Cost of Living in Spain (2023)
Picture yourself living in Spain, basking in the Mediterranean sun, savoring delicious tapas, and enjoying a laid-back lifestyle that the Spaniards are famous for. Sounds tempting, right? But what about the price tag that comes with this idyllic experience?
In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth look at the cost of living in Spain. From rent and utilities to groceries and leisure activities, we’ll cover every aspect of daily life to help you understand what it takes to make your Spanish dream a reality. So, put on your sombrero and join us as we break down the numbers!
Compared to the US, purchasing power in Spain is 28.79% lower
Living Costs in Spain
The section below gives you a quick rundown of the most common expenses. This is based on data from a number of sources, such as Numbeo and Expatistan.
No matter where you reside in the world, rent is likely to be your highest expense. In Spain, this is no different.
However, the amount you spend will be entirely determined by the place and living circumstances. Living alone in Madrid’s city center, for example, will be substantially more expensive than sharing a flat outside of the city center or in the countryside. You can expect to pay between €600 and €900 per month in average-sized Spanish cities.
Here is a quick table that shows the average rents in different parts of the country:
Buying a House in Spain
You can even buy a house in Spain if you're financially prepared. The average price of an apartment in Barcelona is €4,558 and €4,308 in Madrid per m², as per the data we’ve collected from Idealista in April 2022.
Purchasing a home can qualify you for a Spain Golden Visa, which offers you residency in the country
When it comes to the cost of living in Spain, food shopping is considered to be relatively inexpensive. Your budget will, of course, be influenced by your lifestyle and tastes. Supermarkets such as Dia, Carrefour, Lidl, and Mercadona offer weekly shopping for around €60.
You can also purchase fresh, local produce from your local fruit shops and bakeries. Also, don’t miss Spain’s fresh food markets!
See the below table for average prices for common groceries:
Milk (1 liter)
Chicken Fillets (1kg)
Bottle of Wine
Real Estate Prices in Spain
In 2022, Spanish property prices surged by 7.4%, defying economic uncertainty and rising rates. However, 2023 takes a turn. Amid tightening credit and higher interest rates, the market’s pace slows, possibly dipping in H1. Inflation-adjusted, a 7% decline from 2022-2024 is predicted. Diverse growth appears, with coastal regions at 3.4%-4.5% YoY, while cities climb 7.9%. Surprisingly, higher mortgage rates didn’t deter foreign interest, especially from the UK and Northern Europe. Challenges persist, but Spain’s property market remains resilient and promising.
To learn more about the property market, read our article on Real Estate in Spain.
In Spain, eating out can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. Local tapas bars and coffee shops can charge as little as €6 for a snack and a drink, while trendy locations in posh neighborhoods will set you back a few hundred euros for a full supper. It all depends on your way of living.
Utility Bills and Internet
These costs vary depending on the season and how you live. The average gas/electricity/water bill in an apartment is €100, and the average internet bill is around €40, depending on the internet provider.
Spain’s public transportation system is broad, well-organized, and simple to use, allowing you to save time and money. Subways, buses, trains, and boats are all options for getting around. One-way bus ticket costs around €1.50.
Note that eco-friendly transportation options are very popular in Spain. So you can rent a bike, e-scooter, or e-moto to save money and help the environment.
Leisure and Entertainment
Spain is a vibrant country with a diverse choice of events and activities. From movies to museums and art galleries, there’s something for everyone. Museum entry fees vary from €3 to €15 but you can also benefit from free entrance hours for some specific museums, such as Prado.
Nightlife in Spain is very active and you’ll find bars and clubs on every corner, especially in big cities. For some famous nightclubs, the entry fee is €20. Drinks at bars start from €6 and can go up to €20.
Are you a gym rat? If yes, expect to pay around €30 for monthly gym memberships.
Spain is proud of its well-developed and easily accessible healthcare system. Spain’s healthcare system is regarded as one of the greatest in the world, providing its residents with access to both private and public healthcare.
You will be able to use the public healthcare system if you are working in Spain, either under the Spain freelance visa scheme or as an employee of a company. Citizens of other EU countries can also benefit from public healthcare services if their stay is a temporary one.
SafetyWing Digital Nomad Insurance is a good option if you want to have travel medical insurance. It's a popular insurance plan among digital nomads who are looking for flexible plans at lower prices.
How Does Cost of Living in Spain Compare to Other Countries?
We’ve thought a cost comparison to other countries might be useful so there you have it!
Living Costs in Spain vs. the US
- Consumer prices in Spain are 24.67 percent lower than in the US (excluding rent)
- Consumer prices including rent in Spain are 32.66 percent lower than in the US
- Rent prices in Spain are 46.31 percent lower than in the US
- Restaurant Prices in Spain are 21.36% lower than in the US
- Groceries Prices in Spain are 36.66% lower than in the US
Living Costs in Spain vs. Australia
- Consumer prices in Spain are 34.11 percent lower than in Australia (excluding rent)
- Consumer prices including rent in Spain are 36.31 percent lower than in Australia
- Rent prices in Spain are 41.03 percent lower than in Australia
- Restaurant prices in Spain are 28.13 percent lower than in Australia
- Groceries prices in Spain are 44.05% lower than in Australia
Living Costs in Spain vs. the UK
- Consumer prices in Spain are 20.42 percent lower than in the UK (excluding rent)
- Consumer prices including rent in Spain are 23.93 percent lower than in the UK
- Rent prices in Spain are 31.21 percent lower than in the UK
- Restaurant prices in Spain are 25.47 percent lower than in the UK
- Groceries prices in Spain are 18.07 percent lower than in the UK
The Bottom Line
There you have it! Now that you have a general understanding of living expenses in Spain, it might be time to plan your move. Spain is a wonderful country where people enjoy life, music, and food. You can rest assured it’ll open new doors for you on your journey as a digital nomad…
If you’re curious about the life in Spain, read our guide on Living in Spain as an Expat.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most affordable city in Spain?
Seville is often considered the most budget-friendly city in Spain. In fact, the entire Andalusia region is known for its lower living costs compared to other parts of the country.
Is healthcare free in Spain?
Healthcare in Spain is free for citizens and permanent residents. For those who don't qualify for free public healthcare, affordable private health insurance is available, with plans ranging from €30 to €50 per month.
Is education free in Spain?
Public education in Spain is free and mandatory for children up to the age of 16.
What is the cost of university education in Spain?
Attending a public university in Spain is quite affordable, with annual fees ranging from €680 to €1,280. Private universities, however, can be more expensive, costing between €5,500 and €18,000 per year.
Is it easy to move from the United States to Spain?
U.S. citizens can enter and live in Spain for up to 90 days without a visa. For long-term stays, a visa is required. The cost of living in Spain is generally lower than in most U.S. cities, making it an attractive option for relocation.
Is the cost of living in Spain lower than in the UK?
Living in Spain is generally cheaper than in the UK. Rents are about 30% lower, groceries are around 15% cheaper, and the overall Consumer Price Index is over 21% lower in Spain compared to the UK.
Which Spanish city is the most expensive?
San Sebastian is often considered the most expensive city in Spain in terms of living costs and real estate prices.
Is it more expensive to live in Madrid or Barcelona?
Both Madrid and Barcelona have higher living costs compared to other Spanish cities. However, food and services in Madrid may be slightly more expensive than in Barcelona.
Can I legally live in Spain if I buy property there?
Purchasing real estate worth €500,000 or more qualifies you for a Golden Visa, which allows you to live in Spain legally. After living in the country for ten years, you may be eligible for Spanish citizenship. Refer to our Spain Golden Visa guide for more information.
How much money do I need each month to live in Spain?
Your monthly budget in Spain will depend on various factors. On average, the cost of living ranges from €820 to €1,100 per person per month. Note that the minimum wage in Spain is €1,167 gross per month.
Is it cheaper to live in Spain than the UK?
Yes, Spain is generally cheaper than the UK. While some costs are similar, such as water bills, other expenses like telecommunications packages, food, and transportation are more affordable in Spain. Additionally, fuel is less expensive in Spain, especially diesel.
How much money do I need to retire in Spain?
The amount needed for retirement in Spain depends on your chosen location, but a yearly budget of €20,000 is a reasonable estimate. Spain offers many free outdoor leisure activities, such as walking along the coast, hiking, and exploring nature.
How much does a meal cost in Spain?
Eating out in Spain is affordable, with set menus available for around €10, including a starter, main course, drink, and dessert. Fast food options are available for €6 to €8, but dining at local restaurants is often a better experience for a similar cost.
Is the cost of living in Spain lower than in the USA?
The cost of living in Spain is generally lower than in the USA. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in Madrid, one of Spain's most expensive cities, costs around €1,034.15 ($1,129.86) per month, while a similar apartment in Los Angeles costs about €2,616.31 ($2,858.45) per month on average. There are also differences in other living expenses, such as entertainment costs, with an average cinema ticket costing €10.99 ($12) in the US compared to €8 ($8.74) in Spain. One of the most significant differences is in real estate prices, with an average price per square meter in the city center at €3,182.27 ($3,476.79) in Spain compared to €4,146.49 ($4,530.24) in the US.
Are rent prices in Spain expensive?
Rent prices in Spain vary depending on the city you choose to live in. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around €734.83 ($802.84) per month, while a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center costs about €603.18 ($659) per month. These prices are generally lower than in countries like the US, Germany, the UK, and Australia.
Are food prices in Spanish supermarkets expensive?
Food prices in Spanish supermarkets are relatively low, primarily because Spain is a major producer of fruits and vegetables. This means that fresh products are widely available at low prices in Spanish supermarkets. In addition, farmers' markets are common and abundant, which can further reduce grocery expenses.