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March 18, 2016updated 21 Jul 2021 4:46pm

Best places to live in Spain

By Codelia Mantsebo

Passionate, cosmopolitan and devoted to living the good life, Spain effortlessly makes the list of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. However, with an enticing climate and breathtaking scenery, Spain has also become a port of call for a more permanent existence. This list will help you find the best places to live in Spain, whether you prefer the countryside, the city or the coast.

Where to live in Spain

With its vibrant national identity, delicious cuisine and seventeen autonomous regions, Spain boasts one of the most diverse cultures and landscapes in Europe. Whilst renowned for its vibrant nightlife, Spain also readily caters to families, offering some serene and sophisticated properties.

The Golden Mile, Marbella
The Golden Mile, Mallorca

Marbella is a city that offers an international jet-set lifestyle and when it comes to the most sought-after location for luxury property in Marbella, gated community The Golden Mile instantly stands out as one of the best places to live in Spain. The Golden Mile offers impressive “chateaux” style homes with classical sophistication, many with gorgeous sea and mountain views. Offering exclusivity and privacy, this enclave has everything you could need, from gyms and cinema rooms, private outdoor bars, swimming pools and 24-hour security to lush tropical gardens, saunas and concierge services. This iconic local also boasts a variety of activities beyond the gates, try diving in the Meditteranean Sea or remain on land with a cocktail at Yacht Club Marbella.

Salamanca, Madrid

Best places to live in Spain: Salamanca, Madrid

The barrio of Salamanca is Madrid’s answer to Mayfair. Home to Madrid’s most well-shod residents, this is where mansions share barrio space with designer boutiques. Salamanca is a stunning residential neighbourhood that boasts Michelin starred restaurants and tapas bars as well as being home to the IE Business School (previously Instituto de Empresa) which is ranked among the finest business schools in the world. Salamanca is authentic and secluded whilst remaining well connected to the city centre.

Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, Barcelona
Best places to live in Spain: Barcelona

Sleek tailoring, modern office buildings, and sophisticated evenings embody the character of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi. It is among the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Barcelona, infusing its classic tastes with refined elegance and artisanal produce. Private schools, opulently adorned homes and embassy villas add to the area’s sense of exclusivity. With many parks and green areas, it is far quieter than central Barcelona, making it a welcome escape from the hubbub of city life.

Port d’Andratx, Mallorca
Best places to live in Spain: Port d'Andratx harbour

Port d’Andratx is Mallorca’s classiest resort. It stars as one of Mallorca’s most beautiful natural harbours. The area is popular with the yachting fraternity and with film stars whose Italian-style villas can be seen climbing up the hillsides. The small village has a charming boulevard, lined with fine restaurants and bars, and has become known as the perfect place from which to watch the sunset. It is also home to Golf de Andratx, a favourite of golfing celebrities. It also offers an excellent Golf Academy for those not yet reaching the heights of Jon Rahm.

Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid
Best places to live in Spain: Pozuelo

Pozuelo de Alarcón is a suburb dubbed by locals as the richest neighbourhood in Spain, easily making it one of the most luxurious to live in. The community feel of Pozuelo makes it one of the most sought-after places to purchase property because families enjoy more space than they could find in central Madrid. Pozuelo de Alarcón provides some of the most exclusive residential communities favoured by the stars of Spanish football, artists and celebrities, with La Finca being a headline location. The magnificent properties are a sophisticated blend of supreme luxury, architectural brilliance and fine outdoor living.

La Moraleja, Madrid

The best places to live in Spain: La Moraleja

La Moraleja is an affluent residential district and is the Spanish version of Beverly Hills; it is home to some of Spain’s wealthiest people with expansive mansions and several luxury golf courses such as La Moraleja Golf Club. La Moraleja has some of the most luxurious, expensive, and unique real estate in Madrid and also contains some of Madrid’s elite private schools which caters to the growing expat community with the English Language Kings College School. It is a family-friendly neighbourhood and has all the conveniences that international people have come to expect in this type of community.

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La Zona Alta, Barcelona

La Zona Alta Pool view

La Zona Alta is recognized as Barcelona’s most prestigious neighbourhood. Tucked away from all the noise and tourists, La Zona Alta is a place of mansions, elegant apartment blocks and the leading international schools. This area has a quiet, residential feel with its stunning villas, surrounded by green spaces and parks to enjoy the quiet and calm, and minutes from the best restaurants and entertainment areas. Here you will also find some of the city’s leading international schools, such as the Benjamin Franklin School, German and American Schools. Leading business establishments ESADE and IESE are located here as are some of the country’s best healthcare facilities, which make La Zona Alta an extremely popular place to live in Spain for international buyers.

Palma de Mallorca

Best places to live in Spain: Palma de Mallorca

Palma is the capital of the island of Mallorca and the summer residence of the royal family, making it one of the best places to live in Spain for Spanish glitz and glamour. Offering exclusive properties, Palma de Mallorca offers luxury, privacy and awe-inspiring views. Luxury apartments meet the highest of expectations with large roof terraces and even private pools. Residents can easily join the Palma yachting scene and head to Paseo Maritimo for an evening stroll by the coastline.

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