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Living Costs in Spain vs The World: What You Need to Know

cost of living in spain

If you’ve stumbled across this article, you’re probably one of the many people captivated by Spain’s charm and are considering calling it home. But before we start dreaming of tapas and beachside sunsets, let’s get the nuts and bolts in place. We’re talking finances because knowing what life will cost is step one in any grand adventure. 

So, how does Spain’s cost of living compare to your home country or other places you might be considering? We’re going to break down all the important costs for you and some of the main expenses you will face as an expat in Spain. Ready? Let’s dive in.

The True Cost of Living in Spain  

Before we dive head-first into the comparisons, let’s first take a look at the actual cost of living in Spain compared to its average salary. And while money isn’t everything, it can significantly affect our quality of life. So, let’s take a look at how Spain stacks up.

The average income in Spain is about €2,200 or €27,000/ year. You may be thinking this is low and technically you are right. The average household income in Spain is about 3,000 less than the OECD average of USD 30,490. 

However, when you take the cost of living into consideration, Spain is an affordable country to live in. But keep in mind, the cost of living will vary depending on where in Spain you choose to settle. 

How much does it cost to live in different cities in Spain?

The cost of living varies greatly in Spain. So let’s first take a look at the different cities and see how they measure up.

ItemCost of living BarcelonaCost of living MadridCost of living ValenciaCost of living BilbaoCost of living Malaga
Rent 1 bedroom in the city centre€1,182€1,029€874€935€873
Utilities (gas, electricity, cooling and garbage)€170€128€112€131€155
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan€18€16€14€20€20
Public Transport (1-way ticket)€2.40€1.50€1.50€1.27€1.40
Gym membership€46€38€36€46€40
Meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant€60€50€45€60€50

As you can see, living expenses in Spain vary quite significantly depending on what part you live in. It’s important to pick the right city that suits both your lifestyle and budget. 

Are you interested in living in a big city like Madrid or Barcelona? You’ll have to pay a premium. As a single person, to live in one of these cities comfortably, it will cost you around €2,000 a month, depending on your lifestyle. 

If you’re on a tighter budget, smaller cities like Valencia and Malaga can still give you the Spanish dream without breaking the bank. As a single person, you could live here comfortably for around €1,500 a month depending on your lifestyle.

Now you know what it costs to live in each city. Hopefully, you have a clearer understanding of which city is the right fit for your budget. Now, let’s look at how Spain in general compares to other countries around the world.

Living Costs in Spain vs USA

cost of living in spain vs usa


With the cost of living soaring in the US, it’s no wonder many people are making the leap across the pond to Spain. Beyond the delicious food and amazing weather, Spain is a great place to consider if you want a higher quality of life.

If you’re considering a move to sunny Spain, you’ll be happy to know that living expenses here are significantly cheaper than in the USA. 

Of course, the difference in cost of living will vary depending on the city you currently live in and the one you desire to move to; however, here is a general breakdown of the cost of living between Spain and the USA.

ItemSpain (USD $)USA% Difference
Rent 1 bedroom in the city centre$783$1,832+134%
Utilities (gas, electricity, cooling and garbage)$134$191+43%
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan$21$47+124%
Public Transport (1-way ticket)$1.50$2.50+67%
Gym membership$41$46+12%
Meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant$47$75+60%

Overall, living costs in Spain are around 100% less than in the US. But let’s take a deeper look into the specifics. The difference in cost of living is even more noticeable if you look at rent in Spain, which is 134% cheaper, and daycare which is a whopping 211% cheaper

So, if you have children, living in Spain might be a great option for you. And even if you don’t, you’ll be happy to know that everyday essentials like mobile phone plans, internet and transport are cheaper in Spain.

Living Costs in Spain vs UK

living costs in Spain vs the UK

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for UK citizens to relocate to. As a Brit, your first reason to relocate here might be to escape the gray skies in search of sunny weather. But, one of the biggest benefits of moving to Spain is the lower cost of living when compared with the UK. Especially considering the cost of living crisis that has hit the UK in recent times.

Many British expats living in Spain will tell you that the cost of living here is much more affordable than in the UK. But how much exactly does the cost of living compare between the two countries? Let’s find out.

ItemSpain (GBP £)UK% Difference
Rent 1 bedroom in the city centre£649£939+45%
Utilities (gas, electricity, cooling and garbage)£111£212+91%
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan£16£12-25%
Public Transport (1-way ticket)£1.30£2.50+92%
Gym membership£32£32
Meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant£39£60+54%

Overall, living costs in Spain are around 70% less than in the UK. But we know, this doesn’t tell the whole picture. So let’s take a look at the essentials. The biggest savings you’ll find is from rent (45% cheaper), utilities (92% cheaper), public transport (92% cheaper), and daycare (241% cheaper). 

So, if you’re considering a move to Spain from the UK but are worried about the cost, this might be your sign to take the leap. Have any questions about the immigration process? Our team of legal eagles at Lexidy is here to help clear up any doubts!

Living Costs in Spain vs Canada

cost of living in spain vs canada

Oh, Canada. The land of expensive everything. Maybe you’re considering escaping the famously long winters. Or perhaps you’re in search of a higher quality of life. Whatever your motive is, Spain is a popular destination for Canadians, and for good reason.

But just how much cheaper is it to live in Spain compared to Canada? Let’s find out.

ItemSpain (CAD $)Canada% Difference
Rent 1 bedroom in the city centre$1,073$1,700+58%
Utilities (gas, electricity, cooling and garbage)$184$204+11%
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan$28$57+104%
Public Transport (1-way ticket)$2.15$3.25+51%
Gym membership$56$57+2%
Meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant$65$90+38%

Overall, living costs in Spain are around 56% less than in Canada. The good news is that Spain is more affordable across the board. But what items will save you the most money?

You’re in luck if you have kids. The cost of daycare in Spain is about 103% less than in Canada. But even if you’re solo, you’ll still save money on the essentials –your rent will be on average 58% less, and you’ll even save money on everyday costs like utilities, phone and internet plans, and even transport. 

Living Costs in Spain vs Australia

Living costs in Spain vs Australia

It’s no secret, the land down under can be a costly place to live. If you’re looking to trade Bondi Beach for Spanish shores, the good news is relocating to Spain from Australia could end up saving you precious money in the long term. Let’s take a look at the cost comparison of the two countries.

ItemSpain (AUD $)Australia% Difference
Rent 1 bedroom in the city centre$1,240$2,308+86%
Utilities (gas, electricity, cooling and garbage)$213$328+54%
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan$33$44+33%
Public Transport (1-way ticket)$2.48$4.60+85%
Gym membership$64$80+25%
Meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant$75$120+60%

Overall, living costs in Spain are around 70% less than in Australia. You’ll notice a huge difference in the cost of daycare in Spain, which is about 283% cheaper than in Australia.

Looking for an apartment? You’ll end up paying about 83% less compared to Australia. And as for the everyday essentials, you’ll pay significantly less for things like utilities, internet, public transport, and dining out. 

Living Costs in Spain vs the EU

Living costs in Spain vs EU

Perhaps you’re interested in moving to the EU but not sure which country is right for you. Or maybe you already live in the EU and are looking for a change of scenery in Spain. The cost of living can vary greatly depending on which EU country you choose to settle in. 

So, we’ve broken down the most popular EU countries so you can be armed with the best knowledge before you make your most important decisions.  

Rent 1 bedroom in the city centre€749€820€798€715€663€416
Utilities (gas, electricity, cooling, and garbage)€128€274€109€169€195€204
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan€20€35€19€31€14€19
Public Transport (1-way ticket)€1.50€3€1.73€1.70€1.50€1.20
Gym membership€39€34€34€33€47€39
Meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant€45€60€40€60€60€45

It’s no surprise that the most expensive countries to live in are France and Germany. While these two countries are highly developed with robust economies, be prepared to pay a premium to live there. 

As for the southern European countries, the cost of living is all around the same. The cost of living in Italy is about 7% more expensive than in Spain, and the cost of Spain is about 5% more than in Portugal. 

In Conclusion

It’s clear that Spain offers a unique blend of affordability and a high-quality lifestyle. While living expenses in Spain may vary depending on your lifestyle choices and location within the country, we’ve seen that it often compares quite favorably to many other popular expat destinations around the world.

From the delightful tapas bars to the sunny beaches, Spain’s charm is undeniable. But as we’ve discussed, in order to truly live the dream it’s important to select a location that suits both your budget and lifestyle. So, remember that with proper financial planning and support from the right professionals, your dream of calling Spain home is easily attainable.

Can Lexidy help me move to Spain?

Considering making the move to Spain? We get it; the idea of navigating the legal intricacies might seem daunting. Why tackle the process alone when you can have a seasoned legal pro by your side? 

With our team of expert legal professionals, applying for your Spanish adventure becomes a breeze. Ready to kickstart your journey to Spain? Simply contact us via the form below, and let’s make your Spanish dreams a reality.

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