When you’re considering moving to a new country, whether that’s to work or study, it’s important to know what sort of costs to budget for. We’re here to walk you through the cost of living in Spain. Keep in mind that the costs can differ quite a bit from region to region! Big cities like Barcelona and Madrid are more expensive than smaller cities.
Still, these general guidelines will give you an idea of what the cost of living in Spain is like. Plan ahead and you can stretch a budget a long way here, no matter where you’re living. Whether you’re planning on working or studying abroad in Spain, it’s good to have an idea of what you’re going to be getting yourself into. It’s always smart to save up before you study abroad so you can fully enjoy your time traveling and learning.
In general, plan to spend €1,000 a month and you should be OK in most places in the country. If you’re interested in seeing specific items to figure out your cost of living in Spain, we recommend using Numbeo.
What’s the cost of living in Spain? Housing
Let’s start with one of the first things you’ll need in Spain – housing! To rent a full apartment, prices can go from anywhere from a few hundred euros in small towns to over €1200 in big cities.
Renting an individual room can cost as little as €200 in some regions (like Extremadura, Galicia, and Castilla y León), around €400 in pricey cities like Bilbao, Barcelona, and Madrid.
Your study abroad program may also provide housing, so make sure to check if it’s included.
Transportation costs in Spain
A ten-trip metro card in either Barcelona or Madrid runs around €10. You can also get monthly deals for transportation if you’re going to be using public transportation a lot, which are typically around €50.
Cell phone costs in Spain
Rather than having an expensive international phone plan, why not get a Spanish SIM card or a Spanish phone while you’re abroad? Prices can be as low as €10 a month for phone and 3G plans. There are also pay-as-you go options from many providers.
Food costs in Spain
Now, another essential – food. Food costs are reasonable in most parts of Spain. For around €10-12, you can get a three-course meal at lunchtime at a restaurant that includes a drink. At an affordable tapas bar, your meal can come it at well under €10 at any time of the day. In large cities, you can easily find dinner for under €20, often around €15.
For your supermarket shop, budget around €100-€130 a month, depending on what you buy. There are plenty of opportunities to save money here. You can often save a bit by buying your fruit and vegetables at your local grocer’s rather than a big supermarket. As a bonus, the quality is almost always better, too.
Nightlife costs in Spain
Planning on going out while you’re in Spain? There are lots of opportunities to enjoy nightlife like a local all across the country. And how much should you expect to splash out?
A drink like wine or beer starts from around €1-€2, while cocktails can go for €7 to €10. Entrance to a nightclub ranges from €10 to €20, with the more glamorous clubs charging higher fees. However, you can frequently get discounted entry if you go early (by Spanish standards, which usually means before 1 or 2 a.m.).
Entertainment costs in Spain
You might want to join a gym to stay in shape. Budget around €35 to €45 for a monthly gym membership (there are often discounts for those under 30).
Cultural activities in Spain, such as museums and exhibitions, are usually reasonably priced, with many coming in around just €5 to €10. Again, student discounts are common, and there are lots of open days when entry is completely free. We recommend checking the website of the places you want to go to see if you can get in for free.
That wraps up our list of basics you need to get an idea for your budget in Spain! Any items we missed? Let us know in the comments!