Barcelona Tourist and Expat Guide – I'mMovingToBarcelona

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING TO BARCELONA

MONTHLY COST OF LIVING IN BARCELONA

Before making a decision to move to Barcelona you probably wonder what’s the monthly cost of living here. It is not easy to find this information. And it’s fundamental data before deciding on any destination. Let’s check what’s the monthly cost of living in Barcelona.

How can you know if the income I am offered will be enough to live and maintain a certain level of life in Barcelona?

If you’re careful enough with your money, don’t plan to party too hard (which is rather expensive) and don’t need many luxuries, you will be OK with €1100 a month per person.

PLACE TO LIVE

Prices vary depending on where you look: high-demanded neighborhoods like Gracia, El Born, Barri Gotic and Poblenou can cost you a lot of money for even a crappy flat. The neighborhoods like Les Corts or even Sagrada Familia are also very nice and rents are a bit lower. You can also find something interesting in my favorite neighborhood l’Eixample.

If you plan to move on your own, you can either share a flat with other people – 350-500 euro room/month or rent a one-bedroom apartment for some 650 – 850 euro. If you are a couple then for 900-1200 euro you can get a very decent 70-80 square meters, 2-3 bedroom apartment, with 2 bathrooms.

In addition to the monthly fee, there is the deposit required when renting a flat. You are usually required to pay a 2 months’ deposit plus the real estate agents’ fee which is 1 months’ rent or 10% of the annual rent.

To summarize:

Rent for a room – 350-500 euro
Rent for a one-bedroom flat – 650 – 850 euro
Rent for a 2-3 bedroom flat – 900-1200 euro
Real estate agency fee – 1 months’ rent or 10% of the annual rent
Deposit – 2 months’ rent
Note: be prepared that the first month of your rent you will need to pay in advance 3-4 times your monthly rent. Depending on whether you rent your flat via an agency or not.

BILLS

Electricity + gas – around €80-100 monthly for the whole flat
Internet:

  • The cheapest option, 30Mb Fiber Optic  – from €40
  • Internet fusion with TV and mobile: fiber optic Internet 100Mb + TV sport included + mobile number = €70-110

Mobile phone cheapest monthly cost – from €15
If you mostly text and use 4G – Yoigo, Tuenti or Pepe Phone and other small companies offer a pre-paid option with the Internet (2Gb) for around 8 eur/month+VAT. And around 0,18 euro for the first minute of the call. Btw, nobody sends “traditional” texts (sms) here, literally everybody uses WhatsApp.

Note: Watch out for extra “small print” costs on Internet and TV. They have this special gift of making promotions that have nothing to do with the real final price. E.g. when contracting Internet for your flat you get a landline fee which you always need to pay, even if you never use it.

GROCERY SHOPPING

Monthly grocery shopping for 2 in discount stores like Lidl – €250-300
Monthly grocery shopping for 2 in supermarkets like BonPreu or Carrefour (chemical products included) – €300-400

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Single ticket – €2,15
10-journey pass for all means of transport, 1 zone (whole BCN) – €9,95
Monthly pass for all means of transport, 1 zone (whole BCN)  – €53,75
Bicing (city bike) annual pass – €47,16
Taxi from city center (pl. Catalunya) to airport El Prat – about €35-40

Metro, commuting trains, buses and trams are unified, so you use a single ticket and switch between them without additional costs for 75 mins. Depending on where you live or study you may need a few trips per day, consider that when buying public transport pass.

DINING OUT

Dinner in a nice restaurant for 2 – €55-75
Pizza or burger with beer or wine in a hipster place for 2 – €25 – 40
Menu of the day for lunch (during weekdays)  – around €10
Menu of the day for students on campus – around €8

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema ticket – €6,50-11
It is possible to find movies in original version (VOSE) or Spanish ones with English subtitles (check cinemas like Yelmo Icaria, Verdi, Renoir etc.)
Monthly gym pass – €30 – 80
(sometimes in order to get a discount you need to pay annual fee up front)
Clubbing –  entry fee including 1 drink after 02:00 AM – €15 – 20 (before 2:00 its free)

PRICE LIST FOR MOST POPULAR PRODUCTS 

Bread, baguette style – €0,90-1,30
Milk 1l – €1,00
Tomatoes 1kg – €1,00
Water 1,5l in a supermarket – €0,60
Beer, bottle/can,33 cl in a supermarket – €0,60
Beer, small, 33 cl in a bar – €2,00
Wine bottle in a supermarket – €3-6,00
Wine bottle in a restaurant – €10-15,00
Espresso/ cortado/ small coffee – €1,20
Daily newspaper – €2,50 Sunday edition,  €1,80 on Saturdays, €1,40 during weekdays.

If you’d like to cross reference Barcelona for the quality of life, earnings and spendings with other interesting cities all over the world visit Teleport.org. It’s a great tool to compare the levels of life in different cities around the world.


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29 Discussions on
“MONTHLY COST OF LIVING IN BARCELONA”
  • I stay in Dubai and got the opportunity to visit Barcelona for the WRC 2015 season in October. I found it filthy expensive compared to what I was used to (food, transportation – Renfe and Taxi etc). I get 3 medium pizza combo at Pizza hut for around EUR18. In Ramblas, I got 1 biscuit base hard pizza for EUR20.

    My European friend who also stays with mw was arguing with me that Dubai is more expensive than even the most expensive place in Europe but my experience says otherwise. I have been a resident here since two decades. I don’t spend on any luxuries and go for everything economic.

    Will Barcelona be cheaper?

    • Hi Ahmad,
      but who, on earth, eats in Las Ramblas? 😉 If you go to Dubai’s most touristic place, I´m sure they will happily charge you much more for everything.
      My personal belief is that each city becomes cheaper when you get to know it. Then you learn to avoid the typical touristic places and good spots with great food for a reasonable price.
      We have some recommendations in the FOOD category: http://immovingtobarcelona.com/category/food-in-barcelona/
      Cheers,
      Sofia

  • Barcelona is very cheap. If you live in Clot and share an apartment, you can get a room for 280 (everything included). I spend around 700 for everything per month. I live pretty frugally and only shop at Humana stores however, but I am saving for travel which is more of a priority. The only thing I can’t stop spending on is eating out. Though you need to learn the value of different places. If I want to eat somewhere cheap, I go to somewhere in Clot versus Borne or Gothic, which will always be trendy and more expensive. I can’t think of any other city (outside of Spain) where I could eat and have a full bottle of wine for 10euro (menu del dia). You just have to avoid the touristy areas.

  • Hi, All,

    I am a certified, American-TESOL English teacher and author. I am thinking about moving to Barcelona, and have been told I could get enough work teaching private lessons. Would that be enough to make a living, in your estimation? And what’s the best way to find students? Thanks.

    • Hi Fadi,
      I don’t know much about how much an English class costs here but I’m sure there is a lot of demand. You can check on university campuses and put your ad there. You can also check up schools that teach English to big companies, startups, etc. Now many employers offer English to their Spanish employees, this could be interesting. If I were you, I’d do some research before coming here to find a Plan B. I think it would be easier to find some students if you start by teaching in an English school.

  • As an English teacher moving to Barcelona, I need to live in an area near universities and schools, that should be at the same time near shops and cafes. Would that be possible? What area? Also,, would a furnished room, or apartment be better, if students were to come to me for private lessons? Thank you very much indeed for your help and courtesy..

    • Hi Fadi,

      I think you can try to look for an apartment in the center, the Universitat area would be best, also Barri Gotic and Eixample. It’s pretty easy to rent a furnished flat, I think it doesn’t matter if you live alone or with other people, as long as you have enough room in your room 🙂

  • If I may ask yet two more small questions:

    Is it easy to get by with English, such as at doctor’s offices, pharmacies and supermarkets?
    Is it easy to live without a car, by living near everything?

    Thank you very much for your continued kindness and help.

    Best,

    Fadi

    • Without a car – no problem.
      When it comes to English, there are a lot of people who get by with just English but there is no guarantee you will find an English speaking doctor, you will just need to look for one who does speak English.

  • My dear friends,

    Congrats for your remarkable work.
    I am a brazilian born citizen with a spanish citizenship too. My mother was spanish.
    And I am planning to live in Barcelona within the next 12 months.
    Your newsletter is a lot helpful and I ask you to please enroll me as one of your readers and fans.
    Again, congrats!
    ari.

  • Hello.

    Thanks a lot finally your brief and detailed information.

    I would like to ask about the average Salary ranges for Technical jobs (e.g. Engineers).

    Could you please give me estimations.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Hey, I’m looking to move to Barcelona for just the summer months July-August and just wondering if anyone knows any websites that could help in finding short term cheap accommodation! Air bnb don’t have a lot to offer and is rather expensive ! Cheers !

    • Hi Emma,
      I’m afraid we don’t know any other. But hey, why not try couchsurfing.com? You get to live with the locals and it’s totally free.

    • Hi Ahmed, it will be 2,455eur/month net. Count at least 1000-1200eur for an apartment and another 700-1000eur for the monthly spendings. Looks like it should be OK.

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