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Top 7 Best places to live in Spain 2024

What’s on this page?

  1. What steps do you need to take to move from the UK to Spain?
  2. Barcelona - wonderful climate and comfortable beaches
  3. Madrid - great job opportunities
  4. Valencia - high quality of life and small number of tourists
  5. Malaga - beautifully equipped beaches and delicious food
  6. Alicante - the combination of sea and mountains
  7. Bilbao - much fewer tourists and life flows slowly
  8. Seville - paradise for pedestrians and cyclists

 

Spain is a fairly large country and it is important to decide what attracts you the most: life in a metropolis, in a small cozy village, on the coast or even on an island. Any of the listed locations may interest you, but let us focus on large cities in different regions of the country, each of which deserves attention.

Spain

According to many recommendations, these are the best places to live in Spain:

  • Barcelona;
  • Madrid;
  • Valencia;
  • Malaga;
  • Alicante;
  • Bilbao;
  • Seville.

If you don't want to read the whole article, here is a quick overview of the best places to live in Spain.

Town Advantages
Barcelona A mix of a large metropolis and a seaside resort with a wonderful climate and comfortable beaches.
Madrid Great job opportunities. There are many locations that are centers of world culture, as well as a high level of culinary arts and entertainment.
Valencia High quality of life, small number of tourists. The infrastructure is very developed here, there are great opportunities for practicing sports, including winter ones.
Malaga Many resorts, beautifully equipped beaches and delicious food. Prices in this city are much lower than in other large cities.
Alicante The combination of sea and mountains, active city life and a wonderful climate. Excellent urban infrastructure. Yachting and sailing are the highlights of Alicante.
Bilbao There are much fewer tourists here and life flows slowly. It is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and is very attractive for surfers.
Seville Paradise for pedestrians and cyclists, the world center of flamenco culture, the warmest city in Europe.

The combined benefits of living in these places are:

  • wonderful climate;
  • high level of culture;
  • rich history;
  • high quality of life;
  • security;
  • developed infrastructure;
  • hospitality of the local population;
  • tasty food.

What steps do you need to take to move from the UK to Spain?

The best cities to live in Spain meet all the requirements of the most demanding person. Therefore, every year an increasing number of foreigners move here for permanent residence. In particular, more than 360,000 Britons have already found their new home here.

UK citizens who plan to move permanently to Spain must apply for a visa or residence permit, which one exactly depends on their plans. And for tourism purposes, Britons can stay in Spain for 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

As for employment, here are some general tips for emigrants from the UK. Jobs are easier to find in coastal areas where there are a large number of foreigners, including English speakers. But knowledge of Spanish will greatly increase the chances of successful employment. Salaries in Spain are significantly lower than in Britain. So, if you previously received £30,000 a year, then in Spain you will be paid £20,000 for similar work. However, it should be noted here that the cost of living in Spain is much lower.

Before employment, you must obtain a NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros) - taxpayer identification number. This will allow legal employment under an official work contract, which, in turn, gives a guarantee of state medical care.

So, let us try to identify the main characteristics and choose the best place in Spain to live.

1. Barcelona

The city of architectural masterpieces, the creations of El Greco and Salvador Dali, but at the same time the European center of start-ups and a large number of co-working spaces. There is always an incessant flow of tourists (up to 7 million per year), who are attracted not only by cultural values, but also by a vibrant nightlife. It combines the features of a large metropolis and a seaside resort with a wonderful climate and comfortable beaches. It is worth noting that Barcelona is considered one of the safest cities in Spain.

Barcelona town in Spain

Since Barcelona is also one of the most popular cities in Spain, real estate prices here are quite high. Finding an apartment for less than € 100,000 is quite difficult.

Property type Prices
Studio apartment with an area of 35-50 sq. m from € 105,000-115,000
Apartments from € 180,000
Penthouses from € 400,000

When deciding where to live in Spain, choose the right property to be able to plan your budget accordingly.

2. Madrid

Located in the very center of Spain, the capital of the country with all the necessary attributes. The city is characterized by a huge number of tourists and emigrants, fairly high prices and a fast pace, but at the same time it is attractive to pensioners as it provides the most comfortable conditions and a high standard of living. There are many locations that are centers of world culture, a high level of culinary art, presented in an extensive network of restaurants, bars and cafes. Madrid is home to the biggest number of foreigners because of the great job opportunities.

Madrid town in Spain

The public transport, which is constantly being improved, is well organized in the city, and a high level of security is guaranteed. Real estate in Madrid is quite expensive. The most popular are luxury apartments and small houses in the residential areas of the city. Prices vary considerably depending on the class of housing and its location. The cheapest housing is small one-bedroom apartments in old houses on the outskirts of the city - € 50,000-60,000.

Property type Price
1 sq. m of apartments in the center from € 2000-4000
1 sq. m of country villa from € 3000-6000
Apartments on the outskirts of the city from € 50,000-60,000

3. Valencia

The third largest and most populous city in the country. The Spaniards themselves say that this is the best place to live in Spain! High quality of life, a relatively small number of tourists, the friendliness of the local population, developed infrastructure, great opportunities for practicing various sports, including winter sports - these are the components of Valencia's high rating among other cities. And it is also called a gastronomic paradise!

Valencia town in Spain

Valencia is very attractive for families with children and young people, as there is everything for their development and studies. Due to the compactness of the city, walking is very popular here, but city transport is organized at the highest level too. Prices for groceries, services and real estate in Valencia are significantly lower than in Barcelona and Madrid. Thus, real estate rental prices are 37% lower than in Madrid and 52% lower than in London.

The cost of housing starts from € 80,000 and depends on many factors: location, year of construction, area, number of bedrooms, finishes, etc.

4. Malaga

When listing the best cities to live in Spain, Malaga should definitely be mentioned. Seaside town with a large port, which explains the constant flow of tourists from all over the world. The city is also very attractive for pensioners: there are many resorts, well-equipped beaches and delicious food. Malaga is famous for its fish restaurants where you can taste exclusive dishes. Prices in the city are significantly lower than in other major cities in Spain and three times lower than in London.

Malaga town in Spain

Real estate in Malaga has always been attractive for rent and purchase, as you can see excellent value for money here. If you are attracted to life in the city center, then you will not find new buildings here.

Property type Price
One-room apartment € 160,000
Townhouse apartment € 160,000-280,000
Coastal villa from € 500,000

5. Alicante

The most popular city among British tourists and expats. The combination of sea and mountains, active city life and relaxed atmosphere, excellent climate and high level of comfort certainly explain the high rating of this place. There are all conditions for studies, recreation and sports. Yachting and sailing are the highlights of Alicante. Well-developed urban infrastructure and public transport, especially trams, allow local residents, tourists and expats to feel comfortable here all year round.

 

As in other resort cities, real estate prices in Alicante vary greatly and depend on many factors. The average price of 1 square. m. of real estate is about € 1500.

It is likely that the best place to live in Spain for you is Alicante, because the beauty and diversity of this location is simply amazing!

Property type Price
2 bedroom apartment in the centre from € 120,000 - € 140,000
Apartments in the outskirts of the city from € 90,000 - € 100,000
Villas in the residential areas of the city from € 500,000

6. Bilbao

Located on the north coast of Spain in the Basque country, the city does not boast the same warm climate as Alicante or Seville. There are much fewer tourists and expats here, life is slow and this attracts people who have retired. At the same time, it cannot be said that the cost of living in the city is lower than in other large cities. Bilbao is located on the Atlantic coast and is very attractive for surfers. Here is a completely unique, even exotic atmosphere, not similar to other regions of Spain.

Bilbao town in Spain

Property prices in Bilbao are approximately 3000 €/m².

Two-bedroom apartment of 74 sq. m can be purchased for € 125,000.

7. Seville

The bright and romantic capital of Andalusia, a paradise for pedestrians and cyclists, the world center of flamenco culture and the warmest city in Europe. Although Seville is the fourth largest city in Spain, it manages to maintain a compact and cozy feel. The flat terrain has created excellent conditions for walking and cycling in the city.

Seville town in Spain

The average price for 1 sq. m of real estate is about € 2400.

Prices for apartments are in the range of € 105,000-300,000.

The best places to live in Spain summary

In general, Spain is many-sided and diverse, its different regions demonstrate different life principles of local residents, each city has its own character, different from others. There is actually a fierce competition between the cities for the right to receive the title of "Best Place to Live in Spain". And this further complicates the choice of a potential emigrant. Therefore, in order to finally decide, you just need to visit these cities, breathe in the local air, communicate with the residents, and feel all the pros and cons.

If you need some help in deciding where to live in Spain as well as with purchasing a home, refer to the website of the real estate agency WTG Spain, and the managers will advise you on any issues related to the transaction. And be sure that your dream will come true!

FAQ

Where is the safest place to live in Spain?

Barcelona is considered the safest city to live in Spain.

Where do most foreigners live in Spain?

Madrid, the capital of Spain, is home to the most foreigners.

Where is the best place in Spain for Brits to live?

Among the British, the most popular city in Spain is Alicante.

Where is the best place to retire in Spain?

The best city to retire in Spain is Madrid.

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