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If Spain is on your radar as your next destination to settle as a digital nomad or expat, you are probably looking out for cheap places to live in Spain to call home.
From the islands to the mainland, major cities, and towns, there are countless affordable places to live in Spain.
It can be hard to know where to start your search, especially when some of the most popular and larger cities like Barcelona and Madrid are also the most expensive places to live.
Generally, Spain is a fairly affordable country to live, especially compared to other western European countries and the United States.
You can expect to pay between 800 and 1500 Euros for your monthly expenses plus rent, depending on your lifestyle.
Many cities have both costly touristy areas and local areas. While you can easily have beer and tapas for 1.50 Euros each in the local district, the touristy quarters easily cost double. But even so, life in Spain is affordable while offering a high quality of life.
Spain offers a combination of an affordable cost of living, palm trees, sandy beaches, quaint old towns, sun all year round, and grand nature scenes with endless hiking opportunities like “El Camino de Santiago”, epic nightlife, and ex-pat communities.
It is hard to find a reason not to move to Spain. And I guess you are already considering it since you are here!
In this guide to the cheapest towns and cities to live in Spain, I have combined both economic rental options (which sometimes depend on the area of the city you choose to live in) and affordable living costs. Read on to pin down your next destination!
How to find cheap places to live in Spain
Before we start looking at affordable places to live in Spain, there are a few websites that might help you find accommodation in Spain without going through AirBnB (which, let’s be honest, has become anything but cheap in the last few years.)
Luckily, the majority of rentals in Spain include furniture and everything you need in the house. This means you can mostly move straight in without any further ado. In the worst case, there are a few practical things like a vacuum cleaner or some kitchen utensils that you need to purchase after moving in.
Note that in many places, especially on the coast, rental prices double in the summer months compared to the rest of the year. A deposit of 1-3 months is normal when renting privately and through an agent (the latter will also charge a fee on top of that.)
My favorite sites to find accommodation in Spain are:
The latter has listings for pretty much anything you can buy from cars, clothes, musical instruments, furniture, and rentals. It is a good site to get hold of anything second-hand that you might need for your temporary home.
Now that you have the tools you need to find a cheap place to live in Spain, let us dive into the best places to consider moving to on your next adventure.
Cheap towns and cities to live in Spain
Malaga is probably the most popular digital nomad city in the Andalucia region in southern Spain. Rivaled by Costa del Sol destinations like Fuengirola and Marbella, there are so many advantages to living in Malaga.
First of all, it has a more affordable price, there are more things to do, the co-working and co-living opportunities are way better, and the number of super cozy cafés to work from is just so much higher.
It’s not only one of the cheapest cities to live in Spain, but on top of that, offers the best temperatures on the mainland.
Summer temperatures hover around 30 degrees Celsius and mild winter temperatures are 15-16 degrees Celsius, which is more comfortable compared to other Spanish destinations that get a lot colder in winter.
It is hard to find a more beautiful city with both hiking and beaches within walking distance from the historical city center. Malaga is also famed for its rooftop bars!
Average prices for rentals: Centrally in Malaga, you can easily find a studio or a one-bedroom apartment for anything between 450 and 600 Euros a month.
Seville is a buzzing digital nomad destination in southern Spain. While it is not the cheapest destination, you can save a lot of money by renting outside the city center and using public transport or a bike to the historic center.
Being one of the most beautiful and traditional Andalusian cities, you have a whole world of rich history at your feet, combined with vibrant digital nomad cafes and co-working spaces to choose from.
Seville is one of the most epic places to live in Spain, where you can immerse yourself in what has become a melting pot of cultures through Flamenco classes, Moorish palaces, and one of the most impressive cathedrals in Spain.
Rental prices: You can find one-bedrooms or studios in the neighborhoods around the historical center in the price range of 500-600 Euros a month and upwards.
When looking for the most affordable cities in Spain, Merida is often overlooked. Being home to the best-preserved and largest concentration of Roman remains in Spain, any history buff will feel at home in Merida.
On top of interesting attractions to keep you busy in your free time, Merida is only a 45-minute drive from the Portuguese border. At night, Merida becomes a welcoming big city with a vibrant bar scene.
You find both coworking spaces and cafés to work from in the city even though it is not yet known as a typical digital nomad destination.
Rental prices: Rental prices in Merida start at 400 Euros for 1-2 bedroom apartments.
There is no secret that Valencia has turned into a digital nomad hot spot. With great beaches, a charming historical center, a myriad of cafés and restaurants to choose from, and not to mention a buzzing nightlife, Valencia is not only a cheap city to live in Spain but also a cool destination that offers a lot to do all year round.
Combine history, café culture, and boat trips with your working habits at one of the hip co-working spaces in the city, and you have a winner.
Rental prices: You can find small studios or one-bedroom apartments from 450-550 Euros a month, but you can get it even cheaper by looking outside the city center.
Tarifa is the best place to live in Spain for kite surfers and surfers. Situated on the exact split of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, this quaint coastal town is one of the cheapest places to live in Spain by the sea. It boasts magnificent beaches and epic waves.
Known for its vigorous winds, it is often overlooked by travelers unless they are fanatics of wave sports which makes this the perfect little hideaway for those who do.
Tarifa has some of the most splendid beaches in Spain, particularly Valdevaqueros and Bolonia beach with the large dunes cascading down on the beach. Nearby, you find some of the best-preserved Roman remains in southern Spain, Baleo Claudia.
Truth is, if you have a car in Tarifa, you can get around to explore several great hidden gems as well as beautiful cities like Marbella and Cadiz. On top of that, Tarifa is the gateway to Africa ,with direct ferries taking you to Morocco in just about an hour.
But there is much more to Tarifa itself too. You can expect Moorish remains, a vibrant cafe and restaurant life, narrow cobblestoned streets, small niche shops selling sustainable handicrafts, and multiple vegan joints.
If that is not enough, Tarifa is far from short of co-working spaces and even opened the first digital nomad hostel in Europe.
Rental prices: You can expect rental prices from 400 Euros to 600 Euros a month for a small 1-2 bedroom apartment in Tarifa.
Alicante is yet another hot spot for digital nomads, being one of the cheapest cities to live in Spain with a multitude of coworking spaces, digital nomad-friendly cafés, and co-living spaces.
With many quirky barrios to discover, epic nightlife, and a staggering line of beaches and beach bars to enjoy the sunny days of Costa Blanca, this is a good place to live for anyone in search of a city by the beach to live.
Rental prices: Rental prices for a small 1-bedroom or a studio in Alicante start at 420 Euros.
El Puerto de Santa Maria
A short ferry ride from Cadiz in southern Spain, only an hour’s drive from Seville, you find an enchanting little coastal town that is surprisingly not mentioned in most digital nomad guides.
However, El Puerto de Santa Maria (AKA El Puerto) is a lovely town with a vibrant café and nightlife, especially in the summer months, and a wonderful ex-pat community. You can find co-working spaces both in El Puerto and Cadiz.
On top of that, El Puerto has a lot of beautiful beaches to its name, like Valdelagrana and Calita beach. Together with nearby Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto is known for its sherry production, and you find several large distilleries in the town – so this is the place to be for sherry lovers!
One of the reasons El Puerto is ranked among the best places to live in Spain on a budget is the local pace of life where prices are not turned up for tourists.
Even in the summer months when El Puerto fills up with people, mostly locals from Seville, Cadiz, and Jerez, there is a complete local vibe in this quaint little corner of Andalucia. This is the perfect place if you look for a smaller place but still want city life nearby.
Rental prices: In El Puerto de Santa Maria you can easily find 1-2 room studios or apartments for 400-450 Euros a month.
Girona is one of the most impressive medieval cities in Spain. It’s living in the shade of Barcelona, which is less than 40 minutes away by train or a short drive away.
As one of the cheap cities to live in Spain, you can expect a buzzing café and bar life in Girona, and less than an hour to both the French border and the beautiful Costa Brava coast.
With co-working spaces to work from, you will not lack anything in this incredibly charming and underrated city.
Rental prices: In Girona, estimated costs for rental prices are 600 Euros a month and up.
Las Palmas (Gran Canaria)
When looking for the cheapest places in Spain to live, Gran Canaria is a popular destination for its warm weather all year round.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has everything you need, from a great digital nomad community to epic adventures like beaches, hikes, boat trips, and diving.
You will not lack co-working places or cafés to work from when living in Las Palmas, being one of the top destinations for digital nomads in Europe.
Rental prices: You can expect to pay anything from 400-500 Euros a month for a small 1-2 bedroom apartment in Las Palmas.
Murcia is yet another underrated city, easily being the cheapest place to live in Spain, together with others on this list.
Being a highly underrated yet cheap city in Spain, there is a lot to Murcia. A vibrant café life, friendly locals, co-working spaces, and a small ex-pat community make Murcia a wonderful place to live. Murcia is a university city, so you can expect a pumping nightlife too.
Separated by the Segura River, you will find a rich culture, history, and art in this stunning Spanish city.
Rental prices: You can find studios and one-bedroom apartments in Murcia for under 400 Euros a month.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Due to the good weather all year round, Tenerife is one of the absolute hot spots for digital nomads in Spain. Luckily, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the cheapest places to live in Spain by the sea, with coworking and co-living opportunities.
It’s the largest of the Canary Islands, and is one of the best adventure destinations with water sports, beaches, the highest peak in Spain, mount Teide, and a multitude of archaeological finds, natural sceneries, and hiking opportunities.
Tenerife will surely not keep you bored, whether you love to get up early and walk in nature or you want to party until sunrise. There are endless things to do here!
Rental prices: You can expect to pay 500-550 Euros a month for a one-room in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Granada is no doubt one of the absolute best smaller cities in Spain to live in. Nestled at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, you can enjoy skiing in the winter and hiking in the 3000-meter peaks in the summer, which makes Granada a top spot for active outdoor lovers.
The city is a complete cultural melting pot with one of the most visited attractions in Spain, the Alhambra as well as the unique gypsy cave houses, and delightful Arab hammams.
If you are looking for a cozy mountainous place to call home for a while, Granada is it. Rich in cafés to work from and reliable co-working spaces, the city boasts a solid ex-pat community.
Rental prices: You can find studios and one-bedroom apartments for 420-500 Euros a month in Granada.
If you are looking for the cheapest place to live in Spain, you must look outside the big cities and zoom into the mountain villages.
Cazorla is one of these incredibly cheap mountain towns that are perfect for hiking enthusiasts all year round. Sitting on the outskirts of the stunning Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park, incredible hiking trails leave straight from the village.
Compared to other places on this list, Cazorla does not offer a distinct ex-pat community with co-working spaces. However, you can get a good internet connection in your apartment and work from local bars in the town center – with reasonable prices much lower than other destinations in Spain.
Living in Cazorla will give you a true rural Spain experience dominated by nature and wildlife experiences of a lifetime! And if you prefer to connect to the locals instead of other foreigners, this is a fabulous place to start.
Rental prices: You can find 1-3 bedroom apartments as cheap as 250-350 Euros a month in Cazorla.
Huelva is one of the most underrated cities to live in Spain, nestled in the far southwestern part of the country.
Truth is, Huelva boasts some of the most impressive windswept beaches, vibrant coastal citie like Punta Umbria, and the impressive Marismas del Odiel Natural Park, where migratory birds rest when traveling between Africa and northern Europe.
On top of that, Huelva is only a 40-minute drive to the Portuguese border, where you have the entire Algarve at your doorstep.
While Huelva might not be the first city in southern Spain you consider to live, there is no place in Andalucia that gives me more of a Madrid vibe than Huelva. The center is energetic and jam-packed with restaurants and bars filling up the streets that are lined with beautifully decorated buildings.
Yet, at the same time, Huelva has its own personal vibe. Walk the Muelle del Tinto, visit Casa Colon, or stroll through Barrio Reina Victoria and you quickly pick up that Huelva had a strong presence of the British in the early 1900s.
Rental prices: In Huelva city, you can expect to pay from 400 Euros a month and upwards for a one-bed studio or apartment.
Valladolid is a spirited university city where you can find vibrant nightlife and cheap food. There are numerous co-working spaces and cozy cafés with fast internet connections to work from in this historical corner of Spain.
History buffs and art lovers alike will love the ambiance in Valladolid, and there is enough to keep you busy hidden in this underrated city.
While Valladolid is situated inland, you can still enjoy hot summer days at the beach on the Pisuerga River that traverses the city.
Rental prices: You can find 1-3 bedroom apartments in Valladolid from 420-450 Euros a month.
As you can see, when looking for cheap places to live in Spain, there is a large difference in prices, and it is up to you to decide what is important to you where you live.
Naturally, prices will go up in more popular digital nomad destinations and down in more local areas with fewer ex-pats.
Even so, there are a few golden hubs where you get the best of both worlds. With Spain offering a new digital nomad visa from 2023, all you have to do is start to plan your next destination!
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