5 Best Places to Live in Spain for Expats

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Do you want to start a new life and come to live in Spain? Do you already live in Spain and want to move to another city? If the answer is yes to either of these two questions, then we’ve written this article for you. We’re going to take a look at the 5 best cities to live in Spain as a foreigner. You’ll be surprised!

Spain: The perfect country for expats

woman holding a thumbs up and wearing the Spanish flat

If there is one thing that Spain and all these cities have in common, it is a good climate, atmosphere, gastronomy and fun.

And, as if that were not enough, these Spanish cities have a very high quality of life. They are safe, as well.

This, together with the Mediterranean climate and good health indices, makes the country one of the preferred destinations for foreigners from all over the world who want to move to another country to live and work.

Whichever city you choose, you will find that all of these Spanish cities offer:

  • A pleasant climate 365 days a year
  • Spectacular culture and fascinating architecture
  • Exquisite gastronomy and excellent wines
  • A welcoming atmosphere with friendly people

Where to live in Spain as an expat?

However, this can cause a bit of a problem. The diverse Spanish landscape and its different regions mean that you may not be 100% sure which is best for you. Is the heat of Andalusia better or the green landscape of Galicia or Asturias? Is the atmosphere of the big city of Barcelona better or that of Madrid?

To help with all these doubts (and more), we are going to explain to you which places are, in our opinion, the 5 best cities to live in Spain. But it’s not just OUR opinion—these 5 options have been validated by thousands of foreigners!

1. Barcelona

Barcelona cityscape with Sagrada Familia in center

Barcelona is the first city on our list. Its climate, its beaches, its cultural entertainment, its job offers, its atmosphere, its nightlife and its good connection with other cities in Spain both by public transport and private transport are some of the factors that make this city number 1 in the world and one of the best places to live in Spain if you want to move to this fantastic country.

Barcelona is the second-largest city in Spain and has hundreds of expat communities. This makes it easy for you to create a new social circle and feel welcome in your new life. Moreover, Barcelona is one of the biggest centers for entrepreneurs in Europe. So if you are interested in entrepreneurship, it fulfills two key requirements for a successful startup: talent and technology.

A city full of opportunities that will welcome you with open hands to make you feel at home!

2. Madrid


Secondly, the capital, Madrid. In terms of employment, it is the city with the most job opportunities and it also offers high salaries, so you can have an excellent quality of life.

Madrid offers an infinite number of cultural, entertainment and leisure activities. In terms of leisure, its shows, parties, concerts and theaters, in particular that of the Lion King, stand out. It is a city with a wide range of possibilities. We also highlight all the culture it has, the historical monuments and museums. Not to mention its energetic nightlife.

Madrid will not leave you indifferent, whether you want to start a new life in Spain or if you want to move to a new Spanish city.

3. Valencia

street in Valencia. The text overlay says "best places to live in Spain"

In third place, the city of sciences and arts, comes beautifiul Valencia. Its warm climate, gastronomy and beaches make Valencia one of the best cities for expats to live in Spain.

If you want to live near the sea, Valencia is a very good option as it has a good climate all year round and housing is more affordable than in other cities in Spain. Over the last few years, the city located on the Mediterranean coast has undergone a radical change, becoming one of the most dynamic places in the country.

In terms of job opportunities, it offers many job possibilities for expatriates and in case you want to be self-employed, it will also be a good place to settle down as the digital nomad and freelancing community is remarkable.

4. Seville

River running through Seville, one of the best places to live in Spain

In fourth place, the Andalusian capital, Sevilla. This city in southern Spain has the reputation for having the best quality of life and the most color in Spain.

Seville is a city with a very welcoming village atmosphere. It will make you feel a part of it from the minute you arrive.

This beautiful city is well known for its gastronomy, sports, and shows—especially flamenco shows. The sensations it transmits are unique and it invites you to enjoy the present more than ever.

A city where Easter is lived with a lot of passion and the hotel and catering sector is gaining a lot of importance. A city where there are many job offers in this sector.

if you choose Seville as your destination to live in Spain, it is important to mention that it is a very hot city. The temperature can exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104°F) in summer. Seville is known to be the hottest city in Europe.

5. Málaga

Cityscape, Malaga Spain

Last but not least, one of the oldest cities in the world, Malaga. If you are passionate about good weather and the beach this city is for you, it is located on the Costa del Sol and will provide you with a perfect climate all year round. It is also a city full of history that will not leave you indifferent.

If there is one thing that foreigners from all over the world value when coming to Spain, it is its affordable cost of living. And this is even more true in the city of Malaga. Malaga is a city with exquisite gastronomy at very good prices, with job offers and a very affordable cost of living.

Malaga is an active city, with a great atmosphere, it is undoubtedly one of the best destinations to live in Spain, and in recent months it has been experiencing great growth in terms of startups and entrepreneurship, attracting a large amount of international talent.

Final thoughts about where to live in Spain

Spain is a beautiful country with much to offer expats. There are many great places to live in Spain, depending on your needs and interests.

Each city has its own unique charms that make it special. If you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife and culture scene, Barcelona or Madrid are good choices. If you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle by the beach, then Malaga or Valencia may be better options. And if you want to experience traditional Spanish culture and history, Seville is for you.

No matter where you choose to live in Spain, you’ll find that the food is delicious, the people are friendly, and there’s always something to do. If you’re thinking of moving to Spain, don’t hesitate – it’s a wonderful place to live!

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Written by Linda

Linda is multilingual and has been to over 50 countries. Her insatiable love of travel, cuisine, and foreign languages inspired her to create As We Saw It, where she documents her trips, shares practical itineraries, and offers insider tips. She's passionate about helping fellow travelers save time, money, and hassle, and loves to discover new places to explore.

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