Calculating the Cost of Living in Spain

Spain remains one of the best destinations in the world for students to pursue higher education. It features some of the top universities in the world while allowing students to explore centuries-old architecture and cultures. Before moving to a new country, students will want to know about the cost of living in Spain.

Knowing the cost of accommodation, commute, groceries, and other day-to-day expenses is vital for students. They are often on a budget and need to manage everything within it. We will discuss some factors to help you understand how you should plan your monthly budget. Let’s get right into it.


When talking about the cost of living in Spain, accommodation is the first thing that people will bring up. The [OECD’s better life index] ( shows Spain ranks above average for housing and accommodation compared to cities like New York, London, and more. The country has different costs of housing, which vary as per the cities you choose.

Housing Expenses in Madrid

Madrid is the capital of Spain and has a total population of more than 3 million. The city is home to the country’s signature monuments and exceptional sites for students to visit. On average, a single-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost around €1,003.95, with prices dropping to €774.86 outside the city center.

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Housing Expenses in Barcelona

The second most popular city for students in Spain is Barcelona. It is home to more than 1.5 million people and is cheaper than many cities worldwide. You can find a single-bedroom apartment in the city center for €980, and the average cost for the same apartment outside the city center is €785.

Housing Expenses in Valencia

Students looking to live and study in less-crowded cities head to Valencia. The city’s population is less than 1 million, and housing is affordable compared to other popular cities in Spain. You can find a single-bedroom apartment in the city center for €720, while the same apartment outside the city center is €540.

Housing Expenses in Seville

Last but not least, the housing expenses in Seville will likely cost you anywhere from €634 to €670. The exact amount will vary depending on how close you are to the city center.


Wine and tapas

Food and grocery are essentials that contribute to your expenses when living in Spain. Fortunately, Spain is famous for inexpensive groceries, making it easy for students to buy local products, like cheese, organic items, wines, etc.

Day-to-day consumables, like milk, butter, bread, etc., are not very expensive and cost you less than €1. Furthermore, the cost of staple foods like beer, rice, and other everyday eatables is also very low. In conclusion, the average expenses for groceries will close a student between €200-300. Here is a list of the standard grocery items and their prices.

Dining Out

Going out with friends to eat is a staple of university life in Madrid. Food lovers are in luck because Spain offers an affordable dining experience. You can enjoy a meal at top-notch fast food restaurants for €7.50, and a meal at a mid-range restaurant will only cost you around €20-25.

Traveling Expenditure

Students can benefit from the excellent transport network that Spain offers. You can find the metro, buses, and other public transport easily. As a result, traveling to university and other places is no longer a significant expense. You can also own a car to make traveling more convenient.

A one-way ride on a bus or metro will cost you €1.50. You can also get a monthly pass that will only cost you around €35-45. If you prefer to travel by taxi, you will have to pay an average fare of €3.50, with an additional €1.10 per kilometer.

Students can also own a car in Spain, which is much cheaper compared to other countries. It will give you the freedom to travel anywhere at any time. However, finding a parking space in cities like Madrid and Barcelona can be challenging.

Educational Expenses

Educational expenses will vary on the degree or the program you choose. The average cost of studying in Spain for international students pursuing a Bachelor’s program is €750 to €2,500 per annum. The Master’s program will cost you around €1,200 to €4,000.

Utilities and Communication costs

Last but not least, utilities are also a necessary expense for a student in Spain. You will pay for essential utilities, including heating/cooling, electricity, water, and other maintenance services. Bills like electricity will vary as per your consumption.

For instance, the heating or cooling in the summer or winter will affect your electricity costs. The average price of these utilities for a single-bedroom apartment will range between €100 and €150 per month. You can also choose a communication plan from different providers.

The plan will cost you between €20 and €50 for your internet, phone, and TV. Communication costs can be higher than €50 if you choose a plan with high-speed internet.

In a nutshell, the average cost of living in Spain for students can be between €1,700 and €1,850 in Madrid and Barcelona for a month. The cost of living in Spain per month can be around €1,450 and €1,600 if you stay in rural cities like Seville and Valencia.

Since the median annual income is around €20,468, living in Spain won’t be too tricky for most university students. The best part is that you can enjoy the same standard of living as some of the world’s top cities at a much lower cost.

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Written by

Ryan Rosser

Master’s program, 2021

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