Zaragoza is one of Spain’s largest cities, but as the capital of Aragón, it’s not as expensive as you may guess. Ivy is heading back to teach in Zaragoza next year. In her survey answers she breaks down costs for us in a city known for its enormous basilica.
Name: Ivy Hensley
City and Comunidad: Zaragoza, Aragón
School: I was placed at two schools. I taught 1ESO-4ESO at a concertada school and at my other school I was split between teaching vocational students (learning trades like culinary arts and hospitality), and a few ESO classes.
Your living situation? I lived in an apartment with 2 other American language assistants. In total there were 6 rooms. Of the 3 bedrooms, two had twin size beds. There was one bathroom
How did you find your flat? We started our search on idealista.com and other similar websites but ended up finding the apartment we rented through word of mouth. We looked at 3 other apartments before deciding on the one that we rented.
Rent: Rent was 500 euro total, so 167 per person.
What did you spend on utilities? We ended up paying all of our utilities in one lump sum at the end of our lease, which ended up being 500 euro total.
You cell phone company and plan? I use orange! I have the mundo plan. (pay as you go) I typically only spent a max of 20 euros on my phone a month.
What do you pay for internet? We paid 13 euro each, so 39 total. We had Jazztell, which required us to have a landline but we didn’t have to have a contract- which allowed us to cancel when we moved out.
What did you spend on groceries? I spent about 100 euros a month on groceries, more or less.
Did you have any other sources of income? I taught 8 hours of private classes a week. I enjoyed having something to do in the evenings and the extra money!
Were you able to save any money? I ended up saving 1,500 euro for Semana Santa. I also sent anywhere from 70-100 euros a month back to American savings account which added up and helped build my savings back up.
Your favorite tapas bar? This is a tough one! There are so many great tapas bars in Zaragoza. I would have to say my ultimate favorite is Bula. My favorite tapa there was pretty simple- their house tapa which is called “la Bula”- bull meat that was grilled and seasoning with something magical. It melts in your mouth! They also have the best patatas bravas I’ve ever had. They had 3 sauces as opposed to two and I could easily eat a serving to myself….so good. It was a little pricey so I would usually go with my roommate and split the bravas and we would each get a Bula and an orange Fanta or a glass of vino tinto and pay about 6-7 euros a piece. Totally worth it.
Your breakfast and coffee bars suggestions: Europeo was one of my go-to’s when the weather was nice. It was a good people watching spot. Typically I would order a café con leche with my friends and hang out! My indoor spot was called Ric 27. Really cool vibe with really, really good coffee. Both of these places had similar prices, the coffee was about 1.50 euro
Nightlife in Zaragoza: Buddha! A beer was around 2 euros and a mixed drink was on average of 6. No entrance fee.
How did you get around? I walked mostly everywhere. Zaragoza is really flat so walking is the best way. There is a tram but I only rode it once or twice, and I took the bus when I needed to get home from one of my schools which was a little outside of the main part of the city.
What you loved about living in Zaragoza? The people are so welcoming and friendly. The city has an awesome vibe, because while it is a large city, it isn’t a touristy city, so it’s got it’s own special character.
And your dislikes? I love living there, but one dislike I have is the lack of green. I’m from the mountains in Virginia so trees and lots of lush grass and green spaces are my norm. There are amazing parks in Zaragoza but you can’t hide the fact that you are in the middle of a desert.
How easy was it to travel around Spain and Europe from Granada? Bus and train transport is amazing. The airport isn’t great because it doesn’t have frequent flights but there is an airport which is better than not having one at all.
Your guilty pleasure purchases: Zara. Zara. Zara.
What are the top attractions in Zaragoza? The Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, La Seo (both amazing churches) and the Aljafería, (11th century Islamic palace)
Something you wish someone had told you before moving to Spain: If you think you are patient, you aren’t. You have to learn to relax and go with the flow and allow things to get finished in a slower amount of time than you may be used to or want. But everything will be finished. In time.
Want to share your experience living and working in Spain? Take the survey. Get all the details from hola@comoconsulti