Your 8 City Guide for Investing in Spain
Updated: Oct 25
Idyllic coves, medieval cities, warm balmy nights and of course…wine. It’s not surprising that Spain is the second most visited country in the world with all it has to offer.
If you haven’t visited yet, think of this has a nudge to start planning your trip. Spain is praised for its blended culture, friendly natives, and delicious cuisine. The cost of living is one of the lowest in Western Europe, even in metropolitan areas.
We’ve briefly described seven (plus a bonus) cities we personally love and recommend for your retirement or next investment. If there are other cities you’re interested in or have questions about let us know!
1. Madrid (our top pick)
The vibrant capitol city welcomes you to its delightful mixture of traditions, culture, and delicious dishes. Walk along Paseo del Prado to visit the Prado Museum and Botanical Gardens or take Calle de Atocha to the heart of the city, Plaza Mayor. Each barrio (neighborhood) offers a different experience: La Latina is ideal for tapas, Las Letras has the perfect combination of literature and fine dining, and in one of the wealthiest areas, Salamanca, locals visit an exclusive gourmet market set in a former theater building.
One of the trendiest cities in Europe. Not only will you see the latest developments in fashion while strolling the streets but keep an eye on the avant-garde vibe of more modern neighborhoods. Barcelona combines the creativity of its artists and designers with respect and care for local traditions. Famed sights like the Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell are among the major art centers like the Picasso Museum and Gran Teatre del Liceu you won’t want to miss.
A port city that embodies the Andalusian lifestyle, Málaga is best known for being the birthplace of artist and sculptor Pablo Picasso. It is a large bustling city that still offers a quiet and relaxed small town atmosphere, which makes it ideal for international living. A bright city with pedestrian-only areas including the city center you’ll find many expats flock from the UK and northern Europe to the golden beaches of Málaga. Real Estate is moderately priced for the size of the city, in the historic district one-bedroom one-bath flats with around 55m ² of space sell for prices starting around €200,000 (that’s about $211,249 USD). Flats in this area can quickly rent for short term vacation-goers. Investments like this allow you to have a home-base in Europe for any holiday trip and put money back into your pocket over time.
Set at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is know for its low humid climate making it a comfortable city year-round to explore on foot even in winter. As a mid-sized town surrounded by rolling hills, quaint villages, olive, and fruit trees there are plenty of outdoor experiences to explore. Specific to Granada, when ordering a bottle of wine you’ll also enjoy complimentary tapas at most bars (a detail worth remembering). The University of Granada contributes to the youthful vibe in the city as does the young travelers vacationing in summer or in the international student exchange program.
A retired single expat reported their monthly budget while renting in Granada was just below of $1,850 (gasp of excitement!). It included health insurance, transportation, groceries, rent, utilities, and budgeting for activities.
An easy city to travel on foot and enjoy over 300 days of sun a year. The Malvarrosa beach is one of the most well-known options to plant yourself for a few hours of rest and people watching. If you’re not up for the beach, Plaza de la Reina offers spectacular views after a 207 step climb to the Miguelete tower. Valencia’s international airport is a few miles outside of town, easily connecting you to the rest of Europe.
Seville, famous for its flamenco dancing and architectural designs, is the largest city in Southern Spain. With hidden gardens, charming patios and narrow cobbled streets, the old town is the perfect place for a wander. It was said to have been built by Hercules himself and its fascinating history makes it one of Spain's most intriguing places to visit. This is a city we encourage you to get lost in- the narrow streets have very little signage so allow your intuition to guide you through the colors and vibrant surroundings.
The Mediterranean resort town of Sitges sits 25-miles southwest of Barcelona. A popular holiday destination since the 19th century and a hotbed of artistic, alternative lifestyles, today Sitges shines as a LGBTQ+ paradise. Maze your way through Carrer de la Bassa-Rodona to find shops, cafes, drag shows and nightclubs. This inviting city shows off its 17 beaches surrounded by the dramatic Garraf Natural Park. For early risers, walk along the waterfront promenade of Passeig Maritim and start your day with a café con leche or mimosa.
8. San Sebastián
San Sebastián, known as Donostia in Basque, is a resort town on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country. It’s known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, beaches framed by a picturesque bayfront promenade, and world-renowned restaurants led by innovative chefs. In its cobblestoned old town (Parte Vieja), upscale shops neighbor vibrant pintxo bars pairing local wines with bite-size regional specialties. We suggest you plan a minimum 4 night stay when you visit…you won’t want to leave.
International Living & https://www.spain.info/en/