For the first time, three Spanish cities have clinched all three top spots in the latest ranking of best places in the world for foreign residents, as voted for in the InterNations Expat City Ranking 2023.

The Andalusian city of Málaga took the top spot when it came to the world’s best city for foreign residents, closely followed by Alicante in second and Valencia in third.

All three Spanish cities had top 10 ratings in categories such as Ease of Settling In, Quality of Life, and Personal Finance. They were all highlighted for their welcoming cultures, enjoyability, and affordability.  Málaga and Alicante also made it into the top 10 for “Expat Essentials” such as housing.


The southern city of Málaga took the number one spot as “Expats’ Favourite City” in 2023, beating 48 other countries worldwide. This is a step up from its 2021 ranking of second place.

According to the respondents, Málaga was ranked best for Local Friendliness. A total of 89 percent said that the locals are particularly friendly towards foreign residents, versus 65 percent globally. Unsurprisingly it also came in second place when it came to finding friends.


Alicante has long been a popular place for foreigners to move to, particularly among the Brits. This year it places second out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023.

Of Spain’s 50 provinces, Alicante comes out as the favourite spot for Brits with 76,739 living there.


Valencia was named the best city for foreign residents in the InterNations Expat City Ranking for 2022, and while this year, it has slipped to third place, it’s still one of Spain’s most popular cities.

Despite this, it’s still a favourite city among foreigners who rank it particularly high for its quality of life, leisure options and recreational sports.

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