Valencia city wins global expat ranking for a second time, Madrid in 5th place


Valencia city wins a global ranking of best cities to live in whilst Spain is the only country with three cities in the top twenty.

In a global survey of expats run by the InterNations network with almost 12,000 respondents Valencia was voted the best city in the world to live in according to five criteria of expat life, namely: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Personal Finance, and Expat Essentials Index, which covers digital life, admin topics, housing, and language. 

Click to enlarge

Not far behind Valencia in 5th place came Madrid, and Barcelona was in 14th place, making Spain the only country with three cities in the top twenty. You can see the full ranking in the graphic to the left.

InterNations, which describes itself as “the largest international community for people who live and work abroad” with 3.7 million members in 420 cities around the world, surveys its members every year on their opinions of the cities they live using five key criteria of expat life. Last year Malaga city came second, Madrid 10th, and Barcelona 29th, with no mention of Valencia in the 2021 rankings.

Valencia was also voted number one in 2020 when Alicante came 2nd, Malaga 6th, and Madrid 9th. Back in 2019 Barcelona was the best-ranking Spanish city in 7th place. It’s fair to say that Spanish cities seem to do quite well in the annual InterNations rankings.

In the housing subcategory, which participants rated “based on the affordability of housing and the ease of finding housing for expats,” Valencia was ranked third overall, and first for affordable housing, on which score Madrid was ranked 14th, and Barcelona 21st out of 50, meaning that these three Spanish cities all score well or very well for affordable housing.

This cities voted worst for expats to live in this year featured several European cities including Frankfurt (49th, Where Expats Struggle Most with Digitalization, Administration & Language) Paris (48th, A Top Destination for Culture & Cuisine — If You Can Afford It), Istanbul (47th, The Worst City for Working Abroad), Hamburg (45th, Where Expats Are Unhappiest & Have the Hardest Time Making Friends), Milan (44th, Troubling Financial Situation, Difficult Working Life) and Rome (41st, where Expats Feel at Home despite Low Quality of Life).

See the full Expat City Ranking 2022 at InterNations.

Leave a Reply