Moving to Barcelona. Part 3.

Hi guys! Let’s move on with our next part about moving to Barcelona. Today I will talk about how to open a bank account, pay bills, pay taxes. I know this is not so interesting, but still needless to say that it is important stuff to read.

When we came here, almost 10 years ago, I opened a bank account with an international passport, and didn’t have to prepare too much for it. But recently, when I wanted to open a bank account for a relative, it was such a long process. Firstly, because I found out that not every bank will open an account with an international passport only, almost all of them ask for NIE, I talked about it in my previous post. Then, when I finally found the bank, they were insisting that I had to take with them a special insurance. As you see, not always an easy process.

Another important point, is that you have to be ready that bank may apply different charges and fees once you open an account. Many banks have free of charge accounts only for those who receive their salary on that account. Also many banks charge a fee for your debit or credit cards and expect to also pay small charges for withdrawals from other banks’ ATM or for other transactions. 

As I mentioned previously you can open the account with your international passport, but in very few banks, the leading one is LaCaixa, this is a non-resident account. Or you can open the account with your NIE, in every bank, and it will be a resident account. It’s better to open a resident bank account as it is more convenient. 

In order to protect themselves and comply with regulation, banks might ask to provide more documents, such as proof of address and the tax code in your country of origin (Social Security number or tax identification number), among others.

Most banks are open from Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 2.00 or to 2.30 p.m. Some also open on Thursday afternoons from 5.00 to 7.45 p.m. from October to May.

As we lived in the USA, and we know that there was a large use of cheques, I would like to mention that here in Spain those are rarely used. And I would say, that the only use you can make of them are banks and not in other institutions. To pay recurring bills such as

Rent, electricity and telephone bills are through direct debit, so that is why I am explaining to you a lot of things about opening an account. 

In the USA, I remember the rent and bills were withdrawn directly from our paycheck, but it was the case, as the company itself offered us the rent. 

In Moldova, where we are from, all the bills are paid in cash, at ATM´s, or at every company where the bill came. Never ever, people leave their account, that money to be withdrawn each month. 

Here in Spain, to have your bill payments deducted directly from your bank account, you must first authorize them with your bank. In our case, we called each authority and provided our bank account.

Now, let’s talk about taxes. All residents must pay taxes applied by the different levels of public administration: the Spanish Government, the regional and the local governments.

Here are some very useful sites, to read more about:

Barcelona’s Municipal Tax Office (Institut Municipal d’Hisenda de Barcelona)

Tax Office of Catalonia (Agència Tributària de Catalunya)

Spanish Tax Office (Agència Tributària espanyola)

I advise you to seek professional and specialized help in case of concerns regarding a specific legal issue about taxation in Spain. As each case has special things to deal with.

I really hope you find this information very useful and in the next post I will talk about more pleasant things, like regions of Barcelona, and where and how to choose your housing.



  1. February 26, 2020 / 7:03 pm

    What a cool place to live!! Besides all the cool things there and amazing sights I love that you are sharing the day to day of setting up a bank account and such with the move.

    • Travel Family Blog
      February 28, 2020 / 1:30 pm

      Yeah, the city is full of things to do, and amazing places to visit.

  2. February 27, 2020 / 1:58 pm

    This is so interesting. This is a must read post for anyone moving to Spain, I can imagine it will be very helpful for them!

    • Travel Family Blog
      February 28, 2020 / 1:29 pm

      Thank you a lot for your kind words.

    • Travel Family Blog
      February 28, 2020 / 1:29 pm

      At the beginning it wasn´t easy at all, but then every time is like something new and not so difficult.

  3. February 27, 2020 / 4:52 pm

    What great and useful information for someone staring a new life in Spain. Congratulations on your new adventure. Hope you are all enjoying yourself in Barcelona. It is such a beautiful city.

    • Travel Family Blog
      February 28, 2020 / 1:28 pm

      Agree! Barcelona is a great place to live indeed. Thank you for your words.

  4. February 27, 2020 / 6:47 pm

    Oh wow what an experience! I really love that you took the risk! I hope you’re enjoying every moment of it!

    • Travel Family Blog
      February 28, 2020 / 1:27 pm

      yes, we are really happy that we did the move 10 years ago, I just cannot imagine my life in any other place

  5. Monica
    February 27, 2020 / 8:11 pm

    Very helpful tips! And how cool that you moved to Barcelona. Sounds like an adventurous thing to do.

    • Travel Family Blog
      February 28, 2020 / 1:27 pm

      yes, it was adventurous like 10 years ago, now, we have a normal life

  6. Sarah
    February 28, 2020 / 5:07 pm

    I’d love to even visit Barcelona it’s so beautiful.

    • Travel Family Blog
      March 2, 2020 / 11:19 am

      the city is really beautiful!

  7. February 28, 2020 / 11:14 pm

    A very useful, informative post for those planning to move.. and I know I definitely want to visit Barcelona..

    • Travel Family Blog
      March 2, 2020 / 11:20 am

      thank you for your appreciations, I really want these series of post to help those who want to make the move

  8. March 8, 2020 / 5:17 am

    This is such a clever idea for a series of posts. Having information available makes it so much easier to make the move.

    • Travel Family Blog
      March 20, 2020 / 3:05 pm

      Agree! This information is available on many sites, but we decided to recopilate and make it easy for those who look for it

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