Brief introduction to the country: Best Places to live in Spain

Sun, fun and enjoyment. That is the common denominator shared by all the cities and towns of the Spanish territory. However, being someone who does not know each and every corner of the country, you may have some doubts. What are the best places to live as a foreigner? Should I focus on any of the capitals? Or maybe small towns will be a better option?

In this entry we are going to clarify things for you. We will talk about our 4 recommendations so that you definitely know how to choose

Before starting with the list we wanted to establish a brief summary with something that you will find in any city you choose, no matter what it is.

As we saw in our article on the 9 reasons to start living in Spain, whatever city you choose, you will always find:

The perfect climate all year round

An incredible culture to discover and fascinating architecture

Delicious food and wine

A lovely environment with totally friendly people

That sounds really good.

However, there are 4 regions in which these elements can be lived with greater intensity. Let’s see what we consider to be the 4 best places to live in Spain as a foreigner:


Madrid is an incredible city. And not only because of the beautiful parks and gardens that you can find or the wonders of its main streets (such as the Retiro).

The entertainment and leisure part of this city is also something to highlight. If you enjoy shows, theater and concerts, Madrid is your place. Going to the theater to see the Lion King is priceless! Not to mention the energetic nightlife.

While the costs and prices in Madrid and Barcelona may be a bit higher than anywhere else in the country, that’s not something that should scare you. If you compare with other European cities like London or Paris, the two main cities in Spain are much cheaper.

That will allow you to enjoy incredible tapas in the Plaza Mayor without having to worry about your pocket. And what about the other dishes? Madrid can be considered a paradise for foodies.

Thus, many times it will be difficult for you to choose a restaurant to eat, there are so many that are worth it!

Finally, the city has two opposing currents that will make you find peace and war in the same land.

Because, on the one hand, the city center is full of movement and energy. But, on the other hand, you don’t have to go far to find a relaxed and calmer atmosphere in the outskirts of the city.


Of course, Barcelona had to be in the top positions, and not just because we are talking about a city with a sea and a beach (something that Madrid does not have).

The truth is that Barcelona has much more to offer, especially for a foreigner. Because in the second largest city in Spain you will find hundreds of expat communities. You just have to go to any other online platform where attractions are advertised and you will be surprised by the number of events that are held every day with the sole purpose of meeting new people.

Therefore, as an expat you will have no problem creating a new social circle here. In addition, it is also the perfect environment to work online and even become an entrepreneur. Barcelona is one of the largest centers for entrepreneurs in all of Europe, as it has the key inputs for any startup to be successful: talent and technology.

That is why many international entrepreneurs come to the city to set up their new company. In addition, many digital nomads choose it as their new residence from which they will manage their clients around the world. Just google how many coworking spaces exist in the city and you will be surprised. There are a lot of them! Which, in fact, creates another great opportunity for you to meet new people.

If you are a sports lover, this city will be your idyllic place. You will find plenty of outdoor sports opportunities such as hiking, cycling, kitesurfing, stand-up-paddle…


With 144,156 foreigners registered in its main cities out of a total of more than half a million inhabitants, the Costa del Sol has increased the number of residents from other countries and more than 140 nationalities live in this territory.

According to the latest data from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics, 27.54 percent of those who live on the Malaga coastline that stretches between the tourist cities of Torremolinos and Estepona -which includes Marbella, Mijas, Benalmádena and Fuengirola- are foreigners.

This means that more than one in four residents is from another country and represents an incre

ase of about 10,000 inhabitants compared to the previous year, when it stood at 26.49 percent. In absolute terms, Marbella is the city in this coastal area analyzed with the highest number of foreigners among its neighbors, in terms of the percentage that this group represents in relation to the total population.

But why do so many foreigners choose Marbella and the Costa del Sol to reside? The answer is very easy, sun and good weather, security and good food.

In addition, Marbella is the Spanish capital of golf, being the municipality with the most courses per inhabitant in Spain. This means that a large number of European residents choose this destination as a permanent place of residence.


This large city located in the north of Spain, has established itself as a new tourist region that year after year receives a greater number of foreigners, in love with its gastronomy and landscape. Bilbao offers a lot to foreigners who choose it to live. It is one of the largest cities in the north of Spain, much quieter than Madrid, less crowded and bustling. It has one of the best gastronomy in Spain, bringing together several restaurants awarded with Michelin stars. It is close to other important Spanish tourist cities such as San Sebastián, also offering the possibility of visiting France on the same day given its proximity to the neighboring country.

Apart from the already well-known obligatory visits such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Old Town, La Alhondiga or San Mamés, in its surroundings there are several places that should be visited while taking advantage of your stay in Bilbao. For this reason we recommend the following routes:

-The Vizcaya Bridge, which connects Getxo and Portugalete and which is one of the 48 places declared World Heritage Sites in Spain.

-San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, an impressive islet that will leave you speechless and, if you climb its 231 steps, perhaps also breathless. Of course, it will be worth it. Would you dare to go up to his hermitage?

-Plencia, a charming fishing village that preserves all its essence and where you can enjoy excellent cuisine.


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