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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Barcelona 2024
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Barceloneta Beach


Cost of Living in Barcelona

By Betsy Burlingame

Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers

Summary: Understanding the the cost of living in Barcelona helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Apartment Rentals The average cost of renting an apartment in Barcelona is €1,000 to €1,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. Outside of the city center, the cost of renting an apartment can be as low as €600 per month.
Apartment Purchases The average cost of purchasing an apartment in Barcelona is €3,000 to €4,000 per square meter. The cost of purchasing an apartment in the city center is higher than outside of the city center.
Transportation The cost of public transportation in Barcelona is €2.20 for a single ticket, €10.20 for a 10-trip ticket, and €50.90 for a monthly pass. The cost of a taxi ride in Barcelona is €2.20 for the base fare, plus €1.10 per kilometer.
Groceries The cost of groceries in Barcelona is relatively low. A loaf of bread costs €1.50, a liter of milk costs €0.90, and a dozen eggs costs €2.00.
Restaurants The cost of eating out in Barcelona varies depending on the type of restaurant. A meal at a fast food restaurant costs €7.00, while a meal at a mid-range restaurant costs €20.00.
Utilities The cost of utilities in Barcelona is relatively low. The average cost of electricity is €0.20 per kilowatt-hour, and the average cost of water is €2.50 per cubic meter.
Private School Tuition The cost of private school tuition in Barcelona varies depending on the school. The average cost of preschool tuition is €1,000 per month, the average cost of elementary school tuition is €2,000 per month, the average cost of middle school tuition is €3,000 per month, and the average cost of high school tuition is €4,000 per month.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Barcelona

"The cost of living in Barcelona is generally considered to be quite high compared to other cities in Spain. Rent prices are particularly high, with the average one-bedroom apartment costing around €800-€1,000 per month. Groceries and other everyday items are also more expensive than in other parts of the country. Eating out can be quite expensive, with a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant costing around €50. Public transportation is relatively affordable, with a single ticket costing €2.20," said one expat living in Barcelona.

Can I live in Barcelona on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Barcelona for a while now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find an affordable neighborhood to live in. I'd recommend looking into areas like Poble Sec, El Raval, or Sant Antoni. These neighborhoods are more affordable than places like Eixample or Gracia, which are quite expensive.When it comes to housing, you'll probably need to share an apartment with roommates to keep costs down. A room in a shared apartment in an affordable neighborhood can cost you around $400-$600 a month. Utilities and internet will likely be an additional $50-$100 a month, depending on your usage.For transportation, I'd recommend getting a monthly public transportation pass, which costs around $60. This will give you unlimited access to buses, trams, and the metro. If you prefer to bike, there's also a city bike-sharing program called Bicing, which costs around $50 a year.Eating out can be quite expensive in Barcelona, so you'll need to cook most of your meals at home. Groceries can cost you around $200-$300 a month, depending on your diet and where you shop. There are some affordable supermarkets like Mercadona and Lidl, where you can find good deals on groceries.When it comes to entertainment, you'll need to be selective about the activities you choose. Going out for drinks or dinner can add up quickly, so try to take advantage of free or low-cost events and attractions around the city. There are plenty of parks, museums, and cultural events that you can enjoy without spending too much money.In conclusion, living in Barcelona on $1,500 a month is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, sharing an apartment, cooking at home, and being selective about your entertainment choices, you can make it work," commented an expat living in Barcelona.

Can I live in Barcelona on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Barcelona for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make some sacrifices in terms of the neighborhood you choose to live in and the size of your apartment.First, let's talk about housing. If you want to live in the city center, like Eixample or El Born, you'll probably have to pay more for rent, and you might have to settle for a smaller apartment. But if you're willing to live a bit further out, you can find more affordable options in neighborhoods like Poble Sec, Gracia, or Sant Antoni. These areas are still well-connected to the city center by public transportation, and they have a more local vibe, which can be a nice change from the touristy areas.In terms of other expenses, groceries and eating out can be quite affordable in Barcelona, especially if you shop at local markets and avoid touristy restaurants. Public transportation is also relatively cheap, and you can save money by getting a monthly pass. However, if you're used to having a car, you might have to give that up, as parking can be expensive and difficult to find in the city.One thing to keep in mind is that salaries in Barcelona are generally lower than in other major European cities, so if you're working here, you might have to adjust your expectations in terms of your lifestyle. But overall, I think it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month in Barcelona, as long as you're willing to be flexible and make some compromises," said one expat living in Barcelona.

Can I live in Barcelona on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Barcelona for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. Of course, you might have to make some sacrifices, but overall, you can have a great quality of life here.First, let's talk about housing. If you want to live in the city center, like Eixample or Ciutat Vella, you'll probably have to pay more for rent. These areas are beautiful and full of life, but they can be quite expensive. I'd recommend looking for an apartment in neighborhoods like Poble Sec, Gracia, or Sant Antoni. These areas are still central, but they're more affordable and have a more local vibe. You can find a nice one or two-bedroom apartment for around $1,000 to $1,500 a month.As for transportation, the public transport system in Barcelona is excellent, and you can get a monthly pass for around $60. This will give you unlimited access to buses, trams, and the metro. If you prefer to drive, keep in mind that parking can be a challenge in some areas, and gas prices are higher than in the US.When it comes to groceries, you can save money by shopping at local markets and discount supermarkets like Mercadona or Lidl. Eating out can be affordable too, especially if you take advantage of the "menu del dia" (daily set menu) offered by many restaurants during lunchtime. This usually includes a starter, main course, dessert, and a drink for around $12 to $15.For entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in Barcelona. You can visit the city's many parks and beaches, attend free concerts and events, or explore the numerous museums and galleries that offer free entry on certain days.In terms of healthcare, if you're working in Spain, you'll have access to the public healthcare system, which is generally of good quality. However, if you prefer private healthcare, you can get a comprehensive insurance plan for around $100 to $150 a month.So, to sum it up, living in Barcelona on $5,000 a month is definitely doable. You might have to make some adjustments, like choosing a more affordable neighborhood or being mindful of your spending on dining out and entertainment, but overall, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with modern amenities in this beautiful city," commented an expat living in Barcelona.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers

Balcells Group Lawyers
Balcells Group Lawyers

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