The Cost of Living in Madrid and Barcelona

When living in Spain as a student, it is crucial to know the cost of living especially if you have very little or no income and have to count every cent you spend so that you don’t run out of money. This is why we have compiled a list of some of the most common expenditures a student might have.

Below you can find the average cost of different items in both Madrid and Spain. It is important to note that these prices have been averaged out and the actual prices may be different depending on the quality and location.

For instance, a small bottle of water costs about 60% more in a small corner store compared to the same bottle in a chain supermarket. We have done field research and collected different prices from different sources in order to have more realistic prices.

Use the table below to know how much each item will cost you on average and plan your monthly budget accordingly prior to moving to Spain.

Prices last updated in August 2018.


ItemsMadrid €Barcelona €
CAFES
Black coffee1.251.30
Black tea1.651.80
Cappuccino2.452.40
Coffee with milk1.501.55
RESTAURANTS & BARS
3-course meal (mid-range restaurant)25.0023.00
Burger King: 1 Big King with fries and coke6.956.95
Burger King: 1 Deluxe with fries and coke8.108.10
Burger King: 1 Whopper with fries and coke6.956.95
Cocktail10.0012.00
Coke / Pepsi1.871.77
Dorum (without fries or a drink)5.604.50
Heineken (33c)2.953.00
McDonald: 1 BigMac with fries and coke5.855.85
McDonald: 1 MacRoyal Deluxe with fries and coke5.955.95
Meal (inexpensive restaurant - with a drink)11.0010.00
Subway: Foot-long sandwich8.509.25
Water (0.33L)1.281.22
Water (1.5L)2.352.50
Wine (bottle)12.0012.50
Wine (cup)3.003.50
SUPERMARKET
Almond milk (1L)1.381.39
Apple (1kg)1.851.89
Baguette (white-bread)0.700.70
Baguette (whole-wheat)0.900.90
Basmati rice (1kg)1.791.79
Butter (100g)0.530.52
Cheese (mozzarella for pizza or pasta - 100g)0.580.59
Chicken (breasts - boneless and skinless - 1kg)4.995.09
Chicken (drumsticks - with bone and skin - 1kg)3.953.86
Chicken (whole - 1kg)2.502.40
Coca-Cola (1.25L - regular)1.291.30
Corn Flakes Kellogg's (regular - 500g)2.302.05
Eggs (12 - free range)1.593.98
Eggs (12 - regular)1.592.38
Garlic (head - 1kg)1.080.95
Green pepper (1kg)1.691.79
Ground meat (beef - 1kg)5.495.18
Ground meat (pork- 1kg)5.745.73
Lettuce (1 head)0.680.70
Milk 1L (half-and-half)0.580.57
Milk 1L (skimmed / 0% fat)0.590.58
Milk 1L (whole)0.600.59
Nectarine (1kg)1.341.69
Olive oil extra virgin (1L - domestic)3.893.90
Onion (1kg)0.980.87
Orange (1kg)1.561.35
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)5.005.00
Peach (1kg)1.391.59
Potato (1kg)1.081.13
Sliced bread (regular - 500g)0.850.59
Sliced bread (whole-wheat - 500g)1.020.90
Tomato (1kg)1.851.95
Vegetable oil (1L)0.980.90
Water (0.5L)0.340.35
Water (1.5L)0.430.45
Wine (low-range)2.502.60
Wine (mid-range)5.005.75
TRANSPORTATION
Aerobus5.005.90
Bus (regular - with a T-10 card - one way)1.221.02
Bus (regular - without a ticket - one way)1.502.15
Cabify (1km)2.002.00
Fuel: Diesel 1L1.251.27
Fuel: Premium unleaded petrol 1L1.381.39
Metro (with a T-10 ticket)1.221.02
Metro (without a ticket)2.002.15
T-10 card for bus and metro12.2010.20
Taxi (3 km ride)6.455.75
Taxi start (normal tariff)2.302.50
MONTHLY RENT
Furnished 3-bedroom flat (in or near the city center)1,590.001,650.00
Furnished 3-bedroom flat (outside the city center)1,060.001,080.00
Furnished one-bedroom flat (in or near the city center)850.00890.00
Furnished one-bedroom flat (outside the city center)680.00745.00
MONTHLY UTILITIES
Essentials (electricity - heating - cooling - water) for 85m2 flat131.81133.35
Internet (Fiber optic - 50 Mbps - unlimited data - cable/ADSL)31.0031.00
SPORTS & RECREATION
Cinema (international films)15.009.00
Cinema (local films)10.004.90
Gym membership per month (only machines and weights)25.0022.00
Gym membership per month (Spa, shower, locker)65.0050.00
Tennis (1 hour on the weekend)12.0015.00

Average monthly expenses

But you might be asking, “how much money will I need to cover my day-to-day expenses?

Well, that depends on your lifestyle but we have done some calculations and concluded that on average you will need the amounts below in order to be able to cover all your costs depending on your lifestyle:

  • Saver: If you are a saver and plan on taking the public transport almost all the time, buying groceries and almost always making your own food, then you will need between 350€ to 500€ per month excluding rent;
  • Moderate: If you enjoy going out on the weekends and go shopping once or twice a week, you will need between 500€ to 650€ per month excluding rent;
  • Spender: If you are a spender, plan on taking taxis to move around the city and enjoy spending nights outside and going to parties, then you will need between 650€ to 1000€ per month excluding rent.

What items did we miss? Let us know in the comment section below and we will update the list as soon as possible.

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