


You can view offers for buying a house on the real estate agency “M2 Real Estate” website.


Which Cities in Germany are Preferable for Buying Property?


Spain or Germany


There are many good cities in Germany where you can buy property. So let’s just mention some of them:

  • Cologne can be considered by students and entrepreneurs. It is a center of economy, culture, and tourism. Located in the west, on the Rhine River. It is considered the cultural capital of the country with numerous galleries, museums, and architectural structures.
  • Dresden is suitable for representatives of working professions, as the city is considered the industrial capital. It has famous places: Zwinger — a palace with galleries, and Frauenkirche — a church with one of the largest domes in Europe.
  • Berlin — the capital of the country. Suitable for families with children, workers, students, and entrepreneurs. It has a developed infrastructure for various population needs. A significant part of the elite real estate is located here, so housing prices can be quite high.
  • Hamburg is suitable for students and families with children. Traditionally, there are many tourists here, so life here is bustling almost every day. The city has the best universities in the country, so it is an excellent option for continuing your education.
  • Frankfurt — the financial capital, so there are a large number of offices here. The city has many investment growth opportunities for entrepreneurs.


Spanish Cities for Living


Spain or Germany


Here is a list of cities that are considered excellent options for relocation:

  • Barcelona — a major Mediterranean port with a warm climate. The city with inspiring streets, imbued with the times of Picasso. It is a popular tourist destination because practically every stone in the city has its own history.
  • Valencia — a synthesis of modern technology and historical heritage. Numerous museums, restaurants, and various clubs. It is a city of art and science, but it is suitable for living for absolutely everyone.
  • Alicante — a resort city. A center of attraction for tourists, people with an active life stance. Sport, healthy eating, positive mood — all this in Alicante.
  • Seville — a major economic center. Attracts tourists, families with children, students, and entrepreneurs. To a large extent — because of its magnificent weather and excellent infrastructure.


Many people choose the country’s coast for permanent residence. And there is a reason: more than 300 sunny days a year, well-maintained and free beaches, not so high property costs compared to Madrid or Barcelona. Costa Blanca in this regard — one of the best options.

Where is it better to live — in Spain or Germany — cannot be answered definitively. The choice depends on your inner beliefs and preferences. Consider that the cost of living plays a big role and Spain definitely wins here. If you have decided to become your own person in one of these countries, contact the specialists of our agency “M2 Real Estate” for questions about buying, renting, or exchanging housing.