Spain offers a unique expat life experience at an affordable price. It’s an emerging digital nomad hotspot with a growing startup scene, and it’s also a popular spain retirement visa destination for expats from the Nordics and the UK. Spain’s geographic location makes it a natural gateway for immigrants and travelers from across Europe. It’s a rich tapestry of expat life that offers opportunities in cities, towns and villages across the country. As the capital city and the most populous in Spain, Madrid welcomes thousands of newcomers each year. The Spanish capital is an international city with cosmopolitan vibes and an abundance of international restaurants and shops. Other cities throughout Spain also offer opportunities for affordable expat life, from small fishing villages to historic hill towns. This guide highlights the best areas to live in Spain as an expat, including the cost of living, work options and more.
Madrid: The Heart of Spain, and the Most Affordable Place to Live
Madrid is the Spanish capital and the most populous city in Spain. It is an international city with cosmopolitan vibes and an abundance of international restaurants and shops. Madrid is an emerging digital nomad hotspot with a growing startup scene, as well as a popular retirement destination for expats from the Nordics and the UK. Madrid’s geographic location makes it a natural gateway for immigrants and travelers from across Europe. As the capital city and the most populous in Spain, Madrid welcomes thousands of newcomers each year. The Spanish capital is also educational hub located close to world-famous universities like University Of Navarra (UdN), Complutense University of Madrid, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Fermoselle University. The cost of living in Madrid is fairly low, estimated at just $2,000 per month for those who are single or married without kids. There are plenty of options for affordable expat life in Madrid including apartments, homes or hotels with great rates.
Barcelona: Smart City Living for Expats
Barcelona is Europe’s largest, most modern city and has a thriving startup scene. Barcelona also offers a beautiful expat life with affordable living costs and easy access to the rest of Europe. Catalonia, the region that houses Barcelona, has received a lot of attention in recent years; it’s become a hub for digital nomads, startups and entrepreneurs who are drawn to its affordability. Whether you’re looking to live close to work or need a break from the hustle and bustle, you can find accommodation options throughout the city at all price points.
Valencia: Barcelona’s Darker Cousin
Valencia is the second most populous city in Spain, with a population of just over 1.5 million people. It’s a thriving metropolis with a strong entrepreneurial culture and dynamic nightlife. Valencia has been an important commercial center since ancient times and boasts an enviable mix of architectural styles, including medieval, neoclassical, and modernist architecture. This cosmopolitan city is also home to a thriving startup scene, which has attracted entrepreneurs from all over Europe. The cost of living in Valencia is more affordable than other Spanish cities like Madrid or Barcelona. The city offers some of the best places to retire in spain 2022 public transportation in Spain, so it’s easy to get around the city area on foot or by transit. With its vibrant nightlife and abundant cultural offerings, Valencia is one of the most exciting places to explore as an expat in Spain
Barcelona and the Costa Brava: Affordable Retreats
One of the most popular destinations for expats is Barcelona. The Catalonia capital offers a metropolitan lifestyle in a charming Mediterranean setting. With over 1,000 year-round festivals and activities, the city never sleeps. Barcelona is a major European digital hub with new startups popping up everyday. It’s also one of the best tourist destinations in the world with museums, galleries, theaters and amusement parks. Another affordable retreat option is Costa Brava in Spain’s northwest region. Although it can be quite hot at times during summer, this area offers amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea and mountains from its coastal towns like Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar and Palamos.
Sevilla: The Live Music Capital of Spain
Sevilla is the live music capital of Spain, and it offers a vibrant expat community. It’s also the second most populous city in the country with a rich culture of festivals and traditional festivities. One of Sevilla’s largest attractions is its food. For example, it has more Michelin stars than any other Spanish city. The abundance of tapas bars and restaurants offers a broad range of cuisine for all tastes and budgets.
Get to Know Spain as an Expat
Take a tour of the country and learn about Spanish non lucrative visa culture as an expat. Spend time in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia or another city for a brief immersion before moving on to explore Spain’s rural areas.