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Discover the European City Where Expats Are Happiest

For those dreaming of an idyllic European escape, one city stands out as the happiest haven for expats. Recent findings from the InterNations Expat Insider 2024 survey reveal that this city excels in several key areas, making it the top destination for expatriates seeking a fulfilling life abroad.

A Snapshot of the Survey

The InterNations survey ranked 49 countries based on five crucial categories: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Personal Finance, and Expat Essentials. After analyzing data from thousands of expats, one city emerged as the pinnacle of European expatriate living.

Welcome to Valencia, Spain

Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain, has captivated expats with its perfect blend of Mediterranean charm, vibrant culture, and exceptional quality of life. Here’s why Valencia is the happiest city for expats in Europe:

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Quality of Life

Valencia offers an enviable lifestyle with its sunny climate, stunning beaches, and a plethora of outdoor activities. The city boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year, making it perfect for enjoying the beautiful sandy beaches along the Mediterranean coast.

Turia Gardens, a lush 9-kilometer-long park that winds through the city, provides a green oasis for residents to relax, jog, or cycle.

Healthcare in Valencia is top-notch, with numerous public and private hospitals and clinics providing high-quality medical care. The city’s public transportation system is efficient and affordable, making it easy to get around. Safety is another major plus, as Valencia consistently ranks as one of the safest cities in Spain.

Ease of Settling In

Moving to a new country can be daunting, but Valencia makes it easier. The city is known for its welcoming locals and strong expat community. Numerous social clubs, language exchange groups, and international schools help newcomers integrate smoothly. Language barriers are minimal, as many residents speak English, and various services cater to international residents.

Valencia’s cost of living is another attractive feature. Compared to other major European cities, it’s remarkably affordable. Housing costs are reasonable, whether you choose to rent a modern apartment in the city center or a charming house in the suburbs. Everyday expenses, including groceries and dining out, are also budget-friendly, allowing expats to enjoy a high standard of living without breaking the bank.

Work-Life Balance

Valencia is not just about leisure; it also offers promising career opportunities. The city’s thriving economy, particularly in sectors like technology, tourism, and education, provides ample job prospects for expats. The growing tech scene, supported by initiatives such as the Valencia Innovation District, attracts startups and established companies alike, creating a dynamic job market.

The emphasis on work-life balance ensures that residents have time to enjoy the city’s many attractions. Whether you’re interested in exploring the historic Old Town, attending a performance at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, or simply savoring a leisurely meal at a seaside restaurant, Valencia offers plenty of ways to unwind after work.

Affordable Living

Compared to other major European cities, Valencia is remarkably affordable. Housing costs, everyday expenses, and dining out are reasonably priced, allowing expats to enjoy a high standard of living without breaking the bank. The city offers a range of housing options, from modern apartments in the city center to charming houses in quieter neighborhoods.

Everyday expenses, including groceries, transportation, and entertainment, are also lower than in many other European cities. This affordability means that expats can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, with more disposable income to spend on travel, dining, and other leisure activities.

Cultural Richness

Valencia is a cultural gem, brimming with historic sites, museums, and festivals. The city’s vibrant arts scene is evident in its numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues. The City of Arts and Sciences, an architectural masterpiece, is a must-visit, featuring an opera house, a science museum, and an impressive oceanographic park.

The city’s rich history is reflected in its stunning architecture, from the medieval towers of Torres de Serranos to the modernist buildings in the Eixample district. The local cuisine is another highlight, with paella, the iconic Spanish dish, originating from this region. The lively Mercado Central, one of Europe’s largest markets, offers a feast for the senses with its array of fresh produce, meats, and seafood.

Valencia’s festivals are world-famous, with Las Fallas being the most notable. This UNESCO-listed event features spectacular parades, fireworks, and the burning of large, elaborate effigies. Other festivals, such as La Tomatina and the Valencia Carnival, add to the city’s vibrant cultural calendar.

What Expats Are Saying

Expats in Valencia often highlight the city’s friendly atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, and a relaxed pace of life. Many appreciate the balance between modern amenities and traditional Spanish charm, making Valencia a place where one can truly feel at home.

Peter, a British expat who moved to Valencia three years ago, shares his experience: “Valencia has everything I was looking for—great weather, friendly people, and an amazing quality of life. The expat community here is fantastic, and I’ve made friends from all over the world. It’s easy to see why so many people love it here.”


For those considering a move to Europe, Valencia, Spain, stands out as the happiest and most rewarding destination for expats. Its perfect combination of quality of life, ease of settling in, career opportunities, affordability, and cultural richness makes it a top choice for anyone looking to embrace a fulfilling expat life.

Explore Valencia and discover why it’s the European city where expats are happiest. Whether you’re seeking sunshine, a vibrant community, or a rich cultural experience, Valencia offers it all in abundance.

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