Compared with other countries of the European Union, the average living cost in Spain is on the lower side. Spain is generally considered a “cheap” country compared to other EU member countries.
Even in bigger cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, or the coastal ones, the average cost of living is somewhat lower compared with mid-range cities in France or the UK.
According to Numbeo, a website that allows people to enter the average costs of everyday things in their countries, the average cost of living in Spain is 14 – 30% lower than in the United Kingdom. This is not unusual because the average salary is also 55% higher in the UK than in Spain.
We can see a similar situation between Spain and France (up to 40% lower cost of living in Spain), somewhat more significant differences between Spain and Germany (up to 60%), and drastically bigger between Spain and Scandinavia (up to 100% lower average living costs in Spain).
Compared to the United States, the average cost of living in Spain is as high as 85% cheaper than in the US.
For example, grocery prices are about 55% higher in the US than in Spain, while rent prices are 85% higher in the US. According to Numbeo, the average monthly salary in Spain is 134% lower than in the US.
Table of Contents
- The average monthly cost of living in Spain
- Cost of living in Southern Spain
- The average cost of living in Seville, Spain
- The average cost of living in Malaga, Spain
- The average cost of living in Valencia, Spain
- The cost of Studying in Spain
The average monthly cost of living in Spain
The average monthly cost of living in Spain is around €900 for one person. A couple can easily live for €1500 a month.
It all depends on the region. The priciest cities are Bilbao, Barcelona, and Madrid. The prices go up with rent, restaurants, and touristic attractions.
Spain is the home of some of the famous clothing distributors such as Zara and Bershka. Subsequently, the clothing cost is more affordable in Spain (at least if you buy in these places).
The lowest cost of living in Spain is in Andalusia, and the priciest is in Madrid and Barcelona.
In case you are looking to move to Spain in recent future, we think it might be helpful for you to read an article from our dear friend Gabi from The Lithuanian Abroad. She has written a perfect article about what things you know before moving to Spain. She covers what her experience was like in Madrid, while here at Travel & Tapas, we concentrate more on Southern Spain and Valencia.
Andalusia is the most affordable place in Spain, so many students choose to go there to study. Not only it is cheap, but it has some of the most famous Spanish touristic attractions, and some of the most famous Spanish cities are located in Andalusia.
So, let’s see what the cost is of living in Andalusia.
Cost of living in Southern Spain
The expenses of living in Andalusia are by far the lowest in Spain. Even in big cities such as Seville and Granada, the living cost doesn’t exceed 1000 euros per month.
The average cost of groceries for two people would be around 100-150 euros per week.
Don’t forget that the Spanish people love dining out, and the average cost of a meal is between 8 and 12 dollars. The prices of tapas and drinks vary, but you can easily dine out for 10 euros.
For more on restaurant prices, check out our Tapas 101 article.
For foreigners, Andalusia is great because it has a lot to offer, and it’s cheap. That is why many Americans and Brits become ex-pats. Cheaper living on the coast, with sun all over the year, the sea, and amazingly bright and vibrant life – it’s like a paradise.
Let’s see which big cities are the cheapest to live in, and what is the average cost of living in them.
The average cost of living in Seville, Spain
The average cost of living in Seville for a month is around 900 euros.
Most of that budget goes on the accommodation that is approximately about 500-600 euros per month. Of course, this is for a one-bedroom apartment. If a couple splits it, it costs 250-300 euros each.
One drink in a club costs 6-8 euros, and a meal in a restaurant is around 10 euros.
Sevilla restaurant prices
For one month of “living like a local” in Seville, you wouldn’t need more than 900 euros.
Seville is the capital of Andalusia and one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. It attracts a lot of tourists and could easily be more expensive than it is.
One downside of Seville is that it is not on the coast. The nearest coastal towns to Seville are Huelva and Cadiz. They are approximately an hour, an hour, and a half away from Seville. A one-way ticket from Seville to one of these places is around 10 euros, but you can also find BlaBla car or Amovens rides for 5 per person.
If you want to stay in Seville for a month, a budget of 900 euros will get you a great life. You will even be able to treat yourself once in a while and visit beaches outside the city. Just skip one dinner in a restaurant, eat at home, and use those 10 euros for a round ticket to the beach.
Other than that, Seville has a wild nightlife and loads of things to do. If you are thinking about going for a month or two, but doing all the touristic stuff, and not living like a local, then bring extra 200 euros, and you will live like a king.
Student accommodation Seville, Spain
Students usually share an apartment with two or three other people. That is why there are a lot of students that rent individual rooms, rather than whole apartments.
The usual cost of a room in a shared apartment in Seville is around 300 euros per month. This price sometimes also includes utilities. Maybe this sounds a lot to you, and maybe cheap, depending on where you are from, but it is a good deal.
One suggestion from a former international student in Andalusia, who shared an apartment with other students:
Don’t think of that money as the money for your room; you are actually renting the whole apartment, just sharing it with other people. I know a lot of people who limit their selves to their room, simply because they rented a private room instead of an apartment.
During my student days in Jaen, I spent most of the time in the living room and the kitchen, and I never felt like I was paying only for only a bedroom. It depends on how you look at it. So, relax, and think of it as if you pay 300 euros for an 80sq meter apartment (and most likely, a pool), and you don’t need to pay the bills.
Now, that sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?!
The average cost of living in Malaga, Spain
The average cost of living in Malaga is around 1000 euros per month for one person.
It all depends if the person lives alone or with a roommate. Typically, sharing an apartment will save you 300 to 350 euros per month.
One-bedroom apartments are usually more costly compared to those with 3 or 4 separate bedrooms. This is usual in most countries around the world.
According to Numbeo, a single person needs around 650 euros without rent in Malaga. Now, if you don’t want to share an apartment, that will probably sum up to 1250 euros per month. But most of the apartments for 2 or 3 people cost between 650 and 800 euros, so by splitting the rent and the bill, you won’t be paying more than 260-300 euros per month.
The prices of food and drinks in Malaga, Spain
The prices of food and beverage in Malaga are the same as in Seville.
Restaurant prices are around 10 euros (in the inexpensive restaurants), and 15-18 euros in the more expensive ones.
Una copa (a drink like gin and tonic or similar) costs around 7 euros. Some clubs charge 12-15 euros for the entrance. On the bright side, with the entrance ticket, you also get one “copa”.
I will also tell you that they don’t spare their drinks, so if you order gin and tonic, you will most likely get 2-3 fingers of gin, and of course, a whole bottle of tonic water. Two drinks and you are more than tipsy!
Burgers, pizzas, and fast food cost between 5 and 8 euros.
The gym costs around 30 euros, but there are also various free outdoor options for training and physical activity. Many parks are built for recreation and equipped with running trails, football and basketball fields, sports machines, etc. Spanish people really love physical activity, and the cities are built around that.
Student accommodation Malaga, Spain
Student accommodation in Malaga costs up to 300 euros in a private room in a shared apartment. The utilities are also included in this price.
There are options for students to live in the accommodation provided by the university, but those options always cost a bit more than a shared apartment. For example, in the Residence Campus Malaga, it is stated that the standard monthly price for a room with a bathroom is 763 euros.
Of course, some students choose to stay in the accommodation provided by the campuses to be closer to the Uni. If you are unable to find a near place, you may spend 3-4 euros daily for transport, and have a complicated return to your home.
The average cost of living in Valencia, Spain
The average cost of living in Valencia, Spain is 1000 euros per month.
The budget of 1000 euros is estimated to be just enough for one person to live a full, easygoing life without any bigger sacrifices. This includes renting an apartment for one person, living alone, buying groceries for one, eating out at least a couple of times per week, going out on the weekends, visiting public pools, the beach, the cinema, etc.
Restaurants and nightclubs in Valencia are somewhat more expensive than in Andalusia.
According to Numbeo, the average meal price in Valencia is around 10% more expensive than in Seville (the capital of Andalusia). In the city center the average meal for one person will be around 15 euros, and drinks in nightclubs around 10 euros.
Basic utilities in Valencia for a 2-bedroom apartment are around 120 euros, which really is not that expensive if you share it with other people.
Without rent, one person needs around 550 euros per month.
A local gym costs around 30 euros per month, but Valencia also has gorgeous parks where you can easily train and run.
Student accommodation Valencia, Spain
Students usually rent a room in a shared apartment, which costs around 250 euros per month. With this price comes the room and the shared spaces such as the kitchen, living area, bathroom, etc. This price also usually includes utilities because most of the landlords choose to pay the bills by themselves. With a shared apartment, students can easily live with 600-700 euros per month.
There are also university accommodation options for students. University rooms are modern, nice, and close to the campus, but they cost a bit more. This type of accommodation costs around 600 euros per month.
Prepare for Spain
The cost of Studying in Spain
Every year, over 60,000 students worldwide choose Spain as their studying destination. But why?
Spain has many opportunities for international students and is one of the leading countries in Erasmus programs. Even though most students coming through Erasmus receive scholarships, there are still a lot of young people that decide to enroll in higher education programs in Spain as full-righted students.
Two main reasons may be behind this decision. First, Spain has a wide range of programs and careers for students to choose from, and second – Spain has one of the lowest university tuition fees in Europe.
Public universities in Spain offer amazing programs and deliver quality knowledge and practices during studies.
On this, I can confirm firsthand. Besides that, they are very affordable.
Bachelor’s studies in public universities in Spain cost approximately between 800 and 2500 euros per year.
Master’s studies cost about 1500-3000 euros in total, for the students who are enrolling the first time. The prices go up if you are applying the second, third or fourth time.
In Spain, prices are defined by credits. The fees for a Master’s degree go from 10 to 25 euros per credit, which then adds to 600-1500 euros per year, or 1200-3000 euros in total for two years.
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