The mere mention of a holiday in Spain brings to mind the scent of the Mediterranean – the sea, enjoyable climate and fresh seafood sizzling invitingly on your plate. You can easily imagine yourself sipping a glass of cheap, but wonderful red wine to the sounds of Spanish guitar. As the intense taste of red wine starts to lift your spirits, your feet feel like dancing in the flamenco rhythm. Vibrant nightlife, beautiful architecture, relaxed and friendly atmosphere – who wouldn’t want to spend their holiday in Spain? Who could resist its charms? If you are one of those who cannot resist the temptation of coming back to this beautiful country, again and again, you might as well be considering the option of moving to Spain. If this is so, you are probably eager to know which are the top 5 cities to live in Spain.
Living in Spain vs. Travelling to Spain
Contrary to what most people think, some of the most popular cities in Spain do not qualify as top cities to live in. The capital of Spain, Madrid, is beautiful beyond comparison, but the question is whether you can afford to bask in its charms? And would you be willing to put up with hordes of tourists cramming the streets every day while you are trying to get to work or buy groceries? Probably not.
The same goes for Barcelona – the jewel of Catalonia, an open museum of Gaudi’s unparalleled artistic work, with Mediterranean air and bohemian lure – it truly is a place out of a fairy tale. But the problem with this fairy-tale place lies in millions of tourists who never stop coming to enjoy its beauty. Over the past few years, there has been anti-tourism activism in the streets of Barcelona. The dissatisfaction of the locals reached its peak and they started to openly resent mass tourism.
As for popular summer destinations, such as Ibiza, Majorca, and Marbella, the costs of living in these cities may prove to be unsustainable if you are not earning an executive salary. In addition, the prices of property have gone through the roof over the past decade. Extreme heats are also one of the problems that will definitely put you off in the long run. There are numerous downsides of living in the most popular cities and some of them can make your life miserable:
- traffic jams
- property prices
- costs of living
- transport system
Eventually, you start to realize that popular destinations are exciting only if you come and go. Deciding to settle in with your family may drive you crazy. If you wish to stay, check out our list of top 5 cities to live in Spain:
Similar to Barcelona in many aspects, with beautiful architecture, vivid nightlife and Mediterranean climate, Valencia has everything you could wish for. Everything indeed, but without hordes of tourists to spoil the day. Contemporary buildings are combined with bohemian districts and, together with the Old Town, they make an extraordinary mixture. The city offers endless opportunities for entertainment and cultural enlightenment, as well as great public transport. In addition, The University of Valencia is one of the oldest and most renowned universities in the whole country. The system of education meets the highest standards.
Even though it’s very popular among travelers, you would be surprised to know that prices in Malaga are rather affordable. Situated on Costa del Sol, with sandy beaches and lots of sunshine throughout the year, Malaga fosters a spirit of cosmopolitanism. The diversity of nationalities inhabiting different parts of the city keeps this city dynamic and full of life. You will easily make yourself at home once you decide to unpack your suitcases in Malaga. In addition, if you’re moving with kids, this may be just the right choice. Water parks, Crocodile park, Adventure safaris park and great system of education are one of the reasons this city is one of top cities in Spain to raise kids.
Granada is a small town in Southern Spain surrounded by beautiful landscapes of Sierra Nevada mountains and the Mediterranean sea. The remains of medieval architecture can be found throughout the city, which gives this place almost mythical character. But what you’ll love about Granada is the fact that it is cheap! You can eat out without straining your budget and even get free tapas wherever you go. Restaurants serve free plates of food with every meal. This place is famous for gastronomy and housing prices are also very affordable. Granada is also home to the Alhambra Palace, one of the most majestic fortresses in Europe.
Not as popular as the cities we mentioned so far, Oviedo is a small town in Northern Spain, a region rather different from what you would expect from Spain. The climate and landscapes may lead you to think you were somewhere in Ireland perhaps. But if you disregard sometimes volatile weather, friendliness of the locals and vivid nightlife will immediately make you love it. It is known as a student town. Numerous foreign and domestic students attain their education at the University of Oviedo, an institution with four hundred years of tradition. The life is cheap and easygoing as there are no traffic jams or tourists to spoil this undiscovered place. Gothic architecture makes this place truly unique and unlike anything you’ve seen in Spain.
A Coruña – one of the best cities to live in Spain
Speaking of undiscovered jewels of Northwest Spain, we reach A Coruña, a small port city located in the Galicia region. Just about the right size, with beautiful beaches and fresh seafood, Coruña takes pride in unique Galician cuisine, long promenades by the ocean and unparalleled quality of life. The inhabitants of Coruña are known for living well! Coruña is the hometown of Amencio Ortega, the founder of Zara and the second wealthiest person in Europe. With endless opportunities at his disposal, this billionaire businessman still lives quietly in his family house near the ocean. The ratio of costs to average earnings is the best in the whole country, which rightfully places A Coruña among top 5 cities to live in Spain.