Apartment Hunting in Bilbao

So this last week or so has been super busy and super stressful-both good and bad stress. It’s definitely exciting being in a new city and a pretty cool one at that. I think we are really going to enjoy ourselves here! So we’ve been staying in a hotel since we arrived and hoped to find a place as quickly as possible…easier said than done!
Antoine started work on the 7th, which meant he really had no time to think…he has replaced a teacher who quit midterm and only had three days to step in. He was quite stressed with the variety of classes and books he had…he was thrown in the deep end you could say! That being said, I had to take up finding an apartment. Easy you say?
Well I have no problem finding apartments for rent, but the problem was that Antoine wasn’t with me. He’s the one that speaks Spanish pretty well. Now I do understand a lot but speaking has been slow coming. I was thrown in the deep end! I had to call, make appointments and navigate my way in a new city, not to mention once I got to the apartment. Well I surprised myself and spent the better part of last week going to various apartments. It was very tiring and a little frustrating.
Things are done differently here. They want a lot of money to move in usually three months rent or more. We found that people changed their requirements once they found out we were American. I think people think we have a lot of money…even some of the friends think so. So I tried bringing some friends with me but it actually made things worse, so going at it alone seemed best. I saw many small or run down places and I was starting to lose hope. Antoine wanted to move into a place by Friday.
Friday I saw three places and we had decided that we’d choose from those three that night. Well that night we called one back to say we wanted it but she had already rented it… In just a few hours. The other two places either weren’t available for another month or changed the requirements again. We were so frustrated..you see we had one place that we were going to rent and the woman changed her mind the next day. Then when we went to extend our stay at the hotel, we couldn’t they were completely booked! We had to leave the next morning, but had nowhere to go.
Saturday we went to breakfast and were trying to decide what to do. There was one apartment we had seen initially but it was in a neighborhood that all the friends said was bad. Even the building was kinda scary. We decided to call and see if it was available, and it was! She said we could move in immediately! So Saturday morning we checked out, met the lady, and moved into our new apartment! We felt it was a definite blessing!
So we basically live in the “Oakland” of Bilbao lol! It’s full of immigrants and its a little gritty, but is home of the best food scene in the city! Actually it’s not really dangerous, not in American terms at least. We like it, Antoine can walk to work and we’re near public transport.
The pictures below are our new apartment, the view two minutes from our building and Antoine being briefed on his classes:)




Antoine & Kanicia

We are serving where the need is great in southern Spain and are actively involved in the TESOL community. We enjoy helping people learn how to teach English and support themselves in another country.