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What’s cheaper about life in Spain than in other countries?

Wine in Spain is cheaper than other countries
Photo: JAIME REINA / AFP
People decide to move to Spain for a variety of reasons – the great weather, the culture, the food and the low cost of living among others. While it’s not necessarily true that everything in Spain is cheaper than the UK and other EU countries, these are the things that you definitely will find less costly.

Generally, we found that everyday items such as grocery shopping and transport were cheaper in Spain, as well as more luxury items such as alcohol, tobacco, and clothes. 

Clothes

If you love fashion, then you’re in luck because Spain is the cheapest Eurozone country for clothing, according to a report by Eurostat. It was found that clothes were around eight percent cheaper than the EU average. In terms of the whole of the EU, only Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria were found to have cheaper clothing than Spain.

Shoes and other footwear, of which Spain is well known for, aren’t as cheap as clothes but were still found to be 3.2 percent below the EU average.

The UK, which was found to have a similar price for clothing as Spain in 2017, has increased its prices over the past few years. 

Alcohol

Data from the World Bank’s International Comparison Program shows that Spain is one of the cheapest countries for alcohol in the world. Spain ranked 150 out of 167 countries. In terms of other big wine-producing countries like Spain – Italy ranked number 125 on the list and France at number 132. Spain was found to have alcohol prices 14.6 percent cheaper than the EU average. It was discovered that the price of alcohol dropped even further because of the economic crisis due to the pandemic.

Spain’s low alcohol prices could be partly due to the fact that it has the most bars per inhabitant in Europe with one bar per 175 people or its wide range of wines and beers that are produced in the country. It’s very common to be able to buy a bottle of wine in the supermarket for around €2-€3. 

Tobacco

Like alcohol, Eurostat found that tobacco was also relatively cheap in Spain. Spain was listed as the seventh country with the cheapest tobacco in the EuroZone with a price equivalent of 83 percent of the EU average. Within Europe, the UK was found to have the highest tobacco prices, followed by Ireland and then France. The average price for a pack of cigarettes in Spain is around €4.50. 

Groceries

According to a report published by Eurostat, food shopping in Spain was found to be around five percent cheaper than the EU average. This is 15 percent cheaper than in France and 11 percent cheaper than Italy, which were found to be two of the most expensive countries for food shopping in the EU. Things such as meat, milk, cheese, and eggs were all cheaper in Spain than in other EU countries, but surprisingly bread and cereals were slightly more expensive. Spain compares favourably with other Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Portugal and was also found to be cheaper for food than the UK, whose prices were six percent above the EU average.

Transport

The Association of Collective Urban Transport Management Companies (ATUC) revealed that using public transport in Spain is 30 percent cheaper than in other European capitals. It also discovered that on average a transport ticket costs €1.50 in Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona or Bilbao, while in other large European cities, a ticket cost just over €2.

And it’s not just for a single, one-way ticket. In Madrid, it was revealed that you pay 26 percent less for a monthly travel card than in other European capitals.

READ ALSO: Moving to Spain: What’s more expensive than in other countries?


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