Spain is one of Europe’s most unique countries. It has a culture and food all of its own and its influence is plain to see all around the world.
In this article, we will go deeper into the top 2 places we consider to be the best cities to live in Spain: Cádiz and Barcelona. However, if you would like more information about the other cities in the top 10, you can download our free guide Top coastal cities to live in Spain, where we go through the following Spanish cities: Alicante, Cádiz, Barcelona, Marbella, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Sitges, Málaga, San Sebastián and Valencia.
Cádiz, Costa de la Luz
Around the other side of the Spanish coast, past the rock of Gibraltar and into south-western Andalusia you will find the delightful yet small city of Cádiz. A very old port city that has been important since 1104. It is a traditional Spanish port with Moorish influences that has a long, chequered history of occupation by various forces.
Today, Cádiz combines its history with very modern amenities and facilities. The city has a range of districts with varied moods and attractions.
- The old town, El Pópulo is bundled around the main Cathedral and is filled with boutiques, tapas and wine bars, and beautiful architecture
- Many tourists head to the traditional fishing quarter of La Viña, near the city’s beach La Caleta. It is a heady mixture of traditional, working barrio (neighbourhood) and the modern, late-night offerings of Calle Virgen de la Palma.
- El Centro is where tourists, locals and residents alike find the main high street shops, a central market and many places to buy flowers and churros (traditional fried pastries) among the crumbling façades of 19th-century townhouses.
The previously mentioned La Caleta is right next to the barrio, La Viña. It is a very beautiful and clean beach, sandwiched between two old castles. As such it is well photographed and gets particularly busy at sunset.
La Victoria is the most popular beach in town. It is lined with restaurants, bars and contains all the amenities suitable for tourists and families such as showers, toilets, lifeguards, sunbeds and sports. The sand is famously clean and has EU blue awards.
El Chato beach is a long, 70 km spit of land to the south of the city. It is a quieter beach than what the city has to offer, with less restaurants and buildings and more nature. Here, you can find more wild flora and fauna. However, the facilities here are more sparse than the city’s offerings. The benefits here are that the beach is less crowded than others.
Cádiz is served by Jerez Airport where you can fly to from London and other European locations. However, many choose to fly to the better connected Málaga and catch a fast train to Cádiz.
Barcelona, Costa del Maresme
Barcelona hardly needs much introduction. Seen by many as one of the most culturally exciting cities in Europe, it is increasingly becoming a richly diverse and appealing home for many people who choose to live abroad.
It is widely known for its architecture, being the home of Gaudí, and one can get lost in its dizzying array of extraordinary and unique architecture such as the Sagrada Familia, the iconic and still to be finished cathedral. Football fans can cheer on Barcelona FC at Camp Nou while art buffs explore the numerous contemporary galleries and museums of older works.
As such a diverse city, you can find people living here from all over the world and is particularly popular with other Europeans, Americans and Australians. It is therefore extremely well catered towards foreigners living in Spain with many properties for sale available to foreigners.
Barceloneta Beach is the most accessible from the city. It is the most crowded and tourist-based and there is an abundance of restaurants, bars and nightclubs to enjoy as well water sports like wind and kite-surfing. The city has many other smaller beaches with their own different feels such as Nova Icaria and Bogatell. Ocata beach involves travelling half an hour out of the city by train and is much more relaxed and quieter than the city’s offerings. It is long, flat and calm and you will not find as many tourists contending for towel space.
Barcelona has a strong and independent Catalonian culture, which permeates every part of life, especially language. If you make the choice to live in Barcelona, then it is worth familiarizing yourself with the Catalán language and cultural variations.
Barcelona is connected by the country’s second-largest and busiest airport, El Prat. It takes passengers to and from all over the world, with direct flights to every continent.
More information regarding the best places to live in Spain
If you would like more information about the top 10 best places to live in Spain, we recommend you the following free ebook: Top 10 coastal cities in Spain.
Moreover, we would like to remind you that if you have any queries about the process of purchasing and owning a property in Spain, you can fill out this form and a legal and tax expert from our team will contact you as soon as possible with no obligation.