The cost of living in Barcelona 2019 and what to expect as a student
So you’ve decided to move to Barcelona. Or maybe you’re just thinking about it. Depending on where you’re coming from, the cost of living in Barcelona can be more or less expensive than what you’re used to. Let’s break down the basic average costs of the day-to-day things that you will need to spend on in the Catalan capital.
Cost of Accommodation
As Barcelona’s popularity has grown substantially in the last few years, so have the rental prices. You can expect to pay from anywhere from €350/month to €550/month for a room in a shared flat. Usually, the lower-priced rooms have a single bed without a window. If you’re looking to rent your own studio or 1 bedroom flat, that can go for about €900/month to €1300/month. If you decide to hire an agency to help you find a place to live, you can expect to pay another two months rent in agency fees. Usually, utilities can vary from €50-€100+/month depending on whether you live alone or share. For more information, read our blog post on finding a home in Barcelona.
Cost of Groceries
Barcelona has many inexpensive supermarkets (Día, Lidl, Mercadona, etc.) and plenty of markets and shops selling fresh fruit and vegetables. If you plan to cook at home and spend an average amount on groceries, you can expect to pay anywhere from €40 to €65/week. This is depending on whether you want to buy more expensive or specialty products and if you are shopping at more expensive supermarkets such as Carrefour or Veritas.
Cost of Phone and Internet
Mobile phone plans are quite affordable in Spain. You can pay as low as €10/month with a prepaid plan up to €40/month with a larger mobile service provider. Internet for the home will also average about €40/month.
Cost of Health Insurance
If you’re living in Barcelona and not a member of the European Union, it’s a good idea to invest in some private health insurance. Packages can be relatively inexpensive and the quality of service and attention is ranked among the best in the world. For our recommendations on which insurance companies to go with, click here. The cost of private insurance can begin at around €40/month.
For Europian Union members, your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) will allow you to access the public hospitals and ambulatorios (community healthcare centres). If you are a resident in Barcelona, you can also apply for the CatSalut (TSI) card which works in Catalonia in the same way. These two cards do not cost anything.
Cost of Transportation
Barcelona has a wonderful transportation system and is very easy to get around. If you live in the centre or close to where you work, you might be able to get around just by walking.
The T-mes card gives you unlimited journeys for 30 consecutive days in zone 1 on buses, trams, trains and metro. The cost is €54/month.
If you use public transportation less often, you can buy a T-10 which gives you 10 trips on the metro, train, bus or tram. You have 75 minutes to complete a single trip, so if you need to make a transfer from the bus to the train to the tram all within this time period, you will only be using a single trip from the 10. The cost is €10.20/10 trips – valid until the price of the ticket changes.
Bicing is another great way to get around Barcelona. It is a public bike-sharing service with hundreds of stations around the city. Once you receive your card in the mail, you can pick up a bike by tapping the card at a station. You have 30 minutes to travel to the next bike station. The cost is €50/year.
If you are looking to rent a car in Barcelona, there are some relatively inexpensive options if you book in advance. Sixt, for example, sometimes has offers for €5/day but it can go up to €70/day. The average price of gas is about €1.35/litre.
Cost of Leisure and Entertainment
Barcelona has many available activities to offer (even some for free!). From outdoor cinemas in the summer, yoga classes in the park to flea markets and concerts, it’s impossible to feel bored here.
For those who enjoy eating out, an average menú del día (lunch menu) will run about €10-€13, while dinner can cost anywhere from €20-€40/person. Drinking alcohol is inexpensive with a regular beer or a glass of wine costing an average of €3.50, while a cocktail is about €10. Coffee costs around €2 in a regular café. A ticket to the cinema is usually around €10. The average price of a gym membership is €40/month.