The ultimate guide to the cost of living in Barcelona


Updated on May 23 • 4 minute read

You've signed your employment contract, and you’ve mentally filled your suitcase for your move to Barcelona. One crucial question should be at the top of your relocation checklist: What is the cost of living in Barcelona?

Getting a feel for the costs in Barcelona is the key to a realistic budget plan for your stay.

We've taken a close look at the cost of living in Barcelona in four areas:

  1. Rental prices

  2. The food prices

  3. The leisure prices

  4. Public transportation

To truly estimate how expensive it is to live in the city, the cost of living in Barcelona needs to be put in relation to the average salary.

Is Barcelona expensive to live in?

To live comfortably in Barcelona as a single person, you should expect a cost of living of about €785 per month (without rent). The cost of living in Barcelona for the family of 4 is around €2,760 without rent.

Spain is generally more affordable compared to other countries. For instance, the cost of living in Spain is almost 18.2% cheaper than in the UK. In comparison to popular Dutch cities like Amsterdam, living in Barcelona is 22.3% less expensive.

One major factor is that rent prices in Spain are much lower than the British and Dutch average. Additionally, Spain produces most of its food and wine locally, making food prices more affordable.

So, how expensive is it to live in Barcelona? There's no definitive answer. The perception of a city's expense varies based on your lifestyle and salary. While the cost of living is lower in Spain, salaries are also lower.

What is the cost of living in Barcelona?

The cost of living in Barcelona is expensive in comparison to other Spanish cities like Seville and Valencia. As the 2nd most expensive city in Spain after Madrid, you'll have to dig a little deeper than some southern cities when it comes to the cost of living.

We have taken a closer look at 4 areas of the cost of living:

  • Rental prices
  • Food prices
  • Prices for leisure time
  • Public transport

1. Rental prices: How much rent do you pay in Barcelona?

On average you should expect €1,095 number monthly to rent a studio in Barcelona. Especially in recent years, rental prices in Barcelona have gone through a slight rollercoaster ride. With the growing popularity of Barcelona's neighbourhoods comes a rapid rise in rental prices. To keep soaring rental prices at bay, the Catalan city proposed a rent cap last year as a response.

It's paying off: in the last quarter, HousingAnywhere's Rent Index shows a slight decrease of rental prices for renting apartment and room.

Generally, renting a studio in Barcelona is more expensive than renting an apartment or room. You can expect these rents in Barcelona in 2024:

Type of AccomodationRental Price in €
Private Room€615

2. Food prices in Barcelona

In Spain, you sit at the source of the Tempranillo, the fruit and vegetable garden of Europe. No surprise that prices in grocery stores are generally lower in Spain. As a result, your monthly grocery will cost around €250 in Barcelona.

Water (1.5 l)€1.71
Local beer (0.5 l)€1.16
Imported beer (0.33 l)€1.5
Milk (1 l)€1.05
Fresh white bread (500 g)€1.45
Rice (white), (1 kg)€1.45
Eggs (medium), (12)€2.92
Local cheese (1 kg)€12.86
Beef (1 kg)€13.49
Bananas (1 kg)€1.74
Oranges (1 kg)€1.73
Tomatoes (1 kg)€2.33
Potatoes (1 kg)€1.62

3. Prices for leisure time in Barcelona

Getting your freshly topped bocadillo and cold draft beer in time for the merienda will soon become an integral part of your daily routine.

Spaniards love and live food. Bet you'll soon know the most authentic cafés and restaurants in Barcelona away from the tourist crowd! And on average your monthly cost for leisure time will be around €200.

Count on these prices for your free time in Barcelona:

Leisure TimePrices
A meal in an inexpensive restaurant€15
Three courses for two in a middle-class restaurant€60
Cinema ticket€9
The membership fee for the gym (monthly)€45
Rental fee for a tennis court (1hr on weekends)€22.20

4. Costs for public transport in Barcelona

The public transport network in Barcelona comes from the "Autoritat del Transport Metropolità" (ATM). This means for you: Using public transport will be a breeze.

Check out these prices for public transport and other means of transport in Barcelona:

Means of TransportPrice
Single ticket€2.40
Monthly ticket (per zone)€20
Basic taxi fare (regular fare)€2.55
Taxi fare per km€1.51
Diesel (1l)€1.51

If you're student (under 30) you can purchase T-Jove card for €40 per month for all areas, valid for 3 months.

With a good grasp of the cost of living in Barcelona, you'll be all set for your move to the Catalan city!

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