Which Spanish cities are British expats choosing to live in?
411,000 British expats live on Spanish shores, allured by sunshine, siestas and sandy beaches. Having been a haven for British expatriation since the 1970s, Spain has always attracted UK citizens. Statistics reveal that Spain is the most popular European destination for British emigration.
The slower pace of life, inexpensive living costs and the relative ease of the Spanish language all manage to entice. Whilst a trustworthy healthcare, high life expectancy and the freshest fruit and veg also seduce Brits away from the Isles.
So … which particular Spanish cities are expats moving to, and why?
We have listed the five most favoured Spanish locations for British emigrants:
Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous Catalonia, and is renowned for its Gaudi inspired, ‘modernista’ architecture, stunning beaches and al-fresco lifestyle. Consistently dependable Mediterranean weather, explosions of culture and the cosmopolitan environment have been drawing Brits to the famous coastal city for decades. Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city and houses one of the worlds most exciting football teams. It leads Spanish employment rates and GDP per capita change.
Costa Del Sol
On the Southern edge of Spain, the ‘Coast of the Sun’ encapsulates national history, gastronomic delights and fantastic views – the Northern mountains of Africa can be spotted on a clear summers day. The affluent Marbella has been dubbed the ‘millionaires’ playground,’ and plays host to designer shops and luxury yachts. But elsewhere, the Costa Del Sol offers economical living costs, gorgeous beaches and outstanding local produce. A short drive inland meets traditional, rustic Spain in all its beauty, with whitewashed buildings and orange trees.
Being the third largest city in Europe and the capital of Spain, Madrid has obvious selling points. The beautiful city offers an abundance of opportunities, arguably more inviting for career prospects than retirement, but the city’s embedded Spanish roots appeal to all. Although Madrid doesn’t boast a coastline like its counterparts, the tan-worthy climate is still felt in the city. Boasting two of Europe’s footballing giants, there is plenty of sporting entertainment in the city. Whilst the perfect juxtaposition of heritage and modern makes Madrid the place to be.
British expats have been arriving at the ‘White Coast’ for years, because of the laid back lifestyle, spontaneous ‘fiestas’ and bustling markets. The stretch of coastline is one of Europe’s most visited areas for a good reason – its lively atmosphere is perfect for any ‘socialites’ and the beaches are some of the most popular in the country. Away from the noise and nestled within the metropolitan maze, lies the elegance of classical architecture and old-world Spain.
Sometimes overshadowed by the larger Barcelona and Madrid, people forget about Valencia, Spain’s third largest city that has plenty to offer itself. Weddings of futuristic construction and a characterful old quarter is a magnificent consequence. The Turia Gardens are esteemed for their large open spaces, fountains and plethora of outdoor activities. The perimeter of the park equates to 18km, perfect for bicycle enthusiasts. Valencia is blessed with its own unique culture and brags highly acclaimed nightlife and cuisine, particularly its paella!
Have you left Britain for Spain? Which city did you decide to move to?
Josh Cousens – Monimine