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Cost of living in Barcelona: Everything You Must Know

Cost of living in Barcelona: Everything You Must Know

Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in the world. Not surprising given its enviable location near the sea and mountains, it has everything you could possibly need!

No matter what your reason for moving to Barcelona is, one of the most important things to consider before moving is the cost of living. Being aware of what the monthly cost of living will be, will help you make an informed decision about where to live, what salary will be appropriate, and be able to better manage your money.

Indeed, from Luxury Real Estate we want to help you with your decision. Do you want to find out if living in Barcelona is a good option? Keep reading!

How is living in Barcelona?

There are many reasons to decide to live in Barcelona. Architecture and history are one of them. In the heart of the city, you will find the archaeological remains of Barcino: the colony founded by the Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus, back in the first century BC.

Barcelona is also a unique place to see the artistic works of Antonio Gaudi and Pablo Picasso. In addition, there is the Sagrada Familia, the most extraordinary catholic temple in Europe.

However, if you ask us, the main reason to live in Barcelona is the climate. In this Mediterranean region of Spain, it hardly ever rains, and winters are mild. The temperature is almost always pleasant and throughout the year ranges between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius on average.

The boom in technology careers the city has experienced has established it as the Silicon Valley of Europe. Day after day, various technology companies and startups drive the country’s economy. All this translates into a good quality of life and numerous jobs, particularly in the technology field.

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In many parks, you can find tracks for running and cycling, basketball courts, ping pong tables, ramps for skateboarding… In conclusion, you can do a bit of everything.

Oh, and let’s not forget the beaches! Here, you can practice all kinds of water sports; not in vain, Barcelona is one of the best destinations for water sports. If you dare to live in Barcelona, you can practice paddle surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing, kayaking, and, with a little luck, surfing. In short, the fitness life in Barcelona never stops, so you can stay in shape here.

Pros to living in Barcelona as an American

These are 5 things that Spain does better than the US:

  • Family: In Spain, the family unit is usually very close. Grandparents help take care of the children. And many families bring grandparents home instead of putting them in a residence when they can no longer take care of themselves. Also, the concept of “child-free” restaurants does not exist in Spain, children are welcome everywhere. It is common to see several generations of families enjoying a day out or sitting in a restaurant. This sociability may contribute to the fact that Spaniards have one of the highest life expectancies in the world.
  • Social Security: Spain has both public and private healthcare systems. The public system provides free basic medical care to those who contribute to the Spanish social security system. The public system also provides free medical care for retirees, including those from other EU countries. The cost of health insurance in the U.S. can be between $300 to $800/month, depending on whether the policy is individual or family. In addition, there is a co-payment to be paid by the patient for any doctor’s visit.

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  • Vacations: Workers have 30 days of vacation per year. Plus national and local holidays, about 15 days more, depending on the area. This allows Spaniards to enjoy and rest their days off. Many Spaniards take their 30 days at a time and have a full month of vacation.
  • Tips:Waiters earn a salary in Spain and do not expect tips for the service they provide, much less at the percentage we give in the US. In the US, the custom is to leave between 15-20% of the bill. While in Spain it is common to leave loose change if you have enjoyed your meal and the service, although it is not mandatory.
  • Alcohol: Spaniards have a more relaxed attitude towards having a beer or a glass of wine. People drink and eat at the same time, making it more civilized than in the US, where they tend to drink to get drunk. Spain is one of the largest wine producers in the world. Quality wines and beers are very cheap here, especially by U.S. standards.

Cost of living in Barcelona vs the USA

Spain is a very appealing destination for many Americans. Not only for the warm climate and Mediterranean lifestyle but also because it has one of the lowest living costs in Western Europe.

The cost of living in Spain depends, first, on the city and region in which you decide to settle. It is often more expensive to live in big cities such as Madrid or Barcelona than in small villages. By the way, there are beautiful small villages in the north and south of Spain that offer a high quality of life at a relatively cheap price.

For example, in the big cities in Spain like Barcelona the cost of living index is 64.63%, and in Madrid: 63.78%. Compared with the best big cities in the USA like New York: 100% or San Francisco: 92.79%.

If you want to know the cost of living in Barcelona in US dollars, the cost of the living calculator shows us how it compares:

The cost of living in Barcelona. Cost of living in Spain vs. the USA.


The average cost of living in Spain ($1261) is 35% cheaper than in the United States ($1951). Spain ranks 39th, compared to the 10th of the United States, in the list of the most expensive countries in the world.

The average salary after tax is enough to cover the cost of living for 1.3 months in Spain, compared to two months in the United States. Ranked 28th and 20th best country to live in the world.

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