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Moving to Spain: A quick guide to the best neighbourhoods in Alicante 

If you’re thinking of moving to Alicante, you may be trying to decide between a small town on the Costa Blanca or a bigger city. Former Alicante resident Conor Faulkner talks us through the most charming and well-serviced ‘barrios’ to move to in the capital.

Moving to Spain: A quick guide to the best neighbourhoods in Alicante 
Port of Alicante seen from the Castle of Santa Bárbara. Photo:

Alicante province is home to 375,000 foreigners, many of them northern European retirees who choose to live in beachside locations along the Costa Blanca which tourists also flock to. 

But the provincial capital, the city of Alicante, is sometimes overlooked by foreigners looking to enjoy the province’s great beaches, nightlife and weather, when in fact it offers all of this as well as history, culture and a more authentic experience of life in Spain. 

In the Internations 2020 Expat Insider 2020 survey, Alicante (population 331,000) was voted the second best city for expats, beating off the likes of Paris, New York and London, and only behind next-door Valencia in the global rankings. It ranked second in the Finance & Housing Index and first worldwide in the Getting Settled Index, with its pleasant climate and good local healthcare also earning it accolades.

So if you’re thinking of investing in a property in Spain or starting a new life in a Spanish city that also has a well-established foreign population, Alicante may be the perfect choice. Here are the neighbourhoods that offer the best quality of life in Alicante city.


La Albufereta

On La Albufereta beach sits an Alicante neighbourhood which goes by the same name, as well as being one of the city’s safest and greenest barrios (neighbourhoods). With both the beach and city centre just minutes away, and coastal views from most areas of the neighbourhood, Albufereta is one of the nicer inner city areas in Alicante.

It’s very well connected with regular bus and tram services and also has several schools, sports centres and shopping areas to complement the coastal lifestyle on residents’ doorsteps.

Photo: Zarateman /Wikipedia


Ensanche-Diputación is another of Alicante’s sought-after waterfront neighbourhoods, encompassing the busy El Postiguet beach, the marina and the pleasant Explanada de España pedestrian walkway, with its endless bars and restaurants.

It’s central, it offers a wide variety of attractive property options and has plenty of services available close by, including Alicante’s main shopping areas and department stores.

The palace which houses Alicante’s Provincial Council. Photo: Joanbanjo/Wikipedia


A bit of a hidden gem in the heart of the city and largely unknown to non-alicantinos, Benalúa has everything you could want from an inner city neighbourhood and exists almost as its own village within the city.

Minutes walk from both the bus and train stations, a whole host of bars, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, plazas and green spaces are on your doorstep, with the the city centre and beach just a ten minute walk away.

The relaxed village feel and services and connections mean Benalúa is popular with families and pensioners.

Flea market in the neighbourhood of Benalúa, Alicante. Photo: Kokoo/Wikipedia

El Barrio 

Located under the picturesque Castillo de Santa Bárbara, you’ll find Alicante’s old town, El Barrio de Santa Cruz. Often referred to as just ‘El Barrio’ or Santa Creu, and it’s home to the bulk of Alicante’s cultural and touristic stops, museums and galleries, its busiest bars, and classical architecture.

El Barrio is the neighbourhood of choice if you want traditional Spanish charm and a lively social life.

The charming streets of Alicante’s old quarter. Photo: Joanbanjo/Wikipedia

San Juan

A short drive or tram ride (around 8km) out of Alicante city centre is San Juan, famous for its golden beach. The barrio has a distinct beach town feel, with the long stretch of golden sand forming San Juan’s hub.

Like many beach towns, San Juan is much busier in the summer as many alicantinos and madrileños take up their beach houses for the summer. This does, of course, have an effect on prices and makes San Juan one of Alicante’s posher and pricier neighbourhoods.

San Juan de Alicante’s main square. Photo: Rodriguillo/Wikipedia

READ ALSO: The most picturesque day trips in Spain’s Alicante province

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For members


What’s the inheritance tax in each region of Spain?

Inheritance tax varies greatly in Spain depending on what region you or your relations live in. Find out what the rates are in your area in 2022.

What's the inheritance tax in each region of Spain?

Spain’s inheritance or succession tax, known as ‘impuesto de sucesiones‘ is both complex and controversial, but it’s important to understand how it works in order to avoid any unfortunate financial surprises when a loved one with a connection to Spain passes away. 

Spanish inheritance tax is decided by the Spanish State but all of the country’s 17 regions have the right to change these rules to make them more beneficial or detrimental to heirs, luckily the general trend is towards the former. 

The succession tax rates will differ depending on how much is inherited, ranging from 7.65 percent on the first €7,933 up to 34 percent on €797,555+. 

There are many factors to consider, such as which category heirs and other beneficiaries fall into, or the fact that in Spain the spouse of the deceased is also subject to inheritance tax, which is not the case in the UK and many other countries.

What are the different groups of heirs in Spain?

As mentioned above, there are several categories or groups that heirs can fall into and this will depend on how much allowance they can benefit from. The groups are the following:

Group 1: Children under 21 years of age

Group 2: Children over 21 years of age, spouses and parents

Group 3: Siblings, nieces, nephews, as well as aunts and uncles

Group 4: Cousins or more distant relations

EXPLAINED: How choosing the right region in Spain can save you thousands in inheritance tax

What are the inheritance rates in my region?


In Andalusia, the inheritance tax rate varies between 7 percent and 36 percent, depending on the value of the inheritance. However, recently the Andalusian government approved, through a Royal Decree, a reduction of 99 percent, both for inheritance and gift tax for those who are included in groups 1 and 2.


In Aragón there is 100 percent discount on the tax base, with a limit of €3,000,000 for descendants under the age of 21 or for those that have a disability. In addition, the spouse, parents or descendants of the deceased may also benefit from a reduction of 100 percent of the tax base.


In Asturias there is an allowance of €300,000 for those groups 1 and 2. For all other groups, it establishes various reductions included in the state regulations. In addition, in case of inheriting a home, the bonus will be between 95 and 99 percent, depending on its value.

Balearic Islands

In the Balearic Islands, for those in groups 1 and 2, deductions of €25,000 are applied, plus €6,250 per year that the taxpayer is under the age of 21, up to a maximum of €50,000. For those in group 3, a deduction of €8,000 is applied and for those in group 4, it’s €1,000. An allowance of €48,000 will also be made for those with disabilities.

Basque Country

For those in groups 1 and 2 in the Basque Country, inheritances with an amount less than €400,000 are not required to pay taxes. When the amount is greater than €400,000, a tax rate of 1.5 percent will be applied.

READ ALSO: Why you should move to this region in Spain if you want to pay less tax

Canary Islands
Those in group 1 get an allowance of €47,859, while those in group 2 get an allowance of €15,957. Those in group 3 will get €7,993, while those in group 4 get no allowance at all. After the deduction, inheritance tax rates are calculated on the remaining balance which range between 7.65 percent and 34 percent on anything above €797,555.


For those in group 1, there is a reduction of €50,000 plus €5,000 for each year the taxpayer is under 21. For those in group 2, it’s also €50,000 and for those in group 3, it’s €25,000.

Castilla La-Mancha

In Castilla La-Mancha those in groups 1 and 2 will benefit from discounts ranging from 80 percent to 100 percent, depending on the amount of the payable base.

Castilla y León

Castilla y León allows reductions for children spouses and parents. Those in groups 1 and 2 will benefit from an allowance of €60,000. An additional reduction of €6,000 will be applied for each year the taxpayer is under the age of 21. A variable reduction will also be applied, which is calculated as the difference between €400,000, plus the sum of the previous amounts and the state deductions.


In Catalonia, spouses will receive a bonus of 99 percent and the rest of the heirs in groups 1 and 2 may apply a bonus that varies between 57 percent and 99 percent, depending on the tax base.


A bonus of 99 percent is applied for amounts of up to €300,000 euros between parents, children and spouses.  


In Galicia, heirs in group 1 have an allowance on amounts up to €1,000,000, plus there is a reduction of €100,000 for each year the beneficiary is younger than 21, with a limit of €1,500,000. For those in group 2, the reduction varies between €900,000 and €400,000, depending on the taxpayer’s age. In the cases of groups 3 and 4, the bonus will be €16,000 or €8,000. The applicable rate in Galicia stands at between 5 and 18 percent, which is well below the rest of the regions. 

La Rioja

Those who inherit in La Rioja benefit from a deduction of 99 percent of the tax quota if the tax base is less than or equal to €500,000. The deduction will be 98 percent for amounts that exceed €500,000.


Madrid applies a discount of 99 percent of the tax quota for taxpayers included in groups 1 and 2. In addition, for the heirs included in group 3, it establishes a discount of 15 percent or 10 percent, depending on what relation they are to the deceased.


In the region of Murcia, the law includes a deduction of 99 percent for those in groups 1 and 2. Likewise, for the rest of the heirs, it also recognises different reductions depending when the money is inherited and the amount to be received.


In Navarre no discounts are applied, but how much tax varies according to what group you fall under. Spouses for example have a rate of 0 percent up to €250,000, and 0.80 percent from there upwards. In the case of descents and parents, the applicable rate varies between 2 percent and 16 percent.


In Valencia discounts of 75 percent are applied for those in group 1 or 50 percent for those in group 2. In case the of those with disabilities, the taxpayer will also receive a bonus of 75 percent.

Case study example

For example, in the case of a 30-year-old son who inherits assets worth €800,000 euros, the most amount of tax would be paid in Asturias, with at €103,135.48; followed by Castilla y León €81,018.76; Valencian €63,193.76; Aragon €55,466.81; La Rioja €32,342.86; Castilla-La Mancha €31,759.23 and the Canary Islands €31,748.63. 

These regions would be followed by Navarre €17,000; Catalonia €9,796.89; the Balearic Islands €5,950; the Basque Country €3,150; Murcia €1,640.49; Extremadura €1,587.96 and Madrid €1,586.04). Andalusia, Cantabria and Galicia have a net quota of 0.