Where to teach English as a foreign language in Spain: Part 2

As promised after my last post about places to teach English in Andalucía, here’s a blog on the three largest cities in Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia.

Capital cities are always mad and Madrid is no exception. With a population of just over 3 million you’re bound to find someone who wants to learn English. Madrid is the third largest city in Europe after London and Berlin, and the traffic says it all. Road works are continuous, the metro is crowded, and Cristiano Ronaldo lives there. Despite all that, if you fancy living in an exciting and buzzing capital then Madrid could be a dream location. (Photo by trioptikmal)

Teaching English in Madrid
Like every capital city you’ll always find work as an English teacher, as long as you’re qualified. There is high demand for business English too. Madrid has a shed load of language academies and some of the big boys are there. Friends of mine who have worked there have said that the biggest problem is that you’re normally travelling a lot during the day between classes, and you have to work a lot to pay to live in such an expensive city. Wages are not massively higher than other parts of Spain so don’t expect to save much.

Things to do
The reason I didn’t choose Madrid was because I wanted to be near the beach, but when I visited I liked the atmosphere as it reminded me of London. You’ll never get bored in Madrid. You can visit the Prado and Reina Sofia Museums, see the Royal Palace, and go round tons of churches and see the St Isidore Cathedral. Nightlife is quality. There are loads of bars, restaurants, and night clubs to keep you drinking and eating non-stop. Bullfighting is still pretty popular in Madrid and of course if you want to see some football, then you can always go to Barcelona (messing). It’s supposed to get real stuffy in the summer, but in the winter you can see snow. There are lots of towns to visit around Madrid too, Toledo is amazing.

Useful links: Es MadridTimeout MadridFodors Madrid


Barcelona is an amazing place and one of the best cities I’ve ever visited. With a population of nearly two million it’s not surprising how buzzing this hive of fun is. If you’re after a happening place to teach English, with access to a beach and active nightlife, then try Barcelona. (Photo by vintagedept)

Teaching English in Barcelona
After the 1992 Olympics the tourism industry rocketed, along with the demand for English. Like Madrid there are plenty of language academies there and you can find work all year round. Business classes are popular too. The main reason I didn’t want to live in Barcelona was because I wanted to learn Castellano. If you didn’t know then the main language in Barcelona is Catalan, but I’ve heard that you can just as easily learn Castellano there. Expect mixed groups of students thanks to the cosmopolitan feel.

Things to do
Barcelona has everything. A great place to hang out is down Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous street, where you can find street performers, plenty of bars and restaurants and people from all walks of life. Park Güell and the Sagrada Familia (Cathedral) were my two favourite attractions and the views from the top of Montjuïc hill are impressive. If you like parks then you’ll find about 60 in Barcelona. There are loads of museums too. The most famous are The National Museum of Art of Catalonia and the Barcelona Museum of Contempory Art. The beach in the city gets crowded but there are plenty of places up and down the coast. Don't forget to visit the Camp Nou for some decent football, unless they're playing Chelsea.

Useful Links:Wikitravel BarcelonaBarcelona city guideBarcelonaturisme


About half way down on the East coast, located on the banks of the Turia River, you’ll find the third largest city in Spain, Valencia. Famous for its crazy Fallas Festival held in March, Cathedral, the Serrano Gate, and Valenciana paella this city could be a great place to live and teach English.

Teaching English in Valencia
According to Wikipedia, Valencia is Europe’s 29th fastest growing city, so demand for English must be rising too. There are between 15 and 20 language academies scattered all round the city, not that many for such a populous city, but there is definitely work to be found. My wife’s best friend and her geezer live in Valencia and they are great fun, so if that’s anything to go by then the students there must be pretty cool to teach too. (Photo by gvillena)

Things to do
If you like water then Valencia is a decent place to live. You’ve got the Turia River, beaches on the Iberian Peninsula, and the Albufera, one of Spain’s largest lakes about 11km south of the city. Las Fallas, a mental week long beered up festival is definitely worth seeing. The Valencianos spend all year preparing huge ninots – puppets or dolls – which they set alight and cause chaos in the city. The Valencian Cathedral is wrth seeing and like any city in Spain there are plenty of churches and squares to wander round. There are loads of museums and Europe’s largest aquarium, L'Oceanogràfic.

Useful Links: comunitatvalencianaAbout Valencia

So there you go; hope that helps if you’re thinking of coming over to Spain to teach, or even moving cities. If you have any questions then just drop me a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer. Suerte.  

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