So you have decided to finally up-sticks and move to sunny Spain – congratulations! The question now is where to move exactly? There’s plenty of ex-pat friendly places to consider, and depending on your tastes and requirements it could be a bustling city or a lazy coastal town. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular places to live in Spain that newcomer friendly yet still retain that authentic charm.
The Big Cities
Madrid is one of those capital cities just large enough to feel bustling and multicultural, yet small enough to not feel overwhelming for any newcomers. An outstanding cultural scene is of course supplemented with all the quality infrastructure and amenities that any ex-pat could wish for. With hot summers and very mild winters, a real perk for newcomers is that living here is also surprisingly affordable for a major European city.
Barcelona is, of course, a city with a heritage and culture very much of its own. Rightly regarded as one of the world’s preeminent cultural destinations, it is thriving, bustling and outside of the central tourist hotspots surprisingly chilled out. Compared to the UK it is once again pretty cheap to live well, with a large and welcoming ex-pat community hosting everything from lawn bowls to dinner clubs.
Medium Sized Cities
San Sebastian on the northern coast may be a little more ‘exclusive’ than the two listed so far, but for those with a taste for the high life, it is very hard to beat. The climate is distinctly more ‘British’ than most other Spanish cities, and the coastal scenery is little other than mesmerizingly beautiful. As may be expected this is a more expensive destination, but there are outstanding international schools, English speaking services and of course ex-pat associations.
Alicante has long been one of the most popular places to live in Spain. Sure it has a reputation for full-on nightlife and beach holidays, but the city and surrounding coastal area are near impossible to beat. Thanks to the vibrant tourism economy there are many UK workers/business owners here and the majority of locals speak English. For places to relocate to with minimum fuss and maximum reward, Alicante is hard to beat. See property for sale Costa Blanca South to see how cheaply you can buy a property here.
Malaga is perhaps the perfect choice for anyone wanting a new home city with both perfect year-round temperatures and a seemingly endless fiesta calendar! Once again this is a firm favorite for UK ex-pats and there is a very well developed community/service sector in the region. A wonderful city that will truly feel like a home from home but for all the right reasons.
Sevilla is like a smaller and less ‘full-on’ Barcelona, but don’t let that seemingly chilled vibe draw away from the unique appeals of this tremendous city. It may not be as large as many people assume, but that makes it all the more lively and engaging. For sleek nightlife, extremely friendly locals and a generally lovely pace of life this may well be many ex-pats dream destination.
Ibiza is of course known for the nightlife, that in recent years has seen a noticeable swing towards a much more discerning and upmarket crowd (mostly!). Outside of San Antonio, however, is where the real beauty is to be found, with this stunning Island long being a sanctuary for the great and the good of the art world. As may be expected it is more expensive than most Spanish destinations to live, but it is also arguably the easiest to integrate and most naturally beautiful.
Palma offers a more relaxed version of Ibiza with a more traditional and quaint feel. If Ibiza is the Madrid of the Islands, then this is the Barcelona – quirky, bohemian and simply super cool despite the year-round warmth. A frequent haunt of the glitterati makes this an expensive place to set up a new home, but the English speaking amenities and services are second to none. Popular places to live in Spain.