living in Spain
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International families moving to Spain

Moving to Spain means following in the footsteps of many international families who have been drawn to the fantastic climate, welcoming family-friendly culture and great food. For those considering moving to and living in Spain, more than 10% of the Spanish population is made up of expats in Spain from all over Europe and beyond.


Living in Spain offers an enviable quality of life

According to the 2018 Expat Insider report, living in Spain ranks 8th out of 68 countries overall and 3rd in terms of quality of life. Moving to Spain is seen as relatively trouble-free, with people being friendly and welcoming and the language reasonably easy to learn.


Choosing where to live as expats in Spain

Expats in Spain have many different options when moving to Spain, from the cosmopolitan capital of Madrid to the Costa del Sol and Granada in the South, to the Costa Blanca, Valencia and glittering Balearic Islands. There is also tremendous diversity within Catalunya, from exciting urban living in Barcelona to the coastal cool of Sitges, the Maresme Coast and Girona close to the magnificent Costa Brava.


At, we have rounded up some of the most attractive reasons for expat families moving to Spain when deciding on a destination for a big international move. 

LIFESTYLE benefits of living in Spain

  • Safe and welcoming, family-centric
  • Easy to get to, large expat communities
  • Excellent climate from coast to centre
  • World class food and wine, healthy lifestyle
  • Beautiful cities and a wide variety of landscapes
  • Rich heritage, steeped in art and culture

PRACTICAL benefits of living in Spain

  • Great education system, free or paid, local or international
  • One of the world’s best national health services
  • Economy fighting the crisis and embracing new technologies
  • Good links within and between key cities, great roads
  • Welcoming property market with mortgages available for expats
  • Chance to learn a language spoken across the world


Living in Spain means choosing from a very wide variety of locations, from hillside villages on the ski slopes or in the wilds of the Spanish Pyrenees to the vast plains of the centre to the glitz and glamour of the Costa del Sol.


The cosmopolitan Catalan capital of Barcelona offers the appeal of coastal living, while Madrid sits in the middle of the country, a long way from the beach but with its own character and irresistible reasons to start a new life in Spain. The verdant north coast provides yet another distinctive option for families relocating.

Moving to BARCELONA, key attractions

  • Great climate, coastal location and beach culture
  • World-class architecture, art galleries and museums
  • Cosmopolitan city with diverse European population
  • Compact and easy to get around with great public transport
  • Very family-friendly with healthy outdoor lifestyle


Moving to Spain with the family is one of the key reasons to relocate. Spain is rightly notorious for its dedication to family life, children and getting together for regular family occasions. With so many national holidays, rarely a week goes by without the opportunity to get together and celebrate something.


Locals and expats all benefit from the superb public healthcare available in Spain, and in the same way, emigrating to Spain will give you access to the excellent schools system, although many prefer to take advantage of the many international schools that support the curriculums of many European countries.

Moving to SITGES, key attractions

  • Beautiful seaside town, ‘Barcelona by the sea’
  • Microclimate highly conducive to outdoor living
  • Compact and welcoming with amazing beaches and boardwalk
  • Buzzing nightlife, great cuisine
  • Properties in the centre or in quiet neighbourhoods by the beach


Perhaps the biggest attraction of Spain to families looking to relocate is the beach lifestyle, which is a natural product of the excellent climate and long, beautiful coastline.


But moving to Spain gives you much more than the beach, because if you are looking for fun activities for all the family, Spain is a country where you really can ski in the morning and have supper on the beach watching the beautiful Mediterranean sunset.

Moving to MARESME & GIRONA, key attractions

  • Long coastline and relaxed beach lifestyle
  • Easy access to Barcelona and the Cost Brava
  • Lively expat community with lovely hillside villages
  • Great outdoor family lifestyle and international schools
  • Easy access to France and the Pyrenees

Moving to MADRID, key attractions

  • Capital city with diverse population
  • Strong identity, buzzing social scene
  • Plenty for families to do from parks to art galleries
  • Well connected with excellent public transport and airport links
  • Quiet neighbourhoods for families within easy reach of the centre


The Spanish property market offers something for everyone considering living in Spain. Cool apartments in historic town centres provide an authentic environment to raise the family, while the housing boom has created a wide choice of modern developments with facilities for all the family.

Moving to COSTA DEL SOL, key attractions

  • Home of the jet set but also great for families
  • Thriving tourism industry, beaches and cuisine
  • Superb outdoor lifestyle with golf, tennis, watersports and more
  • Large expat communities and excellent links to Europe
  • Plenty of ready-made residential communities for families

Moving to GRANADA, key attractions

  • Stunning mountain landscape, not far from the beach
  • Cultural hub with the amazing Alhambra
  • Enjoy the four seasons but rarely without the sun
  • Relaxed, laid back lifestyle with siesta culture
  • Life focused around family life and children


Getting a mortgage in Spain is open to expats as well as locals, and will help you to set up a new home by the beach, in a secluded country masia, or even in a castle or on your own vineyard. Real estate in Spain is a booming industry and you’re sure to find your perfect property with other like-minded locals and new arrivals.

Moving to COSTA BLANCA, key attractions

  • 200km of beaches and an outdoor lifestyle to match
  • Perfect climate for relaxing by the pool or playing golf
  • Choose from the bustling south or more tranquil north
  • Large populations of international families
  • Blend of history with modern facilities and communities

Moving to VALENCIA, key attractions

  • Good value and variety in property for families
  • A small city with big city infrastructure
  • Fascinating mix of historic and modern, city and beach living
  • Great food and wine, the home of Paella
  • Family fun at the beach and nearby Port Aventure theme park


When living in Spain, the bureaucracy can be challenging, but this is a product of a culture that takes its time to get things done and believes that work is generally a way of financing a relaxed life with the family and chilling out in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Moving to BALEARICS, key attractions

  • Stunning islands with all the family lifestyle benefits
  • Natural beauty, great climate and perfect beaches
  • International sensibilities and cosmopolitan outlook
  • Healthy outdoor family lifestyle, close communities
  • Infrastructure well suited to expat families

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