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11 Cheapest Places to Live in Spain 

Let’s be honest, Spain is pretty idyllic. From the breathtaking islands with soft sands and strong cocktails to the historic and beautiful cities to the extensive food and drink culture that makes every meal spectacular, it’s paradise to many of us. 

It’s also largely a very affordable place to live. Expats make up a huge proportion of the population in Spain with people seeking sunshine, chilled-out vibes, a better work-life balance, and of course, a cheaper cost of living. 

So, where are the cheapest places to live in Spain? Let’s dive in and find out more!

Is Spain a Cheap Place to Live?

On the whole, Spain is a cheap place to live, especially by Western European and US standards. Although it’s not as affordable as Portugal, it’s still miles cheaper than France, Germany, the UK, and most of America.

Of course, as with any large country, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule. Just like London and Manchester are more expensive than Liverpool and Sheffield in the UK, Barcelona, and Madrid are largely unaffordable for many people.

Prices in these major cities are a lot higher than the national average due to higher rents, eating-out costs, and taxes. It’s all about finding those places that combine a low cost of living with enough amenities to keep you entertained and living a full life in Spain!

The 11 Cheapest Places to Live in Spain

So, with this in mind, let’s dive in and discover eleven of the cheapest places to live in Spain. Keep your eyes peeled for your next home away from home!

For a full guide on how to move to Spain from the USA, check out this post.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Okay, let’s kick things off with this beautiful and vibrant island capital. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, normally just referred to as Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife in the Canary Islands just off the coast of West Africa. 

This coastal port city is full of amazing bars, restaurants, and beaches for you to while away your days. Despite being an island city, this bustling metropolis is surprisingly affordable.

You can get a one-bed apartment for an average of $700 a month. That’s 72% lower than the average rent in London.

As it’s a tourist hotspot, there are definitely some pricier bars, restaurants, and clubs, but there are also plenty of deals to be found for more budget-conscious expats.

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Alicante in the southeast of Spain is a super popular spot with travelers looking to get amazing weather, beaches, and hiking routes. That does mean certain parts of this beautiful city can get expensive – especially the north of the city – but it also means that there is plenty of infrastructure here.

With amazing transport links including the city-wide tram and a popular international airport with a ton of low-cost airlines coming in and out every day, it’s a great place to base yourself if you want to explore Europe on the weekends.

On average, you can rent a one-bed apartment for around $690 a month which is incredible considering that you have so many amenities and hikes on your doorstep.


If you’re craving those big city vibes but can’t afford Barcelona or Madrid, consider living in Spain’s third-largest city, Valencia. Known for amazing architecture, warm climates, chilled-out vibes, and paella, it’s a super cool city that isn’t as fast-paced as a lot of Spanish hotspots. 

tower with buildings around it
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With popular beaches, festivals, and museums that are accessible all year round and the high levels of amenities that you’d expect of a major city, Valencia is a great option if you have the budget. 

The average cost of living is around 20% lower than living in Barcelona, with a one-bed apartment just outside of the city center averaging $630 per month, rising to $870 inside the city center itself. Given how big the city is and how vibrant it is, this is a super affordable option if you’re looking to move to a major Spanish city.


Located on the southeast coast with a major airport and super-fast train connection to the capital, Madrid, Malaga is an ideal option if you want a little bit of everything without breaking your bank balance. 

You’ll find mountains, beaches, great seafood, and that quintessential southern Spanish weather. It’s worth noting that in the summer months, Malaga does get pretty swamped with tourists, especially Brits, trying to top up their tan before heading back to the rain.

Of course, prices outside of the city center are more affordable with an average one-bed apartment costing $660 and rising to $840 inside the city center borders. 

Zaragoza, Aragon

You might not know a lot about the north of Spain, but if you’re not overly fussed at being by the coast or having access to beaches, Zaragoza is a stunning and historic city in the northeast of Spain, in the Aragon region.

a series of steps with trees alongside
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It’s a beautiful city with a winding river, Gothic and Moorish architecture, a bustling university, and even Roman ruins. If you want to be surrounded by history and culture, and not swamped by tourists all the time, Zaragoza might just be the perfect place for you.

In terms of prices, it’s kind of ridiculous. You can get a one-bed apartment outside of the city center for an average of $450 a month, rising to $670 within the city limits. It’s seriously affordable and underrated!


When people think about Granada, they often see images of stunning Moorish architecture, the Alhambra Palace, and the amazing Sierra Nevada mountain range. It’s a pretty amazing city that’s popular with retirees and older expats.

That’s because there aren’t a ton of opportunities to work in Granada unless you’re a digital nomad. However, if you’re a digital nomad or retired and want to be surrounded by history and have easy access to ski slopes in winter and amazing hiking in the summer months, Granada is an awesome option.

Prices outside the city center for a one-bed apartment average at around $500 and rise to $580 inside the city center, so there isn’t a ton of difference.

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If you can handle the scorching temperatures of southern Spain in summer, you should definitely check out Seville, the capital of the Andalusia region. You’ll find tons of history, architecture, and culture all around the city, but what it’s really known for is its amazing food scene.

You’re also within striking distance of some amazing beaches and coastal resorts, without having to give up all the mod-cons and amenities that come with a major Spanish city. There’s also an international airport on your doorstep if you want to explore Europe even more.

An average one-bed apartment in Seville’s city center is around $720 a month and drops to $500 outside the city center, making it a really affordable option if you can deal with averages of 36 degrees Celsius in summer.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

If you’re looking for the island life, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the capital city of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands might be a good idea. As the second largest island, it’s a little bit less tourist-heavy than Tenerife and Fuerteventura, which gives you more of a chilled-out vibe.

You can look forward to amazing beaches, gorgeous volcanic hikes, and plenty of awesome bars and restaurants. As it’s an island, prices can be a little bit more expensive than some of the mainland locations on this list, but it’s still a lot more affordable than a lot of Europe.

A one-bed apartment outside of the city center in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria averages out at around $700 per month and rises to $880 inside the city center.


If Alicante is a bit too busy for you, head inland slightly to the city of Murcia. It’s a lot smaller than its neighbor but still has plenty of charm. Again, there aren’t a ton of employment opportunities so this location will be more suited to digital nomads and retired people. 

It’s commonly referred to as one of the cheapest cities in Spain, costing on average half the price of living in Barcelona. It’s mad. It’s also a super warm place to live in the summer as there’s no sea breeze or mountains to shelter, so make sure you’re good with 38+ Celsius daily temperatures.

An average one-bed apartment in the city center costs around $660 a month and drops to $600 outside the main city center. As it’s a pretty small place, you can easily live outside the city center limits and be in the heart of the action in no time at all. 


If you love history and culture but aren’t too fussed about living near a beach, a super affordable option could be Cordoba. It’s located in the south of Spain, so you still get the gorgeous year-round climate, but the city’s main draw is its history, architecture, and Arabic influence.

From the food to the buildings, you feel like you’re in another world. As the city has been occupied by Romans, Muslims, and Christians in the past, there’s a real melting pot feel to the city that’s pretty magical.

pillars in a building
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It is a small city that’s fairly reliant on tourism so it’s pretty quiet. If you want a bustling vibe and plenty of entertainment, this might not be the place for you, however, the cost of living is ridiculously cheap.

A one-bed apartment inside the city center averages at $670 per month, but if you get a one-bed outside of the city center, the rental averages plummet to $450. Given the size of the city, it’s well worth renting on the outskirts and walking or getting public transport into the city center for entertainment.

A Coruña

Want to live somewhere in Spain that actually has distinct seasons and is a little wilder in its vibe? A Coruña in Galacia is located on the northwest coast of Spain. It’s located super near the pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela and isn’t that far from the northern border with Portugal.

As it’s on the Atlantic Ocean, the climate can vary massively based on the time of the year. It’s warm and sunny in the summer, but temperatures drop and the wind definitely picks up in the winter. If you’re into surfing, the coastline around A Coruña might be just up your street in winter, just make sure that you have a thick, heavy-duty wetsuit for sure!

There’s not a ton going on in A Coruña, as it’s a port city, but if you love world-class cuisine, this is the place to be. There are so many amazing restaurants, bars, and eateries, thanks to all the local seafood that comes into the city every, single day.

As it’s one of the major cities in the area, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages at around $700 per month, and a one-bed outside of the city center is around $540 per month.

How Much Money Do I Need to Move to Spain?

Honestly, this is a huge question and it depends on where you’re moving to, your standard of living, if you’re moving on your own, or if you plan to work while you’re there or already have a job lined up. There are a lot of variables here!

On average, you’re looking at anywhere between $1,300-1,500 per month to live in Spain and actually not live like a shut-in. Of course, if you’re living in Barcelona or Madrid, you could easily be spending $2,500+ a month, or if you’re thrifty and live on the outskirts of Zaragoza or Cordoba, you might only need $1,000 a month. 

It’s always best to overestimate and leave yourself with a contingency buffer, especially for the first few months when you’re setting everything up. Remember, renting a property will likely require the first month’s rent and a full deposit (normally one month’s rent) upfront and in advance – budget for that ahead of time!

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Why is Spain Cheap?

Fundamentally, wages are lower in Spain than in much of the Western world and unemployment is higher which has been reflected in the cost of living. So as foreigners, especially coming in with digital nomad wages or savings from a UK or US-based job, the prices seem really cheap.

The other reason is that transportation, eating out, and groceries are all a lot cheaper in Spain than in a lot of other places. The Spanish pretty much grow or farm every kind of produce you can imagine due to their climate and coastlines. So, there aren’t any import costs or expensive transportation costs.

Eating out is a huge part of the Spanish culture, so it’s naturally pretty affordable. Getting tapas or pintxos for free in bars while you’re drinking domestic beer or wine is normally a super cheap night out – and it’ll be delicious. 

As food costs are low, restaurant prices reflect the lower costs. It means you can get a huge tasty lunch for a fraction of the price of buying in France or Germany. There is definitely a focus on seasonality and pride in local produce that is naturally more affordable than important produce from abroad.

How Can I Move to Spain?

So, you’re convinced? There are a few ways you can move to Spain depending on how permanent you want your move to be, your working situation, and your heritage.

You can even move there without a job if you plan it right!

As with pretty much all big moves abroad, the moving process to Spain is going to be dictated by the kinds of visas that you’re eligible for. 

If you already have family in Spain, it’s pretty straightforward. If you’re wanting to retire to Spain there are non-lucrative and Golden visa options. If you want to learn and work alongside your studies, student visas might be a viable option.

If you have an existing remote contract with a business that is at least 75% outside of Spain, the newly launched Digital Nomad visa might be perfect for you.

Do your homework and work out which visa is going to be the best option for you. Have a look at your finances, where you’d ideally like to live, and how you can earn money in your new home and see if it’s a viable option or if you need to save a bit more.

It all depends on you and your specific situation. Whatever situation you’re in, I’m sure there’ll be a way to move to one of these cheap places to live in Spain!

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