The ultimate guide to the cost of living in Barcelona


Updated on Apr 18 • 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?

A glance at other European countries shows that Spain boasts a record of being more affordable.

If we take the UK as a comparison, the cost of living in Spain is almost 18.2% cheaper than in the UK.

One major factor lies in rent prices that are well below the British average. What's more, Spain grows most of its food and wine locally making food prices more affordable.

So, how expensive is it to live in Barcelona? An ultimate answer doesn't exist.

The sense of how expensive a city is varies based on your lifestyle and salary. In fact, while the cost of living is considerably lower in Spain, salaries are also lower.

To live comfortably, you have to expect a cost of living in Barcelona for €719 (without rent).

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 second 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 four 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?

Rental prices in Barcelona have gone through a slight rollercoaster ride in recent years. 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 only a slight increase of rental prices which is in accordance with normal inflation rates.

You can expect these rents in Barcelona in 2023:

Type of AccomodationRental Price in €
Private Room€600

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.

Water (1.5 l)€0.79
Local beer (0.5 l)€1.13
Imported beer (0.33 l)€1.61
Milk (1 l)€1.03
Fresh white bread (500 g)€1.38
Rice (white), (1 kg)€1.30
Eggs (medium), (12)€2.54
Local cheese (1 kg)€11.96
Beef (1 kg)€12.15
Bananas (1 kg)€1.83
Oranges (1 kg)€1.72
Tomatoes (1 kg)€2.17
Potatoes (1 kg)€1.48

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!

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€ 52.50
Cinema ticket, Hollywood production or comparable€9
The membership fee for the gym (monthly)€44.93
Rental fee for a tennis court (1hr on weekends)€21.72

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

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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