Marbella EXPAT Guide

If you have been living in Marbella as an Expat for some time or are looking to relocate here in the near future this part of our website is jammed pack with useful information and helpful advice from local experts

Welcome to our Marbella Expat Guide! Whether you are already living here as a foreign resident or are planning to move to Southern Spain in the future, you'll find plenty of very useful information here. From info on local markets to financial advisors, schools, home services, International TV and satellite systems, language schools, property & pool maintenance and much more.  The Local Experts at My Guide Marbella have over 75 years of experience living, working and enjoying Marbella life so there's no-one that knows better!

Getting your NIE Number and Residency

Getting your residency paperwork in order is going to be the first thing you need to do!  Depending on whether you are coming to Spain from an EU or non-EU country there will be Visa requirements and paperwork to complete.  With the UK leaving the EU in 2019, if you intend to live permanently in Spain, and want to benefit from the advantages of living here, it will also be very important to get your paperwork in place.

Financial Advice, Planning & Pensions in Marbella

Getting advice and insights about how to manage your money affairs in Spain can be done in English, and also several other languages here in Marbella. Find out about possible tax breaks, what your rights and obligations are and get help from finance experts in making the transition to life in Spain as smooth as possible. There is a wealth of expertise available to help you find out about all the ways in which you will need to declare taxes correctly and how you can save money and/or build a financially secure retirement on the Costa del Sol.  First step though is to open a bank account!

Property Services

Finding the right real estate agent can make buying property in the Marbella easy and enjoyable, with no nasty surprises along the way. A good agent will be able to talk through your requirements and advise in detail about the best places to live in Marbella. You may also find that many agencies also deal with properties in the Rental market and you may find it preferable to rent somewhere before deciding upon a purchase.

Home Services

Once you own a property you will certainly have a need for other home-related professional services such as air conditioning, plumbing, electrics, landscaping, artificial and synthetic grass installation, home security, TV and satellite systems as well as a wealth of Interior design and furnishing stores in Marbella.  There are even companies here that will offer a complete furniture pack solution to include absolutely everything you will need right down to linens and cutlery so that you can just move into your Spanish home and start to enjoy the lifestyle!  When it comes to home services you can work with individual tradesman and often find someone that speaks your own language or, you can work with one of the multi-trades or property management companies that operate a more complete service.

Pool Services

For private use or for a holiday rental property, the swimming pool is an essential component. Find the best people to install a new swimming pool, renovate an old pool, to heat and maintain an efficient pool or to fit an energy-saving pool cover. Find Pool Services in the Marbella.

Builders and Construction

For new builds or renovation projects, traditional or modern in design, finding a professional, reliable and high standard builder is vital. Find Builders in Marbella.

Property Management and Rentals

If you do not live all year round in Marbella you may need a property management company to take care of your home, pay the bills and deal with any unexpected issues on your behalf. Some companies, such as My Local Concierge are experts in management as well as assisting with renting out your Marbella villa to holidaymakers.  Find Property Management services in Marbella.

Local Guides and Airport Transfers

Moving to Marbella often results in a rise in your popularity - you'll have lots of people coming to visit you! Find the best airport transfers for your guests so that you are not stuck on the N340 all summer!  Booking a tour guide for a few days can also be a great way to gain some real local knowledge; it's far too easy to move to somewhere new get bogged down in the whole relocation side of things and then not actually fully explore the area!

Removal, Transport and Delivery

Whether you're moving to or from the Costa del Sol, or making a local move, and need transport for your worldly goods, you'll find a professional and efficient transport service in the Removals section.  These companies can even arrange transport for your car, boat or loved pet! 

Education and Language Schools in Marbella

Want to learn Spanish? Or, looking for International schools for children? Marbella has a large variety of options for children and adult education. 

In the public system, the children generally start school here at 3 years and would attend a pre-school (Infantil) for their first 3 years before moving to junior school (Primaria) from 5/6years (Called Year 1) to 11/12years (Called Year 6).  The next stage is secondary education which takes the children up to 16 years.  The final years of school are dependent upon the desire to continue further education.  Getting your children enrolled in a public school is very similar to gaining rights to Public Healthcare.  You will need permanent residency, to be enrolled at the town hall, to have medical records up to date, and to show proof of work eg. contract or self-employment paperwork.  The school terms start in September and enrollment is generally complete by June of the same year so advance planning is essential if you plan to use the public system and some private Spanish tuition in advance, if you don't already speak the language, is going to be really helpful for integration.

The Private schools are similar but some such as Laude International School will cater from 2 years old through to 18 years all in the one institution.  Most of the Private International schools follow the English Curriculum unless they are specific to another International country eg. Sweden, Germany etc.

Driving in Spain

Detailed and practical information on driving in Spain - tips on toll roads, exchanging your driving licence and buying a car in Spain, as well as suggestions for the top scenic driving routes in Spain. Find tips on Driving in Spain here and also understand what you need to buy a car with this helpful article.


In Marbella you can opt for private healthcare or, if you have registered your Residency in Spain, you are entitled to join the state healthcare scheme, which provides a high standard of healthcare - on a par with that offered by the NHS in the UK. There is a growing number of private healthcare providers in Marbella offering a wide range of general and specialist health services so often you will find that an expat will register for their Spanish health card however they still also use some Private services on occasion for specialist needs.
  • Register with a public healthcare doctor by following the simple steps in this article

Sports and Activities 

Whether you’re resident here, or just visiting, the Costa del Sol is the perfect location to keep active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are many great walks, hiking and biking trails, and a wealth of sports and activities to suit all ages and abilities. There really is absolutely no excuse to be sedentary in this part of the world! Whether you’re a pro athlete or just looking to keep fit, you’ll find plenty of sports facilities and organised events all year round in the Marbella and if golf’s your game, you’ve come to the right place - in Marbella you’re never far away from a golf course and this section will showcase a few of the best.

Home and Pet Sitting

Living as an ex-pat with pets in Marbella raises the question of what to do with your pets when you travel? Finding a reliable home and pet sitting services can be tricky but there are kennels, catteries, and pet sitting services available.

The Local Experts at My Guide Marbella have been expats in Marbella, Spain for years so whilst we will always aim to provide easily accessible information and a directory of businesses for you to reach out to directly if you don't find what you are looking for within the site please feel free to contact our team directly and we will be happy to help!