Sun, fun, and happiness. That is the common denominator that every single city and town in the Spanish territory share. Nevertheless, as someone who does not know every corner of the country, you may be having some doubts. Which are the best places to live for expats? Should I go for any of the capitals? Or maybe small tows will be best? In this article we are going to clear your mind. We will go through our 5 recommendations so you definetely know how to choose.
Before starting with the actual list, we wanted to set a brief background with something you will find in any city you choose, no matter which one.
As we saw in our blog post with the 9 reasons to start living in Spain, choose the city you want that you will find:
- Perfect weather throughout the whole year
- An amazing culture to discover and fascinating architecture
- Delicious food and wine
- A charming vibe with friendly people ready to meet you
Yes, that sounds pretty cool.
Nevertheless, there are 5 cities in which these elements are much more enjoyable. Let’s see what we consider the 5 best places to live in Spain as an expat:
Of course Barcelona was going to be at the top, and not only because we are talking about a city which has sea (something that Madrid does not).
The truth is that Barcelona has much more to offer, specially for a foreigner.
Because in the second biggest city of Spain you will find tons of expat communities. Just go to Meetup or any other similar platform and get amazed by how many events take place every single day with the sole aim to meet likeminded people.
Therefore, as an expat, you won’t have any problem building a new social circle here.
Furthermore, it is also the perfect environment for working online and even becoming an entrepreneur. Barcelona is one of the biggest hubs for entrepreneurs in the whole Europe, as it has the key inputs to make any startup successful: talent and technology. That is why many business individuals come to the city to start their new venture.
Besides, tons of digital nomads choose it as their new residence from which they will manage their worldwide clients. Just Google how many coworking spaces exist in the city and you will be surprised. There are tons of them! Which, in fact, creates another great opportunity to you in order to meet new people.
If you are a sports lover, this city will be the perfect base of operations. You will find plenty of outdoor sports opportunities here, such as hiking, biking, kitesurfing, stand-up-paddle…
If you would like to learn more about this wonderful city… Here you will find an article with the top pros and cons of living in Barcelona as an expat.
The capital. And for a good reason.
Madrid is an amazing city. And not only due to the beautiful parks and gardens you can find or the wonders of its main streets (like, for example, el Retiro).
The entertainment part of this city is also something to be highlighted. If you are kin on shows, theatre and concerts, Madrid is your place. Attending to the theatre to watch the Lion King is priceless! Not to mention the energetic nightlife.
Even though both in Madrid and Barcelona costs and prices can be a bit higher than any other place in the country, that is not something that should scare you. If compared to other European cities like London or Paris, the two main cities of Spain are way cheaper.
That will enable you to enjoy amazing tapas at Plaza Mayor without worrying about your pocket. And what about the other dishes? Madrid can be considered the heaven for foodies. Hence you will find it difficult sometimes to choose restaurant, there are so many amazing ones!
Finally, the city has two opposite streams that will make you find peace and war in the same land. Because on the one hand, the city center is full of rush and energy. But, on the other side, you don’t need to go far ago to find relax and a more calmed vibe within the surroundings of the city.
And what happens if you would still like to enjoy what a big capital has to offer but without suffering the high cost of living that it implies? Then, Valencia must be your new home. Specially because properties are also much cheaper there.
Located in the Mediterranean coast of the country, Valencia has experienced during the last years a radical transformation. That has led the city to become one of the most dynamic places in the country.
Public transport works perfectly, making the city and its surroundings a compact area. The quality of education (with international schools) and the health care system work wonderful.
Being the original creators of “Paella”, the mediterranean food you can eat in this city will make it hard for you to eat any other type of dish. This is, for sure, one of the best things you can enjoy in Spain.
The local atmosphere gives you tons of chances to enjoy the culture and architecture of the city, with the famous museum of “Las Artes y las Ciencias” on the forehead.
Finally, finding a job in Valencia is not complicated at all: there are plenty of opportunities for expats. And, in the case you want to work on your own, it will be also a good place: the digital nomad and freelance community is also remarkable.
On the other hand, if you would like to become an investor… you must know that the real estate market in this area is expanding and it can become a great opportunity.
Let’s now move south to a city that, being a bit smaller than the prior ones, hides an amazing charm.
Because there is no denying the fact that you know this city because one of the wonders it houses: the Alhambra, a UNESCO world heritage site. You can’t leave Spain without being there. Being able to explore all the remnants that the Arab culture has left is something worthwhile.
But you can find much more in Granada. Because the city is framed by mountains at the north in which hiking will be delighting with extraordinary views , and beaches at the South at just a few km away. The best of both worlds.
There is a reason why students (not only from Spain) choose it as the city in which they will get their degrees. And that reason behind is simple: the vibe is really cheerful and lively.
Granada is also a cheap city to live in. Hence, it can become the perfect base you can use when visiting any other southern region in the country.
If you would like to discover what the traditional image of Spain is like, then Sevilla must be your destination.
What is it all about? White horses, colorful dresses and tapas during the evening. Being the 4th biggest city in the Country, Seville still maintains the vibe of a small town.
Would you like to be surrounded by flamenco shows? Then Sevilla is your go to option. And that besides other music festivals (traditional and non-traditional ones).
If there is something you will learn after a while living in this beautiful city is to enjoy the present moment, and to do it with your friends and family. Because if there is something people know how to do in the south is to enjoy a good time at the terrace of a bar having a drink.
That is why, walking down the street, you will be surrounded by an energetic atmosphere.
Nevertheless, important warning here. Sevilla is a city just for those with an ability to withstand high temperatures! We are talking about the warmest city in Europe.
SHARE YOUR OPINION WITH US!
Have you been to any of these places? Then share your opinion! It can really benefit others who are willing to move to Spain and don’t know where to live.
What was the city like? What did you enjoy the most/less? Do you view it as a place to live?
And, for those who haven’t yet been to any of these wonderful cities, we would also like to know your opinion. After reading this article, which of the 5 options do you think is best to live in as an expat?