Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in the world for people to move to. It’s unsurprising given its enviable location with both sea and mountains, it has everything you could need! Moving abroad has become increasingly common, whether it’s to learn a new language, for a new job, or simply to experience life somewhere different.
No matter what your reason for moving to Barcelona, one of the most important things to consider before you make the move is the cost of living. Being aware of what the monthly cost of living will be will help you make an informed decision on where to live, what salary will be appropriate, and to be able to manage your money better.
Although one of the most expensive cities in Spain to live in, Barcelona is relatively cheap in comparison to other major European cities. Given its sandy beaches, iconic landmarks, and vibrant city life, it’s not totally surprising that it comes in at the more expensive end of Spain! However, you can still do Barcelona on a budget, so read on to find out more about the cost of living in Barcelona…
Like elsewhere in the world, location, location, location is the aspect that will greatly affect the price of where you choose to live. Each district and neighbourhood of Barcelona varies greatly from one another, and a large part of where you choose to live is down to which suits your individual needs most. But if you’re looking for the best on a budget, staying out of the more touristic areas such as Gothic Quarter, Barceloneta and El Born will give you some cheaper options. Try looking in areas such as Sants and Poble Nou, which are slightly out of the centre, but can offer some great apartments at a fraction of the cost.
Another way to cut down costs on rent is to be savvy in your search and when signing for somewhere. Read our blog of top tips for renting an apartment in Barcelona, which shares information on choosing an agency and not being caught out by unexpected costs or issues.
AB Apartment Barcelona has apartments all over Barcelona to choose from. Browse the website by different neighbourhoods and specifications, to get an idea of what you’d like best, and to get an idea of pricing for each neighbourhood.
- Average cost of a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre: €898
- Average cost of a 1-bedroom apartment outside the city centre: €714
A key question to ask before you rent anywhere: are the bills included? At AB Apartment Barcelona, all of our properties come with utility bills included in the rental price, so it takes all stress off trying to organise it yourself. However, if you choose an apartment that requires you to organise your standard utilities separately (water, electricity, gas and heating), these are the average prices you will look to pay:
- For a single person in a 60-70m2 flat, no more than €100 for gas, electricity, water.
- Internet €35-40
The cost of groceries is largely dependent upon your own shopping habits, and particularly the shops you choose to do your groceries in. For a single person’s food shop at supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi, the monthly average cost will be around €150. But if you’re wanting to shop in a higher end supermarket like Corte Inglés or Carrefour, the monthly cost will be €200+.
Examples of average food prices:
- Milk (litre) – €0.87
- Loaf of bread – €1.26
- Eggs (12) – €2.15
- Bananas (kg) – €1.77
- Potatoes (kg) – €1.32
Barcelona has an excellent public transport system, that comes in at a much cheaper price than many other major cities in the world. You can buy a single ticket for just €2.40, which is valid for all forms of transport – metro, trams, buses, and trains. There are other options that can save you even more money in the long term too:
- T-usual card, allowing unlimited journeys for a month: €40 for 1 zone
- T-casual card, 10 journeys for €11.35
- T-jove card, unlimited journeys for 90 days for under 25s: €80 for 1 zone
- T-16 card, children and young people aged 4-16 have unlimited free travel
It is also a popular choice to get around Barcelona by bicycle. There is the Bicing public bike system which has bike pick up spots all over the city, and for this you have two choices of rates to pay: a flat rate of €50 for the year, or €35 per use rate, with a small cost extra depending on the time you spend cycling.
Taxis in Barcelona cost €1.10 per kilometre if you hail one from the street, or there is also the mobile applications FreeNow and Cabify which work in the same way as Uber (which is banned in the city!).
There are thousands of restaurants in Barcelona to choose from, so the cost can really vary! For a three-course meal of starter, main and dessert, you can expect to pay between €7-20, and you can order a local glass of wine for roughly €2-3 in many places.
To save some money when eating out, and on museums too, it’s worth looking into purchasing a Barcelona Card. It gives you meal vouchers and discounts for money off eating out, which is always appreciated!
Overview of costs at a glance
- Average 1-bedroom flat rental cost: €714-898
- Average utilities cost: €130
- Average monthly groceries: €150
- Public transport single ticket: €2.40
- Average cost of meal in a restaurant: €7-20
Now you have a better idea of the price range you’re looking at; you can start to have a clearer picture of planning your cost of living in Barcelona. As is the case with everywhere in the world, you can spend a lot if you don’t plan ahead! We recommend planning your meals in advance, buying a longer-term public transport pass, and spending time researching your apartment instead of leaving it last-minute. If you need any help on your move to Barcelona or have any questions about apartments, don’t hesitate to contact the AB Apartment Barcelona team and we’ll be more than happy to help you!