Best places to live in Spain

lucia lagunas reyes - Our Best places to live in Spain lawyer expert

Are you on the lookout for the best places to live in Spain? Spain has consistently ranked as a top choice for expats in pursuit of a vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle. Whether you’re contemplating making Spain your new home, your quest for the perfect living destination aligning with your unique needs begins here. From dynamic cities to serene coastal towns, Spain boasts a diverse array of options. At MySpainVisa, we deeply appreciate the significance of discovering that ideal location for your next life chapter.

In this comprehensive guide, we will unveil the top cities to live in Spain for expats. Whether you are a young adult searching for exciting opportunities, a family yearning for a secure and family-friendly environment, or an individual seeking the perfect retirement haven, you can trust us to provide the answers you need. Our carefully curated list encompasses not only the best cities but also highlights the safest places in Spain to ensure your peace of mind.

However, living in Spain transcends mere city selection; it’s about immersing yourself in a rich cultural experience, savoring a high quality of life, and capitalizing on abundant recreational activities and job prospects. Our expert insights and recommendations will empower you to make well-informed decisions about your future life in Spain.

Furthermore, we recognize that if you’re not from a European Union country, obtaining a Spanish visa is a critical step. Be it the non-lucrative visa, Spain partner visa, golden visa, or self-employment visa, our seasoned team of immigration experts at MySpainVisa is well-equipped to guide you through the visa application process, ensuring a smooth transition to Spain. Don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.

Join us as we embark on a journey to explore the finest places to live in Spain for expats and uncover valuable tips to enrich your experience. Get ready to begin an exciting new chapter in the land of sunshine, flamenco, and tapas.

Discover the Ideal Places for Expats in Spain

Uncover our carefully curated list of the top places to call home:

1. Barcelona, best places for young adults

best places to live in spain for young adults

Barcelona stands as one of the premier destinations for expats in Spain, renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and a constant influx of visitors. One of its appealing aspects is the affordability of dining options, with meal costs typically ranging from €7 to €20, making lunch more budget-friendly than dinner. For those seeking quality dining experiences without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled a list of excellent budget-friendly restaurants.

Barcelona is a truly marvelous place to reside. Beyond its iconic landmarks, diverse activities, and a calendar filled with exciting events, many visitors are drawn to the city’s exceptional quality of life. It offers an excellent environment for families to explore both the city and its scenic coastal areas. With a wide range of amenities and access to international schools, Barcelona stands out as one of the best places for Americans to live in Spain.

Notably, Barcelona is becoming an increasingly popular choice for retirees, as it provides comprehensive services and a lifestyle that caters to various needs.

2. Madrid, best place to live for english people

safest cities in spain

Madrid, a cultural and economic hub, is one of the best places to live in Spain. Renowned for its world-class nightlife, the city also boasts a wealth of tourist attractions and an array of historical and architectural treasures.

Do you want to live in Spain?

Our law firm has more than 15 years of experience.

Contact Us Now!

Madrid showcases Spain’s rich history, artistic heritage, delectable cuisine, cutting-edge fashion, and vibrant nightlife. The city houses one of Europe’s most significant collections of Spanish and Latin American art, showcased in its world-class museums and galleries. This artistic legacy makes Madrid an exceptionally attractive destination to call home in Spain.

What truly distinguishes Madrid is its affordability, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers. The city offers a cost-effective lifestyle, allowing residents to relish outstanding dining, partake in a thriving social scene, and navigate the city without straining their finances. While Madrid may not consistently be the absolute cheapest option, it undoubtedly offers a high quality of life.

When considering a move to Spain, it’s important to note that Madrid and Barcelona are two of the best places to live in Spain for expats. Both cities provide a welcoming environment and a vibrant lifestyle. Madrid, with its unique blend of culture, affordability, and quality of life, is an enticing choice for those looking to make Spain their new home.

3. Malaga

best places to live in spain

Malaga is a coveted destination, particularly for tourists looking to retire in Spain or those seeking employment and a new life in this picturesque region. Situated on the renowned southern coast of Spain, Malaga is celebrated for its delightful climate, exquisite cuisine, and a leisurely way of life, making it one of the best places to live in Spain for English expats, including those looking to retire in Malaga.

What sets Malaga apart are its outstanding features, including the third-largest airport in the nation, stunning beaches, and a well-developed public transportation network, all contributing to the region’s appeal as a top living destination.

Malaga has consistently impressed expats, earning the top spot in the Expat City Ranking 2024, with Spanish cities dominating the top positions. Friendly locals, affordable living, and a great quality of life are among the factors that make Malaga a prime choice.

Malaga further distinguishes itself as one of the most cost-effective places to live in Spain. For instance, the average rental prices in Malaga are a staggering 195% lower than those in London, offering those who choose to relocate here more affordable living costs and greater access to an improved quality of life.

Nestled on the Costa del Sol, Malaga is a renowned tourist hotspot, offering a coastline dotted with pristine beaches and a delightful all-year-round climate. This region is a magnet for individuals seeking a life enriched by the sun and sea.

The British population in Malaga is substantial, similar to that in Alicante, with tens of thousands of individuals who either work, retire, or study in the area. The region has cultivated a thriving community of expats, making it an appealing choice for those considering a move to Spain.

Many British nationals opt to purchase homes in Malaga, drawn to the area by its excellent climate and the desire to retire in this beautiful coastal haven. It’s no surprise that Malaga is often regarded as one of the best cities in the world to live in, as highlighted in this post.

Do you want to live in Spain?

Our law firm has more than 15 years of experience.

Contact Us Now!

4. Alicante

best place to live in spain benidorm

In the sunny southern region of Spain, Alicante stands out as one of the most sought-after destinations for relocation. Its popularity owes much to its affordability and year-round pleasant weather. The city is renowned for its picturesque palm-lined streets, bustling commercial avenues, wide boulevards, pristine sandy beaches, and historic landmarks.

Living in Alicante proves to be one of the most budget-friendly options in Spain. Compared to pricier cities like Barcelona, where rental costs are on average 105% higher and daily food expenses 8% more expensive, Alicante allows you to make your money go much further.

The city’s appeal to expats is evident in the substantial number of individuals who have chosen to make it their home. The possibility of expat residency in this region ranges from 6.5% to 30.5%, underscoring that Alicante is a highly desirable location for British expats seeking to live in Spain.

5. Seville

best place to live in spain sevilla

Seville boasts a vibrant culture and rich history, earning its place as one of the best places to live in Spain for expats. This Spanish city, characterized by its enchanting Moorish architecture, is an ideal choice for expatriates seeking a more relaxed pace of life, away from the constant hustle and bustle of tourist crowds. Seville offers the best of both worlds, with its proximity to both the beach and the mountains, making it an attractive destination for expats.

The city is highly pedestrian-friendly, particularly in the charming old town, with its narrow alleys, quaint shops, and cozy cafés. The historic neighborhood of Triana is another pedestrian-friendly gem, inviting exploration on foot and providing a unique contrast to the more contemporary areas of the city.

In terms of safety, Seville is generally considered a secure city. While violent crime is almost non-existent, as is the case in many parts of Spain, it’s essential to remain cautious, particularly in tourist-heavy areas where incidents of pickpocketing may occur.

What sets Seville apart from many of Spain’s renowned cities is its favorable location near the southern coastline, allowing residents to savor the delightful weather. Living in Seville offers a cost of living comparable to cities like Alicante and Malaga, with significantly lower expenses than in other parts of the country.

6. San Sebastian

best place to live in san sebastian

San Sebastian, located in Spain’s Gipuzkoa region, has gained fame for its exceptional quality of life, positioning it as one of the best places to live in Spain. Despite the city not always enjoying the warmer weather of the southern regions, it offers a unique and unparalleled living experience.

Often referred to as a “Mini Paris,” San Sebastian boasts stunning architecture and a rich historical heritage. The city’s ancient center holds the remarkable distinction of having the highest concentration of bars globally, making it a haven for those who appreciate the occasional drink or two.

While the expatriate community in San Sebastian may not rival the size of those in cities like Alicante and Malaga, the area of Gipuzkoa remains popular among foreigners seeking an exceptional living environment. San Sebastian’s blend of culture, history, and a high quality of life make it a noteworthy choice for expats in Spain.

Do you want to live in Spain?

Our law firm has more than 15 years of experience.

Contact Us Now!

7. Granada

best place to live in spain granada

Granada, a town renowned for housing one of its wonders, the UNESCO World Heritage site Alhambra, is a place that keeps you rooted in Spain. Exploring the remnants of Arab civilization, as offered by this city, is a unique and enriching experience.

However, Granada has much more to offer. Bordered by mountains to the north, the city provides spectacular hiking opportunities with breathtaking views, while the beaches to the south are just a few kilometers away. This dual appeal makes it one of the best places to live in Spain, offering the best of both worlds.

For students, Granada is a favored destination to pursue their education. The city’s cheerful and vibrant atmosphere makes it an ideal place to graduate from. Its affordability further adds to its allure as it is an inexpensive city to live in. This makes Granada an excellent base for exploring other southern regions of the country, providing a gateway to the diverse offerings of southern Spain.

8. Bilbao

best place to live in spain

Bilbao has traditionally been less associated with the typical expat lifestyle seen in other Spanish cities, but it’s now shifting towards embracing lesser-known and slightly exotic areas, signifying a changing expat landscape. This transformation showcases the dynamic character of Bilbao, making it one of the best places to live in Spain.

Situated on the less frequented northern shore facing the Atlantic, Bilbao enjoys a climate different from the eternal sunshine of Spain’s Mediterranean towns. While the sun may not shine as consistently, there are notable advantages, including fewer tourists and expatriates compared to the more popular southern regions.

As the capital of the Basque Country, Bilbao offers a distinct cultural experience, adding another layer to the diverse tapestry of Spain. Expatriate populations in Bilbao are on the rise as more foreigners discover and appreciate the unique offerings of this remarkable city.

The Basque region, including Bilbao, is known for its prosperity. While it may not be the first choice for expatriates seeking budget-friendly options, it’s Spain’s fifth-largest city and caters to a range of lifestyles, including those of professionals, families, and individuals looking to escape the hustle of larger cities like Barcelona or Madrid.

Bilbao is a vibrant city situated along the banks of the river, with a rich industrial history juxtaposed with contemporary architectural marvels. The city seamlessly blends ancient industries and shipyards with state-of-the-art creations, exemplified by the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum located on a regenerated waterfront.

Exploring the city’s streets, you’ll find an abundance of excellent pubs and a culinary scene that never disappoints. Bilbao is an ideal place to savor delicious cuisine and sample regional wines, with nearby Navarra offering a booming Rosé wine industry that provides affordable indulgence.

While not Spain’s largest city, Bilbao is a hub for rock music enthusiasts. The city boasts the world’s largest covered market, offering an array of products. Whether you’re a connoisseur of excellent cuisine or a shopper seeking diverse experiences, Bilbao has something to offer.

Do you want to live in Spain?

Our law firm has more than 15 years of experience.

Contact Us Now!

The Bilbao region is home to several premium surfing beaches that remain relatively uncrowded, making it an attractive destination for surfers from around the world. Additionally, the area features medieval towns with historical landmarks, providing captivating experiences for both religious individuals and tourists. These towns, with their charming cobbled streets, picturesque squares, and colorful homes, make for beautiful places to visit.

Best places to live in spain by the sea?

For us the best places to live near the sea are Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante and Malaga.

Where are the best places to live in Spain for young adults?

It depends a lot on the individual young adult and the purchasing power… But from what we have seen from our foreign clients normally young adults like to be in a big city or close to it to have all the services no more than 20 minutes away.

Normally young adults prefer to be in coastal areas and good weather, the most popular areas for this according to our experience is the whole Mediterranean coast from Barcelona to Malaga, adding the Canary Islands (especially Tenerife and Lanzarote) and the Balearic Islands (especially Majorca).

What are the best places to live in spain?

This varies a lot according to taste, we prefer places to live near the sea, therefore, we would stay with Valencia or Malaga, as they are also cheap cities in Spain, compared to Madrid and Barcelona.

Where do most foreigners live in Spain?

Most foreigners go to live in Mallorca, the Canary Islands and Andalucia. Foreigners are looking for a good climate.

What is the safest place to live in Spain?

In Spain most cities are safe and there is no security problem, always the cities in the north of Spain have more popularity as safe, if we had to say a safe city would be San Sebastian.

You will have to select what region of the nation you would like to reside in before organizing removals to Spain and beginning your new life abroad. Much as we see in the UK, where you reside, all elements of your life may be of great importance. Real estate agencies say that reduced prices are currently a good opportunity to invest in primary Spanish property in Costa Blanca due to the Covid-20

27 thoughts on “Best places to live in Spain

  1. Juani |

    Thanks for the information! I am thinking of moving to Spain with all my family and I need help with all the paperwork, can you help me?

    1. My Spain Visa |

      We can help you in the whole process, you can contact us.

  2. Aline |

    I want to live with my family, we are a British couple with 3 children, what do you recommend? I had thought about Malaga

    1. My Spain Visa |

      Malaga is an ideal place to live with your family and you have an international airport.

  3. Thomas |

    Thank you, your comment was very helpful as I am looking to live in Spain next year.

  4. prednisoneoa |

    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.

    1. My Spain Visa |

      Whatever you need to know about living in Spain, we will be happy to help you.

  5. Sintija Ukrina |

    We are interested to spend 6 months in Spain, Malaga.

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions.


  6. CarolScearce |

    My husband and I are in our mid seventies. We are interested in spending three months in Spain in warm climate. What places would be good start to begin researching. We would also want to bring our dog. We love good food, culture and a neat place to rent.

    1. Anna |


      In my personal opinion I would recommend the Costa del Sol, it is an ideal place to retire in Malaga.


    2. Peter |

      Why is Valencia not in the list? I read it is one of the most beautiful and best places to live

      1. Anna |


        We have to add Valencia to the list, it is an excellent city to live in Spain.


  7. Amir |

    I have two daughters and i am living in Barcelona but I want to move from Barcelona please help me for my family wich city is best with family benifits

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions.


  8. Pat |

    I gonna take an internship in Spain and I cant decide where to go. Im 25 so im looking for a lively but safe city that also easy to go around and well connected for travel. Do you have suggestions? I have been reading about Andalucia, Valencia and Madrid but I cant decide!

    1. Marta |

      Hi Pat,
      Madrid is an amazing cosmopolitan city so if you want to go to a big and exciting place and very Spanish go there. the museums are culture is great. It is cold in winter and very hot in t he summer.

      If you are looking for a warmer area with nice beaches Andalucia (this is a region rather than a city) is the place. Flamenco and the idea that foreigners have of us, Spaniards, come from this area.

      Valencia is the third biggest city in spain (after Madrid and Barcelona). They have their own valencian language but they also speak Spanish.

      I hope this info helps you to decide. Marta

  9. Mike |

    I am looking forward to come to Spain. Is Barcelona okay?

    1. Anna |

      Barcelona is a great place in Spain and a good place to live, there is everything.

  10. Debbie |

    Hello and thank you for your article.
    We are Canadians (early retired and now self employed)looking to spend a gap year with our two teens, 13 and 17. We are looking at coming Sept 2022 for one year. We are looking at the Almeria-Alicante area, is this a suitable area for teens as well and not just their parents?
    Also, will be traveling with our two dogs…are there dog parks, dog friendly areas and in home pet sitters for the times we will want to explore?

    Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much,

    1. Anna |

      Alicante is a good place to spend a sabbatical year with your family, it is cheap compared to other cities in Spain and the weather is good most of the time. It is definitely a good place to live in Spain.

      One of our lawyers will send you an email to answer any further questions you may have.


  11. Cielito |

    Hola mi nombre is Cielito
    Me interesa muchísimo localizarme para España,no me gusta mucho el frío y me han dicho que malaga o balboa es muy bueno yo soy retirada y vivo dependiendo de mi pensión.No conozco nada de España y me gustaría que me ayude.Muchas Gracias

    1. Anna |


      Uno de nuestros abogados se pondrá en contacto con usted.


  12. Denisse |


    I am looking for the best place to live in Spain as an expat and I am thinking a lot about the Malaga area, what do you think?

    1. Anna |


      There are many expats in the Malaga area looking for good weather all year round! So I recommend you to live in the Malaga area.

      Whatever you need, our law firm will help you in the whole process of moving…

      1. Dominique Buono |

        Iam looking for a place were to live in Malaga. I am alone, so need a safe area. No car an area were everything is accessible, and a nice building.

      2. Anna |


        One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions best places to live in Spain.


Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *