Popular destinations for expats moving to Spain

Which Spanish city would be best for you?

Popular destinations for expats moving to Spain

Hola! With a wide range of historical influences, excellent weather and mouth-watering cuisine, it’s no surprise that expats are moving to Spain.We have chosen our top 5 favorite destinations for expats in search of an authentic Spanish experience!

1. Madrid

Spain’s capital may be the country’s most expensive city, but remains reasonably priced for a European metropolis.

There is always something to do in Madrid - morning, noon or night! Many shops don’t close for the traditional Spanish siesta and excellent public transport links make it easy and cheap to get around the city. It is easier to find work and study opportunities in Madrid than in many other parts of Spain, particularly for English speakers.

LGBT-friendly Madrid has hosted World Pride and is extremely diverse. Spain is not generally renowned for how well it caters to its vegetarian and vegan residents and guests, but central Madrid offers something for all tummies.

Living on the well-connected outskirts of this cultural hubbub can get you much more living space for your budget than in the center. Inland Madrid’s continental climate is very varied - it gets cold enough to ski in the sierra (mountains) in winter but temperatures above 40ºC are not uncommon in the summer!

2. Barcelona

As one of the main cities in Spain, Barcelona is home to many expats as the opportunities to work are plenty. The city has a more relaxed way of life but given that it is home to a number of famous monuments and museums, it does attract a lot of tourists. This popularity comes at a price – Barcelona is one of the most expensive cities to live in.

Museum Picasso in Barcelona is home to the largest Picasso collection in the world. Not only is it known worldwide, but one of the most worthwhile museums to visits in Spain.

Commuting in Barcelona can be seen as slightly unsafe by road, as drivers are short tempered and reckless, which results in frequent accidents. That’s probably why most people prefer walking or using the metro.

3. Alicante

As Alicante tends to be more affordable than other Spanish cities, many expats opt to call it their new home. Compared with the cost of living in Barcelona, Alicante has lower rental and grocery costs. And if you’re moving with your family, the opportunities for them to pursue tertiary education are endless as Alicante is known as a vibrant university town.

The amazing Alicante on the east coast of Spain is surrounded by golf courses that extend alongside the peaceful Mediterranean coastline. The region is home to many parks and wildlife, with a variety of indigenous and foreign plants. In Alicante you can also find the famous castle of Santa Barbara. This steadfast monument dates from the 9th century, while the slopes on which it was built have yielded archaeological remains from as far back as the bronze age.

4. Valencia

Valencia is the top choice for British expats moving to Spain. It’s not hard to see why - Spain’s third-largest city is by the sea and offers good weather, a laid back yet modern lifestyle, and employment opportunities for English speakers!

Though not an archetypically pretty Spanish town, there is a huge cultural offering in Valencia. Make sure you try local dishes, as paella from Valencia is recognised as being the best in Spain! Each March, art, history and music meet fire and light at theLas Fallas festival.

Valencia has an international airport and metro, train, tram and bus services. Road signs are displayed in Castilian Spanish and Valenciano ‘Valencian’, the joint official language. The variant of Catalan is taught as a first or second language in state schools but most locals are able to speak and understand Castilian Spanish.

5. Malaga

If you’re looking for a destination to retire, then Malaga should be on the top of your list. With good weather, incredible beaches, a vast variety of foods and relaxed approach to life, the coastal city stands out as the perfect retirement paradise.

Malaga is one of the cheaper Spanish cities, which makes it a cost-effective choice for retirees and young families alike.

Things to consider when moving to Spain

Before moving to Spain, check out the rest of the Just Landed Spain Guide for vital information on healthcare, property, visas and more. Wherever you are moving, its recommended to work with a reputable international moving company  that can move you and your belongings to anywhere in Spain from anywhere in the world.

Further reading

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