8 Best Locations to Live in Spain for Expats

Spain is one of the most diverse and cultural spots for tourists and expats around the world. It offers some of the unique and quality locations for expats to live in. If you are an expat and planning to travel to Spain, you need to know which are the best locations to live in Spain for Expats are ideal for expats to live in?

There are some unique locations to live in Spain for expats but we stick to only few that are ranked famous ones among all. Let’s discuss these locations one by one in detail so that you can enjoy your Spain itinerary to the fullest. Read on!

1. Malaga:

Malaga Cathedral

Malaga is a lively port city enriched with quality hotels and resorts. Expats usually need to explore this location because of mesmerizing sunshine views and adventures. It is one of the famous destinations especially for retirees just because of affordable cost of living. Also, it comes with quality cafes and restaurants.

Famous for

  • Stunning beaches
  • Warm climate
  • Cultural heritage


  • Overcrowded places
  • Humidity issues
  • Limited job opportunities

2. Seville:


Expats usually get attracted to this famous place just because of romantic traditions, rich architecture and affordable accommodation options. If you are one who want settle with your family at this place, there is good news for you as two universities and international schools exists in Seville.

Famous for

  • Rich family lifestyle
  • Musical festivals and events
  • Natural views


  • Extreme hot
  • English is not spoken widely
  • Minimum job opportunities

3. Barcelona:


Barcelona is one of the best cities in Spain that provides countless job and study opportunities for both students and employees.

If you want truly enjoy urban lifestyle in Spain, Barcelona would be one of the best options. This vibrant city not only comes with rich lifestyle and infrastructure but also welcomes you with marvelous beaches, nightlife scenes, cafes, and cultural history. If you are looking to live in some high rise apartments and modern condos in the center of the city, you might want to consider Barcelona or Madrid.

And if you dream of living by the sea, the Costa del Sol or Costa Brava should be on the top of your list, where you can find stunning beachfront properties with breathtaking views.

In big cities like Madrid and Barcelona, you’ll find high-rise apartments and sleek modern condos in the city center, perfect for those who want to be in the heart of the action.

Famous for

  • Architecture & culture
  • Quality urban lifestyle
  • Co-working places


  • Too much noise
  • High cost of living
  • Air pollution

4. Valencia:

Valencia City

Valencia is considered as third largest cities in Spain with merely low cost of living as compared to Barcelona. If you are food lover and want explore foodie city in Spain, Valencia would not disappoint you and their signature dish is paella, which is commonly famous among expats. After Barcelona, Valencia has everything that you may expect in largest urban cities.

Famous for

  • Enormous investment options
  • Gastronomy
  • Affordable cost of living


  • Not good schooling
  • Limited growth opportunities
  • Slow pace of life

5. Madrid:

Madrid Spain

After Barcelona, we can say that Madrid would be one of the best options for expats to live in Spain. Madrid comes with unique blend of quality lifestyle, cultural history and budget-consciousness. We highly recommend Madrid to those expats who want move to Spain and go for quality lifestyle without thinking too much about expensive cost of living.

Famous for

  • Artistic heritage
  • Delectable cuisine
  • Cutting-edge fashion
  • Vibrant nightlife


  • Limited beaches
  • Messy public transport with huge crowds
  • Hot summers

6. Alicante:


Alicante is located on the sunny southern region of Spain and famous for affordable cost of living and pleasant weather all year round.

This place would be best for British expats seeking to live in Spain just because of affordability and quality lifestyle. You can skip Barcelona if you think Barcelona comes with high cost of living, so, in this way, Alicante will be best.

Famous for

  • Amazing sandy beaches
  • Landmarks
  • Stunning palm-lined streets
  • Wide boulevards


  • Home sickness
  • Language barriers
  • Laidback lifestyle issues

7. Bilbao:


If you are one who want calm, quiet and peaceful environment to live in Spain, no other best option than Bilbao. Bilbao is one of the quietest and calm places in Spain enriched with cultural spots, shopping malls and quality dining options. If you think Barcelona and Madrid are expensive ones to live, go for Bilbao option without any second thought.

Famous for

  • Art/ culture
  • Delicious foods
  • Wineries
  • No noise


  • Mild climate
  • High cost of living

8. Granada:

Alhambra Granada

Undoubtedly, Granada is lesser known and in smaller size but it doesn’t mean that it’s less charming and less cultural. If you want explore other southern regions of Spain, Granada would be one of them. This place is also famous for having UNESCO world heritage site enriched with all those things that every digital nomad or expat want in any Spain city.

Famous for

  • Stunning mountains
  • Marvelous beaches
  • Walkable city


  • Overcrowded during peak season
  • Limited public transportation
  • Limited English speaking locals

Final Thoughts!

Now that you have gone through the 8 best places to live in Spain for expats. All these places are best in terms of quality lifestyle, growth opportunities and quality accommodations with better value for money. Spain’s diverse regions cater to a wide range of expat preferences.

Whether you crave the energy of bustling Barcelona or the laid-back charm of Malaga, there’s a perfect spot waiting for you.  Consider your priorities, research different areas, and soon you’ll be enjoying the Spanish way of life!


Where do most expats live in Spain?

It depends where they feel themselves comfortable. On first number, most expats prefer Barcelona just because of having quality urban lifestyle and good infrastructure. After Barcelona, the most recommended option is Madrid.

Where is the cheapest and nicest place to live in Spain?

Granada and Alicante are two of the cheapest and nicest places to live in Spain. After Alicante and Granada, Lugo is one of the cheapest cities to live in Spain. Not only this, also this unique city comes with rich food culture, mild weather and affordable accommodation options.

Is Spain good for American expats? 

Yes, undoubtedly, Spain is good and safe for American expats too like other countries’ expats. Spain is considered as safest options to live in Spain with vibrant culture, higher security and quality of life.

Where do Canadian expats live in Spain?

For Canadian and U.S expats, Barcelona and Madrid would be one of the best options. These cities come with unlimited job opportunities, high quality lifestyle, favorable weather conditions, high infrastructure and effective public transport system.

What are the best places to live in Spain for young expats?

It usually depends on young expats purchasing power and where they want to live in. According to research and our thoughts, most young expats want to live in coastal areas in Spain like Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and Mediterranean coast.

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