Can you picture yourself swimming in the clearest blue water, surrounded by rocky cliffs and sunbathing on sandy beaches? Does exploring medieval castles and colourful unique streets sound appealing? Are you excited to order world-famous tapas in Spanish, then dance to Latin music all night?
TEFL can make all this possible! The relaxed culture, sunny skies, and coastline are waiting for you. Taking the first step of an important decision is always challenging, but teaching English in Spain could be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
Improve your Spanish, fall in love with the fun, vibrant lifestyle, and experience incredible personal growth, regardless of which city you choose. You will also make a huge difference in your students’ lives.
There are many options to teach English, live, and travel in Spain. We’ve done some research and outlined five of the best cities to teach English in Spain. So, get your sunglasses ready; your adventure is about to begin!
Why teach English in Spain?
Many travellers will agree that Spain captures the hearts of those who delve into its fascinating architecture, natural wonders, food, art, and its rich culture. High demand for qualified teachers and incredible locations make it a popular country for TEFL teachers.
Spain has the highest demand for English teachers in Europe. Annually, they welcome thousands of teachers, including Americans and Canadians to work as assistant teachers, private school teachers, and private tutors. Find out more about teaching in Europe as a non-EU citizen.
One important factor to take into consideration is the average salary of English teaching positions around Spain. The pay usually corresponds with the cost of living, but on average a full-time teaching position normally pays €1,200- €1,500 (£1,026- £1,283/ $1,3086- $1,733) per month.
Paid hourly, you can expect to make around €14 to €20 (£12- £17/ $16- $23), while private tutors can usually make a little more (€25- €50, or £21- £42/ $28- $57).
No matter where you decide to teach, take into account the number of job opportunities and your specific background/abilities to have the best possible experience in Spain!
The 5 best TEFL cities in Spain
Palma de Mallorca
Best known for: Transparent blue ocean water, sandy white beaches, impressive castles, the Catalan language, and high demand for English teachers.
Are you an beach-loving, laid-back type of person? Palma de Mallorca could be your dream city. The island of Mallorca has a very high demand for TEFL teachers and private tutors. Fall in love with this sunny destination’s gorgeous beaches on its 555km of coastline.
Expect to find many teaching and tutoring jobs. The language Catalan is spoken here, but everyone speaks Spanish and many speak English too due to the strong tourism industry.
Mallorca’s public transportation is functional and reliable. Road trip through the island’s enchanting small mountains, visit the numerous gothic and royal castles, and trade your shoes for sandals. Live and teach in the Spanish Mediterranean sea!
Best known for: Cheap, delicious food, the Old Islamic quarter and architecture, street art, warm beaches, and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Exquisite palaces, churches, and mansions, including a UNESCO world heritage site.
Granada offers something interesting and photogenic at every turn. Here, every era’s architectural relics are beautiful, but the old Islamic (Moorish) design and opulence is otherworldly. The world-famous Alhambra fortress and complex will leave you speechless.
Through the city streets, spicy smells, lively conversations, and music float from street stalls, bars, and tea houses.
Sitting at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is one of the few locations where you can ski (at the southernmost ski resort in Europe) and go to the beach on the same day!
This special gem has something for every teacher, so relish the atmosphere while you explore and work.
Best known for: Real Madrid, active nightlife, LGBTQ friendly, the significant food scene, flamenco dance, and many iconic contemporary art museums, statues, and monuments.
You’ll never be bored in Madrid, Spain’s famous capital city! Job opportunities in schools and private tutoring are plenty. Rent is a little more expensive, but your salary should be in line with the cost of living.
The nightlife is always fun and lively. Check out Chueca, Madrid’s legendary LGBTQ neighbourhood, or any of its thousands of cool, unique bars, clubs, and neighbourhoods.
Discover iconic monuments such as Puerta del Sol, where all of Spain’s six major highways begin. Enjoy world-class football at a Real Madrid match, learn how to dance flamenco, and improve your Spanish too. From Madrid, you can also easily travel to the rest of Spain and internationally.
Foodies will fall in love with this city. Madrid boasts countless markets, such as Mercado de San Miguel, where you can taste calamari sandwiches, fried potatoes with spicy sauce, and drink classic sangria.
Don’t miss the Prado Museum, Templo de Debod (a gift from Egypt), and the world’s largest Zara store. This cosmopolitan city has something for every taste and interest.
Best known for: The world-famous Basque Country food scene, medieval and cutting-edge modern architecture and art, surfing, hiking, and Basque language/culture.
Teaching in Bilbao, Spain, will give you the best of all worlds. It’s nestled between the Basque Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean on Spain’s northeastern coast. You could go hiking at Artxanda hill in the AM, then catch a wave surfing at Sopelana Beach that same day! There’s also a world-class ski resort only a few hours away.
Bilbao feels local, stylish, and the five-star food scene is unrivalled. Try their mouthwatering version of tapas – pintxos!
The skyscraper-filled downtown is home to impactful modern architecture, such as the renowned Guggenheim museum, Casa Montero, and the glass-bottomed Zubizuri Bridge. Bilbao’s old town has medieval architecture too if you prefer cobblestone streets.
You will have a more authentic Spanish experience while avoiding hordes of tourists. Plus, the demand for English teachers is relatively high.
Bilbao, a hidden treasure of city, countryside, and coast, is a great choice for English teachers!
Best known for: Flamenco dance, sunshine, fascinating history, bikes, diverse architecture, colourful streets, being very traditionally Spanish.
Seville is known for being very traditionally Spanish; with palm trees, sunny weather, orange trees lining the streets, you’ll be relaxing in no time. The streets and architecture are photogenic and colourful in Seville.
The city prides itself on being bike-friendly and is often referred to as the cycling capital of Southern Europe. So, hopping on a bike is one of the best ways of experiencing the city.
See the history of Seville at the Flamenco Museum, the Plaza de España, the Seville Cathedral, and on every corner.
And the good news is that English teachers are in demand in Seville. You might not get rich, but you will always have enough cash to enjoy mouthwatering tapas, glasses of southern wine, and the appreciate the beauty of the city, which won’t cost a penny! You’ll feel like a real Spaniard living in Seville.
Where to find teaching jobs in Spain?
Are you hooked and ready to start a new chapter of your life teaching English in Spain? EU citizens don’t require a visa, they just have to apply for a residence permit.
American and most non-EU teachers do need to acquire a visa to teach in Spain. The good news is that The North American Language and Culture Assistants grant program sponsored by Spain’s Ministry of Education can help you. It is available to American and Canadian citizens who are fluent in English or French, and it places language assistants in public schools for 8-9 months.
The BEDA (Bilingual English Development and Assessment) is another program, which operates mostly in private Catholic schools around Madrid.
TEFL Org students and graduates can apply for positions in our TEFL Jobs Centre, so make sure to keep an eye out for jobs in Spain!
Take advantage of the abundance of opportunities in this vibrant part of the world. Enjoy the wonders and culture of Spain, learn Spanish, and share your knowledge of English!
Want to learn more about teaching English in Spain? Please take a look at our Teaching in Spain guide.