Spending time in Spain, is a life-changing experience. Let alone, living in Madrid, the capital. If you’ve chosen this city as your new home, maybe you’re worried that the cost of living in Madrid might be prohibitive or you are not sure if the budget you’ve planned is enough.
To make things easier for you, we’ve created a compilation of costs. With it, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and start planning in full!
What does the cost of living in Madrid depend on?
Being the capital, the cost of living in Madrid can be somewhat high compared to others in Spain. However, it is possible to live here without spending a lot. Since it all depends on how you manage yourself.
As in many countries, the cost of living in Madrid will depend on several factors: the area where you stay, the type of accommodation you live in, your monthly expenses, among others. But don’t worry, we’ll look over all of them. Ready? Let’s have a look!
The zone you choose will be the biggest influence on the cost of living in Madrid
Your cost of living in Madrid will depend a lot on the area where you are staying. For example, an flat in the city center is much more expensive than an apartment in a suburb. So, there will be advantages and disadvantages to consider.
If you prefer a quiet life, then a suburb might be the best choice. Which would mean you’d be paying less. But, if you simply need to be where the action is, then the extra cost downtown will be worth it.
Type of accommodation
This factor will greatly influence your cost of living in Madrid. The most common option for students and young professionals is to rent rooms in shared flats. The cost is certainly lower and all expenses are shared.
But. it’s still possible to have a place all to yourself. It also depends on your preferences and needs. If you stay in a shared place, you can divide expenses and, if you’re lucky, have instant friends. However, personal space is quite a necessity sometimes.
If you’d like to make the cost of living in Madrid bearable, it is important to spend smartly. Your monthly budget must cover everything you’ll need. This means, accommodation, food and transport expenses, and school supplies. This would be approximately 900 euros.
However, if you like to give yourself small luxuries like eating out, going for drinks, or to the movies regularly, your expenses will rise a lot.
Your monthly income to cover the cost of living in Madrid
Before going into details, it is important to mention that, as a student, you can work in Spain. However, certain conditions apply. For example, you must show that the money you earn is not to cover your stay, but supplementary income.
If you like to indulge, you can invest all your salary in yourself. In this way, you don’t have to go out of budget and make ends meet without so much trouble. Although if you’d like some advice, saving and returning home with some money is a better option.
How much money you need to cover the cost of living in Madrid
Talking about the exact amount of money to live in this city is impossible. As you may have realized, the cost of living in Madrid varies depending on many factors. However, we can talk about approximates.
Initial budget to cover the cost of living in Madrid
When applying for a student visa, you must prove you have enough money to cover all expenses during your stay. This sum can vary but is around 600 euros per month.
Besides, you must include the cost of tuition for the course you want to take. For example, if you enrolled in a public university, you would have to pay between 600 and 2,000 euros per semester.
Also, you must include the cost of plane tickets. Of course, this will depend on the country in which you live, the time in which you travel. And the airline where you bought the tickets, among other factors.
Also, you must have a health insurance. And this is one of the requirements to be able to obtain a student visa. This insurance must have a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros. This is to guarantee that you can cover any eventuality.
Accommodation in Madrid
As mentioned before, your cost of living in Madrid will depend on the accommodation you want. Therefore, it is important that you choose the area and the place wisely.
A room in the city center can cost between 450 and 700 euros monthly. But, you can get a room, just as comfortable, for between 280 and 400 euros monthly further away from the center.
Do you prefer to live in an apartment downtown all by yourself? Well, you would have to pay between 900 and 1200 euros per month. If you decide to live in the suburbs, you can get a nice place for between 700 and 800 euros a month and use the transport network to move from one place to another.
Advice on finding accommodation in Madrid
- Do not choose accommodation from your place of origin. People think that getting accommodation from their country is the best alternative. But over the years, we have come across many people who were scammed. Or the accommodation is not what they expected.
- Stay in a hostel for the first few days. An excellent accommodation option, and quite inexpensive.
- If you already got a home, get a roomie. If you find a trusted partner, share a flat or room and split the costs of food, utilities, and rent. Also, it is a way to feel less alone in an unfamiliar country.
- Choose the best location. We know that we have talked a lot about this. But if you want your cost of living in Madrid not to be so high, it is important that you live in a good area, with affordable rents.
Food in Madrid
Food in Madrid is not that expensive. To make a basic purchase for the whole month you will need approximately 100 euros. If you decide to buy treats and things like that, you will have to spend a little more. So, food will not increase your cost of living in Madrid by so much.
Transport in Madrid
Another factor that you must take into account to calculate your cost of living in Madrid is transportation. Here, transport is quite efficient and you can use the subway, bus or taxi.
The metro communicates with the main bus and train stations in the city as well. And it works every day from 6:00 am. until 1:30 a.m. On the other hand, buses have other schedules. From Monday to Friday, they work from 6:00 am. until 11:30 pm. And, on weekends, from 7:00 am. until 11:00 pm. At the stops, you can check the routes and the arrival time of each bus.
After 11:00 pm, you can get night buses, known as owls. From Sunday to Friday, they work from 11:50 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. and on Saturdays, from 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m.
Cost of transportation in Madrid
Now it is important that you know the prices of each means of transport. If you want to travel by metro, you can buy a single ticket for a cost of 1.50 euros. This allows you to make 5 trips. Or a ticket that has a cost of 2 euros, to make 10 trips to any point in the city.
To avoid confusion and having to constantly buy tickets, the Spanish government created the multi-card. It has a duration of 10 years and a cost of 2.50 euros. With a simple recharge, you can purchase a single ticket or a ticket to make 10 trips.
If you prefer to travel by bus, you must pay 1.50 euros for a single ticket. The good news is that you can also use your multi-card. So, when you buy it, you can travel by metro or bus.
Advice to save on the cost of living in Madrid
If you are concerned about the cost of living in Madrid, our team prepared a great selection of tips. In this manner, you can save the most and your stay is all fun and no headaches.
Choose your accommodation carefully
We really must insist on this point! If you’d like to save hundreds of euros a month, choose carefully. Consider the costs and be sure to never exceed your budget. Oh, and if you can, find a roomie!
Eat at home whenever you can
Being such a tourist city, prices in restaurants can be quite high. Which means a considerable impact on your cost of living in Madrid. Therefore, we recommend that you cook at home whenever you can. However, we know that sometimes, it is necessary to go out with friends for a beer and something to eat.
In Madrid, you can find very nice places with very affordable prices. It’s all a matter of walking and finding them.
Buy in local markets
The local markets in Madrid are incredible! There, you can find all kinds of things at an excellent price. If you want to buy books, clothes, souvenirs or even appliances, visit the local market first. Also, you can get super fresh fruits and meats; on many occasions, at a better price than in supermarkets. Put on the most comfortable clothes you have and go browsing the kiosks in search of the best deals.
Be a smart shopper
Sometimes we get carried away with little things that we fancy. So, before buying, ask yourself: do I really need this? That way, you will avoid spending money on useless things or things that you don’t really need.
Also, you can keep track of everything you buy to know how much you spend per month. If you exceed your budget, you can know in detail what you are spending on and modify your shopping list.
Walk whenever you can
The more subway and bus tickets you save on the better! In this way, you will avoid constantly recharging your multi-card and save several euros per month. Also, walking is a great way to get to know this incredible city and you’ll be exercising!
In other words: no additional gym costs! Walking is an excellent way to stay in shape, relax, and, more importantly, take in the fact that you are on a grand adventure.