Which Spanish towns offer a safe environment for a teenager to walk to shops, cafes, and bookstores without needing a car?


Which Spanish towns offer a safe environment for a teenager to walk to shops, cafes, and bookstores without needing a car?


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

”Take a look at Oliva! A walkable, affordable, great mix of nationalities, authentic and not touristy. Wonderful women’s groups that do things every week. The climate is superb and it’s just off the ocean. And SUPER SAFE”

”I live in León and love it! Been here for almost 13 years. It’s walkable and bike friendly. Very safe. The weather is hot in winter and cold in winter (I’m originally from Wisconsin so it’s not as cold as that but definitely colder than Florida). There’s a small expatriate community but definitely not as big as other places, especially in the south”

”I lived in Burgos for three months. Everywhere I went there were always lots of people of all ages walking around”

”Cáceres! It’s split into two parts, there’s the old town and the new town, the new town is where all shops are and the old town is the UNESCO world heritage site, the old town has steep hills in places but you can find ways in and out without having to traverse them – the new town is flat and has a lovely park in the middle of the city with loads of park benches. It is very safe and has a great bus service, it is inland but you can get a bus to Lisbon in three hours and a bus to Madrid in around 4 and a half. The only thing that I didn’t like is that you don’t get light mornings, it’s dark til around 9 am but despite that, I really do recommend it for safety, prices and friendly people and it is still a part of Spain that has free tapas in the bars”

”If you want something by the beach, then I would recommend El Puerto de Santa Maria which is also really nice but being in Cadiz, gets really hot in the summer. So hot, I would buy bottles of cold water and pour them over my head as I was walking, I never did that in Caceres”

”What you want is true of most Spanish cities. Our experience has been in Valencia, which, albeit large, ticks all your boxes”

”We also picked Valencia as safe enough my 16yo can have independence and no need for a car”

”But it would help if you could learn a little catalán, and you are not averse to crowds of tourists! All are walkable and there are fast trains to Barcelona for a day out”

”I recommend Burgos too. I’ve lived here for almost 5 years and it’s great. It’s relatively flat, there are long walks by the river and a cycle track all around the city. Public transport is cheap, I lived here alone for 4 years until my husband joined me and I never missed having a car. I walk home late at night on occasion and always feel safe. There are great bars and restaurants with a real mix of people young and old. All I will say though, there are not many expats here so it is important that you can speak some Spanish and/or are willing to learn once you get here. Burgos is just over 2 hours from Madrid and a similar distance to Santander. Salamanca is about 2 and a half hours away. Burgos is a great city to call home”

”Madrid, though I dont know about the biking part. Some areas, yes, others no”

”Valencia city would possibly be perfect for you and your family. Everywhere in the city is within an easy walk – and unlike Madrid which no one has mentioned is terrifically hilly in areas – it’s flat, so whether you’re young or old, it’s a joy to walk around. It has everything you have listed, shops, shops and more shops and an abundance of cafes, restaurants, bookstores as well as glorious beaches – no more than 30 mins away by bus/metro. Cycling is big here, there are terrific cycle lanes for bikes and scooters and of then of course for walking, biking, jogging, exercising or just quietly enjoying a book in the beautiful sunshine, there is the stunning Turia Park, there for everyone to enjoy nature in their daily lives. Suggest you look on YouTube, there are some great videos out there! Oh, nearly forgot a very important factor when considering where you choose to live, it’s the safest city I have ever visited/lived in. And it is amazingly beautiful”

”My wife and I spent a year and a half in Logroño. Best wines, great tapas, and tons of walking routes along the Ebro River and the Camino De Santiago, which cuts through the centre if old town and the surrounding wine country. My wife and I took long walks daily, mostly on the Camino and along the river, but also in and around wine country. Very clean and very safe”

”I absolutely loved Logroño!!! I would ride my bike to get around and also walk. I enjoyed the 40-minute walk (maybe 10-15 minute bike ride) to the school I worked in because I would pass by shops and bar-restaurant-cafés where I would spend some time. There are also frequent buses that go around the city. For a small city, I found it to be very good”

”I live in Florida after having moved back here from Spain and the biggest problem for me here in Florida is having to drive my car everywhere. I literally feel gross from all the driving from point to point. I can tell you that ANYPLACE in Spain, or elsewhere in Europe for that matter, is going to be walkable compared to Florida (and even not compared to FL lol). It’s just not considered necessary for everyone to have a car like here in the U.S., and life is set up that way. I lived in a tiny remote village in Andalucia and even though there wasn’t a train station in my village the nearest train station is just 30 minutes away by bus which goes twice a day. The town itself (like all Spanish towns and villages) was 100% walkable and if you want to do a big shop at one of the larger grocery stores down on the coast it’s totally normal to take the bus, everyone does it. It helps that public transportation is reliable, not unlike here where there are barely any routes and even if you find one the bus may or may not decide to come. I’d say you’ve got no worries anywhere you go in Spain”

”I live in teruel, a small city of 48 000 people, beautiful, has a university, everything is walkable lots of bike trails etc as well and a good family city. We are a 45 min drive from the coast,, Sagunto, an hour and a half to Valencia, and an hour and a half to Zaragoza, so two big cities for weekend shopping etc. If she d like. The very safe city been here 10 years and my daughter is being raised here”

”I live in Priego de Cordoba, a small town in the south; it’s beautiful, surrounded by beautiful sights. Everything you need is within walking distance, super safe and the people are amazing. Rent is so low (about €300/month) I used to live in San Diego/Los Angeles and this was the perfect place for me. This is my fourth year here”

”I live in nerja and it’s got lots going on and we don’t have a car here. Plenty for old and young. Check it out and see if you like it. We rarely get rain and it is hot in the summer months but cooler than on the coast. It doesn’t really get cold in the winter either, because on the coast”

“If you want flat and bike able, you either need to be meseta central or the Mediterranean litoral. Sevilla is exceptional as a bikeable city (lots of separated bike lanes, lots of callejones in the centre that don’t permit cars), beautiful, and has everything close by. It is a big city, though, and it has its good areas and bad areas, and tourists. Valencia is a contender too. I would steer clear of Madrid and Murcia just because of quality of life reasons (and how overwhelming the former is). If you want a smaller scale life, medium-sized towns like A Coruña in the north (a lot less hot but a lot more rainy) or Cádiz might be nice. It really depends. There are a lot more questions about what you might want besides what you provided. The north of Spain is nothing like the south. What else matters to you?”

”Take a look at Alicante City on Costa Blanca. Decent public transport (buses, long-distance buses and railway plus high-speed Ave to Madrid Capital). On the seafront, however, arid and Playa San Juan is lovely. Another is Nerja – Costa de Sol. Both of these have expat meet-ups and lots of activities and many English native speakers. Also, the need to learn Spanish is imperative and taking face-to-face classes shall be rewarding socially too. Logroño is a fantastic city – however, there are very few English-speaking expats. So, a visit would be in order. The gastronomy is exceptional. However, for a rental first time – I think Alicante City or Nerja might be better”

”For the 75yo, keep in mind that walkability is excellent in most cities, but many streets and sidewalks are uneven. Safety is so high in most areas that it is barely something that registers for most people vs the US. I’d recommend Vigo or Pontevedra in Galicia if rain were not a factor”

”Castellón de la Plana! The small city (about the size of Knoxville, TN) an hour north of Valencia, with a beach, mountains, good cost of living (much cheaper than Valencia), I moved here by myself and don’t have a car and have never felt unsafe! If you live anywhere in the city centre you can get to basically anywhere you might wanna go by walking within 15-20min, there’s also a tram that runs through the University zone (about 30-40 min walking west of the city centre) to the beach (a 10 min drive east of city centre), and busses! Streets are lined with orange trees, it seldom rains, summer is hot, and the coldest temps in winter are in the 40s at night”

In conclusion, according to Spainguru Facebook group members, there are several Spanish towns that offer a safe and walkable environment for a teenager to access shops, cafes, and bookstores without needing a car. Some recommended options include Oliva, León, Burgos, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Valencia, Logroño, Guadalajara, Teruel, Priego de Cordoba, Nerja, Seville, Alicante, Vigo, Pontevedra, and Castellón de la Plana. These towns vary in size and location, providing different experiences and amenities.