I know that many people come to me for advice on Barcelona, so I decided to create a post on my personal living costs in the city. This is just to give you all an idea of how costs compare to the city you live, as I know many people are often intrigued about these things when considering a move abroad! Before I start- Important note! All prices were as displayed at time of writing, so please consider slight fluctuation in exact costs.
I have always lived in the region ‘Plaça d’Espanya’ in Barcelona. The reason for this is because it seems to be the hub of transport, making connections to anywhere else in the city very smooth. The price range for a room, yes a room, generally ranges between 350 euros to 550 euros. From personal experience, I initially paid 350 euros for a small, but very modern, room then switched to a larger room 10 minutes away for 400 euros. I found both my rooms on the app ‘Badi’ which I featured in my previous post on travel apps I rely on. I’ll link the post here in case anyone is curious : My Favourite Apps for Solo-Travel, Backpacking and Exploring
Ok, in comparison to the UK, transport in Barcelona is CHEAP. I usually depend on the bus, because at time of writing, I pay 10 euros for 10 bus journeys. If you need a train ride, the price is dependant on zones but a ride to the furthest zone will cost you a mere 4.90 euros. Not bad at all for a location an hour and a half away! My best advice to minimise transport costs is to always purchase multi-pack transport cards. These passes just work out cheaper, even if you don’t use them all. For example, a single bus ticket is 2.20 euros but a bundle of ten is only 10 euros? You do the maths!
Supermarkets are generally affordable for basics, but I found random household or kitchen utensils to be more costly than the UK. For example, things like kitchen foil or zip lock bags which would usually cost you less than £1. I wouldn’t buy these items from British stores either, as prices are most definitely bumped up. However, I do have a little trick for you if you find yourself feeling ill at the price of British confectionery in specialised stores. Head straight to Primark! I found out they sell all types of British candies at prices you’d expect in the UK. Eating out, however, is a completely different situation, thanks to the normalised ‘Menu of the Day’ options in Spanish restaurants. They remind me a little of lunch meal deals in the UK, as you can mix and match different items to create an entire meal. If I eat out for lunch in a restaurant, I’ll typically spend around 10 euros for a starter, small main, sweet snack and drink. For food spots only locals will tell you about, check out my previous article: 5 Food Spots In Barcelona Only Locals Will Tell You About…..
Banking is one area which came at a cost for me. I went with ‘Caixa Bank’ and was charged a small fee (I believe 8 euros a month) to keep my bank account open. I was also required to deposit 600 euros a month to keep the account up and running. At the time I didn’t see this as a big deal, but in a year I paid the same amount to keep my bank account open as my annual Spotify subscription. Yikes.
Gyms were another thing I found costly in the city. I know my location was fairly central, however for many of the gyms I checked out the fee was around 50 euros a month. In the UK, I also live in a large city and can get a gym membership for around 15£ a month so this was quite the expense for me. For convenience, the gym I signed up with was Anytime Fitness as I needed the 24 hour flexibility.
During my time in Barcelona, I relied on the free roaming data between the UK and Spain. This means I didn’t require a Spanish phone number. With the UK now out the EU, I am not sure how changes will impact use of phones because this is a matter of individual networks and law. However, speaking of data, one thing I noticed about Spain was that you don’t need a TV license to watch live TV. Oh when will the UK learn…
Overall, my costs of living in Barcelona were significantly lower than my life in the UK as a whole. Salaries are lower in Spain, but this is also reflected in lower lifestyle costs. My only inconveniences were small personal choices like banking and gym, but I think these fees could be lowered with more research. I simply went for the options which were closest to me.
If you are thinking of moving to Barcelona for whatever reason, and would like more advice then feel free to reach out to me from the ‘Contact’ tab on my homepage. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have.
See you in the next post!