Written by Bethany Hemsley,
Last Modified: 1st October 2021

Spanish cities have a certain charm that is hard to find elsewhere. But when it comes to living in one, it can be rather expensive. We’ve picked four stunning Spanish cities that offer property buyers the whole package without the hefty price tag.

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Alicante

Alicante is far more than just a ‘gateway to the Costa Blanca’ as it is often called. Retaining much of its authenticity, this attractive city is vibrant and has plenty going on, and the weather is second to none. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to bars and restaurants, which particularly come alive in the evening.

affordable cities in Spain

Beautiful old street in Alicante – Veja _ Shutterstock.com

There’s also a quaint old quarter, an impressive Moorish castle and a long waterfront promenade flanked by palm trees. What’s more, the city has great beaches, bays and coves and is just a short drive from some of the other most-loved beaches on the Costa Blanca.

Along with being extremely accessible, with year-round flights from all over the UK, property prices are very affordable. The average home in Alicante costs around € 1,800 per square metre, says idealista. According to Numbeo, Alicante is around 37% cheaper to live in than London, with rent costing around 72% less. Compared to other Spanish cities, Alicante is cheaper than both Madrid and Barcelona on several factors, including consumer prices, rent, groceries and restaurant prices.

Murcia

Head around an hour south from Alicante and you’ll reach the beautiful, historical and sun-drenched city of Murcia on the Costa Cálida. Along with affordable property and living costs – the average home costs around €1,300 per square metre and cost of living is around 37% less than in London – Murcia boasts stunning architecture and a rich culture, dating back as far as 800AD when it was founded by the emir of Córdoba.

Cathedral de Santa Maria

Some of the city’s highlights include the Cathedral de Santa Maria (which took 300 years to build!), the Plaza de las Flores where you can watch the world go by with a cup of coffee, the colourful Floridablanca Gardens which is a great place to escape the summer heat, and the ninth century Monteagudo Castle with its towering white statue of Christ.

Murcia is very laid-back and there are plenty of beaches nearby to relax and soak up the sunshine. Some of the best in the region are Playa de Poniente in Águilas and Percheles in Mazarrón.

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Málaga

Another affordable Spanish city, this time on the Costa del Sol, is Málaga. The city is regularly voted as having the best quality of life in Spain and is seen as one of the most liveable cities in the country. This is hardly surprising when you look at what the city offers.

Málaga is particularly strong for culture with practically every type of art, music, history and museum. Picasso was born in Málaga, and the Picasso Museum dedicated to him offers an excellent display of his works. Málaga also has some very good jazz clubs; the Clarence Jazz Club is brilliant – you can find it just behind Málaga Cathedral.

affordable cities in Spain

Aerial view of Málaga

A major draw of Málaga is how well-connected it is. There are flights from every corner of the UK and Europe, all year. It’s also just 2.5 hours from Madrid on the AVE (high-speed train) and has a busy port with ferries to Morocco.

Property prices are a little higher than Alicante and Murcia, at around €2,500 per square metre, however, the general cost of living is still very affordable. It is cheaper to rent, eat out and buy groceries in Málaga than in Madrid and Barcelona. Some good areas of the city to consider buying property are El Palo, Playa de la Malagueta and El Limonar.

Granada

Lastly, we explore the charming city of Granada. Nestled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is the third corner of Spain’s ‘Golden Triangle’, with the rest comprised of Seville and Córdoba.

It is in Granada that you will find the world-famous Alhambra, a truly spectacular Moorish palace with gorgeous, landscaped gardens.

The Spanish Moors certainly left their mark on this beautiful city. As you wander through the streets, you’ll find towering arches bathed in sunshine, a historic Arab quarter and enticing aromas of delicious street food. The streets are lively with old fashioned tapas bars, colourful flamenco clubs and hip cafes.

The fortress and palace of Alhambra

Granada is slightly more inland than some of the other cities we’ve mentioned, and property prices reflect this. The average home in Granada costs around €1,900 and the cost of living is attractive too – consumer prices, rent, groceries and restaurant prices are all lower than Madrid and Barcelona.

The only payoff with Granada is that, although it does have its own airport, it only accepts domestic flights so you would need to stopover in either Madrid, Málaga or Barcelona if flying from outside of Spain.

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