Thinking about relocating to Spain? You’re in for a treat! Spain offers a plethora of vibrant cities, each with its unique charm and character. Whether you’re moving for work, retirement, or simply seeking a change of scenery, this guide by Watson European will help you discover the best Spanish cities to call home. Discover the best cities to relocate to in Spain.
Best Cities to Relocate to in Spain with Watson European
Why Live in Spain?
Before we dive into the specifics of Spanish cities, let’s take a moment to understand why living in Spain is such an enticing prospect.
A Slice of the Mediterranean Lifestyle
Living in Spain means immersing yourself in the Mediterranean way of life. Picture yourself enjoying leisurely meals with friends, attending lively flamenco shows, and relishing sunny days on beautiful beaches. Spain’s relaxed pace, rich culture, and warm climate make it a fantastic place to call home.
Diverse Spanish Cities
Spain’s diverse cities offer a range of experiences. From the bustling metropolises of Madrid and Barcelona to the tranquil beauty of the Canary Islands, there’s a Spanish city for everyone. Let’s explore some of the top choices.
Madrid: The Capital of Spain
As the capital of Spain, Madrid is a bustling metropolis that combines modernity with rich history. It’s a city known for its lively atmosphere, cultural treasures, and diverse neighbourhoods.
Living in Madrid
Living in Madrid offers an exciting urban experience. The city centre is a vibrant hub of activity, featuring renowned art museums like the Prado and Reina Sofia. The picturesque Retiro Park provides a serene escape from the urban hustle and bustle.
Madrid also boasts a robust public transport system, making it easy to navigate the city and access its many offerings. Families will appreciate the presence of international schools and numerous family-friendly amenities.
Barcelona: A City of Creativity
Barcelona is a city that fuels creativity. Its unique architecture, including the iconic Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, showcases the artistic spirit that pervades the city.
Living in Barcelona
Living in Barcelona means enjoying a dynamic lifestyle. The city offers a perfect blend of beachfront relaxation and urban excitement. Stroll along the famous La Rambla, savour tapas at local restaurants, and explore the Gothic Quarter’s narrow streets.
Barcelona is also home to a thriving expat community, making it an excellent city for newcomers. The city’s international schools and family-friendly amenities cater to expat families.
Seville: Where Tradition Meets Modernity
Seville, in the heart of Andalusia, is a city that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity. Its historic architecture, such as the Alcazar and the Giralda Tower, coexists with a thriving arts scene and a lively nightlife.
Living in Seville
Living in Seville allows you to experience the essence of Spanish culture. The city is famous for its passionate flamenco shows and traditional festivals like Semana Santa and Feria de Abril.
Seville’s warm climate makes outdoor living a joy. You can dine al fresco at local cafes or explore the picturesque streets of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood. The city offers a unique blend of authenticity and a relaxed way of life.
Valencia: A Coastal Paradise
Valencia, on the eastern coast of Spain, is a city of stunning architecture and beautiful beaches. People know it for its futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex and its lively festivals.
Living in Valencia
Living in Valencia provides the perfect balance between urban living and coastal relaxation. The city offers miles of sandy beaches along the Costa del Azahar, where you can soak up the Mediterranean sun.
Valencia is also famous for its vibrant festivals, with Las Fallas being a highlight. The city’s cultural scene, along with its affordable cost of living, makes it an attractive choice for expats.
Granada: The Jewel of Andalusia
Granada, nestled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, is a city steeped in history and charm. Its crown jewel is the Alhambra Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Living in Granada
Living in Granada means living amidst architectural wonders. The Alhambra’s intricate palaces and gardens are a testament to the city’s rich Moorish heritage.
Granada’s compact size and pedestrian-friendly city centre make it easy to explore on foot. The city’s affordability and welcoming atmosphere make it an attractive destination for those seeking a tranquil yet culturally rich lifestyle.
Malaga: The Gateway to the Costa del Sol
Malaga, located on the Costa del Sol, is a city that enjoys a sunny climate year-round. It is known for its beautiful beaches, historic sites, and vibrant cultural scene.
Living in Malaga
Living in Malaga means having access to some of Spain’s most picturesque beaches. You can enjoy the sun, sea, and a variety of water sports along the coast.
The city also offers a wealth of cultural experiences, with numerous art museums and galleries. Malaga’s international airport makes it well-connected to the rest of Europe, making it a convenient choice for expats.
Bilbao: A Northern Gem
Bilbao, in the Basque Country, is a city that has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. People know it for its avant-garde architecture, including the Guggenheim Museum.
Living in Bilbao
Living in Bilbao offers a unique blend of tradition and innovation. The city’s historic Casco Viejo district contrasts with the modernity of the Guggenheim Museum and the Euskalduna Palace.
Bilbao is also a paradise for food lovers, with its famous pintxos (Basque tapas) bars. The city’s green spaces and access to the beautiful Basque countryside make it an ideal choice for nature enthusiasts.
The Canary Islands: Paradise in the Atlantic
Why the Canary Islands?
The Canary Islands, including Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote, are Spanish gems in the Atlantic Ocean. They offer a unique blend of natural beauty and a relaxed island lifestyle.
Living in the Canary Islands
Living in the Canary Islands means enjoying year-round sunshine and a plethora of outdoor activities. From hiking in volcanic landscapes to lounging on pristine beaches, the islands offer a paradise for nature lovers.
Each Canary Island has its unique charm, so you can choose the one that suits your lifestyle best. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil retirement or an active lifestyle, the Canary Islands have something for you.
Alicante: Coastal Living at Its Best
Alicante, on the Costa Blanca, is a city known for its beautiful beaches and pleasant climate. It’s a popular destination for both expats and tourists.
Living in Alicante
Living in Alicante means having access to some of Spain’s most stunning beaches, such as Playa del Postiguet. The city’s beachfront promenade is perfect for leisurely walks and al fresco dining.
Alicante’s international airport provides excellent connectivity, making it easy to explore other parts of Europe. The city’s affordable cost of living and family-friendly amenities make it a top choice for expat families.
Cordoba: A Historical Gem
Cordoba, in the heart of Andalusia, is a city steeped in history. It’s famous for its magnificent Mezquita, a mosque-cathedral, and its charming old town.
Living in Cordoba
Living in Cordoba offers a glimpse into Spain’s rich heritage. The Mezquita’s stunning architecture and the city’s cobblestone streets transport you back in time.
Cordoba’s pleasant climate and affordability make it an attractive choice for those seeking a traditional Spanish lifestyle. The city’s numerous festivals and cultural events keep life vibrant and engaging.
Salamanca: Academic Excellence
Salamanca is a city known for its prestigious university, which has been educating students since 1218. It’s a city where history, academia, and vibrant nightlife converge.
Living in Salamanca
Living in Salamanca means being part of an academic and cultural hub. The city’s Plaza Mayor is a stunning example of Spanish Baroque architecture and a central gathering place for residents.
Salamanca’s nightlife is vibrant, thanks to its large student population. The city’s affordability and welcoming atmosphere make it an excellent choice for students and expats alike.
Zaragoza: A Hidden Gem
Despite being a hidden gem, people often overlook Zaragoza, which is located between Madrid and Barcelona. Its historic architecture and lively festivals are well-known.
Living in Zaragoza
Living in Zaragoza means experiencing the charm of a lesser-known Spanish city. You must visit the Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar, and hidden treasures fill the city’s historical centre.
Zaragoza’s affordability and friendly atmosphere make it an ideal choice for those seeking an authentic Spanish lifestyle without the crowds of larger cities.
Pamplona: A Festival of Thrills
Pamplona is famous for the Running of the Bulls, a thrilling festival that takes place during the San Fermin celebrations. It’s a city with a strong sense of tradition.
Living in Pamplona
Living in Pamplona means experiencing the excitement of its famous festival. The city’s old town is a maze of narrow streets and historic buildings, perfect for exploring on foot.
Pamplona’s manageable size and welcoming atmosphere make it a great choice for those who value tradition and community.
Girona: A Catalan Delight
Girona, in Catalonia, is a city with a rich history and a stunning medieval quarter. Its well-preserved architecture and picturesque riverfront are known.
Living in Girona
Living in Girona offers a tranquil yet culturally rich lifestyle. The city’s Gothic Cathedral, colourful houses along the Onyar River, and medieval walls create a picturesque setting.
Girona’s proximity to Barcelona and the Costa Brava coast makes it an attractive choice for those who appreciate both urban amenities and natural beauty.
Murcia: A Mediterranean Gem
Murcia, in southeastern Spain, is a city known for its Mediterranean climate and rich agriculture. It’s a place where you can enjoy both the sea and the countryside.
Living in Murcia
Living in Murcia means savouring the Mediterranean lifestyle. The city offers beautiful parks, such as the Floridablanca Garden, and a relaxed pace of life.
Murcia’s affordability and excellent cuisine, including its famous Murcian-style tapas, make it a delightful destination for food lovers and nature enthusiasts.
Cadiz: The Oldest City in Europe
Cadiz, on the southwestern coast of Spain, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe. The historic quarter and beautiful beaches are known for it.
Living in Cadiz
Living in Cadiz allows you to explore its narrow streets, visit the impressive Cadiz Cathedral, and relax on the city’s sandy beaches.
Cadiz’s maritime culture, lively Carnival celebrations, and friendly locals create a unique and welcoming atmosphere for residents.
San Sebastian: Culinary Excellence
Why San Sebastian?
San Sebastian, in the Basque Country, is a city known for its culinary excellence. It boasts more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than any other city in the world.
Living in San Sebastian
Living in San Sebastian means indulging in exceptional food experiences. The city’s pintxos bars offer a delightful culinary journey, and the beaches along the Bay of La Concha provide relaxation.
San Sebastian’s picturesque setting, vibrant cultural scene, and welcoming community make it a top choice for those who appreciate gastronomy and coastal living.
Almeria: A Hidden Coastal Retreat
Almeria, on the southeastern coast of Spain, is a city with a serene Mediterranean vibe. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, desert landscapes, and historic sites.
Living in Almeria
Living in Almeria means embracing a relaxed coastal lifestyle. The city offers pristine beaches, such as Playa de los Muertos, and access to the stunning Almeria Desert.
Almeria’s affordability, sunny climate, and proximity to natural wonders make it a hidden gem for those seeking tranquillity and outdoor adventures.
Huelva: Nature and History: Best cities to relocate to in Spain
Huelva, in southwestern Spain, is a city where nature and history converge. It’s known for its beautiful beaches and its connections to Christopher Columbus.
Living in Huelva
Living in Huelva means exploring its natural beauty. The city is close to the Doñana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its diverse ecosystems.
Huelva’s historical significance, friendly atmosphere, and proximity to both the coast and natural reserves make it an ideal choice for nature enthusiasts and history buffs.
Jaen: Olive Oil Capital
Jaen, in Andalusia, is a city known as the Olive Oil Capital of the world. It’s surrounded by olive groves and boasts a rich cultural heritage.
Living in Jaen
Living in Jaen means experiencing the heart of olive country. The city’s Renaissance-style Jaen Cathedral and historic centre provide a glimpse into its past.
Jaen’s affordability and relaxed pace of life make it a tranquil destination for those who appreciate authentic Spanish culture and culinary traditions.
Tarragona: Roman Heritage: Best cities to relocate to in Spain
Tarragona, in Catalonia, is a city with a rich Roman heritage. It’s known for its well-preserved ancient ruins and beautiful beaches.
Living in Tarragona
Living in Tarragona allows you to step back in time as you explore its Roman amphitheatre, aqueduct, and archaeological sites. The city’s coastline offers opportunities for water sports and relaxation.
Tarragona’s blend of history, coastal beauty, and accessibility to major cities like Barcelona makes it an intriguing choice for residents.
Oviedo: A Northern Gem: Best cities to relocate to in Spain
Oviedo, in Asturias, is a city known for its lush green landscapes, historic architecture, and hearty cuisine. It’s a city that values tradition and community.
Living in Oviedo
Living in Oviedo means enjoying the natural beauty of Asturias. The city is surrounded by mountains and parks, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
Oviedo’s strong sense of identity, friendly locals, and cultural festivals create a warm and welcoming environment for residents.
Segovia: A Fairytale Setting: Best cities to relocate to in Spain
Segovia, near Madrid, is a city that feels like a fairytale setting. Its most famous landmark, the Roman aqueduct, is a testament to its historical significance.
Living in Segovia
Living in Segovia allows you to immerse yourself in a charming medieval atmosphere. The city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a delightful place to explore.
Segovia’s proximity to Madrid and its tranquil pace of life make it an attractive choice for those who appreciate history and architectural beauty.
Badajoz: A Hidden Gem in Extremadura: Best cities to relocate to in Spain
Badajoz, in western Spain, is a hidden gem in the region of Extremadura. It’s known for its historic architecture, vibrant festivals, and welcoming locals.
Living in Badajoz
Living in Badajoz means being part of a close-knit community. The city’s Carnival of Badajoz is one of Spain’s most famous festivals, showcasing its lively spirit.
Badajoz’s affordability, rich cultural traditions, and proximity to natural parks make it a unique and inviting destination.
Logrono: Wine and Gastronomy: Best cities to relocate to in Spain
Logrono, in the La Rioja region, is a city known for its wine and gastronomy. It’s a place where you can savour the finest wines and exquisite cuisine.
Living in Logrono
Living in Logrono means indulging in the pleasures of La Rioja’s wine country. The city is surrounded by vineyards and bodegas offering wine tastings.
Logrono’s relaxed atmosphere, culinary delights, and access to the Camino de Santiago trail make it an appealing choice for those who value wine culture and outdoor activities.
Lleida: Catalonian Charm: Best cities to relocate to in Spain
Lleida, in Catalonia, is a city with a unique charm. Its historic architecture, natural beauty, and strong Catalonian identity are known.
Living in Lleida
Living in Lleida means experiencing the heart of Catalonia. The city’s Seu Vella cathedral, located on a hill overlooking the city, is a striking architectural masterpiece.
Lleida’s affordability, beautiful landscapes, and proximity to the Pyrenees Mountains make it an attractive choice for those who appreciate Catalonian culture and outdoor adventures.
A Coruna: Coastal Beauty: Best cities to relocate to in Spain
Why A Coruna?
A Coruna, in northwestern Spain, is a coastal city known for its beautiful beaches and maritime culture. It’s a place where the sea plays a central role in daily life.
Living in A Coruna
Living in A Coruna means enjoying a seaside lifestyle. The city’s beaches, including Riazor and Orzan, provide opportunities for water sports and relaxation.
A Coruna’s maritime history, lively festivals, and welcoming locals create a vibrant and friendly community for residents.
Spain’s cities offer a diverse range of experiences, from the bustling streets of Madrid to the tranquil beaches of the Canary Islands. Whether you’re seeking a rich cultural scene, natural beauty, or a relaxed pace of life, Spain has a city to suit your preferences. Explore these cities, embrace the Spanish way of life, and let Watson European assist you in making your move to Spain a smooth and memorable experience.