Popular Expat Destinations

Life in Spain is suitable for expats who are looking for a relaxed lifestyle locations with friendly locals who can be found in majority of the whole county.

The cost of living does vary depending on where you live and if you enjoy a life with fine dining Spain will turn out expensive.


Barcelona –  The second biggest city in Spain with many bars, restaurants, beaches and museums to visit. It is considered that this city is the largest urban centres on the Mediterranean Sea which is enclosed by the Llobregat and Besos rivers.

Expats will discover that Barcelona is very popular due to the exciting culture, mild climate and architecture dominating life. Here you will live a high quality life which is fast paced and has ten different districts in where you can settle.

The ten districts of Barcelona are:

  • Eixample
  • Sants-Montjuic
  • Sant Andreu
  • Gràcia
  • Les Corts
  • Nou Barris
  • Sant Martí
  • Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
  • Ciutat Vella
  • Horta-Guinardó

The population in Barcelona is over 1.5 million and in its wider metropolitan area the population is around 4 million. EU citizens are free to work and live anywhere in Europe and are required to register as a resident when in the country.

Residents are very friendly and accept & welcome new foreigners in the country so expats moving here will not feel out of place. English is also spoken with many shops, newspapers, events and clubs that take place. English material is available online, at the Barcelona town hall which provides services on councils and offices for newcomers. One website that can be used for guidance for newcomers is www.bcn.es.

The city is known for its beautiful weather, historic buildings and stress free lifestyles. New people that arrive in the city will notice that the property market varies and more homes are being rented out at lower prices which make it possible to live in the heart of the city.

Finding work in Barcelona may be as hard as it is on other cities as many employers look for employees who are able to speak and understand Spanish. It is important that expats get their NIE number as this can help in getting job opportunities faster than those who don’t have this number.

Many individuals enjoy the working life in the city and can be a great experience for expats. The environment is great for job opportunities for expatriates. Expats who are looking to work in the manufacturing industry will find many opportunities here. Other than this expats will find opportunities in tourism, culture, arts, design and architecture However, expats must ensure they are in a good financial position or are able to make money in the city to get by.

Public transport in Barcelona is quite safe, reliable and efficient and families will have many options to choose from for schools for children.

The lifestyle in Barcelona is safe and is filled with a great nightlife, traditional events, fine food and great attractions.

Popular Attractions to see in Barcelona:

  • La Sagrada Familia Church
  • Magic Fountain Show
  • Las Ramblas Street
  • Picasso Museum
  • FC Barcelona and Camp Nou Stadium
  • Park Guell by Gaudi
  • Modernist Buildings
  • Tibidabo Hill
  • Montserrat Mountains


Expats moving to Spain will experience sunny skies, with Mediterranean temperatures and cool breezes. Spain has hot summers but in the winter you will experience cold temperatures with possible snowfall.

The hottest month in Barcelona is August with temperatures 24°C, and the coldest month is January at 10°C. The wettest month is October.


If you are looking to move to Madrid you will find that it is quite an old city which is comfortable in its own modern charms with the warm atmosphere and artistic culture of the colourful city. As well as this, those living in Madrid will find that the city has a large historic culture and youthful enterprise which gives many opportunities for both families and individuals moving here.

With Madrid being the capital and the largest city of Spain, there is a population of around 3.3 million people whilst in the metropolitan area the population comes up to 6.5 million.

Madrid is said to be the best city to find work as it has many multinational companies as well as direct foreign investments.

Luckily, the food, drink and eating is knowingly cheaper than other cities in Europe but that being said the average salary is mediocre to those in other major European cities.

Finding properties in the city may be quite difficult for newcomers as they may not know what they are looking for and what a good price for properties is. Therefore, it is recommended that research is done before moving to Madrid so that expats have an idea on how to search for property, how to make a deal and negotiate.

Expats also have the benefit of Madrid being Spain’s transportation hub which makes it easy to travel between locations. From the city centre it can take around 20 minutes to get to Madrid airport and if travelling on a metro it will only take 1 hour.

The standard of healthcare in Madrid is very high and doctors generally recommend to keep up the standard vaccinations up to date, it also may be worth getting a hepatitis vaccination before moving. The public health care system is free for employees in Spain or EU citizens.

Additionally, expat families with children will find a variety of private schools which are bilingual or teach the full English curriculum.

Madrid has many attractions along with historical attractions to offer to the locals living here. The capital city is also filled with beautiful views on the side-walks and beaches, nightclubs and bars, shopping centres, cinemas and theatres as well as many annual visits for expats to take part in and enjoy. Nevertheless kids will also have something to do with the Madrid Zoo and Urban beaches.

Popular attractions in Madrid:

  • Plaza Mayor
  • Buen Retiro Park
  • Museo Nacional Del Prado
  • Royal Palace of Madrid
  • Temple of Debod
  • Thyssen Bornemisza Museum
  • Puerta Del Sol


Madrid has a warm and dry climate but the temperatures in summer and winter vary due to its closeness to the mountains.

In Madrid the summer gets quite unbearable with temperatures of around 25ºC and in the winter temperatures generally drop to 0°C

The months of October and November sees low rainfall


Those who are moving to Seville will see that this is a traditional city which has an interesting history, rich culture and vibrant festivals

Seville has a small population of over 1 million people and people can enjoy many activities whilst having access to space and freedom with the locals in their own traditional ways.

Many can enjoy bars, lively clubs and flamecos tabaos where foreigners get a chance to experience the great Spanish life.

Seville has a lively culture and a colourful history being a small town which offers expats a slower pace of life than other European cities.

With Seville being small, living here is relatively quite cheap and anything in the city is quite central. Whether you are renting a room or an apartment each neighbourhood has its own feel.

Popular tourist attractions in Seville:

  • The Cathedral
  • Barrio Santa Cruz
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • The River Guadalquivir
  • Plaza de Espana
  • La Feria
  • Sevilla FC
  • Semana Santa


The hottest month is July with temperature from 28°C and the coldest month is January with temperatures averaging at 11°C. In March expats will the wettest month with an average rainfall of 90mm.


Expats who are looking to move to Valencia will see that it is a friendly and welcoming city with a population of 780,000. With it being the third largest city in Spain life can be easy going and the cost of living here is generally cheaper than Barcelona and Madrid. It also has a large expat community continuing to attract much more foreigners.

Expats will get the opportunity to explore the city centre and all the interesting sites with Valencia being a popular tourist city. Here you will enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with many opportunities to do hiking, biking, climbing, skiing and sunbathing on the beaches

Those moving here usually choose to live in villages that are outside of the city, and one of the benefits is that all villages are connected to the city centre with the public transport links that are available. The villages offer international schools, great shopping centres, cheaper rentals and good housing options. The cost of living is also fairly low and to eat and drink out it can be very cheap.

Property prices in Valencia have dropped in the last few years but many expats move to welcoming neighbourhoods such as Canovas and Avenida de Francia which all remain expensive with high rental prices. However, the areas here are safe and open with a variety of furnished and unfurnished options.

The healthcare that is offered is of high standard and has seven top hospitals. As well as this the city is home to many universities which offer high quality education.

Valencia has an underground metro system which covers more than the city and a tram service which covers the north-western areas of the city. Expats who enjoy cycling can use the new cycle lanes which are all around the city as cycling is a popular way of getting around here.

Popular tourist attractions in Valencia:

City of Arts and Sciences

  • Mercado
  • Llotja de la Seda
  • L’Oceanografic
  • Ceramics Museum
  • Museo De Belles Artes
  • Cathedral De Valencia
  • Ancient Town Gate


The hottest month in Valencia is in August with temperatures at 25°C and the coldest month is January with temperatures from 9°C.

The wettest month is in October