Barcelona Tourist and Expat Guide – I'mMovingToBarcelona



You are probably wanting to ask me: what’s the cost of moving to Barcelona, man? Is there a recommended amount of money I should have on my bank account before coming to live near la playa?

That is a very good question but the answer depends on so many factors that I am wondering where do I begin? Are you moving alone, with a couple or as a family with kids? Wanna rent a whole flat or just a room? Planning to stay for longer or just for a semester up to a year? The cost of moving to Barcelona has to do an awful lot with your answers to these questions. I’ll try to give you a rough idea on what it may be for all those cases.

There are few steps in your I’m Moving To Barcelona Project:

1. Coming to Barcelona with your stuff

Well, it depends totally on our possibilities. You can come by plane and take some extra luggage. Come by car and pack it to the roof or hire a moving company. The cost depends on your needs and the country you move from. We will not be of much help on this one, unfortunately.

It may be a good idea to have your stuff sent after you moved and found a flat. It will be more comfortable, you don’t need all your belongings right away. If you are planning to visit your family and friends for Christmas, it’s about time you brought all the winter clothes and stuff like snowboard, sledge, ski or whatever you like to ride on in Andorra. You won’t need it here before late December.

2. Pay your stay while looking for a flat or a room

We recommend taking some 3-4 weeks to look around. It’s not an easy task to find the perfect flat in Barcelona. Therefore, let’s not add any more stress to it. If you give yourself a month to search for a flat, you will be able to move around, talk to people, make some acquaintances and get better informed on the real estate market in Spain. Ask as many questions as possible, cause things are different here. For instance, convinience like central heating is a luxury that only few have a plaesure to experience in BCN…

If you don’t want to spent a fortune on hotels in Barcelona, try finding your temporary stay at, or sites alike. You will not only find a place to stay but also get a person to show you around. You will pay much less than for a hotel or even a hostel. Couchsufing is for free and on Airbnb we found a flat for some 150% of the price we currently pay monthly our landlord. Which is much less than a hotel in Barcelona and we had the whole flat for ourselves and our things.

For more tips check out our article here: 5 tips before you start looking for a flat in BCN.


Airbnb, monthly stay in a 2-bedroom flat (all for yourself) 25 min in metro from city center: from 1500 euro a month.
Hostel: from 25 euro per night (even if they advertise less on the weekends the price tends to go up)

Remember that on Airbnb you get in touch with real people not companies, so you can always bargain 🙂 Also, if you stay for a month you will pay the price equal to 2 weeks stay. The longer you stay, the less you pay.

3. Deposit, agency’s fee and so on. (Un)predictable expenses

Before renting a flat you will need to get spend some heavy money up front. This is where the real numbers begin. Get ready, also mentally, to pay at once your rent multiplied by 4:

  • 1x: Your monthly rent right up front.
  • 2x: Deposit which normally equals to 2 monthly rents (if you rent a room it should be just 1x)
  • 1x: Agency Fee. It may equal 1 monthly rent +21%VAT (here they call it IVA)
  • = 4x monthly rent

It’s good to be prepared for this expenses, otherwise it may come as a shock.

4. Monthly rent for a flat or a room

There is one thing you need to realize before deciding on the flat size. Don’t forget you will be living in Barcelona. People will love to come and visit you in the city where Woody Allen made a movie with Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem. I guarantee you will have loads of visits during the first year of your stay. Better make it as comfortable for yourself as possible.


  • Nice 2-bedroom flat for a couple: in a nice but not too touristy of a place, say Eixample district, you will spend some 800-1200 euro monthly. Depending on the flat’s situation, condition and furnishings.
  • Comfy place for one: a nice and comfortable place for one person, with air-conditioning and all the necessary supplies will cost you some 550-750 euro monthly. Of course the final price is a lottery and it all depends on your luck.
  • A room in a shared flat: 300-450 euro monthly

For more tips on how to look for a flat in Barcelona go to our article: 8 tips to find the perfect flat in Barcelona.

5. Getting all the documents in place

This is not as much costly money-wise as time-wise. Read as much as you can and ask your compatriots about stuff. Normally the embassy should have all the necessary info on their website. It is really worth your while to read it through.

You will surely need to get your:

  • NIE number – 12 euro and few hours with a
  • Social Security – free of charge
  • Empadronamiento – residential registration in the city hall, necessary for the public health service (cat salut) – free of charge
  • Find out how to register your car here (there is a very limited time for it during which it is free of tax)
  • Check what taxes you should be paying here (even your employer can be wrong about this one)

All in all, moving to Barcelona is a great experience. You will have your moments of surprise, anger, astonishment or impatience but finally you will settle down here and enjoy your new life sitting by a palm tree in sunny Barcelona.

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3 Discussions on
  • Extremely helpful article! My sister is about to move to Barcelona, therefore I decided to do some research about it. Your post gives me a lot of useful information and tips. Thanks for sharing

  • I have experience paying 3 x monthly payments to move in(first month, deposit and agent fee), but I was renting flat without furniture. I don’t know if it’s common when you renting flat without furniture or I was lucky.

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