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10 BEST Places to Live in Spain [April 2020]

A land of beaches, siestas, history, great food and a relaxed lifestyle, Spain really is hard to beat when it comes to a potential place for nomads to set up camp for a while.

If you want to base yourself in Spain, however, you’ll need to decide whether you want beaches or somewhere inland. Then you’ll have to consider: a small town or something bigger? There’s a lot to think about!

We here at Nomads Nation have done the hard work for you and found the very best places to live in Spain – from beach bases to havens of history.

Let’s get stuck in.

Staying Safe in Spain

Spain is quite literally one of the safest countries in Europe, which automatically makes it one of the safest in the world. Serious crime is almost unheard of here.

However, that does not mean that you won’t encounter any crime. In larger cities, like Madrid and Barcelona, pickpocketing in and around metro stations does happen.

The best way to keep yourself protected when traveling is with good travel insurance… in fact, we don’t recommend traveling ANYWHERE without it!

World Nomads has always been our favorite. Fill out the form below to get a quote to keep you (and your gear!) protected while traveling. 

Check out our ultimate guide to Digital Nomad Insurance!

#1 Ternerife

Ternerife

With 320 days of sunshine and a load of beaches, Tenerife is popular with holidaymakers and good stop-off for nomads.

Monthly cost of living in Ternerife

$1264/ month 

cost of rent in Ternerife

$578/month

Tenerife is a volcanic paradise with a lot to offer. One of the major islands of the Canaries, this place truly has good weather all year round; even during the winter the temperatures here are mild, at around 20 degrees C. That must be why they call Tenerife “Island of Eternal Spring”.

The best place to base yourself on Tenerife, if you want some sort of good connections with the outside world, is in its main town, Puerto de la Cruz. 

Though a busy tourist town and major destination, it’s also for this reason that you’ll find a lot of amenities here. If you want more culture, look for a place to live in San Cristobal de la Laguna.

Pros of Ternerife

  • Great weather all year round
  • International community
  • Fairly cheap living

Cons of Ternerife

  • The internet's not always amazing
  • There are a lot of older tourists
  • It can get very crowded in summer

From June to September, it’s beach time! However, in the autumn, you can head to the hills for some fantastic hiking. The hills in Tenerife are criss-crossed with hiking trails and, in fact, you can find Spain’s highest mountain on the island: Mount Teride, also a national park.

It’s not just all about the natural landscape though – there’s great food and fun parties to be had on the island as well. And, thanks to a bustling, international community, English is widely spoken.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

For coworking on Tenerife, make a beeline for Coworking In The Sun. Not only is a it a coworking space, it’s a bit of a community hub, with excursions, meet-ups, and even Spanish lessons on offer.

#2 Madrid

The Spanish capital of Madrid is awash with all the history, culture and amenities that any nomad could ever ask for.

Monthly cost of living in Madrid

$2297/ month 

cost of rent
in Madrid

$833/month

There’s a lot on offer in Madrid in terms of culture. Visit one of the many museums or galleries for breathtaking art and architecture, places like Museo del Prado or Museo Sorolla. 

Otherwise, you can stroll around the Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s main square, and shop in the Gran Via – the city’s famous shopping street.

Whilst there a lot of cool places to live in Madrid, the stylish, LGBTQ-friendly neighbourhood of Chueca. It’s got bars and fun nightlife. 

The neighbouring hipster-ready area of Malasaña is an affordable place to live with plenty of street art and vintage shops to discover.

Pros of Madrid

  • It's a pretty walkable city
  • Great food and drink on offer
  • A lot of cafes with wi-fi

Cons of Madrid

  • English isn't widely spoken
  • You may run out of sights to see
  • It can get cold in the winter

Of course, Madrid is known for its food as much as anything else and you simply cannot live in Madrid without eating tapas. La Latina is the destination for a foodie in Madrid; it’s an area known for its great restaurant and bars. 

Order a drink here and it comes with a complimentary tapa. Get ready to fall in love with this way of eating.

Porto del Sol is the place to go for New Year’s celebrations in Madrid, whilst keen Instagrammers should head for the indoor tropical plants and unique architecture of Madrid’s Atocha train station.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

The best option for getting work done is Google Campus. Unlimited internet, spacious, professional, international – and free. Elsewhere La Bicicletta is a popular cafe with students and travellers alike complete with a shared workspace.

#3 Malaga

A coastal city with as much interesting history as potential for modern glamourous getaways, Malaga wins for nomads who want a bit of everything!

Monthly cost of living in Malaga

$1557/ month 

cost of rent in Malaga

$675/month

A city by the sea, on the Costa del Sol in Spain’s south to be precise Malaga has a lot to offer. To start with there’s flamenco, a connection of Pablo Picasso, and a pretty old Old Town; that historic town is full of Andalusian heritage, the biggest square in town and – nowadays – a whole lot of designer shops.

La Merced is a pretty cool neighbourhood to base yourself in if you’re looking for accommodation in Malaga; think interesting architecture, busy bars and a local atmosphere – and all in the cultural centre of the city.

Pros of Malaga

  • Plenty of beaches nearby
  • Lots of art to soak up
  • A lot of history here, too

Cons of Malaga

  • Tourists can get a bit much in summer
  • Spanish here can be tricky to understand
  • Surprisingly small international community

The surrounding streets of the Old Town are alive with locals socialising, people eating meals and children playing – even well into the evening. 

There’s also the Playa de la Merced, which is where Pablo Picasso was born back in 1881: yes, Malaga is his hometown! Make sure to visit the Picasso Museum, of course, complete with over 200 works.

When you’ve had enough work and culture for one day, Malaga boasts a stunning coastline. There are countless beaches to choose from here, like the Playa Malagueta (10 minutes’ walk from Malaga Port, but you’ll have enough time to find your favourite.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

The Living Room Coworking is one of Malaga’s few spaces to get work done. They hold talks and events here, making it pretty easy to connect with other people. There’s also Grow Working, which is a very cool space.

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#4 Bilbao

Bilbao is a coastal city in the Basque country that’s equal parts industrial and creative – perfect for the art-loving nomad.

Monthly cost of living in Bilbao

$1968/ month 

cost of rent
in Bilbao

$842/month

Bilbao is a fun, exciting city that surprises many visitors to its streets. Many might think of it as merely a port location, but Bilbao has a trick up its sleeve: art. 

This Basque city is home to the world-famous Guggenheim, with all of its contemporary art, plus there’s also the Fine Arts Museum and a lot of creativity in the streets.

If you’re looking for a good neighbourhood to base yourself in Bilbao, look no further than Deusto. This is a youthful area packed full of affordable eateries and is a great place to get a feel for the local life. 

It’s also located near the university and has a nice rive to stroll along. Santuxt is a safe bet, too, with its pedestrianised streets and local bars.

Pros of Bilbao

  • Good ferry connections
  • Very cool art scene going on
  • Unique feeling to the culture

Cons of Bilbao

  • Not just Spanish but Basque to contend with too
  • Rains a lot
  • A bit industrial; not always pretty

The city may appear gritty at times, but that just means that even though it’s arty, it’s not pretentious. One thing you do really need to try out here is pintxos

This is more than just “Basque tapas“. Pintxhos consists of small pieces of bread topped with different ingredients. Anything goes.

They’re usually lined up at bars and held together with little sticks. Eat as many as you want and then show your sticks at the end of the night: that’s the tally of how much you’ve eaten!

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Bilbao Lab Coworking is a very nice place to work; the owners are lovely and the internet is fast. Not to be confused with newer Bilbao Coworking: central, near the station, bright decor, friendly vibe.

#5 Ibiza

Ibiza

The beautiful Balearic island of Ibiza is part-hippy commune, part nightlife central, making it popular with passing nomads.

Monthly cost of living in Ibiza

$2659/ month 

cost of rent
in Ibiza

$904/month

The “White Isle” as it is known has a reputation around the world for being the place to party. Though there are some superclubs located here, as well as a lot of live music, there’s also a lot of sun-worshipping, yoga classes, and vegan food for an all-round balance between partying hard and chilling a lot.

Santa Gertrudis, located in the middle of the island, is a local-feeling village where many artists and other creatives choose to live, making for a sizeable international community. 

Elsewhere, Santa Eulalia is a resort town with a chilled beach and 16th-century church, making for a relaxing place to base yourself.

Pros of Ibiza

  • Incredible nightlife going on
  • Easy access to island hopping
  • International airport

Cons of Ibiza

  • Extremely expensive
  • Very busy in the summer
  • You pretty much need your own transport

The nightclubs on Ibiza are open during the summer months and draw thousands of partygoers, from glitzy celebrities to teenage revellers on their first holiday alone. The superclubs here are honestly another level of party.

The beaches here are not to be sniffed at either. Playa d’En Bossa and its Las Salinas beach feature the famous white sands and live DJ sets, whilst Cala d’Hort boasts beautiful views of Es Verda Rock. 

Ibiza has history though! Head to the UNESCO-designated Old Town, complete with 16th-century walls to defend against Turkish invaders.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Cowork Ibiza is a good place to sit with your laptop for a while. It’s got superfast internet, good coffee and a really welcoming owner. Alternatively, The Hub Ibiza is a modern, funky space where you can get work done in paradise.

#6 Valencia

Valencia

Modern cultural spaces, museums and a great food scene, Valencia is packed full of things to do for nomads who love checklists!

Monthly cost of living in Valencia

$1386/ month 

cost of rent in Valencia

$565/month

Start your time in Valencia at its old centre, complete with historic towers, walls and beautiful viewpoints. For more history, get yourself to the medieval silk market of La Lonja de la Seda – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

There’s also the pretty stunning Valencia Cathedral, complete with old belltower; climb the 206 steps for great views.

Looking for a place to live in Valencia? There’s the Benimaclet, which has a lively dining scene and good transport links, for one. 

A particularly cool area to base yourself is Russafa; formerly considered rough, this has been gentrified and is now a hipster hangout, complete with the bustling Russafa Market.

Pros of Valencia

  • Great weather all year round
  • Loads of stuff to do
  • Fun festivals to soak up

Cons of Valencia

  • Can be a noisy place to live (in March)
  • A lack of international culture
  • Not as beautiful as other Spanish cities

Hungry? Then you should visit the Central Market. Built during the 1920s, this big, undercover market is where you can pick up a ton of fresh produce as well as snacks to keep you going as you explore. 

That’s another thing about Valencia: the early 20th-century modernist architecture that makes it feel very unique.

Some of the famous places to hang-out during your time in Valencia include the very long Turia Park, running along a former river, and there’s also the City of Arts, where you’ll find everything from galleries and museums to an aquarium – complete with undersea dining.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Valencia has a few places to work. Wayco is pretty pleasant, a good place to hit your deadlines, complete with a cafe next door and even a small garden. Coworking Valencia is a popular, modern spot set in a historic building: cool.

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-Aaron Radcliffe (Nomads Nation founder)

#7 Seville

With its UNESCO sights and romantic atmosphere, the Andalusian capital of Seville is the ideal place to soak up culture.

Monthly cost of living in Seville

$1607/ month 

cost of rent
in Seville

$742/month

Beautiful Seville has a selection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of which reflect the long history and varied culture of this interesting city. 

It represents the Spanish “Golden Age” (with all its colonies, of course), but also there is a lot Moorish, Islamic heritage going on here, too.

Triana is a cool place to live in Seville. This is the place to be if you want to live in amongst all the flamenco and tapas of this city. 

You could also live in Feria; as a neighbourhood whose name means “party” there is actually a lot going on here, with bars, clubs and little boutiques and cafes by day.

Pros of Seville

  • Very historic
  • Amazingly beautiful city
  • Easy to walk around

Cons of Seville

  • Summer gets super hot
  • Summer also brings tons of tourists
  • Not famed for public transport

For some of its top sights, you should really have a look at Seville’s Cathedral. It is the largest gothic church in the world; the belltower here used to be a minaret, part of a mosque. 

More Moorish heritage lies at Alcazar’s Palace, dating all the way back to the 10th century. Plus there’s the General Archive of the Indies to explore.

Aside from history, there’s culture. Flamenco is popular in Seville – see it at one of the city’s many dedicated clubs. Then there’s tapas – eat this at one of Seville’s many tiny bars.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Grow Working Sevilla is a place you can spend a while working on your laptop. It’s got a kitchen, common room and is run by helpful professionals. There’s also Thinking Company, which is a cool, affordable space for coworking.

#8 Palma

Palma

Deep history, fresh fish, and a whole lot of beaches and hiking ops on the doorstep make Palma a firm favourite for nomads.

Monthly cost of living in Palma

$2834/ month 

cost of rent
in Palma

$814/month

The capital, and largest, city of the Balearic Islands, Palma is situated on the island of Mallorca. Known, of course, as a go-to destination for package holidayers, this island has more going for it than just beaches. 

In fact, the history runs very deep here: Palma used to be a Roman camp, but they founded it on millennia-old megalithic ruins!

Though living in one of the Old Town’s palaces is an option (albeit an expensive one), there are actually some decent places to live amongst the centuries-old architecture here. Other than that the School Area, or Zona Colegios, is a residential neighbourhood with a sizeable selection of property to rent.

Pros of Palma

  • Beaches galore within walking distance
  • Can use it as a base to discover Mallorca
  • Literally so much history to learn about

Cons of Palma

  • Can get isolating being on an island
  • So many tourists arrive in the summer months
  • A bit quiet during the winter

Alongside the ancient history are other sights, like the 14th-century Bellver Tower (where concerts are held today), with Palma’s Old Town also boasting historic palacios, ancient archways and medieval churches.

If you feel like getting out and about – no problem. Head out for a walk, or cycle, along the coastline to discover smaller fishing villages and charming ports. 

Or you could simply spend time sunning yourself on the 770 metres long Palma Beach once you’ve got a decent chunk of your work done for the day.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Wohaby Mallorca is a modern coworking space; the people who run it offer up quite a bit of support and advice, so it’s good if you want to start something up. There’s also Coworking Nidus 39, which is beautifully designed and well equipped.

#9 Alicante

Alicante

Alicante is the place to soak up everything that Spain’s stunning Costa Blanca has to offer.

Monthly cost of living in Alicante

$1398/ month 

cost of rent in Alicantey

$538/month

On the southeastern coast of Spain lies Alicante. It might be known as something of a haven for expats, but there’s actually a lot to the city that will charm and surprise you. 

Sitting at the base of the 9th-century Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante is splendidly situated for soaking up the sun and learning about its storied history.

Staying in the historic Old Town is the best place for a nomad to soak up the life of the city. This neighbourhood is littered with lively bars by night, locals going about their lives by day. 

Alternatively, there’s the buzzing La Zona District, just bordering La Esplanada de Espana; the location here means being close to a ton of amenities, too.

Pros of Alicante

  • Loads of great food to try out
  • Friendly nightlife scene
  • Fairly good public transport

Cons of Alicante

  • If you're looking for laid-back, look elsewhere
  • The nightlife can be a bit too much
  • More expensive than other cities nearby

The area of El Barrio is Alicante’s Old Town and features meandering cobbled lanes, classical architecture and a whole lot of flowers in bloom. 

In the evenings this area comes alive with locals mingling with tourists, tasting tapas and drinking wine for a decidedly fun atmosphere.

The city’s main promenade, La Esplanada de Espana, was constructed in 1867 and is a great place to stroll along, featuring plenty of cafes, bars, markets and shops lining it. 

We haven’t even mentioned the beaches, the nicest of all being the huge stretch of sand that is Playa del Postiguet.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

ULab is a decent coworking space in Alicante (and the city’s first): lots of desks, coffee, great atmosphere. There’s also Rambla Work Center is a pleasant space near public transport, banks and cafes; they’ve even got balconies.

#10 Marbella

Notoriously glamorous Marbella is well known for its beaches and beach bars, the ideal spot for those who like the finer things in life.

Monthly cost of living in Marbella

$3011/ month 

cost of rent in Marbella

$678/month

Marbella has long been a top attraction for celebrities in Spain and has something of a reputation for being pricey. Those beach bars and exclusive hang-outs do come at a cost, we have to see. 

Away from all of this, however, Marbella has retained its old world charm. The pace of life is slower here and there are varied neighbourhoods to get lost in.

Miraflores is a good place to live in Marbella – think top tapas and great coffee shops. Otherwise, Divina Pastora is a more local, residential neighbourhood that’s a bit more affordable. The Fisherman’s Quarter is where to stay if you want a truly low-key and rustic lifestyle.

Pros of Marbella

  • Lots of beautiful beaches to enjoy
  • If you've got money to spend, the bars are nice
  • The locals who live here are friendly

Cons of Marbella

  • Very much a tourist town
  • October-April: very quiet / May-September: very busy
  • Things really can get expensive here

Marbella has its very own Old Town, which comes complete with colourful houses decorated with flowers and dotted with boutique shops. Elsewhere in Divina Pastora, there’s a large food market that’s always fun to explore, whilst in Miraflores, you will find all the excitement and hubbub of local life to experience.

The beaches in Marbella, naturally, are pretty nice. Playa de Fontanilla and Playa de la Bajadilla, to name a couple, are free of charge and perfect for spending a day relaxing on the sand or playing in the surf. Interestingly there’s also a lot of Dali sculptures around the seaside promenade, which is fun.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Need a place to work in Marbella? Our Space Coworking is a peaceful place to get productive, complete with moss wall and plenty of plants. Beautiful and bright office space that you won’t want to leave!

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to live in all of Spain

That’s all, folks. We have come to the end of our Nomads Nation list of the best places to live in Spain.

Spain is just packed with so many awesome places to live that it was hard to decide which ones to include. Of course, we managed to find the top destinations for nomads and hope you like our choices.

You could get to know the modernist architecture of Valencia, get lost in the art world in Bilbao, or while away your days with nightclubs and wellness in Ibiza. And those are just a few of your options!

All you have to do now is make your pick and start planning!

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Written by Aaron Radcliffe

City dweller. Dumpling crusher. Aaron is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder of Nomads Nation. Connect with Aaron Radcliffe -