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The Best Places to Live in Spain for Expats

on Fri May 24 2024
Sales & Rentals
All Types

Spain has long been a favourite destination for expats looking for Mediterranean culture, a fantastic climate and a relaxed lifestyle. Offering a variety of experiences, whether you are looking for a city, a coastal paradise or a picturesque village, Spain has something to offer everyone. As experts in the real estate market, the team at Kristina Szekely International Realty have created this guide to the 10 best places to live in Spain as an expat – read on to find out more!

1. Marbella

Why Marbella?

Marbella is synonymous with luxury and an international hotspot for expats. Known for its glamorous lifestyle, this jewel of the Costa del Sol offers stunning beaches, fine dining and world-class golf courses. The climate is ideal, with over 320 days of sunshine a year, making it perfect for those who enjoy outdoor activities.

Marbella is the best place to live in Spain for expats

What is it like to live in Marbella?

Marbella offers a blend of traditional Andalusian charm and modern comforts. The Old Town is a picturesque area of narrow streets and historic buildings, while Puerto Banús is famous for its lively nightlife and luxury shopping. The real estate market here is diverse, ranging from luxurious villas, mansions to stylish beachfront apartments for sale in Marbella.

2. Barcelona

Why Barcelona?

Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city that combines modernity with a rich historical heritage. It is a cultural, architectural and gastronomic centre, with monuments such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell attracting visitors from all over the world.

Barcelona Spain

What is the experience of living in Barcelona like?

Barcelona attracts expats because of its vibrant urban lifestyle. The city is divided into several unique neighbourhoods, each offering a different experience. The Eixample is known for its impressive modernist buildings, while Gràcia has a bohemian atmosphere. Barcelona’s excellent public transport system and international schools make it an ideal choice for families.

3. Madrid

Why Madrid?

The capital of Spain is Spain’s most populous city offering a dynamic lifestyle. Known for its impressive museums, elegant boulevards and vibrant nightlife, Madrid is perfect for those who thrive in a fast-paced urban environment.

Madrid Spain expats

Living in Madrid

Madrid’s neighbourhoods each have their own character. The Salamanca neighbourhood is one of the most prestigious areas, known for its luxury shopping and gastronomy. La Latina is famous for its traditional tapas bars and historic streets. The city’s central location makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the rest of Spain.

4. Valencia

Why choose Valencia to live in as an ex-pat?

Valencia is a coastal city that seamlessly blends historic sites with modern architecture. Known for its impressive City of Arts and Sciences and the annual Las Fallas festival, Valencia offers a rich cultural experience.

Valencia Spain

What is it like to live in Valencia?

Valencia’s diverse neighbourhoods offer many options for expats. El Carmen is known for its vibrant nightlife and historic buildings, while Ruzafa is a trendy area with a thriving arts scene. The city’s extensive parks and beaches make it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

5. Alicante

What is it about the city of Alicante?

Alicante is a coastal city known for its beautiful beaches, palm-lined boulevards and lively nightlife. The city enjoys a warm climate and a relaxed lifestyle, making it a popular choice for expats.

Port of Alicante

Living in Alicante

Alicante offers a wide range of housing options, from modern flats to traditional townhouses. The Explanada de España, an impressive promenade, is a focal point of the city. Alicante’s efficient public transport, international schools and health services make it a convenient choice for families.

6. Seville

Seville, the heart of Andalusia

Seville is the heart of Andalusian culture, known for its flamenco dancing, Moorish architecture and lively festivals. Its rich history and warm climate make it an attractive destination for expatriates.

Live in Seville expats

Experience living in Seville

Expats will find Seville’s neighbourhoods charming and diverse. Santa Cruz is a historic area with narrow streets and beautiful squares, while Triana is famous for its vibrant atmosphere and ceramic shops. The cost of living in Seville is generally lower than in Madrid or Barcelona, offering great value for money.

7. Malaga

Why Malaga?

Malaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol, known for its sunny climate, beautiful beaches and rich cultural heritage. The city has undergone significant development in recent years, increasing its attractiveness to expats who want to live here.

Malaga costa del sol

Living in Malaga

Malaga offers a mix of modern and traditional life. The historic centre is full of museums, tapas bars and boutiques, while the beachside neighbourhoods offer a more relaxed lifestyle. The city’s international airport makes it a convenient gateway for travel.

8. San Sebastian

Why San Sebastian?

San Sebastian, located in the Basque Country, is famous for its gastronomy, stunning beaches and beautiful scenery. It is an excellent choice for those who appreciate a mix of urban and outdoor lifestyles.

La Concha Beach San Sebastian

What is it like to live in San Sebastian for a foreigner?

The city offers a high quality of life thanks to its clean environment and excellent sanitary system. The Parte Vieja is famous for its pintxo bars, while the Gros neighbourhood is popular with surfers. Despite being smaller than Madrid or Barcelona, San Sebastian has a cosmopolitan feel.

9. Palma de Mallorca

Why Palma de Mallorca?

Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands, is known for its beautiful beaches, historic sites and vibrant nightlife. The island’s Mediterranean climate and stunning scenery make it a popular choice for expatriates.

Palma de Mallorca for expats

Living in Palma de Mallorca

Palma offers a mix of luxury villas and modern flats. The old town features historic architecture and charming streets, while the beach areas offer a more relaxed lifestyle. Palma’s international airport and its excellent transport links provide excellent transport links.

10. Grenada

Why Granada?

Granada is a city rich in history and culture, famous for the Alhambra palace and its breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada. The city offers a unique blend of Moorish and Spanish influences.

Alhambra de Granada

Life in Granada

Granada’s neighbourhoods each have their own character. The Albaicín is a historic area of narrow streets and whitewashed houses, while the Realejo is known for its vibrant art scene. The low cost of living and its status as a university city make it an attractive option for young expats and families.

Why choose Spain for retirement living?

Spain offers a wide variety of wonderful places for expats to call home, each with its own unique charm and lifestyle. Whether you are drawn to the luxury and glamour of Marbella, the cultural richness of Barcelona or the historic charm of Granada, there is a perfect place in Spain waiting for you. At Kristina Szekely International Realty, we are here to help you find your ideal home and make your transition to Spanish life as seamless as possible.

If you are thinking of moving to Spain, don’t hesitate to contact us. With our extensive knowledge of the Costa del Sol property market and our commitment to personalised service, we are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in this beautiful country.