The cost of living in Spain is a popular topic among those looking to relocate to the country. For most people, the cost of living is a major factor when deciding on a place to live. Whether you’re relocating for a job, retiring, or starting a new adventure in the sun, finding out how much things cost can be helpful in preparing financially.
In this blog post we explore exactly how much money you need to afford a comfortable lifestyle in Spain – so read on for an inside look into one of Europe’s most beautiful countries.
How much do people need to live comfortably in Spain?
According to some research, a single person can live in Spain for about 665.5€ (rental prices not included). As for a family of four, the average prices per month without rent are around 2,326.8€.
Housing rent and utilities in Spain
Rent prices in Spain vary widely depending on the city and location. For example, in major cities like Barcelona, living costs and average rental prices can be quite high. This is due to its popularity as a tourist destination. However, it is considerably cheaper to rent in other cities. The average monthly rent in Barcelona is around €1000 per month for an apartment in the city center.
In Madrid, a beloved city for expats, renting an apartment in the center can cost around €900 per month. Conversely, if you choose to live outside of downtown Madrid, the average price for one-room accommodation drops to an affordable €700 each month.
If you’re on a budget, Seville is your perfect destination. You can rent an apartment in the city center for as little as €600 or outside of town for even more savings at only €450. It’s an ideal city for those looking to live abroad on a tighter budget.
Buying property in Spain
Spain is an excellent option for those wanting to purchase the property. Property prices vary from city to city, as well as region to region.
Generally, the average price of a house in Spain is much lower than in other Western Europe countries. The average house price in Spain is €3.183 (per square meter) in 2023.
Cost of products in Spain
Food costs in Spain are quite reasonable, making living comfortable and easy on the wallet. Although it can be difficult to calculate individual grocery costs, $100 per couple per week is usually enough. Furthermore, if you’re used to eating out often, you’ll likely spend less than that on your grocery bills.
The country’s strong agricultural industry produces many local products. Also, its hot weather makes it possible for food items to be available at an affordable cost. Various fruits and vegetables are grown here within its extended growing season, making them accessible even when they’re considered gourmet produce in North America.
Locally sourced meats such as lamb are a bargain at only $10 per pound. Instead, fish and shellfish from coastal regions cost anywhere between $2 -$7 depending on the variety.
The Mediterranean diet is made easy with an abundance of affordable products such as olive oil starting at just $4 a liter or local wine for an unbeatable price of $3.75 per bottle. Spain’s answer to Italy’s cured ham, Jamón serrano, can also be bought easily in the region so you can eat both healthily and well without breaking the bank.
Restaurants in Spain
If you’re looking for a great deal at a low-cost restaurant, save money with the menú del día (menu of the day or special lunch menu). Most places offer this meal between €10 and €15 per person. You’ll enjoy a salad, soup, paella, or vegetable dish as an appetizer, followed by meat/fish entrees (and even vegetarian options), bread, and sometimes dessert & coffee. Washed down with beer or wine- all included in one price.
Enjoy a romantic evening out without breaking the bank. A dinner for two at an average restaurant is only €40, and drinks are budget-friendly too – beer: 2.5€ or less; wine: 5€; cappuccino: 1.65€.
Public transport in Spain
With its longstanding and dependable public transportation system, exploring Spain has never been more convenient or economical. Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Valencia each have an efficient metro network to get you around the major towns and cities with ease; numerous buses offer intercity routes as well as regional services. High-speed trains are also available for those who want to cover greater distances in a shorter amount of time – all while staying within your budget.
A bus ticket for a one-way ride will cost you about €1.5, and if your stay is longer than that, then the monthly pass costs between €35 to 45, depending on the city. Book your tickets at least two weeks before departure to save some money while traveling from Madrid to Barcelona by train.
Car in Spain
In Spain, owning a car is hardly essential. Spanish cities are designed for pedestrians and most areas can be reached easily on foot or public transport. Furthermore, in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona parking spaces are always scarce to come by.
Additionally, fuel costs an average of €1.3 per liter while routine maintenance will set you back around €150 each month. This is rather expensive if you don’t plan on traveling a lot.
Suppose you are planning on traveling by car. In that case, the cost of buying and insuring one in Spain will vary depending on your age and driving record. Expect to pay around €2,000 for an entry-level model with basic insurance coverage.
As a citizen or permanent resident of Spain, you are entitled to free healthcare that is funded by your employer through social security contributions. However, in certain circumstances and depending on the region where you live, some treatments may incur an additional fee.
Aspiring expats tend to opt for private health insurance plans as they offer greater coverage and protection. Generally, these types of policies will range from €30-€50 each month for those in their 20s or 30s. However the price increases with age or pre-existing medical conditions. To ensure a secure and tranquil journey in Spain, we highly recommend that you get travel insurance. It is the best way to guarantee your safety when traveling abroad.
Entertainment costs, sports, and leisure in Spain
Investing in a fitness club subscription in Spain costs just €40 per month. If you want to get active, you can also book an hour’s tennis at only €11.
If the movies or theater are more your style, two tickets will set you back at least €16 and €52 respectively. Spain offers plenty of cost-effective activities for backpackers or those traveling on a shoestring budget. Bar hopping is always an option with the average cost of beer per pint at €2.50 and that of cocktails at €5.
Frequent questions about the cost of living in Spain
How much does it cost to live in Spain?
If you’re alone, you can live on €1000 per month in Spain. This includes room rent, groceries, health insurance, rare use of public transport, eating out a few times a month, and shopping moderately. If you want to eat out regularly, shop frequently, and travel in or around the country, then a budget of €1700 is enough to live comfortably. Families with children should budget €2,200 to €2,881 per month. This includes the cost of groceries, rent and utilities, public transport, shopping, education/preschool, and insurance.
This is greatly attributed to its lower per capita income than many other Western European countries. According to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Spain exhibits superior performance in various well-being aspects in comparison to other nations featured in the Better Life Index.
The country notably surpasses the average in crucial areas such as fostering a favorable work-life balance, ensuring the population’s health, cultivating strong social bonds, and maintaining safety. However, it lags behind the mean in generating job opportunities, providing quality education, as well as in promoting life satisfaction among its citizens.
Cost of living in Spain vs the USA
If we compare it with the United States, it’s clear why so many Americans opt to work remotely from Spain. The average salary in Spain is twice as low as those in the US.
US citizens who move to Spain for work, study or retirement will relish the considerably lower living expenses. You only need around 750$-1000$ a month to cover all costs compared to similar accommodations in the United States. If you’re daring enough to make the move from an expensive city, such as New York or San Francisco, to a Spanish city like Barcelona—you’ll notice how cheap everything still is.
Cost of living in Spain vs the UK
Spain has been and continues to be a relatively popular destination for the British. More and more Brits are planning to move to Spain after Brexit to enjoy the warmer temperatures, beautiful beaches, and cheap cost of living.
On average, the cost of living in Spain is 114% cheaper than in the UK, and the biggest cost differences are in rent, utilities, and daycare. Although some prices are pretty similar, such as water bills, the Spanish landmass could offer more economical options. For instance, telecommunication companies in Spain give packages including phone and television for your entire family, which can significantly reduce expenses.
Cost of living in Spain vs Canada
Canada and Spain have a few similarities, such as beautiful nature, friendly people, and great healthcare. But perhaps what gives Spain an edge is its cheaper cost of living, access to healthier food, and warmer climate for those looking to get away from Canada’s winters.
On average, the cost of living in Spain is 59% cheaper than in Canada. Although gym memberships and utility bills can be slightly more expensive in Spain, you’ll find the biggest differences in the rent costs, groceries, alcoholic drinks, and daycare.
A word from SpainDesk
Living in Spain is a fantastic experience. Spain is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Spanish culture is full of art and outdoor attractions. But, like in all other countries, all the major cities have their own unique cost of living.
With this valuable insight into how much you can expect to spend each month on rent, groceries, utilities, and other expenses in Spain, you can budget better during your stay.
Moving to a new country can be tricky financially but having an idea of what to expect can help make the transition smoother. So if you’re planning on heading to Spain soon – use this guide as your starting point for creating a budget.
Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.