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Where to live in Spain? Our tips for 2020

Published: 28 December 2019

Where to live in Spain? Our tips for 2020

Moving to another country is a big step and there are lots of things to think about before making the big decision. We've put together a few handy tips on what you should think about before moving to Spain, and what to do when looking at properties.

1. Always rent first before buying

Buying a property in a country that is fairly new to you is a very big decision, especially if you do not have much knowledge of the town or area you are buying in. It is always recommended to rent first in your chosen area, so you can get a feel for the town, culture and locals. You can use this time to find out what facilities and shops and nearby, as well as whether you will be able to live permanently in the area.

Have a look at our properties for rent in Spain for an idea of what properties are available, you can even search by area if you know the towns you are interested in.

2. Do you want to live near other expats or locals?

There are lots of towns in Spain that are populated with different nationalities other than Spanish. Some people like this, others do not. Some people have a preference for living in areas of Spain that is purely Spanish locals so that they can get immersed in the culture and learn the language. Others prefer to be near other expats, as often those areas come with local shops and amenities that they are used to back home.

Some nice areas with large expat communities include:

format_quoteGenerally around the La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Plays Flamenco area is great for the expat community with lots of good restaurants and English and Irish bars. The community is of all ages and there is always plenty to do including day trips with the likes of David's Coach Trips.format_quote

- John56 on the Costa Blanca Forum

4. Do you want to live near a busy city or near the countryside?

The brilliant thing about Spain is the difference in culture between the big cities and the rural countryside. Depending on your preference, you can really find the perfect place for you depending on whether you like the hustle and bustle of the big cities or the quiet Spanish countryside.

5. Do you want to live near a beach?

When people think Spain they often think wonderful beaches and the sea, so if this is your idea of heaven then it is always worth doing some research on the best beaches to live nearby to. You may find that the types of properties available near beaches are apartments rather than traditional villas and houses, so keep this in mind when researching.

6. Do you want lots of bars and restaurants nearby?

Having access to local bars and restaurants is always nice. You may feel when living in Spain that you would like to sample different types of cuisine, more than when you are at home. It's also important to do some research to make sure your property is not near a busy or load bar or club, as we have often seen people find this out only after buying.

7. Do you want to learn the Spanish language?

Depending on where you are planning to live in Spain, you may need to know how to speak Spanish to get by. As we mentioned above, if you are looking at moving to an area of Spain with a large expat community then learning the language may not be so important, but our recommendation is to always get a basic grasp of the language to get you by.

8. Do you have any animals and pets?

Lots of people move to Spain with their cats and dogs, and finding a property that can cater for your animal's needs is very important. If you are renting then finding a property owner who is happy to have dogs or cats or other animals is very important.

9. Are you looking to retire in Spain or would like to find a job?

If you are looking to find a job near where you plan on living then it is always worth looking at the jobs market in the area to see what is available. To open up more opportunities for you we would always recommend having a good knowledge of the Spanish language, as you may be restricted by the types of jobs available to non-Spanish speakers.

10. Are you looking for a place to do your hobbies?

Many people retiring to Spain sometimes complain about there being not much to do in their area, so it is always worth checking what leisure and hobby activities are available. Some to think about are:

  • Art classes
  • Walking football
  • Gyms
  • Swimming pools and leisure centres
  • Tennis courts