5 Best Cities to Relocate to in Spain

Each year, a number of expats buckle up their seatbelts, throwing themselves on the great adventure of moving to a new country where the sun tickles their skin and the rhythm of life gives them a new sense of time. Indeed, Spain is a beautiful country. The locals are warm and the country has a number of sumptuous cultural festivals renowned all around the world. 

However, before moving to a new land, one should always check which city will be more appropriate to accommodate their lifestyle or the lifestyle the want to have.

Spain has a lot of lively and great places to live, but amongst those, we have shortlisted 5 best cities in Spain for expats to relocate to.

Whether you live next door to Gaudi’s finest in Barcelona or enjoy the sea breeze in Málaga, there’s one thing you won’t have to compromise on in any of the five best places to live in Spain and that is; quality of life.


With its popularity as an expat destination, Barcelona is one of the most expensive cities in Spain. According to the Housing-Anywhere Rent Index, rental prices have risen sharply in recent years. Compared to other Spanish cities, the cost of living in Barcelona is fairly high. An apartment will round up around 1.130€, for a private room 457€ and for a studio around 787€. However, Barcelona is still relatively cheap compared to other big cities in the UK, making it more than comfortable to live in Barcelona on a British budget. When it comes to safety Barcelona ranks as one of the safest cities in Europe. Compared to London, where the Safety Index is 46.85, Barcelona is much safer, with 54.08


If you’re on a quest for a bustling lifestyle, Madrid is definitely a good choice. Being the capital of Spain, there is always something new to do or to discover in the city that barely sleeps. One thing you have to keep in mind is that you are always one-click away from a ticket to a new theatre show, one entry row away from the vibrant nightlife or a few steps away from the nearest park and busy malls. Madrid is the place you should pick if you don’t entirely like a slower pace of life. 

If you compare Madrid with other European capitals such as London or Paris, the largest cities in Spain are considerably cheaper. You should expect to pay around 1.119€ for an apartment, 785€ for a studio and around 480€ for a private room. 

Despite being the capital of the country, Madrid is considered to be one of the safest capitals in Europe. With a safety index of 69.91, Madrid is considered a very safe city. 


Valencia offers a dream home for a much smaller budget than compared to Barcelona and Madrid. The fact that Valencia is geographically smaller than Madrid means that most places are easier to reach by walking distance or by common transport. However, picking your favourite neighbourhood in Valencia might be quite of a challenge. However, expect to find everything that the big cities in Spain offer without having to pay the high cost of living of Barcelona and Madrid in Valencia.  The approximate apartment cost is around 786€, for a studio it is about 585€ and for a private room it is generally around 303€

If you don’t want to dig too deep into your wallet but still don’t want to miss out on the big city vibe, Valencia is the best place in Spain to live with its cost of living. Valencia is also the safest big city in Spain.  With a safety index of 74.49, the city will be perfect if you are shifting alone. 


With good weather all-round the year, beach being either your front or back yard and historic narrow streets and colourful houses, Alicante is a city that is renowned for expats from all over the world.

The cost of living in Alicante is decently lower than most places, which is why the city is so popular since it’s comparatively a lot cheaper than most places to live in Spain. The average rent of Barcelona is approximately 105% higher than that of Alicante and food costs almost 8% more in Barcelona as well.

Alicante is not only cheaper than most places. The safety rate is relatively high which makes it a smart pick and in addition to a very liveable city. With under 88.517 crimes in 2017, you will surely feel safe in Alicante.


With a laid – back lifestyle and all year-round good weather, there are more than 90,463 expats working and studying in Malaga. The city draws mainly families, couples and also pensioners. With its airport known as the third busiest in Spain, you won’t have any problem when it comes to moving around and using public transport in Malaga. 

For those moving to Spain primarily for the high quality of life, Málaga is one of the cheapest places to live in Spain. When it comes to safety, Málaga scores highly: with a safety index of 72.99, Málaga is ahead of the big cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, which makes it a very convenient city to live if you are looking for safety as well as a city providing a lower cost of living. 

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