How To Find a Part-Time or Short-Term Job in Barcelona

This page shows you how to go about finding a part time job in Barcelona. We cover types of work, where to look, the paperwork involved along with tips to help you find your job as quickly as possible.

Barcelona is established as a truly international city. I have lived here for over a year and am still amazed by the amount of people from all over the world constantly coming in and out of the city. It can also make it a transitory place to be – students come here for one year to study, travellers come here to settle for a period before moving on and immigrants come here to give the city a shot as their new home.

All of this can make finding a part time or temporary job quite difficult in such a small place. It is with this in mind that you should go about looking for work in Barcelona. Not with a sense of failure before you have begun, but with a determination and tirelessness that will ensure that you aren’t defeated by the search. And remember, searching for a job can, in itself, be a good way to get to know Barcelona. You will need to get out and meet people and become familiar with the city to find work – which can be a really fun experience.

I have put together a list of the most important things to take into consideration whilst looking for work in Barcelona.

Are you already in Barcelona?

If you are planning to spend some time in Barcelona and are looking for work before you arrive, you have the employment options that require a bit more forward planning. If you know that you will be coming to Barcelona to look for work it is worth doing some research before you arrive. This will open up options such as applications for TEFL or working as an Au Pair (see below).

If you have already arrived in Barcelona and are looking for work, this will require more practical action. It is worth walking around Barcelona’s barrios (Neighbourhoods) and looking in shop windows for job advertisements, asking in bars and shops and speaking to friends. Remember, Barcelona is a city that thrives on who you know – use any connections that you make on arriving in the city as potential ways into employment.

Can you speak Spanish (Castellano) or Catalan?

If you have some knowledge of Castellano this will be useful when looking for work in Barcelona. If you have knowledge of Catalan, even better! This will help you to get work in service roles such as bar, hostel and restaurant work.

If you cannot yet speak any Spanish it is best to look for a job where your mother tongue is a benefit. This may be teaching language with TEFL or privately or working for a telesales company (see below). Alternatively some particularly tourist Bars and restaurants may take on native English speakers if they do not speak Spanish since their main clients will be English-speaking. An e.g. may be the Irish Bars.

What country are you from?

Residents of the European Union

  1. If you are from a country that is a member of the EU you will simply need you NIE number to begin to look for work in Barcelona (see below for how to obtain this).
  2. If you find work on a temporary basis, officially, your employer will be required to take 24% of your earnings in tax. This is something that you may be able to re-claim if you file for taxes on returning to your home country. It is best to speak to your tax authorities to confirm what paperwork is required to make a reclaim before you leave to Barcelona.

Workers from Outside the European Union

  1. Even if you only plan to work in Barcelona on a temporary basis, you will need a work visa to work in Barcelona.
  2. Before you come to Barcelona you will need to gain a visa from the Spanish Embassy in your home country.
  3. On arrival in Barcelona you will need to apply for a work permit from the Foreigners’ Office.


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