Hello again! I’ve just returned from a month long stay in Sant Cugat near Barcelona. Sant Cugat is a small town which mushroomed from a tiny village to a stylish town. Is it the best place to live in Spain? I reckon so. Here are ten reasons why…
1. Family lifestyle
All in all, Sant Cugat is a safe, quiet town. It’s small enough to navigate with children, but large enough to house good schools, hospitals, parks and other essentials. There is a huge kids adventure park called Parque Toboganes Can Mates with loads of slides and plenty of space to run around, while every street corner seems to offer something for kids.
2. Fabulous fashion
Spanish folk tend to dress up a lot more compared to other countries (go to a Spanish wedding and you’ll see what I mean) and even in the countryside children are impeccably dressed. In Sant Cugat there are loads of independent boutiques and clothing stores, with reasonably priced, great quality clothes.
3. Beautiful architecture
From Gaudi’s otherworldly monuments to ancient majestic towers, Catalan architecture is truly impressive. Sant Cugat is a labyrinth of little streets. It’s monastery (monestir) dates back to the ninth century and is worth a look in if you’re visiting.
4. Slower pace of life
Yes, I do get annoyed when people dilly dally in the supermarket queue, but I’ve learned to appreciate a more relaxed pace of life. Barcelona is close by should you need a dose of the big city, but life in Sant Cugat is so much calmer. Shops shut for a siesta which might seem frustrating until you get used to it, but you’ll soon find this makes for a great place to live.
5. Well connected
Sant Cugat is just 30 minutes from Barcelona by car and 45 minutes by train. Trains come every five minutes or so and run very efficiently. I’ll concede that the annual rail pass, road tolls and parking fees aren’t cheap, so it’s worth checking current rates if you’re considering a move to Sant Cugat.
6. A beautyful town
In addition to its clothing stores, Sant Cugat offers beauty spots on every corner it seems. I’ve never seen so many hairdressers, nail bars and beauty centres concentrated into such a small place. No wonder all the woman here are so beautiful, they must spend half their time in a spa. I’m not complaining…
7. Great food
Sant Cugat is small, but there are lots of decent restaurants in town. El Meson on the main square serves great traditional Spanish food, while Kitsune is a sushi restaurant popular with locals. Over the years there has been a steady increase in vegan restaurants too. OrganiQ, Verde y Chile and Kombu come highly recommended. Meanwhile for the meat eaters, of course there are plenty of places serving all sorts of Spanish ham too.
Set 30 minutes away from Barcelona, Sant Cugat is on the edge of a vast nature reserve. The air is cleaner than in Barcelona city, the sky looks brighter and it’s a much more pleasant place to live, I reckon. There is also a equestrian centre with a small farm (Can Caldes Hipica).
I reckon Sant Cugat is the best place to live in Spain. Annoyingly, it’s also one of the most expensive. But I’d argue it’s worth it. There is also a good level of industry in and around the town. Hewlett Packard and Roche have large headquarters in Sant Cugat. Esade university is located here too, as well as another large international school.
10. Locals and expats
With international schools and universities at its heart, it’s no surprise that many foreigners choose to live here. Many expats working in Barcelona city choose to live in Sant Cugat for all the reasons listed above too, so don’t be surprised to hear English at a cafe table next to you. Sant Cugat is still very much a Spanish town however, and you’ll need Spanish (and ideally Catalan) to get by.
Considering a move to Spain? Leave me a comment / question below