Living in Barcelona is nice, and nice things come at a price, don’t they? Not necessarily. Although the Cost of Living in Barcelona is a bit higher than in other Spanish cities, it is not prohibitive. Here, we will tell you all about the cost of living in this Mediterranean city. You’ll see how easy it is to study, work and live here.
In the end, it is a matter of organizing your finances, good planning, and, of course, a bit of help. That’s where we come from! We are there for you for anything and everything. From providing you with all the information you need, to actually planning along. Yes! If you choose to travel with us, one of our Student Advisors will be there to help you with every step. But first, let’s see what we’re working with here.
Cost of Living In Barcelona
There are dozens of reasons to spend a season in Barcelona. Like the archaeological remains of Barcino, a colony founded by the Roman Empire back in the 1st century BC. Barcelona is also a unique place to see the works of Pablo Picasso and Antonio Gaudí. There’s the Sagrada Familia, one of the pinnacles of human creation.
And, there’s the weather! It hardly rains and the winters are mild. The temperature is almost always pleasant. It oscillates between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius. Also, if you’d like to study Spanish in Spanish, what better place to do so?
There are many reasons why the cost of living in Barcelona is quite worth every penny. Still, establishing a cost of living in Barcelona is complex. It depends on many factors, and the main one is you. But at GrowPro we never shy away from a challenge!
Cost of Rentals in Barcelona
Just as it happens anywhere in the world, renting will take most of your budget. Our recommendation is that you do not rush into anything. Ideally, you should arrive in Barcelona with nothing decided. Instead, go to a hostel or Airbnb for the first few days. Thus, you will be able to evaluate the neighborhoods and actual conditions of the place.
The price of a bed in a shared hostel room starts at 15 euros a night. And this is a hostel in the Ciutat Vella district, one of the most expensive areas of the city. Also, the same bed in the same hostel can vary from 10 to 20 euros. It depends on the time of year, the anticipation of the reservation, or if it is a long weekend. To see it for yourself you can access some of the booking sites available like Booking.com.
The cheap solution: shared flats
In 2019, rental prices in Barcelona skyrocketed. The good news is that you don’t have to rent an entire flat. The option that is most chosen by students and young professionals is to share. This is the go-to choice especially for stays of less than one year.
The price of a room in a shared flat is between 300 and 550 euros per month. This is with all expenses included. Although you should consult directly in each case. In general, they will ask you for a month’s deposit. But don’t worry, if you do not break anything, it will be returned when you leave.
Renting an apartment
There is the option of renting a flat of your own. This will undoubtedly raise the cost of living in Barcelona significantly. The most common thing to do is to find studios, also known as studio apartments, starting at 700 euros. For something more comfortable like a two-room, you can’t think of less than 750 euros.
Besides, you must take into account the costs of the services (around 150 euros per month). Where appropriate, the agency commission; and the two months of deposit plus the rent.
At GrowPro we know that looking for a home is stressful in a city you hardly know. Therefore, if you choose to live a study experience in Barcelona, we will advise you on the matter. Choose one of the experiences we design for you and build your online budget, immediately and free of charge.
Cost of Food in Barcelona
Just as important as a roof over your head is having food in your belly. After consulting several people who live in Barcelona we have calculated an estimate. We know you will spend around 120 euros per month on grocery shopping. Remember that, in Spain, choosing the cheapest supermarket can make a real difference. Our recommendation is that you always compare prices and the quality of products.
Some products will be essential for your everyday life in Barcelona. Here, we’ve covered some estimated costs for the basics. Keep in mind these are only estimates, prices may vary by area, supermarket, and even the time of year.
- Milk: € 0.56 / liter.
- Sliced bread: € 1.16 / kg.
- Minced beef: € 5.30 / kg.
- Whole chicken: € 2.49 / kg.
- Rice: € 0.79 / kg.
- Noodles: € 1/500 gr.
- Eggs: € 0.95 / 6 units.
- Classic soluble coffee (top brand): € 5.25 / 200 grams.
- Sliced cheese: € 3.43 / kg.
- Ham and cheese pizza: € 1.99 / unit.
- Bananas: € 0.89 / kg.
Finally, if you are a little more comfortable when it comes to money, you can try a restaurant. A full meal will cost around ten euros. Furthermore, half a liter of beer in a bar in the center of Barcelona is around 3.5 euros.
Public transport in Barcelona
Barcelona has something to see around every corner. The cheapest transport that’s almost free is the public bicycle service called Bicing. It has 424 stations spread throughout the city and a network of exclusive lanes of more than 200 kilometers. The cost is 50 euros a year. And, you can use the bikes for 30 minutes at a time.
On the other hand, Barcelona has an excellent public transport service. And quite cheap, if you choose the right ticket. The city is divided into six zones. So, depending on where you need to move, the passes have slight differences. Furthermore, the system is integrated. That is, the subway, bus, tram, and train to go to nearby towns work with the same ticket. Even going to the airport is really cheap with the Aerobus service. You’re welcome!
Fun in Barcelona
We understand that you may have a limited budget. But, you’ll spend months in Barcelona, people will ask about the interior of the Sagrada Familia and the Parc Güell and all the people you met on your adventure. And believe us, they are worth it, but you do need to consider the costs.
Also, let’s not forget the nights out in town. The costs for this vary a lot but, for example, a pint of beer can go for 3€ to 6€. Or, if that’s your thing, a pub crawl will go for 15€ per person. If you want to go to the movies, a ticket will go for 9€ to 11€. But, a chill Netflix night at home sounds quite tempting too, doesn’t it?
Top things to do in Barcelona
There are many, perhaps too many things to see and do in Barcelona. But, we thought we would tell you some of our favorite plans:
- Basilica of the Sagrada Familia: the cheapest ticket costs 20 euros. However, there are international masses celebrated every Sunday at 9 am. You will have to arrive early and queue. But, you enter for free 😉
- Camp Nou: the most basic ticket (includes museum and stadium tour) costs 26 euros. But visiting an empty stadium is not as attractive as seeing Messi and company play. For that, you will have to pay about 70 euros.
- Picasso Museum: the father of Cubism lived in Barcelona during his childhood., But he maintained a connection with the city for the rest of his life. This museum has 4,251 works by Picasso and general admission costs 12 euros. However, it is free on Thursday afternoons, the first Sunday of each month, and open house days.
- Parc Güell: It was designed by Antonio Gaudí and its entrance costs 10 euros.
If you are curious about other things to do in Barcelona, we invite you to discover them for yourself! But, if you still want to know more before your adventure, check out this article.
Visit other cities
Another lucky thing is that from Barcelona, you can also visit other famous cities. The bus is usually the cheapest option. But sometimes the train or plane ticket cost will surprise you. For reference, you can go and return to Madrid for about 70 euros and to Valencia, for 48.
But you don’t need to limit yourself to this country. From Barcelona, Paris and London are 57 euros away; Rome 85; Lisbon and Amsterdam, 96. Some trips are longer than others and prices vary depending on the time of year and the day of the week you travel. Compare prices in Omio!
Finally, travel wisdom indicates that one way to save on accommodation is to travel overnight. And, once at the destination, try Couchsurfing. Thus, you can visit other cities in Europe for much less money.
How to face the cost of living in Barcelona
Well, we all knew this time would come: let’s add up the average costs of living in Barcelona. Here’s a list of costs updated to 2021.
- Room in a shared flat: € 450.
- Shopping at the supermarket: € 120.
- Transport: € 50.
- Recreation: € 50
- Extra: € 100.
This gives a total of 720 euros per month. Some clarifications are in order:
- For that price, the shared apartment may or may not include service charges.
- In transport, we put € 5, which is what it costs to rent bicycles for a year. However, if you spend less, you won’t hurt that money to indulge yourself in the supermarket.
- We have put a section called “Extras”. It is always good to have a reservation, whether for an unexpected expense, saving it, or taking a trip.
If your plan is to study in Barcelona, keep in mind that there are many vocational courses. They allow part-time internship agreements. Depending on where you get it, they may or may not be paid.
How to save money
To save money, the first and foremost rule is to be organized. So if you were waiting for a magic recipe to reduce your cost of living in Barcelona, we don’t have one. But the most basic thing is to keep a record of your expenses in an Excel template.
With that information, you will see that there are daily decisions that strongly affect your budget. We’re talking about taxis and other avoidable expenses. Also searching and comparing prices of products, or limiting outings to restaurants. Furthermore, when renting a room or an apartment, choose one below your possibilities. You will be glad for the little extra at the end of the month.