Best Places to Live in Spain as a Foreigner

Sun, fun, and joy. 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 article, we will answer all your questions. We will talk about our 3 recommendations so that you can definitely choose where to live as a foreigner in Spain and what you should know to start your life in this incredible country.

Something that all the country share

Before starting with the list of the cities most chosen by foreigners to live in Spain, we wanted to establish a brief summary with something that you will find in any city you choose, no matter what it is.

Whichever city you choose, you will always find:

  • The perfect weather all year round
  • An incredible culture to discover and fascinating architecture
  • Delicious food and wine
  • A lovely atmosphere with totally friendly people

That sounds really good. However, there are 3 cities in which these elements can be experienced with greater intensity. Let’s see what we consider as the 3 best places to live in Spain as a foreigner:


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

The truth is that Barcelona has much more to offer, especially for a foreigner. Being the second-largest city in Spain, you will find hundreds of ex-pat communities. You simply have to go to Meetup or any other similar platform and you will be amazed at the number of events that take place every day with the sole objective of meeting new people.

Therefore, as an ex-pat, 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 start 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. And if you are a sports lover, this city will be your idyllic place. You’ll find plenty of outdoor sports opportunities like hiking, biking, kite surfing, stand-up-paddle, etc.


The capital. And for good reason. Madrid is an incredible city. And not only for the beautiful parks and gardens that you can find or the wonders of its main streets. 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 costs and prices in Madrid and Barcelona may be a bit higher than elsewhere 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.

Finally, the city has two opposite 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 surroundings of the city.


And what if you want to enjoy what great capital has to offer but without suffering the high cost of living that it entails? Then Valencia must be your new home without a doubt. Especially because housing and rent are much cheaper there too. Located on the country’s Mediterranean coast, Valencia has undergone a radical transformation in recent years. That has led the city to become one of the most dynamic places in the country.

Public transport works perfectly, making the city and its surroundings a compact area. The quality of education (with international schools) and the health care system works wonders too. Finally, finding a job in Valencia is not at all complicated: there are many opportunities for ex-pats.

And, if you decide to work on your own, it will also be a good place: because the nomadic and digital freelance community is also notable.

Spain is a great country to choose to live in if you are a foreigner. If you want to know more about everything you need to know to move to Spain Access a complete relocation guide here.

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