Cost of living in Spain

Cost of living in Spain

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Where to live in Spain

One of the most popular choice for British expats, Spain is a county of sun-soaked beauty, gorgeous beaches and delicious cuisine. The relaxed pace of life the country offers is another benefit for those moving to Spain, while the cost of living is generally regarded as cheaper than in the UK.

Indeed, Madrid and Barcelona (the two largest cities within Spain) only rank 82nd and 91st, respectively, out of the world’s 209 most expensive cities to live in according to Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey. These are popular destinations for those moving abroad for work, however those retiring to Spain or moving with families often opt for locations such a Costa del Sol, Benidorm or Alicante, where a low cost of living is also part of the package.

The currency used in Spain is the euro, with 1 British pound equalling approximately 1.17 euro (as of 3rd January 2020). It helps to convert euro prices into British pounds in order to compare the cost of living in Spain and the UK more clearly. You can monitor the EUR to GBP exchange rate from our Currency Zone. 

(All figures taken from Numbeo.com and exchange rates calculated on 3rd January 2020 at 13:47pm).

 

How much does accommodation cost in Spain?

Property prices and rental costs vary throughout Spain, with major cities and coastal areas requiring significantly more expenditure than other rural parts of Spain. Many Britons move to the coastal areas of Spain, where prices are lower than in Madrid or Barcelona but can be higher for properties amongst expat communities. Even so, the cost of accommodation in Spain is typically much lower than in the UK and offers expats much more for their money in terms of space and location.  Below is a guideline of the rental and property prices you can expect to find in several areas of Spain.

 

Madrid

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£792.60 (€930.62)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£600.44 (€705.00)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£1,395 (€1,638)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£962.93 (€1,131)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (city centre)

£4,456 (€5,234)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (outside centre)

£2,525 (€2,966)

 

Barcelona

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£801.44 (€941.32)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£618.36 (€726.29)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£1,279 (€1,502)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£926.16 (€1,088)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (city centre)

£3,750 (€4,405)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (outside centre)

£2,591 (€3,044)

 

Marbella (Costa del Sol)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£643.16 (€755.56)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£553.31 (€650.00)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£1,164 (€1,367)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£893.80 (€1,050)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (city centre)

£2,341 (€2,750)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (outside centre)

£1,845 (€2,167)

 

Alicante (Costa Blanca)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£410.19 (€481.82)

Monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£364.48 (€428.12)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (city centre)

£620.77 (€729.17)

Monthly rent for 3 bedroom apartment (outside centre)

£525 (€616.67)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (city centre)

£2,192 (€2,575)

Price per square meter to buy apartment (outside centre)

£1,469 (€1,725)

 

Cost of transport in Spain

The cost of transport within Spain is typically cheaper than in the UK, with public transport a relatively cheap and convenient option, particularly within major cities. However, in more coastal areas, you might find transport options limited, with the exception of local buses.

Buying a car might be marginally cheaper than in the UK, however the low cost of petrol will also make a difference to your cost of living if you plan to travel via your own vehicle.

Single bus ticket

£1.19 (€1.40)

Monthly public transport ticket

£37.02 (€43.48)

Petrol (1 litre)

£1.11 (€1.30)

Volkswagen Golf

£17,027 (€20,000)

Toyota Corolla

£17,013 (€19,983)

 

What is the cost of living in Spain?

Visiting restaurants, bars, cafes and supermarkets tends to work out cheaper in Spain than in the UK and allows for many expats to lead a more luxurious lifestyle in Spain. However, this of course depends on the area and also on your preferences and tastes. Below is a guideline of the average costs you can expect to find for several goods and services within the country.

Milk (1 litre)

£0.65 (€0.76)

Bread (500g loaf)

£0.81 (€0.95)

Eggs (12pk)

£1.38 (€1.62)

Water (1.5 litre bottle)

£0.48 (€0.56)

Chicken Breast (1kg)

£5.05 (€5.93)

Cappuccino (regular, in a restaurant)

£1.35 (€1.59)

Beer (500ml, in a restaurant/pub)

£2.13 (€2.50)

Cinema ticket

£6.81 (€8.00)

Gym membership (monthly)

£30.59 (€35.93)

Preschool/Kindergarten (monthly)

£311.83 (€366.30)

Primary School (yearly)

£6,031 (€7,079)

 

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Making the most of your international payments account

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