In a recent study by InterNations, five Spanish cities have been highlighted among the 20 best cities in the world to live in, according to the perspective of expatriates. However, Barcelona, despite its many charms, fails to position itself in the top places, ranking 13th.
First place goes to Malaga: La Joya de la Corona (The Jewel in the Crown)
This year, Malaga stands out as the number one city to live and work in the world. With its idyllic climate, rich history and vibrant cultural scene, it is not surprising that it leads not only in the overall rankings, but also in subcategories such as local friendliness and work-life balance. However, not everything is perfect in Malaga, as its local labor market ranks 41st.
Second and Third position: Alicante and Valencia: Rising Stars
Alicante and Valencia, in second and third place respectively, share with Malaga the ease of establishment and a high quality of life. Valencia, ranked first last year, continues to impress with its welcoming culture and affordable options.
Secxta position Madrid: Digital and Dynamic
Madrid, in sixth place, stands out for its robust digital life and good personal finances. Although it is not on the podium, it is still an attractive destination for its combination of modernity and quality of life.
Position 13 for Barcelona: Lovely but not the First Choice
Barcelona, although world-renowned for its beauty and culture, ranks 13th. This position, while respectable, indicates that, despite its many attractions, there are aspects that could be improved to climb this prestigious list.
Contrast with the United States
Interestingly, no U.S. cities figure in the top 20 this year, with New York dropping drastically to 39th place, mainly due to the high cost of living and work-life imbalance.
The Italian Contrast
At the other extreme, cities such as Milan and Rome, in Italy, occupy the last places, facing problems of quality of life and working conditions.
A Global Perspective
This report, based on the survey of more than 12,000 expatriates of 177 nationalities, reflects not only the preferences of these individuals, but also the global dynamics in terms of quality of life and job opportunities. It is a mirror of how cities around the world are evolving to meet the needs of an increasingly globalized and mobile population.
Barcelona: What is missing?
In the case of Barcelona, although it is a city with undeniable charm, the results suggest that there are areas for improvement. These could include aspects related to the labor market, the cost of living, or perhaps less tangible elements such as the sense of community among expatriates. To move up the rankings, Barcelona will have to face these challenges and transform them into opportunities.
This analysis not only celebrates the success of cities such as Malaga, Alicante and Valencia, but also raises questions about what it takes to create an environment that is truly welcoming and satisfying for those who choose to make a foreign city their home. Barcelona, with its current position, has both achievements and lessons to learn in this global context.
Complete list of the 209 best cities to live in:
The 20 best cities in the world to live in
- Malaga, Spain
- Alicante, Spain
- Valencia, Spain
- Ras Al Khaimah
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Madrid, Spain
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Muscat, Oman
- Dubai, UAE
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Barcelona, Spain
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Nairobi, Kenya
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Athens, Greece
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
- The Hague, The Netherlands