Moving to Benidorm – What is it Like Living in Benidorm?

Benidorm is one of the most popular places in Spain that expats consider moving to.

We interview locals and find out just what living in Benidorm is REALLY like.

Should you move to Benidorm?

We attempt to answer all your most popular questions to help you decide whether Benidorm is the place for you or not.

For other related advice, see our popular moving to Spain page and our jobs & work in Benidorm page.


Are you an expat in Benidorm? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know in the comments box at the bottom of the page.


Moving to Benidorm

If you are thinking of moving to Benidorm, then you HAVE TO read our expat interview with Maria Marchenko of Mediterranean Properties below:

Maria, what would you say would be the advantages to living in Benidorm compared to other Costa Blanca towns?

The advantage is that in Benidorm you have a lot of life throughout the year which other Costa Blanca towns do not offer. You can go to bars and discos and enjoy the hustle and bustle if you want. Other towns have this only during the high season of summer and the rest of the year, you’ll probably be the unique person drinking beer.

Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?

I don’t think that Benidorm would not suit somebody. It’s perfect both for families and for groups of friends who come here. It’s also great for bachelor parties.

What proportion of the local population are Spanish?

I would say that it depends on the season. In winter in Benidorm there are a lot of Spanish tourists alongside with Spanish property owners who come from other parts of Spain, especially from northern provinces. So, I would say that in summer the local population is 30% as the number of tourists increases very much. In winter the local population is around 60%.

What are your favourite things to do in the area?

I love to go hiking in the mount of La Cala de Finestrat that offers incredible sea views. Besides if you take the right path you can come up with the nudist beach with its chiringuito (summer beach bar) where you can do snorkeling and see the fishes as the water is very clear. It’s not obligatory to be a nudist to swim there. And I also like to go walking to the old coastal tower which is in Rincon de Loix. It’s a 30-minute beautiful walk along the coast, very popular among the locals.

Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?

I love good places. I would definitely recommend the Italian restaurant Topo Gigio that is on Avenida Mediterraneo. They have the best Italian food I have ever had. Then there’s La Falua restaurant in La Cala area. And the best one is Saltea in the Puerto Deportivo Luis Campomanes in Altea (not Benidorm, but it’s worth visiting).

Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?

More than one can imagine! Two biggest private clinics (Hospital Clinica Benidorm and Hospital Levante) have English-speaking receptionists and doctors. There are also a number of private clinics where at least somebody speaks English. Very convenient.

Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?

Yes, Altea and Albir. Also Finestrat, a typical Spanish Mediterranean village. And no doubt everybody should visit Guadalest!

Benidorm Levante

Playa de Levante, Benidorm – Photo by Miguel Hermoso Cuesta, Wikimedia Commons

What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?

Elian’s British School in La Nucia (5-min drive away from Benidorm, there are school buses as well), Costa Blanca International School (Benidorm), Lope de Vega International School (Benidorm), and Sierra Bernia School in Alfaz del Pi (a 10-minute drive; it’s the oldest British school in the whole Costa Blanca, founded in 1973). Basically these ones are considered the best.

Is crime an issue for expats?

There’s no crime here. Everything is very calm in Spain! Everybody just have to remember to always lock the door, turn the key and don’t fall asleep on the street after a night of clubbing.

Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?

The prices stopped going down approximately 2 years ago. Now we see the tendency where the sellers (I’m talking about the homeowners who use the services of real estate agencies) start to elevate the prices little by little. I mean there still are people who need to sell their property urgently and they may sell it below market value although that’s not the tendency anymore.

Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?

This might be the last years to buy cheap as the crisis in Spain has gone long ago, and we see that the market is becoming more vivid. Private sellers feel it as well and that’s why they don’t want to sell their properties cheap anymore. The economy is becoming stronger and  the banks don’t give mortgages so easily like 10 years ago. This is a good sign for the real estate sector. Very cheap properties and repossessions in Benidorm are extremely rare as it is a popular resort and the third most visited town in Spain. One cannot pretend to buy something here at the same price as in a remote village. The prices are stable but you still can find a good bargain from time to time.

What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?

There’s the Sierra Cortina urbanisation (close to Terra Mitica). It is gated and has a 24-hour video surveillance, proper pitch and putt, SPA, gym and a famous restaurant. Basically, it is considered as the most prestigious here.

Another urbanisation is Terra Marina. It’s behind Carrefour more or less. It’s a small, quiet and modern neighborhood where most of the houses have beautiful sea views.

There are also several urbanisations in Rincon de Loix (the so-called British area) consisting of villas and bungalows. Most of them have open-air communal pools and are within a 20-minute walk away from the beach. The buildings were constructed approximately 20 years ago. The only advantage of Rincon de Loix villas as compared to Sierra Cortina and Terra Marina ones is that all the amenities can be reached without the necessity of taking a car. However, in Sierra Cortina and in Terra Marina, the houses are new and built with modern materials.

How much are the typical property prices in Benidorm for apartments, villas etc?

The prices depend on the area. The difference is quite big for properties in new buildings and in the old ones as some developments were constructed in the 1970’s and the others in 2008. If we take a very general criteria of normal, economic flats not too close and not too far away from the beach, in a standard building built in the 70,s-80,s and with standard decoration work done, the minimum prices would be around €60,000 for a studio flat; €75,000-€80,000 for a 1-bed flat; €95,000 – €130,000 for a 2-bed flat; starting from €140,000 for a 3-bed flat. Villas in the so-called British area Rincon de Loix start from €200,000 and can go up to €600,000 and even €700,000. The prices for bungalows start from €150,000.

Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Benidorm or surrounding area?

Advice: make up your mind on what exactly you want before arranging viewings with agencies. Compare prices and try to understand what type of property is available for your budget. It requires some effort of course, but once you do that you will save a lot of time with unnecessary viewings during your holiday and the agencies will be able to offer you only suitable properties.

Maria, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact her, you can find her details below.

Mediterranean PropertiesMediterranean Properties

Edf. Ensenada
Calle Gambo, 10
2 pta.B, 03503 Benidorm
Tel. +34 965 857 991
Email: maria.m@medlive.biz
Website: medliveproperty.com



We have another fantastic interview and this time it is with Amanda Penalver of Inmobiliaria Nuñez.

Amanda PenalverAmanda, what would you say would be the advantages to living in Benidorm compared to other Costa Blanca towns?

Benidorm is possibly Spain´s most famous holiday resort … But there is so much more to the area than initially meets the eye.

Benidorm is much larger than many people think and has something to offer everyone … and has many advantages over other areas for people looking to move to Spain:

Real diversity. There are a host of choices of properties and areas, each with their own ambience in and around Benidorm. One can go for the lively areas such as Levante and Rincon, or more tranquil areas such as Poniente and La Cala de Finestrat. There are some fabulous locations on the outskirts of Benidorm that are often chosen for permanent living.

Benidorm lives all year….. which is extremely important for those looking to live here permanently. The shops, markets, cafes and restaurants are open all year and you and your guests can bob in and out of the lively resort area and enjoy the fabulous beaches, great shops and nightly entertainment and some good golf courses.

A reliable, regular  and cheap public transport system including the bus service and tram are all available so one can move around the resort and to other areas easily. Local buses run around Benidorm and local areas very regularly and are very cheap. There is a great bus service to Alicante airport both for yourself and visitors. From the main bus station in Benidorm one can take bus services to many parts of Spain and Europe. The tram service runs down to Alicante and up towards Valencia.

Again, it is regular and great value plus in parts of the journey there are fabulous views to enjoy.

Great infrastructure and services for permanent living including excellent medical services both as part of the national service and private, often with English speaking staff, a great selection of national and International (including British curriculum) schools, good transport services. Many town halls have English speaking staff to assist with any formalities and offer good services in the community including libraries, sports centers etc.

Many parts of Benidorm are fairly flat which is perfect for those who are not so mobile.

It is only around 35 minutes to Alicante airport, with both Valencia Manses airport and San Javier within reasonable travelling distance.

English is widely spoken in many areas while one can find areas that are typically Spanish but with the comfort that there are English speaking facilities close by.

Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?

Benidorm has something for everyone, but it is important to have good unbiased local knowledge when deciding where to settle. Your decision will be based on whether you want to be in the hustle and bustle of the main resort area, in the typically Spanish Old Town, or maybe the more sedate Poniente and La Cala de Finestrat and Villajoyosa areas. As Benidorm has a regular and very reasonable bus service, it is possible to live in these areas without needing your own vehicle – perfect for those who prefer not to drive or have a young family where public transport is important.

What proportion of the local population are Spanish?

The population is very transient so hard to say.

What are your favourite things to do in the area?

Benidorm is known for its great beaches and wide choice of first class nightly entertainment. In addition to the sunbathing and partying, there are wealth of things to do in and close to Benidorm. Of course there are the famous theme and water parks to enjoy: Aqualandia, Mundomar, Terramitica and Terra/Aqua Natura…. and a good choice of golf courses.

A wander around Benidorm´s Old Town is a must …. with its quaint narrow streets and famous Mirador view point a must for a photo.

Enjoy the fabulous selection of shops and boutiques with a huge selection on offer.

Benidorm enjoys markets galore … there is the huge famous tourist market on Sundays and Wednesdays, plus a local market close to the Bull Ring on Wednesday where you will shop with the locals. There is the popular Indoor market in Rincon de Loix Monday to Saturday. Or jump on the bus and head to La Cala de Villajoyosa where there is a market on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

If you enjoy walking, there are local clubs that organise various levels of walks or you can take a fabulous scenic walk through the national park up to the cross at Rincon de Loix, or along the coast from la Cala to the town of Villajoyosa. Close by are the walks to the Albir Light house, along the Albir and Altea promenade to Altea old Town, of the Finistrat´s Fonts de Moli to name but a few.

Benidorm is home to a host of fiestas so check local publications to see what’s on.

Close by, there is the fabulous medieval town of Guadalest on Spain´s top tourist spots and one can swim in the water falls at Algar.

Don´t forget the great tram service to go a bit further a field, maybe Valencia city, Alicante or Jativa.

Benidorm

Photo by Inmobiliaria Nuñez

Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?

Benidorm itself boasts over 300 bars and restaurants offering a host of culinary delights to suit all pockets:

If you want some entertainment one must visit the amazing Benidorm Palace or Levi’s Show boat where you can dine and take in the show.

Benidorm has nightly entertainment and one can look at the website Benidorm Seriously to see what acts are on and where the venues are. There are so many to choose from.

Old town is a must to visit … have a wander and try some local specialities in Tapas Alley … or for the more traditional enjoy Paneils or the ever popular Four Seasons … For those looking for the Gay scene check out Kaffee Klee, Sensations and the Ritch Bitch.

Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?

Benidorm has good National health facilities plus some fabulous private hospitals offering first class facilities with many English speaking staff:

SPANISH NATIONAL HEALTH HOSPITAL

MARINA BAIXIA HOSPITAL
Avda. Alcalde En Jaume Botella Mayor, s/n, 03570 La Vila Joiosa,
Alicante
TELEPHONE : 966 859 800
http://marinabaixa.san.gva.es/hospital

PRIVATE HOSPITALS

HOSPITAL CLINICA BENIDORM
http://clinicabenidorm.com/
Address: Avda. Alfonso Puchades, 8 03501 Benidorm(Alicante) España
e-mail: hospital@clinicabenidorm.com
Teléfono general: 965 85 38 50
Fax: 965 86 43 45

Hospital IMED Levante
C/ Ramón y Cajal, 7
03503 Benidorm (Alicante) (GPS: 38.541251,-0.105968)
APPOINTMENTS: 966 87 87 87
HOSPITAL: 966 81 11 11
URGENCIAS: 900 22 33 44
Fax: 965 86 17 56
email: levante@imedhospitales.com

Almost all dental facilities are private but again Benidorm can offer a large selection of English speaking dentists – eg:

CLINICA DENTAL PRARIO
BUSINESS ADDRESS:
Avenida L’ametla del Mar, 14. Edificio Aguazul 1ºA.
TELEPHONE: 965860811
EMAIL: joaquinprario@clinicaprario.com

CLÍNICA DENTAL COSTA BLANCA (DR. THOMAS H. ANTON)
BUSINESS ADDRESS: Avenida Martinez Alejos 4 1a, Benidorm, 35001,
Spain.
TELEPHONE: 965 864 777 or mobile 695 055 330
EMAIL: info@clinicadentalcostablanca.com

benidorm-2

Photo by Inmobiliaria Nuñez

Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?

There are various small towns and villages close to Benidorm, each with its own ambience:

Finestrat – Finestrat covers a large area from the lovely old village with lots of facilities in the quaint narrow streets nestled in the hills down to the bay of the Cala de Finestrat a resort known to locals as the 3rd Beach of Benidorm.

Albir – A lovely beach resort very popular with Scandinavians that lives all year but is much more tranquil than Benidorm. One can walk along the promenade to Altea.

Altea – Chic Altea has so much to offer. The marina and front line is buzzing. There is a stunning typically Spanish Old town with some amazing eateries nestled in the quaint streets leading to the balcony with cafes and fabulous views up and down the coast. Also on offer is the more sedate but very select area known as Altea hills, where one can find some jaw dropping properties that enjoy spectacular views. There is a regular bus service via Altea and Alfaz del Pi to Benidorm.

La Nucia – La Nucia covers a large area and is a real mix of the modern and traditional. One can find every type of property there alongside many commercial areas, a magnificent sports and leisure centre and the lovely quaint old town with it´s lovely church and little plazas. There is a bus service to Benidorm.

Polop – Nestled below the Sleeping Lion mountain is the small town of Polop de La Marina. Polop is famous for it´s water fountains and is a lovely village with plenty of facilities and lovely Old area with some amazing views from the café and tourist sights at the top. There is some great value modern housing close to town.

Relleu – A typically Spanish village offering exceptional value and a bit of real Spain just a short distance from Benidorm. Relleu is a great place to live with a real community feel and lots of facilities including a school and medical center, just a short drive from the coast and Benidorm.

What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?

In Benidorm there are a host of state schools for those that wish their children to be educated in the Spanish system.

Within travelling distance there are the following International schools which all have excellent reputations:

ELIANS BRITISH SCHOOL – LA NUCIA
http://iale-elians.com/2016/elians-lanucia/ [2]
TEL : 0034 96 687 7055

COSTA BLANCA INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE – BENIDORM
http://costablancacollege.com/eng.php [3]
0034 96 680 3411

LOPE DE VEGA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL – BENIDORM
http://lopedevega.es/ [4]
0034 96 585 4150

SIERRA BERNIA SCHOOL – ALFAZ DEL PI
http://www.sierraberniaschool.es/ [5]
0034 96 687 5149

EUROPEAN SCHOOL – ALICANTE
http://www.escuelaeuropea.org.es/ [6]

ESCUELA NORUEGA – ALFAZ DEL PI (NORWEGIAN)
0034 96 588 7767

Is crime an issue for expats?

Benidorm on the whole is very safe and most visitors feel secure both day and night when out and about in the resort. As in all areas one must be prudent and take the normal precautions – e.g stick to the main routes and lit areas when walking home at night.

The main crime is pickpocketing which can be a problem in the market – so take sensible precautions – not having your wallet on show in your back pocket walking around with handbag open…. only take with you what you need.

There have been some cases of theft around the disco area … again be sensible if a young lady starts hugging you in the street. It may not be your physical magnetism that she is after but your money!!

benidorm-3

Photo by Inmobiliaria Nuñez

Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?

There has never been a better time to buy properties in Benidorm. There are some great properties at very competitive prices on the market and we are definitely seeing signs of the market recovering which is great for all those who have made a good buy.

As the rental market is very strong in Benidorm this can be a good option while waiting for the market to improve to make your investment work for you.

There are still some interesting opportunities to buy bank properties in an around the resort with some real gems to be had!

What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?

The center and resort areas of Benidorm consists mostly of apartments, although from time to time resort based houses and villas do become available.

On the outskirts of the town, there are various urbanisations offering villas and town houses both with modern and more traditional styles. Many of these urbanisations are gated and have communal pools.

Very close to Benidorm is the fabulous urbanisation of Sierra Cortina with 24 hour security, luxury villas plus gated communities, bar and restaurant, golf and so much more just minutes from the beaches of Benidorm.

How much are the typical property prices in Benidorm for apartments, villas etc?

In Benidorm one can find 1-bedroom apartments from 75,000 euros upwards and 2-bedroom properties from 100,000 euros.

Houses close to the resort can start from 120,000 euros as a guide with detached villas from around 180,000 euros.

Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Benidorm or surrounding area?

Benidorm and the surrounding areas are fabulous for permanent living plus for investment. The most valuable tip is to get the right location that suits your lifestyle or your aims with regards to investment.

Always use the services of an established agent, preferably with an API license to ensure you buy your property correctly and with total peace of mind.

Amanda, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact her, you can find her details below.

inmobiliaria-nunezInmobiliaria Nuñez

Plaza Triangular esq Perez Llorca
Benidorm 03503
Tel: +34 966 831 035 / 34 965 063 066
Fax: +34 965 851 854
Mobile: +34 677 656 954
E-Mail: amanda@myestateagentinspain.com
Website: www.inmonunez.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inmonunez/


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