Laura with her dog in Alicante

Why I Chose to Live in Alicante

I’ll be honest. When I was looking at moving to Spain, I wanted an area where I knew an Expat community would be. I wasn’t confident enough to jump into a place that was 100% Spanish. Since Alicante is 20% international and has a large English-speaking community (in places), I thought living in Alicante was the perfect starting point. Not to mention how gorgeous the Costa Blanca is.

Now, more than seven years later, I’m still living in Alicante because I’ve fallen in love with the area. Even though I’m at a place now where I would be confident enough to leave, my heart doesn’t want to.

Best Places to Live in Alicante

Here are the places that you should consider in Alicante based on the lifestyle preferences that are most important to you.

Areas that are beautiful and have a low cost of living.

  • Villajoyosa
  • Torrevieja
  • Denia
  • Santa Pola

Areas that are beautiful, however, have a slightly higher cost of living

  • El Campello
  • Cabo Roig
  • Altea
  • Calpe
  • Coveta Fuma

Places with large Expat communities

  • Benidorm
  • Torrevieja
  • Calpe

For those that enjoy city life

  • Alicante
  • Elche

Cost of Living in Alicante vs. the Rest of Spain

I have lived in Spain for more than seven years now. During that time, I have been fortunate enough to visit a large number of different towns and cities across the country.

See our Spain Cost of Living Guide or use our Cost of Living Calculator to create your own budget.

Based on experience, I know that Alicante is one of Spain’s cheapest places to live. In terms of both housing costs and daily living expenses.

I have been to every corner of the country, from Seville to Barcelona, to Gijon, Valencia, Madrid, Cordoba, Marbella, and so many more. I’m always surprised when the waiter hands me a bill for anything more than €2.80 for two cafe con leches.

I find that the cost of a cafe con leche (milky coffee) or a caña (small draft beer)is a good indicator of the general cost of living in the area. When the bill comes, and it’s €5 for two coffees, you know you’re in a more “expensive” area. By Alicante’s standards, anyway.

Undoubtedly some small towns and villages in Spain may be cheaper than Alicante, but I haven’t found them yet.

Alicante Is the Winner

One of the main reasons why I can never see myself moving away from this province, aside from the sheer beauty, is the cost. Even when things increase, they’re still cheaper than any other place I’ve visited.

Even in the province’s main city, Alicante city, food, drink, and entertainment prices are more than reasonable. They are quite often the same price as outside the city. Rarely does city life come cheap. But in Alicante, it does.

Avoid: The port of Alicante is incredibly pretty, but it’s the one place where you’ll pay a premium for food and drinks. It’s much better to enjoy a stroll around the port but stop elsewhere when you’re ready for a break. You only need to cross the road to be back at reasonable prices.

Visas for Alicante

Alicante has the same visa requirements as the rest of Spain. For visa information and the details of the immigration process, check out our Spain immigration section.

Buying Property in Alicante

Like visas, the process for buying a home in Alicante is the same as in the rest of the country, except for the tax. When buying a home in Spain, you must also pay a percentage of the property’s value. In Alicante, this is 10%. For example, if the home is €100,000, you’ll have to pay €10,000 on top as tax. Although you can pay 8% if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re under 35
  • This is your first home in Spain
  • This is your main residence
  • You earn less than €25,000 a year

Don’t forget; this is just one extra cost of buying a home. There are other costs involved. You can read a more detailed breakdown on our Buying a Home in Spain page here.

Working in Alicante as an Expat

As a trusted source in the Expat community, I will tell you that finding a job is not as difficult as the naysayers say. As long as you’re willing to compromise, that is.

Once you have your NIE and social security number, you can officially work anywhere that will take you. But this is where the compromise might come in. Spanish companies are more likely to hire natives, especially if your language isn’t fluent.

However, as an English speaker, you can do the following even with limited knowledge of Spanish:

1. ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher

There are language academies on every street. Or so it feels. These academies cater to every age and every need. Most of them are constantly looking for new teachers since many teachers are people currently traveling rather than living in Alicante permanently.

Therefore, they only stay a few months before moving on to their next destination. You may need an ESL certificate, which you can do online. But in my experience, none of the three academies I worked at asked for mine, despite my getting the qualification.

2. Bar Worker/Waiter(ess)

If you live near places like Benidorm or Torrevieja, you’ll probably be able to find a bar job the same day you start looking. The Expat community in these places is huge, as is the number of English tourists. Jobs in these places won’t always be steady, unfortunately, due to the high and low seasons.

Top tip: Workers often work extra during the season and earn enough to see them through until after winter. If you’re young, live with roommates to cut down on living expenses.

3. Cleaner

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but a job that requires no language skills and is relatively well-paid is not a job to ignore.

Tip: I recommend going in person to ask about jobs. Spain still leans a lot towards the days of handing your CV over the counter or picking up an application form in person.

How does Living in Alicante sound?

Having lived in four different areas in Alicante, I would consider myself an expert. Based on this, I can confidently say that you won’t regret living in Alicante, this stunning part of the Costa Blanca.

FAQ – Alicante Expat Life

What is the cost of living like in Alicante?

The cost of living in Alicante is generally lower than in many other European cities. While prices can vary depending on location and lifestyle, housing, food, and transportation costs are typically quite affordable.

Is it easy to find work as an Expat in Alicante?

As with many places, finding work as an Expat in Alicante can be challenging. However, there are opportunities in industries such as tourism, education, and healthcare, and speaking Spanish can be a significant advantage.

What are the healthcare options like in Alicante?

Spain has a public healthcare system that is generally considered to be high quality, and Alicante has several public hospitals and clinics. Private healthcare options are also available for those who prefer them.

What is the climate like in Alicante?

Alicante has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The area enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, making it an excellent choice for those who love warm weather.

What is the Expat community like in Alicante?

Alicante has a thriving Expat community, with many foreigners from all over the world choosing to make their homes here. There are plenty of social activities and groups for Expats and opportunities to connect with the local community and culture.

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