Explore the 10 Best Cities to Live in Spain

Are you dreaming of living in Spain and immersing yourself in the vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning landscapes? We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best cities to live in Spain, each offering a unique lifestyle and a range of opportunities for expats. From iconic architecture in Barcelona to the sunny haven of Malaga, these cities are full of wonderful experiences waiting to be discovered. So let’s explore these incredible destinations and find the perfect Spanish city for your next adventure.

As we delve into the heart of each city, we’ll uncover the distinctive charm that sets them apart, focusing on factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, cultural attractions, and expat communities. By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a clear understanding of what makes these cities so special and why they are among the best places to live in Spain.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore 10 best cities to live in Spain: Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Seville, Malaga Bilbao Granada and Alicante

  • Enjoy stunning architecture & beaches. Vibrant culture & nightlife. Promising employment prospects and budget-friendly living options.

  • Experience the Mediterranean lifestyle with a supportive expat community that offers plenty of resources for newcomers.

Barcelona: A City of Art and Innovation

cathedral, sagrada familia, barcelona

Barcelona welcomes you with its:

  • stunning architecture

  • entrepreneurial opportunities

  • vibrant cultural scene

  • lively town atmosphere

  • international schools

  • captivating mix of modernity and history

This cosmopolitan city, known as the biggest city and a capital city, is a paradise for expats, ranking among the best cities and outshining other cities, including small town options.

With the Mediterranean coast as its backdrop, Barcelona is one of the most wonderful cities to live in Spain, even though it’s considered one of the more expensive cities. But trust us, it’s worth every penny!

Architectural Marvels

There’s no better place to find such a diverse range of architectural marvels than Barcelona. Home to most of Antoni Gaud’s masterpieces, like the world-famous Sagrada Familia, and a plethora of modernist buildings, this city is an architectural enthusiast’s dream come true.

Every corner you turn reveals another stunning piece of art, making it impossible not to fall in love with this magical city. So, if you’re searching for a place to live in Spain that offers a feast for the eyes, Barcelona is the perfect choice.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities

For ambitious entrepreneurs and digital nomads, Barcelona is a perfect launching pad for realizing business dreams. The city has quickly become the capital of innovation in Spain, offering an array of opportunities for business success and growth.

With a thriving expat and freelance community, you’ll never feel alone in your entrepreneurial journey. So why not take the plunge and make Barcelona your home base while you conquer the world of business?

Rich Cultural Scene

World-class museums, galleries, and vibrant festivals mark Barcelona’s unparalleled cultural scene. The Picasso Museum, Park Güell, and the Gothic Quarter are just a few examples of the city’s cultural treasures waiting to be explored. And let’s not forget the world’s biggest covered market, La Boqueria, where you can indulge in the freshest local produce and experience the true essence of Barcelona’s culinary scene.

As the sun sets, Barcelona’s nightlife comes alive with music festivals, cultural events, and lively bars. The city’s international flair is evident in its diverse range of entertainment options, offering something for everyone, from the flamenco aficionado to the electronic music enthusiast. In Barcelona, the possibilities for cultural immersion are endless, making it an exciting and enriching place to call home.

Madrid: The Heart of Spain

madrid, spain, city

Madrid is the epitome of Spanish spirit, an ideal city for those seeking authenticity. As the bustling heart of the country, Madrid offers expats a diverse range of living options, exciting nightlife, and ample employment prospects. Its central location makes it easily accessible from all corners of Spain, and its rich history and vibrant atmosphere make it one of the most sought-after cities for expats in the country.

Immerse yourself in the Spanish way of life and discover the unique charm of Madrid, a vibrant Spanish city.

Employment Prospects

Madrid’s strong job market attracts expats from various industries, providing a wealth of opportunities for those seeking a new career or a fresh start in Spain. With a thriving expat community and an excellent range of international schools, Madrid is an ideal destination for professionals and families alike.

Madrid, with its abundant job prospects and supportive environment, is a prime location for success-seeking expats, whether they are just starting out or aiming to advance their career.

Diverse Living Options

One of Madrid’s greatest strengths is its diverse range of neighborhoods and living options, catering to a variety of lifestyles and preferences. From the trendy and lively Chueca to the upscale and sophisticated Salamanca, there’s a perfect neighborhood for everyone.

Plus, with a relatively lower cost of living compared to other European capitals, Madrid offers an excellent quality of life that’s both comfortable and affordable. So, if you’re looking for a city that truly has it all, Madrid is the place to be.

Exciting Nightlife

Madrid is famous for its dynamic nightlife and entertainment options, offering everything from:

  • tapas bars

  • flamenco shows

  • cutting-edge clubs

  • live music venues

The city truly comes alive after dark, providing an endless array of experiences and adventures for both locals and expats alike.

Whether you prefer a quiet night out with friends or dancing until the early hours, Madrid’s exciting nightlife scene has something for everyone. So grab your dancing shoes and prepare to experience the vibrant energy of Madrid’s nightlife!

Valencia: Coastal Charm and Affordability

valencia, spain, calatrava

Valencia is a haven for those seeking a harmonious blend of coastal charm and affordability. This beautiful city on Spain’s eastern coast offers a family-friendly atmosphere, stunning beaches, and an affordable cost of living that’s hard to beat. With its laid-back vibe and Mediterranean climate, Valencia is an attractive option for expat families and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of bigger cities.

Delve deeper to understand what makes Valencia such an attractive place to live.

Affordable Living

hotel, white, spanish

Living in Valencia is not only easy on the eyes, but also easy on the wallet. The city’s lower cost of living compared to other major Spanish cities means you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. From affordable housing options to reasonably priced dining and entertainment, Valencia’s budget-friendly charm makes it an attractive choice for expats and locals alike.

So, isn’t it time to soak up the sun and relish the savings in this delightful coastal city?

Stunning Beaches

Valencia’s stunning coastline is one of its greatest attractions, boasting beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear waters that are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Some of the popular beaches in Valencia include:

  • El Cabanyal

  • Las Arenas

  • La Malvarrosa

  • Port Saplaya

From the bustling El Cabanyal and Las Arenas to the more tranquil La Malvarrosa and Port Saplaya, there’s a beach to suit every taste and preference.

spanish beach

With a relaxed coastal lifestyle and an array of outdoor activities to enjoy, Valencia is an ideal destination for those looking to embrace the Mediterranean way of life.

Family-Friendly Atmosphere

Valencia’s family-friendly atmosphere is another key factor that makes it such an appealing destination for expats. With an excellent selection of schools, parks, and recreational activities, the city provides everything families need to thrive and enjoy a high quality of life.

From exploring the Science Museum to discovering the world-class Bioparc Zoo, Valencia offers a wealth of experiences that are perfect for creating lasting memories with your loved ones. So, why not make Valencia your family’s new home and start building a lifetime of unforgettable experiences?

Seville: Tradition Meets Modernity

architecture, travel, old

Seville, situated in the heart of southern Spain, is an appealing blend of tradition and modernity. This captivating destination offers expats a rich cultural heritage, modern conveniences, and a supportive expat community, making it an ideal place to call home.

From the majestic Moorish architecture to the lively flamenco shows and vibrant festivals, Seville is a city that embraces its past while looking to the future. Explore how the unique fusion of old and new contributes to Seville’s appeal for expats.

Rich Cultural Heritage

Seville’s rich cultural heritage is one of its most defining features, offering expats an immersive experience into the city’s history and traditions. The breathtaking Moorish architecture, including the iconic Real Alcazar, is a testament to the city’s storied past, while the captivating flamenco shows and lively festivals provide a glimpse into Seville’s vibrant culture.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a destination that’s steeped in tradition, Seville is sure to enchant and inspire you.

Modern Conveniences

Despite its rich historical roots, Seville also boasts an array of modern conveniences and infrastructure to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for its residents. From shopping centers and public transportation to healthcare facilities, the city provides all the amenities you’d expect from a cosmopolitan destination, including a well-equipped city center.

So while you’re busy exploring the ancient streets and soaking up the history, you can rest assured that Seville has everything you need to feel right at home.

Expat Communities

Seville’s thriving expat communities and support networks make it an ideal destination for those looking to start a new life abroad. The city offers a wide range of resources to help newcomers feel welcome and integrated, including:

  • Language classes

  • Cultural events

  • Social clubs

  • Job opportunities

These resources contribute to making Seville a welcoming and supportive environment for expats.

With its warm and friendly atmosphere, Seville is the perfect place to create lasting connections and forge new friendships as you embark on your exciting expat journey.

Malaga: A Sunny Haven for Expats

dusk, nerja, malaga

If a life basking in the sun and savoring the Mediterranean lifestyle sounds like paradise, then Malaga is your ideal destination. This sunny haven on Spain’s southern coast offers an enviable climate, affordable cost of living, and a strong expat support network that makes it a popular choice for expats seeking a laid-back lifestyle.

From its beautiful beaches to its vibrant cultural scene, Malaga is a city that truly has it all. Discover how Malaga has earned its status as a top choice for expats seeking their own slice of Spanish heaven.

Enviable Climate

Malaga’s enviable climate is one of its biggest draws, boasting warm weather and sunshine year-round. With an average of 320 sunny days per year, the city’s pleasant temperatures make it the perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities, dine al fresco, and explore the stunning coastline.

Whether you’re a sun-worshipper, a beach enthusiast, or simply someone who loves the outdoors, Malaga’s fantastic climate is sure to make you feel right at home.

Cost of Living

Aside from its gorgeous weather, Malaga also offers a lower cost of living compared to other Spanish cities, making it an attractive option for those looking to enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle on a budget. From affordable housing options to reasonably priced dining and entertainment, Malaga’s budget-friendly charm is sure to please even the most cost-conscious expat.

So, why not make the most of your money and enjoy the delights of Malaga’s sunny shores on the Costa del Sol?

Expat Support Network

As a popular destination for expats, Malaga boasts a growing expat community and a wealth of resources to help newcomers feel at home. From language classes and job opportunities to cultural events and social clubs, the city offers a wide range of support networks and activities to help you integrate and thrive in your new environment.

With its welcoming atmosphere and sunny disposition, Malaga is the perfect place to embark on your expat adventure.

Bilbao: Northern Gem with Culinary Flair

facade, train station, bilbao

Located in Spain’s northern Basque Country, Bilbao is a hidden gem offering expats a distinctive mix of picturesque beauty, cultural richness, and gastronomic delights. This vibrant city is renowned for its world-class gastronomy, stunning landscapes, and an array of cultural events that cater to a diverse range of interests.

From the iconic Guggenheim Museum to the mouthwatering pintxos bars, Bilbao is a city that’s sure to captivate your senses and leave you craving more. Explore the elements that make Bilbao an irresistible destination for expats.

Gastronomic Delights

Bilbao’s culinary scene is a food lover’s dream come true, with an array of Michelin-starred restaurants and local pintxos bars that showcase the region’s rich gastronomic heritage. From traditional Basque cuisine to cutting-edge fusion dishes, the city’s diverse food offerings are sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you hungry for more.

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or simply looking to expand your culinary horizons, Bilbao’s gastronomic delights are not to be missed.

Scenic Surroundings

Bilbao’s stunning surroundings are another key feature that sets it apart from other Spanish cities. Surrounded by lush green mountains and a picturesque coastline, the city offers a perfect balance of natural beauty and urban sophistication.

With a wealth of outdoor activities to enjoy, Bilbao offers the perfect backdrop for a life of adventure and exploration. Some of the activities you can enjoy include:

  • Hiking

  • Cycling

  • Surfing

  • Sunbathing

So why not embrace the great outdoors and discover the breathtaking beauty of Bilbao’s surroundings?

Cultural Events

Bilbao’s vibrant cultural scene offers an array of events and festivals throughout the year, catering to a diverse range of interests and passions. From the internationally acclaimed Bilbao BBK Live music festival to the traditional Semana Santa celebrations, there’s always something happening in this dynamic city.

Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a film buff, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, Bilbao’s bustling calendar of events is sure to keep you entertained and engaged all year round.

Granada: A Historical Treasure Trove

spain, granada, alhambra

Rich in history and overflowing with charm, Granada is a historical treasure trove providing expats a fascinating window into Spain’s past. This enchanting city is home to the magnificent Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a wealth of other historical landmarks and cultural attractions.

With its budget-friendly living, welcoming environment, and timeless beauty, Granada is the perfect destination for those seeking an authentic Spanish experience. Unlock the secrets of this enchanting city and discover what makes Granada a top choice among expats.

Historical Sites

Granada’s rich history is evident in its breathtaking historical sites, including the awe-inspiring Alhambra and the ancient Generalife gardens. With its stunning Moorish architecture and fascinating past, this city offers a unique window into the history and culture of Spain.

As you wander the cobbled streets and explore the city’s many treasures, you’ll be transported back in time and captivated by Granada’s timeless charm. So why not embark on a journey through the ages and immerse yourself in the historical wonders of Granada?

Budget-Friendly Living

In addition to its historical allure, Granada also offers a budget-friendly lifestyle that’s perfect for expats and students alike. With affordable housing options and reasonable living costs, the city provides an excellent quality of life without breaking the bank.

From cheap eats and drinks to free cultural events, Granada is a city that proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy the finer things in life. So, why not make the most of your money and enjoy the delights of Granada’s budget-friendly charm?

Welcoming Environment

One of Granada’s greatest strengths is its warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect destination for newcomers seeking a friendly and supportive community. From language classes and cultural events to vibrant nightlife and a thriving expat community, the city offers a wide range of resources to help you feel at home and make lasting connections.

With its open-hearted spirit and inviting charm, Granada is the ideal place to embark on your expat adventure and forge new friendships as you explore the city’s many wonders.

Alicante: Coastal Beauty and Expat Hotspot

calpe, alicante, spain

Situated on Spain’s sunny southeastern coast, Alicante presents a harmonious blend of breathtaking coastline and an expat-friendly atmosphere. This charming coastal city is popular among expats seeking a laid-back lifestyle and a welcoming environment, making it an ideal destination for those looking to call Spain home.

With its beautiful beaches, vibrant cultural scene, and supportive expat community, Alicante is a true coastal gem that’s sure to capture your heart. Explore the myriad reasons that make Alicante a top choice for expats in search of a coastal paradise in Spain.

Stunning Coastline

Alicante’s stunning coastline is undoubtedly one of its greatest attractions, offering miles of beautiful sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and watersports. From the bustling Playa de Levante to the serene Playa San Juan, there’s a beach to suit every preference and mood.

With a relaxed coastal lifestyle and an array of outdoor activities to enjoy, Alicante is the perfect destination for those looking to embrace the Mediterranean way of life and soak up the sun.

Expat-Friendly Atmosphere

In addition to its coastal beauty, Alicante is also known for its expat-friendly atmosphere, offering a welcoming environment and plenty of resources for newcomers. The city provides a wide range of support networks and activities to help you integrate and thrive in your new environment, including:

  • Language classes

  • Job opportunities

  • Cultural events

  • Social clubs

With its inviting atmosphere and sunny disposition, Alicante is the perfect place to embark on your expat adventure and make lasting connections with fellow expats and locals alike.


As we’ve explored the 10 best cities to live in Spain, it’s clear that each city offers its own unique charm and allure, catering to a diverse range of preferences and lifestyles. From the bustling heart of Madrid to the sun-soaked shores of Malaga, these cities provide an incredible array of opportunities for expats seeking to call Spain home. Whether you’re drawn to the stunning architecture of Barcelona, the rich cultural heritage of Seville, or the laid-back coastal lifestyle of Valencia, there’s a perfect Spanish city waiting for you.

In conclusion, Spain is a country full of enchanting cities that offer a wealth of opportunities for expats seeking a new life abroad. With its diverse range of landscapes, cultures, and lifestyles, there’s truly something for everyone in this beautiful and captivating country. So why not take the plunge and discover the Spanish city that’s just right for you? The adventure of a lifetime awaits!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best area to live in Spain?

For a great combination of delicious cuisine, art museums, nightlife, outdoor activities and career opportunities, the best areas to live in Spain include Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga, San Sebastián, Frigiliana, Marbella, Toledo and the Canary Islands.

Where do most foreigners live in Spain?

Most foreigners living in Spain choose to make Madrid and Barcelona their home, due to the work opportunities and lifestyle available.

Thousands of expats and digital nomads find these cities welcoming each year.

What is the safest city to live in Spain?

Serville is considered the safest city to live in Spain, boasting a relaxed and coastal lifestyle.

Granada also comes in a close second, being heralded with its iconic pomegranate.

What factors should I consider when choosing a city to live in Spain?

When choosing a city to live in Spain, consider the cost of living, job opportunities, quality of life, climate, cultural attractions, and expat communities to make sure you have a great experience.

Cost of living is an important factor to consider when choosing a city. Look at the average rent prices, cost of groceries, and other expenses to make sure you can afford to live comfortably.

Job opportunities are also important. Research the job market in the city to make sure you can get a job.

How does the cost of living in Spain compare to other European countries?

Living in Spain is much more affordable than in other European countries, making it an ideal choice for those looking to save on living expenses.

It offers a great quality of life, with plenty of sunshine, delicious food, and friendly locals. The cost of living is significantly lower than in other European countries, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money.