The 11 best places in Spain to be a digital nomad

The 11 best places in Spain to be a digital nomad. Image - Pixabay

The new Digital Nomad visa, which is for non-EU citizens, will enable people who work for companies or clients outside Spain to settle there temporarily, without the need to apply for a full work visa.

The new Digital Nomad visa is currently undergoing public consultation, but with the option of two renewals (i.e. allowing people to stay in Spain for 3 years). This is all part of the Spanish Parliament’s new ‘Startup Act,’ first announced and approved in late 2021.

With its warm climate, low cost of living, spectacular beaches and millions of tapas bars, Spain is one of the most attractive countries in the world for remote workers and digital nomads looking to enhance their quality of life on a budget. Want to know where the best digital nomad communities in Spain can be found? Or where you can work directly from the beach? Here are our top places to live in Spain if you’re a remote worker…

1. Cullera

Cullera is paradise for digital nomads searching for a laidback beach lifestyle. It’s a charming, vibrant beach resort on the Costa Blanca, with 11 award-winning beaches that offer free open roaming Wi-Fi access, meaning you can literally work from your sunlounger!

The area around Cullera is known for its citrus groves, mouth-watering seafood, and its rice dishes. There are more than 100 restaurants in town, plus bars and several nightclubs to keep the party going into the early hours. There is a pretty church, a 10th century castle and ancient caves to explore, as well as several museums dedicated to eclectic subjects – pirates, archaeology, rice and the Spanish Civil War.

If you want to be close to a business hub for work, Valencia is a 30 min train ride away. Voted the best city to live in southern Europe via the Internations Quality of Life Index 2020, there are plenty of co-working options in Valencia, and they tend to be cheaper than their counterparts in Barcelona and Madrid, as is the cost of living in general. We like super central Mosaico, and Garage Coworking for its two terraces and chill-out area with games console.

Close proximity to Valencia means you won’t be far from celebrating two of Spain’s most beloved annual festivals, La Tomatina and Las Fallas, which both take place in the city. Valencia is also home to one of the biggest and best-covered food markets on the east coast, a state of the art science and culture park, a futuristic aquarium and so many dining options that you’ll never get tired of eating out.

A 2 bed apartment in Cullera costs from just €600 per month to rent, or you could pick up a bargain 2 bed apartment for less than €100,000.

2. Barcelona

Barcelona offers all the benefits of life in one of the world’s most vibrant cities; boundless culture and energy and a truly world-class drinking and dining scene, but the ace up the city’s sleeve is the beach lifestyle that comes with it. The cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia offers the best of both worlds; urban living, on the coast.

The city is famous for its tapas bars, quirky architecture and the spectacular Park Guell. It’s well connected with an international airport, and train and bus links to nearby cities Sitges, Girona and coastal resorts like Tossa De Mar. Barcelona is the 7th most popular city in the world with expats, according to Internations expat city rankings, who cite the weather and the range of activities and events on offer all year round as the best reasons for living there.

With investment from the Spanish government, the city has become a business and tech hub in recent years, There are more than 100 co-working spaces to choose from. Betahaus is one of the biggest, we also like Aticco for its chic design and breathtaking views across the city, and we love Cowork Rambla Catalunya for its outdoor workspace.

Lots of cafes offer free wi-fi too. There are also lots of expat networking groups to join in Barcelona too, such as Startup My Rooftop. Due to its continuing popularity and generous leisure offering, Barcelona is not a cheap place to live, and is the most expensive destination in this list. A 1 bedroom apartment in Barcelona costs from €150,000 or you can rent a small apartment from €1,350 per month.

3. Tarifa

Tarifa is a laid back surf paradise in the Cadiz region of Andalucia, beloved of kite surfers for its strong coastal breeze and annual kite festival. It’s also the spiritual home of the digital nomad in Europe, as it is the location of the first-ever digital nomad hostel on the continent.

There are plenty of activities on offer around Tarifa, including watersports, whale watching and hiking. The old town is a typical ensemble of whitewashed houses, narrow streets and bright blue doors. And there are dozens of high-quality restaurants to choose from. In the countryside around Tarifa, there are historic villages to explore and foodie towns to stop for lunch.

The beaches along this stretch of coast are spectacular and uncrowded, you will often have them to yourself, even in the summer months.

Cadiz city, a historic port town that is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe, is 1 hour 20 mins drive away, and Gibraltar airport is 50 mins by car. You could even take the ferry to Africa, which takes less than 1 hour, and go explore Morocco for the day.

Tarifa has many cosy co-working spaces like La Coco Tera, as well as beach cafes offering (usually) free Wi-fi, meaning you can work directly from the beach! House prices and rentals are relatively low in Cadiz province, you could pick up a good sized 2 bedroom apartment in the centre of Tarifa for €190,000 or rent a 3 bedroom villa in one of the villages close to Tarifa for €1,120 per month.

4. Valladolid

Valladolid was the former capital of the Spanish empire, now a University town, similar to Cambridge or Oxford in the UK. It’s jam-packed with history,  but it has a distinctly young vibe. As with all university towns, Valladolid offers vibrant nightlife, and excellent food at budget prices.

Some of the most exquisite Baroque architecture can be found in Valladolid, and it has some serious historical credentials; Christopher Columbus died here, Phillip II was born here, and Ferdinand and Isabella married here, uniting Spain under single rule. History lovers will want to visit the house where Miguel Cervantes wrote Don Quixote, the Oriental Museum, and the gothic churches. While art and culture fans will enjoy regular exhibitions at the Sculpture Museum.

The city is well connected in more ways than one; Valladolid boasts the second fastest average mobile download speed in Spain after Madrid (34.88 Mbps), and high-speed rail links connect you to Madrid (70 mins away), and Santiago de Compostela (4hr 30mins) in record time. You are

also less than 3 hours from the coast. Valladolid is the capital city of Castile Leon in the north, which is one of the cheaper regions to buy property in Spain. Country houses under £100k appear regularly in Kyero property listings in this area, or you can rent an apartment for as little as €500 per month.

5. Madrid

The capital of Spain has lots to offer the digital nomad; the bar and restaurant scene is practically unparalleled (only Barcelona comes close), the city is very walkable and has excellent transport links, while each neighbourhood has its own unique personality, from Baroque opulence to grungy Spanish Barrio vibes.

There are a tonne of cool things to see and do in Madrid; the Prado Museum is one of the top art museums in the world, Retiro Park is a beautiful green space in the city centre where locals like to keep cool in Summer, El Rastro is the best antique market in Spain, and Phillip V’s 18th century Royal Palace is the largest royal palace in Western Europe.

Flamenco is another big draw in Madrid, despite its spiritual home being Andalucia. Some of the best flamenco tablaos in the country can be found in the city. Expats from Madrid often cite the abundance of exciting cuisine from all over Spain, as one of their favourite reasons for living there.

Do your weekly shop at Mercado San Miguel indoor food market and discover the country’s highest quality produce, or shop like the locals do for a bargain at Mercado de Maravillas in Cuatro Caminos, one of Europe’s largest open air food markets.

You can expect an average broadband speed of 87.98 Mbps in Madrid, which is 70.54 per cent above the Spain national average. There are dozens of co-working spaces to choose from in the heart of the city, meaning you’re never far away from the best lunch break of your life. Check out We Work and Utopicus for starters.

Small apartments in Madrid are available to buy from €160,000, or you could rent a studio apartment with prices starting at €700 per month.

6. Girona

The beautiful, historic city of Girona in Catalonia, played a starring role in Game of Thrones and is home to the world’s best restaurant – El Celler de Can Roca. It is a compact, medieval city with wonderful architecture, a gothic church, Arab baths, and a vibrant Jewish Quarter.

Another university city, so expect buzzing nightlife and cheap dining (unless you’re going for a Michelin-star fix). Like the rest of Spain, Girona loves to party, and its main annual festivals are Temps de Flores in May and the festival of Sant Narcis in late October. It’s also a fab place for cyclists, offering incredible cycle routes and an extensive cycling community.

Girona is in a great geographical position, only 38 mins by high-speed train to Barcelona, the digital nomad capital of Spain, 45 mins from the breathtaking Costa Brava coast, and less than an hour by car to the French border, so it’s a great base to explore and enjoy both the Spanish and French lifestyles. Nearly 20 per cent of the local population are expats.

There are many co-working spaces available in Girona; we like this one at CookinGirona best, offering 32 desks and a free meeting room.

The average broadband speed in Girona is 50.08 Mbps. Renting an apartment in the centre will cost from €800 per month, or buy a house on the outskirts, prices start at €140,000.

7. A Coruña

It’s a laid back beach destination with a thriving surf scene, often compared to Cornwall in the UK. If you’re looking to get away from the tourist crowds and experience authentic Spain, nature and green spaces, Galicia is the place for you.

Here you can eat some of the best seafood in Europe, visit the world’s only functioning Roman Lighthouse or hike the famous Way of St James. The city is also a good investment location; house prices are low, as is the cost of living compared to elsewhere in Spain. A newly built high-speed train line linking A Coruña to both Madrid and Santiago de Compostela will encourage new visitors to the region, which is less than two hours from the Portuguese border.

Broadband speeds are 28 per cent higher than the national average, and several co-working spaces have opened in recent years, although spending all day in a local cafe is where most digital nomads still choose to base themselves in A Coruña, and who could blame them?!

Apartment prices in the city start at a very reasonable €65,000, or you could rent an apartment from €300 per month.

8. Jerez de la Frontera

Laidback Jerez de la Frontera makes up one corner of the famous sherry triangle in Andalucia / Cadiz province, alongside Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa Maria, and is surrounded by vineyards. This compact city is famous for its sherry bodegas, authentic tapas bars, and flamenco tabancos (don’t miss the annual Flamenco festival that takes place in February each year).

The historic centre is full of pretty churches, palaces, and museums to explore, and it’s less than 20 mins to the nearest beach and only 30 mins to the historic port of Cadiz.

Sports fans will enjoy visiting the high-speed race track, where the Spanish Grand Prix is held each year. Jerez is one of the hottest spots in Europe, boasting more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year (London, by comparison, gets just 1,481 hours).

Jerez has its own airport too, with Ryanair and Tui offering regular flights from London Stansted and Gatwick airports in the UK. There are half a dozen co-working spaces located in the town centre, plus plenty of coffee shops and tapas bars to work from. Broadband speeds in the city can reach up to 935.26 Mbps.

Apartments for sale in Jerez start at €90,000. It’s worth noting that renting a property in Jerez can be a challenge, as it’s such a popular destination for students, who tend to book all the rental accommodation months in advance. If you want to rent around this area, you’ll need to start looking early. Rental costs start from €500 a month.

9. Badajoz

Budget alert! This exquisite Moorish city, located in the beautiful region of Extremadura, on the border with Portugal is still a relatively unknown part of Spain, which means that you’ll likely find some of the best property bargains in the country right here.

Badajoz is known for its Roman and Visigoth architecture, the Alcazaba fortress, La Giralda (a replica of La Giralda in Seville), the Vauban fort, the Christian monastery and Badajoz Cathedral. At weekends the streets throng with Portuguese visitors, who love to hop across the border to sample the many foodie delights of the region. The best jamon in Spain comes from the black Iberian pigs that roam around Extremadura.

The area is also renowned for its soft cheeses made with raw sheep’s milk, and its soups; particularly gazpacho, chestnut and garlic.

Day trip options include the Old Town of Cáceres, the Roman Theatre in Mérida and the breathtaking Monfragüe National Park. The closest international airport is located in Lisbon, a 2hr 20 min drive.

A few co-working office spaces are popping up in Badajoz, or you could work from one of the cafes or tapas bars in town. Average broadband download speeds are 143.97 Mb/s.

Pick up a bargain apartment in Badajoz for less than €55,000 or rent for a minimum of €350 per month.

10. Reus

An underrated gem of a city in Tarragona province, close to the beaches of the Costa Brava, Reus offers culture and history without the crowds of nearby neighbour Barcelona (an 80 minute drive). The city is much admired for its fabulous art nouveau architecture, and is the birthplace of architecture maestro Gaudí – don’t miss the interactive Gaudí museum in Plaça del Mercadal in the centre of the city.

There are several funky co-working options in the city including Espai Factoria and Tarragona Platja Co-working, and you can expect average broadband speeds of 65.35 Mbps. The pretty seaside resort of Salou, which is only a 13 min drive, offers visitors free public Wi-Fi access, allowing you to work directly from the beach, or one of the nearby cafes on the seafront.

The location of the city offers many options for the keen day-tripper, we love Tamarit-Punta de la Móra, a protected Area of Natural interest that encompasses Tarragona province’s most scenic and unspoilt beaches. The nearby coastal city of Tarragona offers a Roman Amphitheatre and attractive seaside promenade, or you could head inland to explore Prades, one of Spain’s prettiest and most historic villages.

Monthly rental costs of an apartment in Reus start at €500 per month, or you could buy a 2 bedroom villa from €200,000.

11. Cuenca

To appreciate Spain’s true beauty, sometimes you have to go off the beaten path. So far in this list we’ve covered cities and a few beach resorts, but if you’re a digital nomad that’s craving a simpler, village in the mountains-style vibe, we have just the place for you!

Located midway between Madrid and Valencia in the Castilla–La Mancha region in central Spain, the picturesque Medieval town of Cuenca sits between two gorges formed by the Jucar and Huecar rivers. The town is known for its ‘hanging houses’ and its natural beauty and was declared a world heritage site in 1996. It’s close to other historic towns such as Belmonte and Alarcon, one of Spain’s prettiest villages – Albarracin, and La Ciudad Encantada (meaning ‘enchanted city’),  an eerie limestone rock formation that looks like it’s been deliberately sculptured that way.  Broadband speeds are 7 times higher in this region than the rest of Spain.

4 bedroom country houses are available in this area for €40,000 or you can rent a property from €250 per month.

 

This list was brought to you by Kyero. Kyero is the leading online platform for UK buyers looking for European overseas property. Since Kyero was established in 2003, it has helped almost 50,000 people buy overseas property in Europe.

With almost 900,000 properties listed, Kyero has the largest selection of overseas property of any of the foreign property-focused UK portals. Kyero is entrepreneur-led and was set up in 2003 by Martin and Louise Dell, who still own and oversee the company.


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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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