Advertisement

Barcelona For Members

How much does it really cost to live in Barcelona in 2024?

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
How much does it really cost to live in Barcelona in 2024?
The cost of living has increased considerably in Barcelona in recent years. Photo: Enrico Perini/Pexels

Barcelona is one of the most popular cities for foreigners to move to in Spain, but it's also among the most expensive. Long-time Barcelona resident Esme Fox explains exactly how much you'll need to live in the Catalan capital in 2024.

Advertisement

Barcelona is made up of 10 different districts and each one of these has its own neighbourhoods, or barris as they’re called in Catalan.

Depending on which district or even which neighbourhood you live in, your cost of living will be very different for everything, from rent to a simple cup of coffee.

Generally, the most expensive neighbourhoods are located in the centre and northwest of the city and some of the cheapest can be found in the outer-lying areas or to the east of the centre.

But wherever you live in the city it’s worth keeping in mind that the cost of living in Barcelona has risen by a whopping 42.6 percent in the last five years, with spiralling rental prices and food bills mostly to blame.

READ ALSO: The most affordable areas to live in and around Barcelona

According to the annual report by the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona (AMB), the minimum wage needed to be able to live comfortably in Barcelona in 2024 is €1,516 gross per month.

But of course, it will depend on your living circumstances. According to the report, if you’re living on your own you will need around €1,596.68 per month, if you’re a single parent you will need €2,453.85 per month and if you're a couple with two children, you will need two salaries of €1,681.15 each.

Map showing the ten districts that make up Barcelona.

The current interprofessional minimum wage (SMI) is just around €300 higher than the average you'll need to live here. This is €1,260 gross (across 12 payments) or €1,080 (across 14 payments).

Advertisement

Rent

Rent is your biggest expense in Barcelona and unfortunately, rental prices have been spiralling recently due to inflation, the return of tourism and the ever-growing popularity of the city.

According to property portal Idealista, the average rental price in Barcelona in 2024 is €21.1 / m2. For an 80m2 apartment, this equals €1,688. The cost of rent has gone up by 13.8 percent in just the last year. 

If you’re prepared to rent a room in a shared apartment with others, this will cut your rental costs considerably. Apartment sharing website Badi states that the average price for a room in a shared apartment in Barcelona costs an average of €500.  

READ ALSO: What you should know about renting an apartment in Barcelona

Advertisement

Groceries

With inflation, the cost of groceries has soared in Barcelona in the last couple of years. Prices will depend on where you shop. Generally, chain supermarkets such as Mercadona are the cheapest, while larger supermarkets where you can also find important products such as Carrefour and El Corte Inglés are more expensive.

According to cost of living comparison website Expatistan, the average price for a litre of milk costs €1.12, 12 eggs cost €3.38 and 500g of local cheese costs €8.

In terms and fruit and vegetables, Numbeo states that the average cost of 1kg of tomatoes is €2.34, 1kg of apples costs €2.03 and 1kg of potatoes costs €1.60. While the same website gives the average price for chicken fillets as €8.16 and a bag of rice as €1.45. 

Eating out

Barcelonians love to eat out whether that’s going for tapas with friends, trying out a new international restaurant or going for brunch on a Sunday. It’s an important part of socialising in the Catalan capital, so you’ll want to budget to eat out a least a few times per month. 

Numbeo gives the price of dinner for two in a mid-range restaurant at €60 and €15 per person at an inexpensive restuarant.

According to El Periódico the average menú del día (3-course menu of the day) costs an average of €13.1 and €15.8 in the centre or more expensive areas. This is an increase of 8.3 percent in just one year. 

Going out for a good cup of coffee will set you back around €2.50, Time Out states. Remember that it's always cheaper to ask for a café con leche rather than a cappuccino. The price will go up by at least an extra euro if you go for the tourist option. 

READ ALSO - Moving to Barcelona: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Advertisement

Going out, leisure and entertainment

Barcelona has a great entertainment scene, whether you want to listen to live music in small bar, go clubbing until the early hours of the morning, go on a date to the cinema or spend the night at the theatre.

A cinema ticket costs an average of €9.50, while you'll pay €45.71 for a monthly gym membership in the city. 

A normal-sized glass of draught or bottled beer at a bar will be around €3. 

Transport

Public transport in Barcelona is good and affordable, although the price has gone up in recent years too. Metros, buses, trams and trains (Rodalies and FGC) all run throughout the city. A 10-journey ticket which can be used on all modes of transport for one zone currently costs €12.15.

If you commute, you can get a monthly unlimited journey ticket for one zone called the T-Usual costs €21.35 for zone 1.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Barcelona you should be aware of before moving

More

Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also