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Palencia: What is the quality of life like in Spain’s cheapest city?

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Palencia: What is the quality of life like in Spain’s cheapest city?
What's it like to live in Palencia, Spain? Photo: Luis Rogelio HM / Wikimedia Commons

If you're looking to save money and move to one of Spain's most affordable cities, then Palencia could be a great option.


Earlier this year, we revealed Spain’s cheapest city to live in was Palencia.

Situated in northern Castilla y León, halfway between Burgos and Valladolid, Palencia a charming historic city with a low cost of living, yet with plenty of cultural attractions. 

But what’s it really like to live in Spain’s cheapest city?

Cost of living

Data shows that living in Palencia is actually 30 percent cheaper than the national average, meaning you could save quite a bit by moving here. 

The average monthly salary is €1,822 per month, according to the latest stats, meaning people there can enjoy greater purchasing power than other parts of the country too.

Both accommodation and public transport stand out as being very affordable in Palencia.

The latest data (August 2023) from property website Enalquiler shows that average price of renting an apartment in Palencia is €557.

While property giant Idealista states the average price per square metre of renting in Palencia is €6.98. 

A single ticket on the local bus service costs €0.80 and if you buy multi-journey tickets, each journey is €0.60.


Palencia close to major cities

Surprisingly Palencia isn’t a backwater in empty Spain, miles from anywhere, it’s actually pretty close to several major cities, meaning that leaving for a day of shopping or going to the theatre would easily be doable.

It’s just a 2.5-hour drive or a 2-hour 10-minute train ride from the capital of Madrid, where you can have all the culture, shopping and restaurants you need.


It also lies within an easy distance of the capital of the region - León, taking approximately 40 minutes by train and 1hr 30min by car. 

But it's not necessary even to travel that far nearest big city is Valladolid, just 45 minutes on the train and 40 minutes driving.

Palencia is well connected via public transport, meaning that you can even travel to many places without the need for your own car.

Palencia lies close to many other major Spanish cities. Photo: Zarateman / Wikimedia Commons

It’s filled with historic treasures

But, you don’t need to leave Palencia in order to get a good dose of culture as it has a lot of its own too.

Its historic centre is home to several old churches, ancient bridges and palaces. At the centre sits the Plaza Mayor dating from the 17th century and home to the grand neoclassical Casa Consistorial.  

Another highlight is the city’s cathedral, dedicated to the martyr Saint Antolín and built between the 14th and 16th centuries.  

The city is also home to an archaeological museum, a museum of sacred art and several other churches and monasteries.  

One curious place to visit nearby is the Cave of the French, a natural cave which has been spectacularly sculpted by water and was once the burial ground of many French soldiers during the War of Independence.



Living in Palencia is very safe and residents typically don’t have to worry about crime. In fact, it’s one of the safest cities in Spain. 

According to a report prepared by Somos Seguros, of the Association of Business Insurance (Unespa) Palencia was 37 percent safer in terms of traffic accidents, property thefts and fires.


Palencia like many places in northern central Spain experiences cold winters and hot summers with shorter seasons of spring and autumn. Summers are usually dry while spring is the wettest time of year. Winters can be dominated by clouds and wind.

Because of its proximity to the north of Spain, temperatures don’t get as hot as they do in the centre and south of the country and it’s easy to get away to the Cantabrian or Asturian coast for some cooler and wetter weather.


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