The Top Places to Live in Spain for Expats


The Spanish cost of living can be cheaper than in other countries, and if you’re an expat looking to live abroad, it might be your best option. The culture, climate, and food of Spain make it appealing to foreigners, and with multiple large cities to choose from, you can have your pick of some great places to live in Spain. If you’re planning on moving there permanently or even just traveling through, here are seven cities you should consider as the top destinations for expats in Spain.


There is an endless list of reasons to love Madrid. First and foremost, it’s one of Europe’s largest metropolitan areas, which means expats will always have something going on. Whether you want to enjoy culture or nightlife, there’s no shortage of activities and people. And when you’re feeling bored? Hop on a plane or train – Seville and Barcelona are only a few hours away by fast rail. While living in Madrid is expensive, it also has some excellent low-cost alternatives if you are prepared to live on the outskirts. Overall, Madrid is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for expats – and deservedly so.


Barcelona has long been a prevalent destination for expats and is still growing in popularity. The city is rich with culture and natural beauty, boasting year-round sunny weather and a rich nightlife scene, and great food. The cost of living is relatively high here, so it’s important to note that you’ll have to cut costs somewhere. Consider eating out less often than you might at home or living somewhere slightly cheaper than your ideal spot.


Many expats consider Valencia to be an excellent place to live. The city has a bustling nightlife, with people visiting its famous beaches, great restaurants, and trendy nightclubs until very late into the night. Valencia also has fantastic weather, which makes it popular among tourists. It’s also one of the Spanish cities growing every year when it comes to tourism. This makes it an ideal place for expats since there are plenty of job opportunities within the tourism sector and other industries such as the pharmaceutical and construction sectors, which are always looking for skilled workers from abroad.


Alicante is located on Spain’s eastern coast and is well-known as a commercial hub. The largest city in Valencian Country, Alicante, has excellent beaches that form part of the Costa Blanca or white coast because of their fine white sand. There are beautiful mountains inland from Alicante, making it an ideal place for hiking, biking, and trekking. The weather here is excellent throughout most of the year—temperatures rarely dip below 58°F (14°C) or rise above 85°F (29°C). This makes it a great place to live if you like warm weather but still want a lot of sunshine.


Javea is a popular tourist spot in Spain, and it’s also known as a beautiful place to live. It has gorgeous views, bargain villas and apartments, plenty of sunshine, and interesting culture, but there are also plenty of expat-friendly options available. For example, there are two international schools taking students of all ages. The downtown area is walkable, and many streets have special discounts on parking if you own a registered car plate (Licencia de matriculación). Plus, Javea is close enough to Valencia, so you can easily make it into town for a day trip.Local estate agents Valuvillas report a 25% increase in interest in property of the last 6 months, indicating a surge in demand for 2023


Benidorm is one of Europe’s top tourist destinations and boasts a fantastic climate, an array of attractions, and plenty of activities. Whether you want to bask on sandy beaches, party hard at a club or nightspot, or learn Spanish, Benidorm has something for everyone. 


Located on Spain’s Costa del Sol, Marbella is a seaside resort city especially popular with Europeans and Brits. The beaches are fabulous, and dining options are abundant. Because it’s so popular with tourists, you can expect an active nightlife scene. There is also tons of shopping and a thriving expat community. You can get by speaking English, but some Spanish is recommended. Marbella is not a good option if you have kids as there aren’t many families living here. That said, if you want to live like royalty in one of Europe’s hottest beach destinations, Marbella could be your ideal spot.