Cost Of Living In Spain

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Budgeting For Life In Spain

Reviewed by Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen is the Live and Invest Overseas Founding Publisher. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience traveling, living, and buying property around the world.


Tostadas with smoked salmon and soft baked cheese. cost of living in Spain
Adobe Stock/SvetlanaSF

Spain is one of the cultural centers of Europe, a place where the people celebrate life, dance the flamenco, and enjoy wine and tapas.

This birthplace of such great artists as Picasso and Salvador Dali, rich with history and fantastic old architecture mixed in with the modern new, is not quite as expensive as you may have thought. In some areas, it’s very affordable.

Spain is so diversified…there’s a place for every type of expat from a single retiree to a couple with children.

The key to a happy life in Spain is finding the area that suits you. If you’re a culture vulture, you may appreciate Barcelona, Seville, or Madrid. If it’s sun, sand, and sea you’re after, take a look at the Costas.

Even if it’s a green and seasonal area you seek, you have the northern Atlantic coast. It’s all available in Spain, and you can enjoy life there for less than US$2,000 per month.

Look at current exchange rates here.

Madrid and Barcelona are major international airports with multiple direct flights to North America and Asia.

Plus, Málaga Airport, on the Costa del Sol, has flight connections to 60 countries (including one direct flight to North America by way of Montreal, Canada).

In short, being geographically closer to the rest of Europe means you can get a train (or car) from just about anywhere in Spain to France. Barcelona to Montpellier in the south of France is only a three-hour train trip.

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Cost of Living in SpainMonthly Budget in US$
RentUS$700
HOA Fee0
Property Taxes0
TransportationUS$45
Gas (bottled for cooking)US$30
ElectricityUS$48
Water (inc. in apartment fees)US$18
Telephone (inc ADSL, TV)US$47
Internetinc
Cable TVinc
Household HelpUS$160
FoodUS$250
EntertainmentUS$100
Health Insurance (AARO – Hosp Plan)US$434
TravelUS$150
MiscellaneousUS$70
Total Monthly ExpensesUS$2,052

Cost Of Living In Spain

A huge advantage of living in Spain is the chance to explore Portugal, France, and beyond. Whether by road, rail, or air, Spain’s infrastructure allows you to plan your European adventures easily, frequently, and affordably.

From Seville, you can be in the Algarve in less than two hours by car… From Barcelona, it’s just over two hours to the French Riviera.

Fancy a long weekend in Amsterdam, Vienna, Rome, Prague, or Dublin? Budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet offer cheap flights all over Europe, with services close to all major towns.

Mos importantly, you can stay as long as you like in any of the 26 Schengen visa countries, meaning you could move as you wanted among Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and beyond.

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