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Which are the cheapest places to live in Spain? – Cost of living in Spain

07 Jul
cheapest place to live in Spain

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Which are the cheapest places to live in Spain?

      1. The Cost of living in Spain is much lower than in many places in Europe!

          1. Of course, you will tell us that you want to go to Spain for the Sun or for the beaches…

        There are plenty of other good reasons as well but when you look at finding a place to live, we think that the cost of life is very important!

        We did the work with the help of the Statistics from Eurostat to compare Spain vs all the other countries in Europe so that you could compare to your actual country of origin.

        Here are the results:



        If you compare Spain on this chart in Orange colour with Europe in Blue colour, you will notice that Spain is more expensive in 3 areas: “Electricity, Gaz and fuels”, “Furniture and Furnishings” and “Transport and Equipment”. A Fourth area not represented on this chart is Communication.

        For those 4, Spain is between 2% and 4% more expensive. For all the other sectors, Spain is cheaper!


        Let’s have a look at the data:


        If you prefer a chart, here it is:


        So, next time you visit Spain, enjoy the sun, the beaches, the many cultural wealth and of course all the rest… like the tapas!
        As you can see on this table with the General Index: Spain is on average more than 11% cheaper than the rest of Europe!


      2. Spain is much cheaper than Europe for…

        Spain is very cheap for :

        • Transport Services, -19%
        • Restaurants and Hotels, -14%
        • Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, -14%, I guess you all noticed? ,
        • Transport Equipment, -11%,
        • Clothing, -5%
        • and yes the list doesn’t stop here… Spain is really cheap for “Food and Drinks”. -4%

        So keep enjoying the beers and the Tapas.



      3. Spain is more expensive than Europe for…

        • Communication+28%
        • Utilities +12%
        • and Fournitures +3%.

        Check the detailed electricity price comparison made by Eurostat.

        A good news, Europe just made it cheaper for communications!




      4. Spain is one of the cheapest country in the world!

        Numbeo, is a website comparing the cost of living in many different countries and cities all over the world. According to them, Spain is the 44th most expensive country in the world with an average cost of life of 55.27 (vs 100 for New York). Spain is cheaper than Greece and Croatia for instance. Not bad if you want to enjoy the sun! Have a look at the world’s ranking here: Numbeo cost of life world ranking.

        How does it work?

        Numbeo takes NYC as a reference: these indices are relative to New York City (NYC). Which means that for New York City, each index should be 100. If another city has, for example, rent index of 120, it means that on an average in that city rents are 20% more expensive than in New York City. If a city has a rent index of 70, that means on an average in that city rents are 30% less expensive than in New York City.


        Let’s dig deeper into the numbers:


      5. Which cities are the cheapest to live in Spain?

        Here is the June 2020 ranking of all the main Spanish cities vs their cost of living from Numbeo:

        Source: Numbeo.com : June 2020

        Those numbers rely on members updating data, so they should be taken with a grain of salt.


        If you want to compare the evolution over the last year, here was the ranking made last year:

        Source: Numbeo.com : May 2019

        Click on any of those cities hyperlink to find the latest number of any of those cities.


        The impacts of the Coronavirus on the Spanish Real Estate

        The impacts of the Coronavirus on the Spanish Real Estate

        How to understand those numbers?

        These indices are relative to New York City (NYC). Which means that for New York City, each index should be 100(%). If another city has, for example, rent index of 120, it means that on an average in that city rents are 20% more expensive than in New York City. If a city has a rent index of 70, that means on an average in that city rents are 30% less expensive than in New York City.

        • Cost of Living Index (Excl. Rent) is a relative indicator of consumer goods prices, including groceries, restaurants, transportation and utilities. Cost of Living Index doesn’t include accommodation expenses such as rent or mortgage. If a city has a Cost of Living Index of 120, it means Numbeo estimates it is 20% more expensive than New York (excluding rent).
        • Rent Index is an estimation of prices of renting apartments in the city compared to New York City. If Rent index is 80, Numbeo estimates that the price of rents in that city is on an average 20% less than the price in New York.
        • Groceries Index is an estimation of grocery prices in the city compared to New York City. To calculate this section, Numbeo uses weights of items in the “Markets” section for each city.
        • Restaurants Index is a comparison of prices of meals and drinks in restaurants and bars compared to NYC.
        • Cost of Living Plus Rent Index is an estimation of consumer goods prices including rent comparing to New York City.
        • Local Purchasing Power shows relative purchasing power in buying goods and services in a given city for the average wage in that city. If domestic purchasing power is 40, this means that the inhabitants of that city with the average salary can afford to buy on an average 60% fewer goods and services than New York City residents with an average salary.

        For more information about used weights (actual formula) please visit Numbeo Motivation and Methodology.

        To discover real current pricing for any city, of course, always good to double-check later, click on any city on our table to discover the details published by Numbeo:


        Here is the current pricing of cost of life for Valencia calculated by Numbeo as of June 2020

        Data collected over the last year

        Restaurants Range
        Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 10.00 € 6.0016.00
        Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 40.00 € 30.0060.00
        McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 7.00 € 6.008.00
        Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 2.00 € 1.503.00
        Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 3.00 € 2.003.50
        Cappuccino (regular) 1.65 € 1.202.50
        Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1.66 € 1.302.00
        Water (0.33 liter bottle) 1.14 € 1.001.50
        Milk (regular), (1 liter) 0.66 € 0.560.90
        Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 0.82 € 0.451.20
        Rice (white), (1kg) 0.87 € 0.601.00
        Eggs (regular) (12) 1.65 € 1.202.50
        Local Cheese (1kg) 9.29 € 6.5015.00
        Chicken Fillets (1kg) 6.22 € 4.007.50
        Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 11.33 € 8.0015.00
        Apples (1kg) 1.64 € 1.101.90
        Banana (1kg) 1.35 € 1.002.50
        Oranges (1kg) 1.07 € 0.251.80
        Tomato (1kg) 1.59 € 1.102.00
        Potato (1kg) 0.86 € 0.301.30
        Onion (1kg) 1.21 € 0.451.60
        Lettuce (1 head) 0.89 € 0.501.20
        Water (1.5 liter bottle) 0.38 € 0.200.75
        Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 4.00 € 2.006.00
        Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 0.77 € 0.301.50
        Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 1.35 € 0.701.90
        Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 5.25 € 5.006.00
        One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 1.50 € 1.101.50
        Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 41.90 € 30.0050.00
        Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 4.00 € 3.005.00
        Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1.08 € 1.002.20
        Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 19.75 € 19.1530.00
        Gasoline (1 liter) 1.28 € 1.151.40
        Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 18,000.00 € 15,000.0020,000.00
        Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 19,275.00 € 18,000.0021,200.00
        Utilities (Monthly)
        Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 120.46 € 75.00188.89
        1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.14 € 0.050.21
        Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 36.52 € 26.0050.00
        Sports And Leisure
        Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 30.35 € 20.0045.00
        Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 12.82 € 10.0018.00
        Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 8.00 € 7.009.70
        Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 476.00 € 350.00600.00
        International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 6,877.33 € 5,000.009,000.00
        Clothing And Shoes
        1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 75.81 € 40.00109.00
        1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) 32.52 € 15.0060.00
        1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 65.68 € 45.00100.00
        1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 87.14 € 60.00130.00
        Rent Per Month
        Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 724.23 € 600.00900.00
        Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 502.27 € 400.00700.00
        Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 1,113.33 € 900.001,400.00
        Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 747.83 € 600.00900.00
        Buy Apartment Price
        Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 2,723.00 € 2,000.004,500.00
        Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 1,528.57 € 1,200.002,400.00
        Salaries And Financing
        Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 1,427.71 €
        Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 2.48 2.003.50
        This city had 1147 entries in the past 12 months by 110 different contributors.
        Last update: June 2020


        The 3 most expensive Spanish cities are: Bilbao, Barcelona and Madrid

        1. Bilbao

        2. Barcelona

        3. Madrid



        The 3 cheapest Spanish cities are: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Malaga and Sevilla.

          1. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

          2. Malaga

          3. Seville


        If you want to compare the Spanish real estate markets for all the biggest Spanish cities, go to our quarterly report: Spanish property prices: our detailed analysis of the top 20 markets!


      6. Why should you relocate to Spain?

        If you take the last column of the table of Numbeo, you earn on average 69 to 85% of what you would earn if you lived in New York but at the same time, the cost of life plus rent index (third data column) is between 33 to 47%. So, that’s one of the main reason why Spain is one of the best countries in the world for relocating & for working remotely?

        Discover all our detailed reviews of the beautiful Spanish Costas.

        Of course, that’s why Spain is as well such a nice place to retire or enjoy holidays

        If in addition to that, you take into account that Spain is the healthiest country in the world to live in as we wrote in our last article and Spain has so many experiences to enjoy, that’s why it is the number one holiday destination in Europe.



      7. Compare the cost of living of your current city with any Spanish city

        And you will see quickly how much you will save, even if you are there on holiday. That’s one of the best kept secret of Spain.

        Compare two cities with Numbeo, here we took Valencia and Malaga

        Check the city comparator of Flying Yack


        If you want to find out quickly which is the cheapest city in any region in the world, don’t forget to check the colour maps of Numbeo.


      8. How do we help you?

        As you may have read on our homepage howtobuyinspain.com, Buying a property in Spain is cheap and looks easy, but there are some pitfalls. That is why we have build over the years a network of 100+ local partners dedicated to assist you: Lawyers, Mortgage brokers (financing and refinancing at lower rates), Insurance brokers, Tax advisors, Surveyors, Property hunters, Renovation, NIE specialists…


        Further reading: 10 reasons why you should buy a property in Spain.


FAQ Why is it so cheap to live in Spain?

What is the cheapest city in Spain to fly into?

Of course, Madrid has the most flights towards Spain and is followed by Barcelona. That makes those two airports the cheapest way to Spain. The other most active airports in Spain are: 3. Gran Canaria airport 4. Malaga airport 5. Tenerife South airport 6. Palma airport 7. Alicante airport 8. Lanzarote airport 9. Valencia airport 10. Fuerte ventura airport

Where is the cheapest place in Spain to holiday?

1. Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2. Malaga 3. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Of course many smaller cities are cheaper, compare other cities with those main cities in our article

What is the best city to live in Spain?

Expats love Barcelona and Madrid for sure. If you compare those two cities with other international cities, they are on the top of it. Expats love as well many smaller cities like Valencia, Seville, Bilbao, Malaga, Marbella... Discover those cities with the articles we wrote on each one

Is Spain a cheap place to visit?

Spain is on average 11% much cheaper than Europe.

Spain is very cheap for Transport Services, Restaurants and Hotels, Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, Transport Equipment, Clothing and yes the list doesn’t stop here… Spain is really cheap for Food and Drinks. So keep enjoying the beers and the Tapas.


Looking for an expert in Spain? Ask us directly!







Senior analyst and strategist at HTBIS

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