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Top 10 Cheap Cities in Spain

13 de October, 2023

Top 10 Cheap Cities in Spain

From Badajoz to Ourense, discover 10 incredible cities in Spain with a low cost of living and excellent quality of life! Find out what each one has to offer!
Reading: 12 min

Are you looking for a destination that offers a good combination of low living costs and excellent living conditions in Europe? In this article, we’ll explore some great cheap cities to live in Spain. Not only do they offer more moderate spending, but they also stand out for their access to quality services, educational opportunities, public transport, cultural life and a welcoming atmosphere. The following selection brings together cities with at least 60,000 inhabitants.

From Badajoz to Ourense, take a look at our best suggestions, discover each destination and the characteristics that make them great options for your new life in Spain. Prices are based on data available on indicators such as Idealista, Numbeo e Expatisan.

If you’re thinking of moving to Spain and still don’t know exactly where to settle, read on.

Here’s who can apply for Spanish citizenship.

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Criteria for selecting the nicest cheap cities to live in Spain

The cost of living in a city will depend on its geographical location, size and population, number of schools, universities, hospitals, as well as its economic characteristics, job offer, etc. Note that more populous cities tend to have higher costs and more jobs on offer, with higher salaries. Cities with a lower cost of living, on the other hand, may have a higher unemployment rate (remember that the national average in August 2023 was 11.5%).

Our selection below includes a mix of safe, beautiful, cheap and interesting cities, with populations of over 60,000, quality of life, schools and universities. Updated values for each city can be consulted at any time on the links available throughout the text.

Our selection of Cheap Cities to live in Spain

Badajoz

Badajoz

Living in Badajoz is a pleasant experience, with a sense of security when walking through the streets and the possibility of enjoying strolls through the historic center.

Located in the Autonomous Community of Extremadura Badajoz has a population of approximately 150,146 inhabitants. Known for its rich history and architecture, it has monuments that reflect its turbulent past, marked by wars.

The city is home to some branches of the University of Extremadura, offering educational opportunities for local and international students.

As for the climate, its summers are hot, dry and almost cloudless; winters are cool and partly cloudy. Throughout the year the temperature varies from 3 °C to 35 °C.

Monthly cost estimated for a single person€1.002
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€448
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€12
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport€30
Unemployment rate16,16%
Cáceres

Cáceres

Cáceres is a city located in the province of Cáceres, in the Autonomous Community of Extremadura. It has a population of around 95 thousand inhabitants.

Strolling through its streets is like taking a trip back in time. Its magnificent Monumental City known as the Intramuros Quarter, was founded by the Romans over two thousand years ago on a hill. Its period of splendor during the 16th century resulted in palaces, mansions, towers and churches. Although its heyday is behind it, it is now one of the best preserved medieval and Renaissance urban complexes in the world and has been recognized as a World Heritage Site.

Some notable curiosities about the city include a street built almost entirely from human bones (Callejon de Don Álvaro) and an arch (Arco de La Estrella) intentionally twisted to make it easier for carriages to access the palaces.

The city is also home to part of the University of Extremadura which offers a variety of academic programs, attracting students to the region. It is the fourth cheapest city in Spain. In comparison, Madrid has a 42% higher cost of living than this city.

Its climate is warm and temperate, characterized by short, hot summer months with overcast skies, and short, warm winter months with precipitation and clear skies. Temperatures vary from 1 °C to 34 ° throughout the year.

Monthly cost estimated for a single person€1.053
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€463
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€11
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport€27
Unemployment rate15,01%
Salamanca

Salamanca

Salamanca is known for its rich history and stunning architecture, and is nicknamed the ” Golden City “. It is located in the northwest of Spain, in the Autonomous Community of Castile and León with a population of approximately 145 thousand inhabitants. It is world famous for the University of Salamanca, founded in 1218, the oldest in the country and one of the oldest in Europe.

Living in Salamanca offers a rich cultural experience, with many events and a lively nightlife, thanks to its young university population.

The city has a high-altitude Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summer months with temperatures of 30 degrees and cold winter months with lows of 0 degrees and snow.

Monthly cost estimated for a single person€1.166
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€565
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€17
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport€22
Unemployment rate14,39%
Zamora

Zamora

On the banks of the Douro River (the same river that crosses Porto) and very close to the Portuguese border, Zamora is known as ” the City of the Romanesque “. It has the highest concentration of Romanesque buildings in the whole of Europe. Its historic center, largely surrounded by defensive walls, is home to 14 Romanesque churches, most notably its cathedral, the oldest in Castile and León. The city also has a castle, palaces and a stone bridge.

Although it is a tourist destination, especially in the summer when it receives its peak of pilgrims who visit it as a stage on the Vía de la Plata of the Camino de Santiago, Zamora is a small, quiet town with just over 60,000 inhabitants. It enjoys a safe and relaxed lifestyle. You can get around the city on foot, making it a great destination for those who want to save money.

Its Mediterranean climate is characterized by hot summer months with overcast skies, and warm winter months with precipitation and almost cloudless skies. Temperatures range from 0 to 30º.

Estimated monthly cost for a single person€1.012
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€310
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€10
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport
Unemployment rate13,96
Almeria

Almeria

Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the Andarax River, Almeria is famous for its paradisiacal beaches. It is also known for its rich history, Islamic architecture and archaeological museums. It is located in the southwest of Spain, in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. Its population is around 200 thousand inhabitants.

Although it is not known for having a wide range of universities, Almería offers a welcoming atmosphere and a variety of job opportunities, especially in industries related to agriculture and tourism.

Living in Almería offers a peaceful lifestyle, with the added advantage of easy access to picturesque beaches and impressive natural landscapes, as well as easy connections thanks to its airport. The cost of living is one of the lowest in western Europe.

It has one of the driest and sunniest climates in Spain, with very hot summers and mild winters. Almeria is home to Europe’s only desert region, the Tabernas Desert, and is famous for its stargazing opportunities.

Monthly cost estimated for a single person€1.108
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€546
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€14
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport€25
Unemployment rate19,22%
Cordoba

Cordoba (or Córdoba)

If you like living in populous cities, Cordova could be a great option. It’s not one of the cheapest in the country, but it still has a very reasonable cost of living for a big city. Located in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia in the south of the country, it is the third most populous city in the region and the 11th in the whole country: around 345 thousand inhabitants. It has its own airport.

Its climate is Mediterranean, with very hot summers. The city is beautiful and famous for its rich history and culture, Islamic-influenced architecture and narrow, winding streets. It has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites (including its historic center and mosque), which are very popular with tourists.

The city is home to the University of Córdoba, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the humanities, social sciences, health sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

Monthly cost estimated for a single person€1.239
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€548
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€14
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport€33
Unemployment rate19,22%
Huelva

Huelva

Would you like to become an “Onubense” citizen? The name dates back to Roman times when the town was known as “Onuba”. Located in Andalusia Huelva is known for being one of the oldest sites on the Iberian Peninsula, with remains dating back to between 3000 and 2500 BC. The city has a population of approximately 142,538 inhabitants.

The city is home to the University of Huelva, which offers a variety of courses for students. Living in Huelva offers a great quality of life and security.

The climate in Huelva is Mediterranean, with mild, relatively rainy winters and hot, sunny summers.

Monthly cost estimated for a single person€1.040
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€469
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€9
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport€36
Unemployment rate20,30%
Ávila

Ávila

About 100km from the Spanish capital, Madrid, is the beautiful Ávila. It’s the smallest city on our list, with around 60,000 inhabitants but with the grandeur of a medieval walled city, located more than a thousand meters above sea level.

Living in Ávila means opting for a quieter lifestyle, immersed in history and culture. It is one of the cheapest cities in the country. For example, in the area of public transport, the price of a bus ticket is 0.55€ (when bought monthly), the third cheapest in Spain, behind Lugo (0.45€) and Logroño (0.53€).

Summers in Ávila are hot and dry, while winters are cold and wet, with the possibility of snow. The average annual temperature is around 12°C.

Monthly cost estimated for a single person€1.120
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€500
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€12
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport€19
Unemployment rate11,53%
León

Leon

Anyone who has walked the French Way of St. James will surely have visited the charming city of León. It is the largest city in the province of Castile and León and is home to 125 thousand inhabitants. Leon played a key role in the formation of the Kingdom of Spain after the Reconquista. Rich in history and culture, it has impressive monuments dating back to Roman times. Its architectural wonders include the Basilica of San Isidoro, one of the most important Romanesque churches in Spain, and Casa Botines, designed and built by Gaudí.

The city is home to several educational institutions, including the University of León which offers a variety of courses for students. It also has a lively nightlife and leisure options. For adventure lovers, it is possible to practise various mountain sports in the Picos de Europa National Park.

Its climate is temperate, with cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers. During the winter, temperatures can drop below zero, while in the summer they can reach 30°C.

Monthly cost estimated for a single person€1.188
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€542
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€15
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport€33
Unemployment rate13,03%
Ourense

Ourense

Also known as Ousense, its hot springs are among the most famous in Europe, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Located in the Autonomous Community of Galicia in the northwest of the country, it has a population of approximately 105,233 inhabitants. The city is close to the border with Portugal and other Spanish provinces such as Lugo, Santiago de Compostela, Pontevedra and Vigo. It is ideal for those looking for a quiet place with a good quality of life.

Its climate is warm and temperate, with dry summers and mild winters.

Monthly cost estimated for a single person€1.155
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sq ft) of furnished accommodation in an average area€497
Cost of the daily menu (lunch including drinks) in the city’s prime area€12
Cost of a monthly pass for public transport€32
Unemployment rate13,46%

How much does it cost to live in Spain?

According to data provided by Expatisan and Numbeo, the estimated average monthly cost for a person to live in Spain is €1,635.

It is worth noting that this figure represents the national average, which is lower when compared to the average costs in specific cities such as Madrid (€1,944 per person) and Barcelona (€2,019 per person).

The cheapest cities in Spain

A research conducted by Kelisto, a price analysis platform, carried out a comparative analysis of data from 50 provincial capitals covering 17 products and services in six distinct categories. The categories included housing, taxes, household expenses, public and private transportation, shopping and leisure. The result is very similar to that shown by the website Expatisan.

Lugo is the cheapest capital, with a cost of living that is 17.44% below the national average. It is followed by Palencia (-13.85%) and Zamora (-11.38%).

The cheapest cities listed in the survey were:

  • Lugo
  • Palencia
  • Zamora
  • Cáceres
  • Ávila
  • Ourense
  • Huesca
  • Teruel
  • Leon
  • A Coruña

Spain’s most expensive cities

Spain offers an affordable cost of living compared to other European countries, being considered the most economical country in Western Europe and having lower expenses than 54% of countries around the world. However, it is important to note that living in certain Spanish cities can result in higher expenses than the national average.

In Spain, the cost of living in San Sebastián (Basque Country) is the highest at 33.44% above the national average. Next are the cities of Barcelona (+26.76% above the average) and Madrid (+16,18%). After these three, the highest costs are recorded in Bilbao (9,95%), Pamplona (+6,12%) e Santander (+5,66%).

Conclusion

Spain is a wonderful country to live in, offering a combination of affordable cities, excellent gastronomy, safety and a pleasant climate. The 10 cities we’ve highlighted are just a sample of what this vibrant country has to offer. Even if you don’t have Spanish citizenship yet, don’t worry – there are various types of visas available that can guarantee a legal stay in the country, suited to different profiles and needs. So why wait? Come and discover what Spain has to offer! Talk to Atlantic Bridge’s consultants and start planning your move now!

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Atlantic Bridge

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