Lonely Planet Writer

Why Seville is attracting the freelance community to live and work

As we all know, digital nomads don’t need much more than a laptop and decent Wi-Fi to run their business, while freelancers, whether on the move or not, often prefer to use an office space away from home, for a change of scene and to enjoy a creative, collaborative atmosphere.

Little square and souvenir shops in streets of Barrio de Santa Cruz at intersection of Calle Vida and Calle Agua. Image by ©Margaret Stepein/Lonely Planet

Seville was recently ranked the world’s third-best city for freelancers, thanks to its reasonable prices, good weather and fast internet. So what can you expect from a coworking space in the southern Spanish city? And can it snatch the freelancing city top spot from Lisbon?

Thinking Company coworking space in Seville. Image by Thinking Company

Swedish translator Erika Lundgren has used shared offices and coworking spaces in Seville since 2007 “mainly to get out of the house”. Now she uses Arcadia in the city centre: “they have social ambassadors to make sure everyone is comfortable, and activities like a book club and free weekly yoga. Sometimes I take coffee breaks with the other people, and there’s always chit-chat.”

Another popular coworking space in Seville is Thinking Company in the hip Macarena district, whose co-owner is engineer and musician Juanjo Giraldo Mora. “We started four years ago; we have 25 spaces now, but we’re going to expand next door with another 12,” he explains. “There is loads of demand, mostly from people who live nearby. As well as Spanish, we have Slovakian, Australian and Argentinian coworkers.”

Thinking Company workspace in Seville. Image by Thinking Company

WorkInCompany is Seville’s longest-standing coworking space, dating from 2012. As a space manager, English translator Kim Causier says she was about to leave the city five years ago, but finding the space changed her mind, as it provided the ideal work environment. “We have social get-togethers, and a group of us goes hiking. We now have 45 spaces, with people from Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands – some have Spanish partners, and work as freelance designers or marketers.”

“Coworking is getting more popular here, although many are afraid to make the leap to freelance because of the high social security payments for autonomos [freelancers] in Spain.”

It’s also the perfect time to visit Seville, as Lonely Planet named it the top city in the world to visit in 2018.

By Fiona Flores Watson