Expat who Live in Spain have a lot of advice to offer others about where to live in Spain.
Those considering moving to Spain will glean a lot of information by reading this article and the resources linked in the text. Often people researching living abroad glance over or disregard important points. Read carefully, throughly, and take the advice of expats already in Spain seriously! Many are happy to cite their experiences to help you avoid headaches - especially lost time and money!
Each expat in Spain has their favorite places to live there, but here are some of the more popular options that cover a variety of motivations for moving there.
Living in Barcelona, Spain
A long time favorite is Barcelona. Take the time to read tips for living in Barcelona article
An expat living in Barcelona advised expats to, "come and enjoy Barcelona - be responsible and most of all punctual, work hard, be prepared to play if you're young (let's say under 40), and you'll have a great time.
Barcelona is developing into a "New Technology - High Technology" center, as well as being a center for pharmaceutical companies and telecommunications companies - both growth industries. People find jobs by "contacts, contacts, contacts and hard work."
Another expat who moved to Barcelona wrote "it is cheaper here than many large cities in the US, yet choice ultimately depends on your budget and needs. Prices may be lower the farther you go from Ciutat Vella, plus you will still have metro access."
Here is information about international schools for expats moving to Barcelona.
An expat who moved to Barcelona strongly recommended using a relocation company writing that "they are the right people to tell you what are the advantages and disavantages about the different areas with an orientation tour. Also to visit properties, I think they give you the best idea on what is on the market.
They also added that "I live in a house in Gava Mar (south Barcelona). It is quite common for expats in this area. It is difficult to find a house in Barcelona, there are mostly flats. A house by the sea is perfect for a family with children."
Living in Madrid, Spain
As the capital and largest city, Madrid also gets a lot of attention from expats beginning to explore Spain. Start by reading our tips for living in Madrid.
An expat who moved to Madrid added that "You can get much cheaper and larger apartments outside of the center of the city (duh). I do like where I live simply because I don't have to go anywhere to have fun. I'm 10 min away from the central tourist/party area of Sol. I live 2 minutes away from a metro stop and have literary hundreds of club and bars outside my doorstep. With all of this I hear no sounds at night since my apartment window faces inwards."
He added that "I live in a flat like most other expats and there are PLENTY of them here!"
One expat advised those seeking jobs that "If you're interested in teaching in English, there are plenty of British Schools in Madrid. I know about King's College Schools as having very good reviews across their 3 Madrid schools.
Living in Almeria, Spain
Another option for expats is the coastal town of Almeria, which is in the southeast of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea.
An expat wrote about Moving to Almeria and advised others to "hire a car, tour the area and find the village or town that appeals to you most. Find a good Spanish registered SL or SA estate agency... and spend three days looking at houses in the area of your choice. Make sure that you have a car or access to one because in rural Spain it is essential to have transport."
One expat recommended Almeria, noting that "Almeria in particular is still a very affordable area which is not over run with expats."
Another expat in Spain added "It would be well worth a visit to the Almeria province, which is down on the South Coast and still part of the autonomous region of Andalucia. My partner and I have lived here for nearly 14 years and haven't looked back. We travelled all around the coast of Spain and constantly came back to this area which is less developed and still has a great air of friendliness and is strikingly beautiful. It is also a lot cheaper in terms of buying a house and the cost of living too."
Living in Seville, Spain
Seville is the capital and largest city of Andalucia and lies on the plain of the river Guadalquivir.
Anexpat who had lived in Seville wrote "In terms of American networks, there are a good percentage of Americans living in Seville, mostly students, but some expats as well. I know there is an American Women's Club with a branch in Seville."
One expat added that "in Seville I used to live in Triana and Los Remedios. The later is more stylish and you can find all prices of apartments there."
Living in Costa Blanca, Spain
Costa Blanca is another area popular with expats.
A realtor who offered advice to expats wrote the following about Costa Blanca: "Costa Blanca enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with cool sea breezes in summer and protection by surrounding mountains against the cold North winds in winter."
He also wrote that the WHO cites "the area is one of the most equitable in the world, so, anyone with health issues can be reassured that with this consistent and attractive weather they will be very comfortable in this environment."
Expats interested in Retiring to Spain should read our article 5 Affordable Places to Retire in Spain.