The Cost of Living in Madrid and Barcelona: A Clear and Complete Overview

Barcelona Madrid Travel
| | 4 min read |

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.

For instance, we have done field research and collected different prices from different sources in order to have more realistic prices.

Price comparison table of the Cost of Living

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 February 2024.

ItemBarcelona (€)Madrid (€)
Milk (1L)0.850.84
Water (1.5L)0.890.95
Avocado (1 item)1.501.50
Basmati Rice (1kg)2.192.18
Banana (1kg)1.651.63
Tomato (1kg)2.102.10
Eggs (12 medium size)2.482.40
Coca Cola (1.5L)2.102.20
Potato (1kg)1.801.79
Cigarettes (1 pack Marlboro)5.906.00
Metro/bus (1 single ticket)2.551.80 (variable)
Metro/bus (10 tickets)12.156.10 (until end of 2024)
Airport bus6.75 (Aerobús)5.00 (Exprés Aeropuerto)
Black coffee / espresso1.701.65
Coffee with milk (latte)2.202.15
1 Neapolitan pizza9.209.20
3-course meal at an average restaraunt20.0023.00
Studio / 1 bedroom flat1000-1300850-1300
2 bedroom flat1200-17001200-1700
3 bedroom flat1500-21001300-2000
Room in student residency700-1500600-1300
600Mbps home internet40.0040.00
Water (per person per month)35.0045.00
Electricity (per person per month)50.0050.00
Average cost of different items in Barcelona and Madrid

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 250€ to 400€ 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 400€ 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 800€ per month excluding rent.

Transportation Card for Students

Madrid: Transportation Card

This card’s use is renewable and has a cost of 20 euros for 30 days from the date it for people under 26 years old. You can request an appointment throughout the Transportation System’s website. You will need the following documents:

  • Request of appointment.
  • Passport or ID.
  • Passport photo.
  • 4 euros of expedition cost.

To request the appointment, you will have to indicate the Customer Information Office you will attend to. For example, inside Sol’s metro station, there is an office.

Barcelona: T-Mobilitat

T-mobilitat is a digital transport card system in Barcelona. It costs around 45 euros for 3 months.

  • Sense contact technology for accessing public transport.
  • Rechargeable and reusable targets.
  • Access to bus, metro and train.
  • You can travel to the outskirts of Barcelona, such as Sitges and Costa Brava.

To buy, you have to go to a T-Mobilitat stand, which can be found in specific metro stations, such as Plaza España and Arc de Triomphe. You must bring identification (passport or TIE). Don’t know what is a TIE? Check out our complete step-by-step guide to get your Spanish documents here.

A person using the transport card system app, T-mobilitat, part of the cost of living in Barcelona or Madrid

Want to save money? Then you should check out the Studentfy mobile app and Discounts which lets you save money on the go. It offers a variety of discounts and other awesome deals at restaurants, bars, accommodation, transportation, and more.

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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