Spain with Small Kids

My husband and I are planning a move to Spain from the USA next year. We have a 2 and a 4 year old and are wondering the best cities/areas of Spain to consider. Not Madrid or Barcelona due to cost of living, have read a lot of good about Valencia being family friendly. Anywhere else?

It all depends on what you are looking for with activities, weather, price, authentic spain, an expat community, and so on. Valencia is amazing as well as Malaga.   If you like to be inland try Seville or near the mountains in Granada.

Hi JacksonWest,

We are a family of 4 (two girls 6 and 9)  from the US, financially stable, and also planning on moving to Spain in June.  We are between Malaga and Alicante.  We recently went to Malaga over the Thanksgiving break and enjoyed it very much, but now we are considering Alicante because it seems that you get so much more for your money there.  I was wondering a few things if you don't mind me asking.  Have you found out more information on good places to live in Alicante for families with young children?  Are you concerned at all that the main language is Valenciano and not Spanish?  Do you have any reservations about leaving the US?  We live very comfortably here, but wanted to give our children the experience of living abroad and learning a new language and culture.  I sometimes hesitate with the decision though as we will be selling our furniture and things to go over as light as possible.  Are you planning on shipping your furniture or are you selling as well?  I have traveled the world and there are things I like about the US as well as abroad.  May I ask what is influencing your decision to move?  I wanted to get a perspective from someone who knows life in the US with small children and seems to be in the same boat of making the decision to move to another country.  Thanks for your input and looking forward to chatting more.


Hi! I have not looked into either Alicante or Malaga, but will certainly consider them now! Are they very bug cities compared to Valencia? We are also concerned about cost of living but want to find a good mix of affordable and good sized city.

There are2 main reasons we are moving. First because I have very bad food allergies/migraines from the food in the US, when we go to Europe I can eat anything. Here in the US I have to make everything from scratch and buy organic and the food in Soain is such better quality and healthier. Second we want our kids to have opportunities outside the US, and this move to Spain would allow us all to become Spanish citizens, thus having an EU passport. Colleges and universities are way more affordable/free in Europe. I like the lifestyle in Spain: you work to live not the other way around like the US. Health insurance has become ridiculous in the US. We can live better with less money in Spain, in my opinion of course.

What about you? Why are you considering the move?

Hi JacksonWest,

Malaga and Alicante are both mid size cities with the populations at about 500K and 300K respectively. We have made the decision to move for many of the same reasons that you mentioned: lower cost of living (including health care and free university), laid back mentality, the opportunity for our girls to learn another language and culture and overall healthier living.  Europe does have it's downsides as well though such as much smaller housing options and some lack the amenities like a dryer and or dish washer (not all though). Ohh another thing I have been told is the closer it gets to summer, the harder it is to find housing.  I'm not sure if you are planning on buying or renting, but if the house/apt has not rented by peak season, the owner will put it up for short term rental during the season which makes options some what scarce.  I plan to go and secure housing as soon as we receive our NIE number and papers. Ohh also, not sure what visa you will be applying for, but if you do not have a job in Spain, you will need a local to cosign or you will have to pay a year's rent up front.  Again, not sure what your plans are, but this was what we have been told. Well best of luck and let's keep each other posted on how this process evolves.

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