The best cities to live in Spain

The complete guide to the “Tierra del Sol”

Spain is not just a tourist destination. It is a country rich in culture, history, and tradition: from the vibrant rhythm of the streets of Madrid, to the golden beaches of Barcelona, to the breathtaking landscapes of the Costa Brava, living in Spain will offer you an unparalleled living experience, between tradition and modernity.

If you are considering living in Spain, you should know that there is something special about the Mediterranean air, including sunshine, cities of art, golden beaches and great food. Not surprisingly, so many people decide to move to Spain, attracted by its rich culture, delicious food and relaxed pace of life.

Whether you are a student looking for adventure, a young worker eager for new experiences, or a family looking for a break from routine, Spain has something to offer everyone.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a budget solution or something more luxurious, the homes for rent in Spain are varied and suitable for all needs.

Spain, Plaza de Espana, Sevilla

So whether you’re here for a semester of study or to settle in for the long term, finding rooms and apartments for rent where you can live in Spain is your ticket to an authentic and unforgettable experience.

Join the community of those who have chosen to live the Spanish dream: choose from the many rooms and apartments for rent that the Land of the Sun has to offer and discover the authentic essence of living in Spain.

But what are the best cities to live in Spain? Here is an overview of the most welcoming and livable cities: discover them with the Spacest Team. Vamos!

Madrid: living in Spain’s Iberian capital.

Madrid, Cybele Palace or Palace of Communications

Living in Madrid represents a fascinating experience full of opportunities, both for students and professionals. The Spanish capital offers a unique mix of history, culture and modernity, making it one of the most vibrant and welcoming cities for those who choose to live in Spain.

Madrid is distinguished by its magnificent boulevards, well-maintained parks such as the famous Parque del Retiro, and unparalleled cultural offerings, with world-class museums such as the Prado and the Reina Sofia.

Madrid, Parque del Retiro

For those considering living in Spain, Madrid is an excellent choice, with its vibrant neighborhoods, each with a distinctive character, from the elegant streets of Salamanca to the bohemian cafes of Malasaña: discover them in our best rental accommodation listings in Madrid.

The city is not only a cultural hub but also an economic epicenter, making living in Madrid an attractive option for international professionals and students.

H4 Pros and cons of living in Madrid

Pros:

  • Excellent universities and educational institutions;
  • Multiculturalism, arts and events;
  • Efficient public transportation;
  • Excellent professional opportunities.
Madrid, Atocha

Cons:

  • High cost of living;
  • Language barrier: Spanish language is in high demand, as the Spanish people are wary of using English;
  • Size: the city is one of the largest in Europe, so travel takes longer and is dispersed in some cases.

Living in Madrid in 2024

Madrid, Metro stop Gran Via

For those seeking an authentic experience, living in Madrid in 2024 means immersing yourself in an urban fabric that celebrates Spanish tradition with an eye always on innovation.

The experiences of those who have already taken the step of moving to Madrid are valuable testimonies that highlight how Madrid is a lifestyle choice that rarely disappoints.

So whether you are looking for an Erasmus adventure, a career change or a pleasant retreat under the Spanish sun, Madrid will welcome you with open arms.

Find out more about Madrid in our dedicated guide Living in Madrid: moving to the Spanish capital as an offsite.

Barcelona: experience the essence of Catalan culture in Spain.

Barcelona, landscape

Barcelona, capital of the Autonomous Region of Catalonia, is one of the most important cities in Spain, second only to the capital Madrid.

A popular destination for students and young workers, thanks to its climate, lifestyle, historical and artistic beauty, events, beaches and many opportunities, Barcelona attracts many young people from all over Europe and the World every year.

Living in Barcelona is an experience that embodies the perfect balance between the dynamism of a European metropolis and the relaxed charm of Mediterranean life.

The Catalan city, known for its avant-garde architecture by architect Gaudi, rich cultural scene, and inviting beaches, offers an ideal setting for those looking to rent in Spain: find out more in our guide Living in Barcelona: the complete guide to the Catalan capital.

Pros and cons of living in Barcelona

Barcelona, ​​W Hotel in Barceloneta

Among the pros of living in Barcelona, the quality of life stands out: the mild climate, excellent gastronomy, and a cityscape that mixes history and modernity. The city is well connected both internally and with the rest of Europe, making it accessible and convenient for travelers and residents alike.

In addition, the cost of living in Barcelona can be considered balanced compared to other major European cities, especially when considering the services and opportunities available.

However, there is no shortage of disadvantages: the rental market can be competitive, with prices varying significantly depending on the neighborhood.

In addition, the city’s tourist popularity can translate into crowding and some inflation in costs for residents: check out our best rental listings in Barcelona.

Nevertheless, for many, the benefits of living in Spain, and in Barcelona in particular, far outweigh these obstacles.

Barcelona: a glimpse of beauty and progress

For those seeking an authentically Spanish experience but with a Catalan twist, Barcelona is an excellent choice. Whether you are a student, a professional, or a family, the city has much to offer.

Barcelona is synonymous with freedom, culture, inclusion, tradition and the avant-garde: from the Rambla to Parc Güell to the Sagrada Família and the Cathedral of the Sea, there is always an atmosphere of dynamism and modernity in the city surrounded by the beauty of the past.

Barcelona, ​​Sagrada Família exterior
Barcelona, ​​Sagrada Família interior

Barcelona is also home to some of the most important universities in Spain, such as the Universitat de Barcelona and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, institutions of international significance that enhance its prestige on the scene.

There is certainly no shortage of professional opportunities: the Catalan capital is home to some of the largest hi-tech and IT multinationals and has a developed productive fabric in many sectors, always on the cutting edge.

Valencia: living in Spain’s City of Arts and Sciences

Valencia, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències – Hemisfèric

Valencia, capital of the Comunidad Valenciana, offers a perfect combination of tradition and modernity, with a wide range of job opportunities and a still affordable cost of living.

Valencia is located on Spain’s east coast, and is known for its Moorish architecture, green parks, and beautiful beaches.

Its strategic geographical location makes it a communications hub, both nationally and internationally, with a well-connected airport and an efficient rail network for exploring Spain and Europe.

Get the most out of Valencia and its beauties in our dedicated guide Living in Valencia as an offsite.

Living in Valencia: pros and cons

Valencia

One of the advantages of living in Valencia is the Mediterranean climate, which provides sunshine and mild temperatures throughout the year. This allows you to enjoy the city’s natural beauty, such as the Albufera Natural Park, a lagoon recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In addition, Valencia also boasts an outstanding culinary scene, with the famous Valencian paella as its flagship dish. Residents can appreciate the convivial atmosphere of local bars and restaurants, immersing themselves in Spanish culture and enjoying unique gastronomic delicacies.

However, like any other city, living in Valencia also has some issues to consider. One major drawback may be the language, as most Valencians speak Valencian, a variety of Catalan.

However, most people speak Castilian (Spanish), which allows easy communication for those not fluent in the local language.

Another aspect to consider is the tourist explosion, especially during the famous Fallas festival held every March. On this occasion, the city fills up with visitors from all over the world, creating a lively atmosphere but also more crowds and road traffic.

Living in Valencia in 2024

Valencia, Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe

Living in Valencia in 2024 means immersing yourself in a welcoming, dynamic environment full of opportunities, both for those seeking a deep cultural experience and for those who want to start new professional adventures in an international context.

The Valencian city does not offer the same career opportunities as more international cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, yet it still offers excellent professional opportunities in a dynamic and young but more relaxed and peaceful environment than the chaos of metropolises.

For those who wish to live in Valencia, a world of opportunities opens up, from discovering historic neighborhoods such as Carmen, to vibrant nightlife, to enjoying green spaces such as the famous Jardín del Turia.

Valencia

What’s more, the city offers an excellent quality of life, with a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other major European cities: so discover the best listings of rooms and apartments for rent in Valencia.

Bilbao: experience Basque culture in Spain

Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum

Bilbao, the most important and populous city in the Basque Country in northern Spain, is a metropolis that captivates with its mix of modernity and tradition. Its streets are populated with state-of-the-art buildings, historic mansions, and vibrant green spaces.

In addition, the rental market in Bilbao is dynamic and vibrant, suitable for college students and young workers looking for cozy accommodations.

One of the biggest advantages of living in Bilbao is the cost of living, which is more affordable than in other Spanish cities such as Madrid or Barcelona: food, transportation and entertainment prices are generally lower, allowing you to save money and enjoy a higher quality of life.

The Spacest Team will help you find the best housing for you to live in Bilbao.

Living in Bilbao, the pearl of the Basque Country

Bilbao

One of the main advantages of living in Bilbao is undoubtedly its high quality of life. The city is known for its welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, where people are friendly and hospitable.

In addition, living in Bilbao means being immersed in a dynamic and multicultural environment, where tradition and modernity coexist. The city is famous for its innovative and revolutionary architecture, such as the Guggenheim Museum, which attracts visitors from all over the world.

Get the most out of the Basque capital in Spacest‘s special guide Moving and Living in Bilbao: a complete guide.

But it is not only the lively city atmosphere that makes Bilbao an ideal place to live for the long term. The city also boasts a well-developed public transportation system, allowing you to get around efficiently and save time.

In addition, the supply of medium- to long-term housing is large and diverse, with a wide range of apartments and houses available for affordable rentals.

Living in Bilbao, pros and cons

Bilbao, highway

Pros:

  • Culture, arts and events;
  • Excellent universities;
  • Excellent professional opportunities;
  • Efficient public transportation;
  • Affordable living costs.

Cons:

  • Language barrier: Basque language and Spanish are mainly spoken in the Basque Country;
  • Road traffic.

 And if you’re interested in moving to the Basque city, check out our best rental listings in Bilbao.

Granada: living in Spain’s arab jewel of Andalusia.

Granada, view from Alhambra

Living in Granada, one of Spain‘s most beautiful cities in the heart of Andalusia, offers a unique experience that combines rich Spanish history with a modern Mediterranean lifestyle.

Best known for its fascinating Arab and Moorish architecture and lively streets, Granada is an ideal destination for those seeking to live in Spain in a culturally rich and dynamic setting.

The city’s history is characterized by numerous Arab, Catholic and Jewish influences, creating an interesting mix of cultures that makes it one of the most important cultural centers in the entire country.

Explore Granada at its best in our special guide Living in Granada, the city of sunshine and flowers.

Living in Granada, pros and cons

Pros:

  • Cultural richness: Granada is famous for the Alhambra, a Moorish palace that is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and art. The city is a melting pot of cultures, offering a deep and varied cultural experience;
  • Cost of living: compared to other Spanish cities, Granada is relatively inexpensive. This makes it an attractive choice for those seeking medium- to long-term rentals;
  • Climate: located in southern Spain, Granada enjoys a mild climate, with warm summers and temperate winters, ideal for enjoying the outdoors year-round.
Granada with Sierra Nevada in the background

Cons:

  • Tourism: being a popular tourist destination, some areas can be crowded, especially during high season;
  • Job opportunities: for those seeking job opportunities, Granada may not offer the same variety of options found in larger cities such as Madrid or Barcelona;
  • Climate: a dream for those who love warm climates, however, summers can be decidedly scorching and muggy so not particularly suitable for heat-sufferers.

Granada, the Arabian pearl: an overview

Granada offers many attractions, including the incredible Alhambra, and is therefore a place to discover.

Granada, Alhambra

However, the city is famous not only for its history and culture, but also for hosting a prestigious, active and renowned public university that is among the oldest in the country: the University of Granada UGR.

The presence of this important university institution gives Granada a vibrancy typical of large university cities.

It is a coveted place for its festive atmosphere and its quaint venues where you can immerse yourself in traditional dances such as flamenco and gypsy zambra.

If you’ve decided to start a new course of study and live in Granada, are preparing for an Erasmus experience, or have found a new job in the city, check out our best listings of accommodations, houses and rooms to rent in Granada.

Granada, landscape
Granada, Albaicín

Seville: living in Spain’s Andalusian capital

Seville, Plaza de España

Let’s stay in wonderful Andalusia again, a land of Arabian beauty and dynamic, cutting-edge art cities. Seville is its capital and one of the most popular and beautiful cities in Spain.

Living in Seville offers a unique experience that combines historical and cultural charm with a modern Mediterranean lifestyle.

This Spanish city, renowned for its Moorish architecture, lively streets, and delicious cuisine, is an excellent choice for those who want to live in Spain in a setting rich in history and tradition.

Living in Seville, pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Climate: Seville boasts a mild and sunny climate for most of the year, ideal for lovers of heat and sunshine;
  • Culture and history: the city is a melting pot of cultures, with monuments such as Seville Cathedral and the Alcázar telling centuries of history;
  • Cost of living: compared to other major European cities, Seville offers a relatively affordable cost of living, especially for housing and food;
  • Community: the local people are known for their hospitality and friendliness, making it easy for newcomers to integrate.
Seville, Metropol Parasol

Cons:

  • Summer climate: summers can be extremely hot, sometimes uncomfortable for those not used to high temperatures;
  • Job opportunities: although there are opportunities, the job market can be limited in certain areas, especially for non-Spanish speakers;
  • Tourist crowding: during peak season, the city can be very crowded, which can be an inconvenience for residents.

Seville, a glimpse at the city of the sun

Seville, Real Alcázar

Living in Seville therefore means immersing yourself in a vibrant and welcoming culture. From Easter to the Feria de Abril, this city smells of centuries-old traditions that can be appreciated on every corner.

Historic neighborhoods like Santa Cruz communicate through their quaint, narrow streets, where you can admire the Moorish architecture that has shaped the city over the centuries: discover them in the best rental listings in Seville.

In addition, Seville offers a wide range of activities and leisure opportunities to suit all tastes and passions. From art lovers who can visit the Museum of Fine Arts, to soccer fans who can cheer on the renowned club Real Betis Balompié, the city presents itself as a lively mix of culture and entertainment.

Some of its monuments are among the most visited and beautiful in Spain, such as the Real Alcázar, the famous Plaza de España, Seville Cathedral, and the Torre del Oro: living in Seville can be an unforgettable experience.

Spain: discover hidden gems.

Spain, Santiago de Compostela

These are just some of the major cities to live in Spain, cities that offer more services, professional and study opportunities. But it is not only the big cities that are chosen to live in Spain among its history and beauty.

Here for you are some “hidden gems,” cities that are less popular but of equal beauty and opportunity for those who prefer more livable and human-scale places, away from the chaos of big cities:

Salamanca

Salamanca, located in the Castile and Leon region, is famous for its historic architecture and its University, one of the oldest in Europe. The city is a melting pot of history, art, and culture, reflected in its streets, squares, and buildings.

Living in Salamanca means immersing yourself in an environment rich in history, with monuments such as the Old and New Cathedrals, the famous Plaza Mayor, and the University of Salamanca itself.

Salamanca offers a perfect balance between a rich cultural life and the tranquility of a medium-sized city. Residents enjoy a relaxed pace of life, with access to excellent services, restaurants, cafes and stores.

In addition, the presence of the university brings a young and dynamic energy, making the city an ideal place for students and young professionals. Visit our website and take a look at rooms and apartments for rent in Salamanca.

Málaga

Málaga, Rincón de la Victoria

Let’s return again to Andalusia, a region filled with interesting and cutting-edge cities. Málaga, a vibrant city located on the sunny Costa del Sol, offers a unique mix of culture, history, and a modern Mediterranean lifestyle.

Life in Málaga is a Mediterranean dream: living in Málaga means immersing yourself in an environment rich in history, art, and culture. The city is famous for its museums, including the Picasso Museum and the Pompidou Center, which reflect its rich cultural heritage.

Málaga’s beaches, such as the Malagueta, offer a perfect summer situation, while the mild climate during winter attracts many, especially young people and students, who seek warmer weather.

Zaragoza

Zaragoza, cathedral

Zaragoza, located in the autonomous community of Aragon, is a city that mixes the ancient with the modern. Known for its wonderful architecture, such as the Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, and its vibrant cultural life, Zaragoza is an ideal destination for those seeking a balance of history, culture, and modern life.

Zaragoza, in particular, offers an authentic Spanish experience, with less crowding than larger cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, of which it is at an intermediate distance.

Living in Zaragoza offers a unique experience, combining the charm of a historic city with the conveniences of modern life.

Although there are some disadvantages, such as the climate and limited job opportunities in some areas, the advantages, such as the low cost of living and rich cultural offerings, make Zaragoza an attractive choice for many.

Murcia

Murcia

Murcia, a charming city in the heart of Spain in the region of the same name, offers a unique mix of culture, history, and modern life.

If you are considering living in Spain, especially in Murcia, this guide will provide you with a detailed overview, exploring the pros and cons of this lifestyle choice.

Murcia, located in southeastern Spain, is known for its mild climate, rich history, and architecture. The city is a perfect example of how tradition and modernity can coexist in harmony.

Murcia‘s streets are a mosaic of historic buildings and modern urban spaces, offering a unique experience for residents and visitors alike: discover the best rental listings in Murcia.

Cadiz

Cadiz

Cadiz is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, famous for its cobblestone streets, historic architecture, beaches, and its location overlooking the sea.

Living in Cadiz means immersing yourself in an environment rich in history, with a relaxed pace of life that is typical of southern Spain.

Cadiz represents a fascinating option for those who wish to live in Spain. It offers a unique balance of history, culture, natural beauty, and a relaxed pace of life.

Although there are some challenges, such as the language barrier and cost of living, the benefits of living in this historic and vibrant city can far outweigh these obstacles: check out our best rental listings in Cadiz.

Canary and Balearic Islands

La Graciosa

The Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean and an integral part of Spain, are an ideal destination for those who dream of a life in a Mediterranean paradise.

The Canary Islands offer an enviable climate, with mild temperatures year-round, making them an ideal destination for those seeking sun and sea. The variety of landscapes, from the golden beaches of Fuerteventura to the lush forests of Las Palmas, offers a wide range of natural experiences. In addition, the islands’ rich culture and history, with both Spanish and African influences, add an extra layer of charm.

Tenerife, Roque de las Animas, Carretera Almaciga

Living in the Canary Islands means living in Spain, but with some peculiarities. The islands enjoy a special tax regime, which can be advantageous for entrepreneurs and retirees. In addition, the quality of life is high, with a generally lower cost of living than on the Spanish mainland.

The Balearic Islands, a Spanish archipelago in the heart of the Mediterranean, are a dream destination for many. The Balearic Islands include Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, each with its own unique personality and charm.

Ibiza

Living in the Balearics means immersing yourself in a mix of Spanish culture and local influences, enjoying a mild climate year-round, breathtaking scenery and an enviable quality of life.

The Balearics are known to be a destination for youthful entertainment, especially on the islands of Ibiza and Formentera, famous for their clubs and discos. Moving to the Balearic Islands therefore means having fun and nightlife year-round.

Bottom line: is living in Spain a good choice?

To live in Spain you can find a rental solution that meets all your needs; although it can be difficult to adapt to living in a new country and in a new environment, finding rental accommodation in Spain is very easy thanks to the solutions available on our site. A new experience is waiting for you and we are here to make it as easy as possible thanks to our solutions and technology.

Visit our site and contact our Team of experts, who will be able to help you in these early stages of your search. Once you understand the secrets to living in Spain your new daily life, don’t forget to keep up to date by reading our blog, where you will always find useful tips and constant updates. 

If you are interested in learning more about all the opportunities you can take advantage of while living in Spain and delving further into the initiatives proposed in the area and news about events, we recommend you don’t miss our sections devoted entirely to advice on the most interesting activities in the cities.

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