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Discover the cheapest and most expensive Spanish cities in 2022

17 Feb
2022
4.8/5 - (20 votes)

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Which are the cheapest cities to live in Spain?

How do they compare with the city you are living in now?

In this article, you will understand everything about the cost of living in Spain: purchasing power, rent, cost of daily items such as groceries and restaurants, comparison of all the sectors prices vs other European countries,… We will explain to you why Spain is a very cost-effective place to live vs all the major economies in the world and which Spanish cities are the best to work or relax with a small budget or we will tell you which Spanish cities are the most expensive ones.
You could think this article is long but don’t hesitate to read the table of content just below to find direct answers to your questions.
Yes, Spain is one of the cheapest countries in the world and it is even more interesting if you take into account the quality of life and the economic activity!

Enjoy your reading, you just landed on one of our most-read articles!

If you want to compare the cost of living between United Kingdom and Spain, we wrote a dedicated article on that: The cost of living in Spain vs UK – January 2022 update

 

  1. The Cost of living in Spain is 8% lower than in the rest of Europe!

    Of course, you will tell us that you want to go to Spain for the sun or to 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 living is a very important criteria!

    We did the work with the help of the Statistics from Eurostat to compare Spain cost of life vs any other European country so that you could compare your current lifestyle with the one you could have in Spain.

    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 for only one area: “Communication” by 12%. All the other sectors are cheaper in Spain than in the rest of Europe!

    Let’s have a look at the data:

     

    Cost of Goods & Services Europe-19 Spain Spain vs Europe
    Transport services 106 88 83%
    Restaurants and hotels 103 89 87%
    Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 105 91 87%
    Clothing 101 90 89%
    Consumption price index 106 97 92%
    Food and non alcoholic beverages 105 97 93%
    Transport equipement 101 96 95%
    Household appliances 102 99 97%
    Footwear 101 100 99%
    Elecectricity, gaz and fuels 108 107 99%
    Consumer electronics 101 100 100%
    Furnitures and furnishings 102 102 100%
    Communication 109 123 112%

     

    Source: Eurostat 2020

    If you prefer a chart, here is our interactive chart:

     

    So, next time you visit Spain, enjoy the sun, the beaches, the cultural treasures and of course the quality of life… and for sure, the excellent Mediterranean food and tapas!
    As you can see on this table with the General Index: Spain is on average  8% cheaper than the rest of Europe!

     

  2. Spain is cheaper than Europe for 7 products and services…

    Spain is cheap for :

    • Transport services, -17%
    • Restaurants and Hotels, -13%
    • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, -13%, I guess you all noticed? ,
    • Clothing, -11%
    • Food and non-alcoholic beverages, -7%
    • Transport equipment, -5%,
    • Household appliances, -3%

    So keep enjoying the beers and the Tapas.

     

     

  3. Spain is more expensive for 1 thing … 🙂

    Communication, +12%

    Check the detailed electricity price comparison made by Eurostat.

    The good news: Europe voted laws for cheaper communications within EU!

     

  4. Cost of living in Spain vs the World

    Numbeo, is a website comparing the cost of living in many different countries and cities all over the world. According to them, in January 2022, Spain is the 46th most expensive country in the world with an average cost of life of 53.88 (vs 100 for New York). Spain is cheaper than Greece for instance and has the same cost of life as Estonia. Not bad if you want to enjoy the sun! If you check the top 21 countries in the world in terms of GDP, Spain is the 12th country in terms of cost of living.

    How does Numbeo create its indexes?

    Numbeo takes NYC as a reference: these indices are relative to New York City (NYC). This means that for any city with the same cost of living as New York City, it will have a value of 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 that city rents are on average 30% less expensive than in New York City.

    Let’s dig deeper into the worldwide ranking made by Numbeo on the cost of living (with rent) ranking (fourth column):

    Now that we saw that the cost of living in Spain vs the rest of the world is ranking well, it is time to check which Spanish cities are expensive or cheap. So at least you will know it before moving there.

     

  5. Cost of living in Spanish cities

     

    Here is the January 2022 ranking of all the main Spanish cities vs their cost of living according to Numbeo:

    Source: Numbeo.com : January 2022

    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 : June 2020

    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 should you understand those numbers?

    These indices are relative to New York City (NYC). This 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 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  that city rents are 30% less expensive for that city than for New York City. Numbeo calculates different indicators:

    • Cost of Living Index (Excl. Rent) is a relative indicator of consumer goods prices, including groceries, restaurants, transportation and utilities. The 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 the prices of renting apartments in the city compared to New York City.
    • Groceries Index is an estimation of grocery prices in the city compared to New York 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 compared 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 an example of the current pricing of cost of living for Barcelona calculated by Numbeo as of January 2022

    Data collected over the last year

    Restaurants
    Range
    Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 12.00 € 9.0020.00
    Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 50.00 € 33.5080.00
    McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 8.50 € 8.0010.00
    Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 3.00 € 2.004.00
    Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 3.50 € 2.505.00
    Cappuccino (regular) 1.97 € 1.303.00
    Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1.98 € 1.253.00
    Water (0.33 liter bottle) 1.24 € 1.002.00
    Markets
    Milk (regular), (1 liter) 0.88 € 0.601.20
    Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 1.20 € 0.552.50
    Rice (white), (1kg) 1.09 € 0.751.99
    Eggs (regular) (12) 2.16 € 1.203.20
    Local Cheese (1kg) 9.98 € 3.5020.00
    Chicken Fillets (1kg) 6.19 € 2.998.00
    Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 12.06 € 7.0017.00
    Apples (1kg) 1.71 € 0.993.00
    Banana (1kg) 1.66 € 1.003.00
    Oranges (1kg) 1.71 € 1.004.00
    Tomato (1kg) 1.85 € 1.002.99
    Potato (1kg) 1.26 € 0.702.13
    Onion (1kg) 1.23 € 0.702.00
    Lettuce (1 head) 1.00 € 0.801.50
    Water (1.5 liter bottle) 0.71 € 0.501.50
    Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 5.00 € 3.008.00
    Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.06 € 0.651.90
    Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 1.80 € 1.003.00
    Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 5.00 € 5.006.00
    Transportation
    One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.38 € 1.302.50
    Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 40.00 € 40.0054.00
    Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.00 € 2.255.00
    Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1.20 € 0.933.00
    Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 22.10 € 19.8045.00
    Gasoline (1 liter) 1.39 € 1.001.58
    Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 22,000.00 € 20,000.0026,000.00
    Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 24,137.00 € 21,500.0026,000.00
    Utilities (Monthly)
    Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 152.66 € 102.00300.00
    1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.16 € 0.090.19
    Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 39.11 € 30.0060.00
    Sports And Leisure
    Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 43.20 € 30.0060.00
    Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 24.59 € 18.0030.00
    Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 9.00 € 8.0012.00
    Childcare
    Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 482.11 € 400.00600.00
    International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 10,460.00 € 7,000.0020,000.00
    Clothing And Shoes
    1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 71.45 € 30.00109.00
    1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) 31.70 € 19.0070.00
    1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 71.59 € 45.00110.00
    1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 96.05 € 59.00150.00
    Rent Per Month
    Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 913.24 € 750.001,150.00
    Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 714.06 € 600.00850.00
    Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 1,537.84 € 1,300.002,000.00
    Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,109.38 € 1,000.001,300.00
    Buy Apartment Price
    Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 4,796.96 € 3,500.006,286.00
    Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 3,045.59 € 2,300.004,000.00
    Salaries And Financing
    Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 1,703.29 €
    Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 1.84 1.503.00
    This city had 1947 entries in the past 12 months by 249 different contributors.
    Last update: February 2022

     

  6. The 3 most expensive Spanish cities

    Bilbao, Barcelona and Madrid are in the top 3.

    1. Bilbao
    2. Barcelona
    3. Madrid

    Here is the cost of living ranking of all the major Spanish cities if you want to get more than the top 3.
     

  7. The 3 cheapest Spanish cities

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

    1. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
    2. Malaga
    3. Seville

    Here is the cost of living ranking of all the major Spanish cities if you want to get more than the top 3.
     

  8. The most expensive cities in Spain for real estate are

    End September 2021Sorted by price, second column

    City / Region Price Yr Price Evolution Qtr Price Evolution Number of Transactions Transaction Evolution
    Gipuzkoa 2 736 € 3,0% -0,6% 7 171 15%
    Madrid (Comunidad de) 2 685 € 2,9% 0,9% 83 173 25%
    Balears (Illes) 2 496 € 4,8% 2,1% 14 322 15%
    País Vasco 2 421 € 3,3% -0,4% 22 366 18%
    Barcelona 2 396 € 1,3% -0,4% 60 555 19%
    Bizkaia 2 364 € 3,9% 0,0% 12 036 17%
    Cataluña 2 038 € 1,9% -0,2% 93 862 24%
    Araba/Alava 1 975 € 2,8% -1,7% 3 159 25%
    Málaga 1 924 € 7,6% 3,9% 32 109 25%
    Ceuta 1 798 € -0,5% 0,1% 711 34%
    Ceuta y Melilla 1 738 € 0,1% 0,3% 1 464 47%
    Melilla 1 699 € 0,9% 0,6% 753 63%
    TOTAL NACIONAL 1 662 € 2,6% 0,8% 611 093 28%

    with the National Spanish Average: 1,662 €/m²
    Read more and get the last updated prices on the Spanish property market.
     

  9. The cheapest cities in Spain for real estate are

    End September 2021, Sorted by price, second column

    City / Region Price Yr Price Evolution Qtr Price Evolution Number of Transactions Transaction Evolution
    Ciudad Real 712 € -1,0% 0,1% 5 446 43%
    Teruel 752 € 2,2% -0,8% 1 733 30%
    Cuenca 766 € -1,1% -2,6% 2 346 48%
    Jaén 786 € 1,6% 1,1% 6 400 31%
    Zamora 792 € -3,9% -1,4% 1 871 54%
    Cáceres 837 € -0,3% 1,7% 3 823 25%
    Ávila 844 € 4,5% 3,3% 2 516 35%
    Extremadura 857 € 1,4% 1,5% 10 666 37%
    León 860 € -0,9% 2,7% 4 657 33%
    Toledo 868 € 3,5% 2,0% 10 775 39%
    Badajoz 871 € 2,7% 1,3% 6 843 45%
    Lugo 881 € 3,1% 0,5% 3 601 57%
    Castilla-La Mancha 887 € 1,3% 0,5% 27 431 40%
    Ourense 891 € -2,7% -0,1% 2 451 42%
    Albacete 904 € 0,2% -1,8% 3 919 39%
    Soria 914 € -2,3% 3,7% 1 311 53%
    Palencia 930 € -1,4% 2,9% 1 956 48%
    Segovia 985 € -0,1% 2,3% 2 418 52%
    Murcia (Región de) 986 € 2,9% -1,4% 22 074 32%
    Lleida 995 € 0,8% -3,2% 5 661 45%

    with the National Spanish Average: 1.662 €/m²
    Read more on and get the last updated prices on the Spanish property market.
     

  10. Spanish cities with the highest rents

    Rent Index is an estimation of prices for 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.

    1. Madrid is in the most expensive cities in Spain for rent with a rent index of 31.1.
    2. Barcelona is in the most expensive cities in Spain for rent with a rent index of 30.8.
    3. Palma de Mallorca is in the most expensive cities in Spain for rent with a rent index of 27.3.

     

    Have a look at our chart comparing the different rental levels in Spain.

     

     

  11. Spanish cities with the lowest rents

    Rent Index is an estimation of prices for 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.

    1. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is in the cheapest cities in Spain for rent with a rent index of 19.13
    2. Zaragoza (Saragossa) is in the cheapest cities in Spain for rent with a rent index of 18.24
    3. Vigo is in the cheapest cities in Spain for rent with a rent index of 17.16
    4. Granada is in the cheapest cities in Spain for rent with a rent index of 15.65
    5. Murcia is in the cheapest cities in Spain for rent with a rent index of 15.65

     

    Have a look at our chart comparing the different rental levels in Spain.

     

  12. Spanish cities with the least expensive restaurants?

     

    1. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is in the cheapest cities in Spain for restaurants with an index of 48.92
    2. Seville (Sevilla) is in the cheapest cities in Spain for restaurants with an index of 48.9
    3. Granada is in the cheapest cities in Spain for restaurants with an index of 46.84

     

    Have a look at our chart comparing the different restaurants pricing levels for many cities in Spain.

     

     

  13. Spanish cities with the most expensive restaurants?

     

    1. Bilbao is in the most expensive cities in Spain for restaurants with an index of 63.19
    2. Barcelona is in the most expensive cities in Spain for restaurants with an index of 62.42
    3. Madrid is in the most expensive cities in Spain for restaurants with an index of 62.32

     

    Have a look at our chart comparing the different restaurants pricing levels for many cities in Spain.

     

  14. Cheapest Spanish cities for groceries?

    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.

    1. Valencia is in the cheapest cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 44.43
    2. Granada is in the cheapest cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 43.71
    3. Murcia is in the cheapest cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 43.3
    4. Malaga is in the cheapest cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 43.07
    5. Vigo is in the cheapest cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 42.75
    6. Alicante is in the cheapest cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 42.39
    7. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is in the cheapest cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 42.17

     

    Have a look at our chart comparing the different Groceries indexes for many cities in Spain.

     

     

  15. Most expensive Spanish cities for groceries?

    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.

    1. Bilbao is in the most expensive cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 56.67
    2. Madrid is in the most expensive cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 48.87
    3. Seville (Sevilla) is in the most expensive cities in Spain for buying groceries with a Groceries index of 48.76

     

    Have a look at our chart comparing the different Groceries indexes for many cities in Spain.

     

     

  16. Spanish cities with the best purchasing power?

    Local Purchasing Power is an indicator calculated by Numbeo that 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.

    1. Granada is in the Spanish cities with the biggest purchasing power and has a Purchasing power index of 87.46
    2. Alicante is in the Spanish cities with the biggest purchasing power and has a Purchasing power index of 80.29
    3. Murcia is in the Spanish cities with the biggest purchasing power and has a Purchasing power index of 77.45
    4. Vigo is in the Spanish cities with the biggest purchasing power and has a Purchasing power index of 75.98
    5. Madrid is in the Spanish cities with the biggest purchasing power and has a Purchasing power index of 75.06

     

    Have a look at our chart comparing the different purchasing power for many cities in Spain.

     

     

     

     

  17. Spanish cities with the smallest purchasing power?

    Local Purchasing Power is an indicator calculated by Numbeo and it 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.

    1. Santa Cruz de Tenerife is in the Spanish cities with the smallest purchasing power and has a Purchasing power index of 64.54
    2. Palma de Mallorca is in the Spanish cities with the smallest purchasing power and has a Purchasing power index of 63.61
    3. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is in the Spanish cities with the smallest purchasing power and has a Purchasing power index of 55.22

     

    Have a look at our chart comparing the different purchasing power for many cities in Spain.

     

     

     

  18. 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 reasons 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.

     

     

  19. Compare the cost of living of two cities in the world

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

     

    Have a look at our chart comparing the different purchasing power of the biggest cities in the world with many Spanish cities.

     

     

    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.

     

  20. 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 built over the years a network of 100+ local partners dedicated to assisting you: Lawyers, Mortgage brokers (financing and refinancing at lower rates), Insurance brokers, Tax advisors, Surveyors, Property hunters, Renovation, NIE specialists… So don’t miss our homepage howtobuyinspain.com, it is where you should continue for your property search in Spain.

     

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

     

  21. Don’t miss our downloadable charts

 

 

 

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 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 cheap for Food and Drinks. So keep enjoying the beers and the Tapas.

 

Looking for an expert in Spain? Ask us directly!

 

 

 

 

 

Stéphane 

Senior analyst and strategist at HTBIS

Check the full HTBIS team here

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