8 Essential Apps for Immigrants Living in Spain

Last updated on September 18th, 2023 at 02:44 pm

If you’ve moved to work or study in Spain, the good news is there are numerous mobile apps that make the transition as smooth as possible. From an easy navigation tool for finding your way around your city, to banking apps that can help you handle your finances, these are some tools that any newcomer to Spain should consider.

App name: Glovo

Why?: Highly diverse food delivery app that’s big in Spain

We’re living in the age of food delivery apps, where companies compete to bring the world’s cuisine to your door. One of the most popular options in Spain is Glovo, a company that was actually started in the country, and which offers a conveniently diverse range of options.

Thanks to the company’s partnerships with a huge array of restaurants and takeaways throughout Spain, you can browse for whatever you’re craving – from burgers to pizzas to sushi – and have it delivered. On top of that, you can use Glovo to order groceries, pharmaceuticals, and other essentials. You can even have the Glovo courier pick up clothes from the dry cleaners. The ability to track the couriers on a map as they make their way to you brings added peace of mind that things are going smoothly with every order.

App name: Citymapper

Why?: Takes the hassle out of navigating cities

Spain is one of the most exciting countries in the world, but finding your way around can be challenging – even if you’ve been living here for a while. This is where Citymapper comes in. The app removes the need to consult public transport timetables or rifle through maps. Instead, you type in your desired destination, and it will quickly give you the best possible routes to get there, whether you want to walk, cycle or use buses, trams and metro services.

The app doesn’t cover the whole of Spain, but it can be used if you’re in Madrid, Barcelona, Basque Country, Valencia, Seville, Zaragoza, Malaga, Granada, or the Balearic Islands. The beauty of Citymapper is that, as well as showing you the routes on a map, it also gives you up-to-date information on when the next relevant public transport service is due. A very reassuring feature when you’re stuck waiting at a bus stop or metro station.

App name: Remitly

Why?: Offers great exchange rates on money transfers back home

There are lots of reasons why you might have to send money to loved ones in your home country. It might be a financial gift for a birthday, or you may have to provide support for living expenses or educational costs. Remitly makes it easy. Just download the app, add your personal details and those of your recipients, and you can send money where it needs to be.

Great exchange rates, highly competitive transfer fees, and 24/7 fraud monitoring are some of the reasons why Remitly is trusted by over five million people worldwide. There’s also the matter of convenience. Not only can you simply fire up the app and send money whenever you’d like, but you’ll often have multiple options when it comes to how the funds are received. Depending on your home country, you may be able to send money to your recipient’s bank or mobile money account, have the cash available at a pickup location, or even request it to be delivered straight to their home.

send money with Remitly

App name: Agencia Tributaria

Why?: Handy tool for dealing with taxes

It’s fair to say that very few people are excited by the subject of income tax. And it’s not likely to be among the things you’re most looking forward to learning about in your new life in Spain. That said, if you’re here to work, then the chances are you’ll have to file your own tax return, so you’ll need to be clear on how the system works.

The Spanish tax agency is called the Agencia Tributaria, and they have a useful app that lets you log into your personal account to consult your tax documents and even file your annual return. You can browse tax returns from previous years, save documents to your phone as PDF files, and generally keep on top of all-important tax matters, reducing the risk of being hit with penalty fees for late returns. Not the most fun app you’ll ever download, but certainly one of the most useful if you’re living in Spain.

App name: Spanish banking apps

Why?: Lets you keep tabs on your spending

As you’re going to be in Spain for a longer period, it’s a great idea to open a bank account in the country. This could save you splurging on international banking fees, and make the transition to Spanish life more seamless. If you do create a local bank account, you may want to download the bank’s app onto your mobile device. From Banco Sabadell to CaixaBank to BBVA, the top banks have user-friendly apps which make it easy to manage your finances.

A few taps of your finger will let you check your balance, scroll previous deposits and withdrawals, and apply for extra services like loans and insurance policies. As keeping on top of your financial situation can be particularly important when you’re making your way in a foreign country, a good banking app can be an invaluable tool.

App name: ATRESplayer

Why?: Puts a wealth of Spanish entertainment in the palm of your hand

Whether you’re looking to boost your Spanish language skills, or would just like to have local entertainment on tap while living in the country, ATRESplayer is well worth downloading to your phone or tablet. It’s the official app of Atresmedia, a media company that runs top channels like Antena 3 and laSexta, and will give you access to a treasure trove of TV dramas, soap operas, films, and documentaries – not to mention news and sports broadcasts.

It’s very well designed, letting you add your preferred shows and films to your watchlist, and share content with friends. What’s more, you can step things up by paying for the subscription-only Premium package, which is advert-free and puts even more content at your disposal.

App name: Badi

Why?: Streamlines the process of finding housemates 

Badi was created when its founder found himself unable to find a suitable housemate to live with in Barcelona. He came up with this app as a kind of ‘Tinder for houseshares’, where users can create personal profiles, in the style of a dating app, before reaching out to people who have rooms to rent. By describing your personality and interests, you can increase your chances of finding someone compatible to live with.

The app’s interface lets you chat with prospective housemates to see if you click. Of course, you can also use the search filters to focus on properties that fit your budget and geographical requirements. From Barcelona to Valencia to Malaga, it’s an ideal tool for finding your perfect place to settle in Spain.

App name: Weather by eltiempo.es

Why?: Provides a comprehensive overview of conditions outdoors

Spain’s famed for its hot weather, and it can certainly sizzle out there. That’s why it’s useful to have instant knowledge of exactly what the conditions are like where you are, and this app offers in-depth analysis across the whole country. More than 200,000 cities are covered, letting you check temperatures, wind speeds and pressure changes.

What makes it really useful is how precise it can be. You can find out what the weather will be like at a particular football stadium, or at any of Spain’s renowned beaches, for example. And when it comes to the latter, you can receive data on waves and water temperature. The app also provides alerts from AEMET, Spain’s weather agency. All in all, another very handy tool to have in your arsenal of apps.