Spain is a beloved country for many expats looking for a sunny place to live with a low cost of living that doesn’t compromise the quality of life. In general, the cost of life in Spain is 23.66% lower than that of the USA. And as for rent, in comparison to the USA, it is 46.11% lower. So, it’s no wonder why so many expats, digital nomads, and students choose to live in Spain.
But still, Spain is a big country and you will see some changes in the different autonomies weather in way of life, the cost of life and climate. So I gathered the best places to live in Spain considering these and other aspects so you can choose the one that suits you best.
Best places to live during winter
If you are looking for yearlong good weather then the South is the best place to live during winter. Many people believe that Spain is a sunny Mediterranean oasis but keep in mind that the north which connects to France experiences lots of rain and lower temperature. For example, in Santander, the temperature can go down to 59(°F) during June. Places like Cantabria and Asturias also tend to be foggy and cold. Another example is Galicia, known for its constant rainfall even during summertime. Nevertheless, the greenery gives a sense of life different from the dry desert views that predominate in the South.
With this in mind, the south of Spain is where you will stay cozy during winter. Opt for places like Malaga, Costa del Sol, or the Canary Islands for a warm and sunny winter.
Spain the cheapest places to live in
According to Numbeo in June 2020, the cheapest place to live in Spain in Sevilla. It states the total cost of living ranges around $1.348,91. Besides this, the warm weather is another winning point for Seville. Located in the southern part of Spain you can expect a warm sun all year-long. In fact, it is one of the hottest cities in Spain, so keep in mind that it gets near an extremely high temperature.
As if that wasn’t enough Seville is the true Spanish city where you can be sure to find flamenco dancing in every corner. Its rich cultural heritage attracts many tourists all year long. It’s the typical “ I live where you vacation” situation.
Can you imagine strolling around the enormous Plaza de Espana for a coffee break? Or visiting the Alcazar just because you have free time?
Safest places to live in Spain
If one thing all Spanish cities share is safety. Since Spain is regarded as a safe place to live it is difficult to estimate which one is safest. But looking into Numbeos numbers Valencia is considered one of the safest cities in Spain.
I’ve been living here for a year and I can assure you I never felt any danger walking the streets alone at night.
Besides Valencia, Malaga and Madrid are also considered the safest cities. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier Spain is in general a safe place to be. And if you have visited Spain even as a tourist you can see this.
Hint. Just beware of the pickpockets as this is something that unfortunately is quite common especially in touristy areas.
Best multicultural places to live in Spain
If there is a crowd that attracts Spain is the expat and digital nomads not only because of the living cost, it’s great weather but because of its vibrancy and multiculturality. Here are the top places for the digital nomads and expats alike where you will find a good crowd of English speaking people with a similar mind-like set.
The capital of Spain is known for its feisty nightlife and cosmopolitan lifestyle. It has tons of coworking spaces at affordable places and a big English speaking community. Besides that, there is always something new to do. In Madrid you will find cultural activities every week, music festivals, theater plays at different prices, free concerts and many more. I can assure you waiting for the weekend to find something to do is not something that happens in Madrid.
This comes to no surprise, as it is the second-largest city of the European Union.
A cosmopolitan city in every sense. It’s no wonder why many people choose Barcelona because if something Madrid is missing is the beach. And with Barcelona you have it! It’s the perfect mix of the hectic city and beachy lifestyle. Don’t forget it’s iconic architectonic pieces thanks to Antoni Gaudi with it’s the famous Sagrada Familia or Park Guell. These things actually make Barcelona a favorite among tourists, even more than Madrid. So you can imagine how living here must be, a mix of locals and tourists up and down the streets.
However, one thing you will notices is that Barcelona has a different atmosphere that sometimes leaves you wondering if you are in Spain. For instance, don’t expect flamenco dance as the go-to traditional activity. And if you hear a different language that leaves you more confused than Spanish, don’t worry, you are not going crazy. Barcelona is known for its national proudness and people tend to speak in Catalan.
Last but not least is happy sunny Valencia. This is the perfect compromise between a semi-big city, multiculturality, coastal vibes, and the cost of living. (And yes, that was a lot.) Because if Madrid is the fun hectic city and Barcelona the cosmopolitan beach city, Valencia can be considered the fusion between the two. But that doesn’t mean it really is all that similar. It has a different way of life and attitude you can sense in the locals. Known for its paella and pyrotechnics Fallas I can assure you it’s more than just a mix of Madrid and Barcelona.
One thing that I for one love is the mix between locals and foreigners without compromising a laidback lifestyle. Plus the warmer winters you won’t find in Madrid.
To say the least, in Spain you will find a relatively cheap cost of life without compromising the quality of life.
One thing is for sure, Spaniards know how to live and this attracts many foreigners looking for a change in their hectic 9 to 5 lives. And although the job market has seen some downturns keep in mind that the tons of coworking space in Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia are there for something. Digital nomads made their way to Spain and they are here to stay. It’s not every day you can find safety, quality, and a good internet connection to keep you happy.