Spain is a country on most people’s bucket list, either to live in or to visit. Its history, varied landscapes, food, wine and climate draw people from all over the world. Spain has a staggering 49 UNESCO heritage sites, ranking it third in the world after Italy and China.
If you are considering moving to Spain, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living in this part of the world.
Quick Spain Facts:
- Population: 46,796,541 (October 2022 estimate)
- Official Language:The official national language of Spain is Castilian or Castellano Spanish which is spoken by almost 94% of Spaniards in the country.
- GDP Per Capita:US$32,900 – 2022 estimate
- Don Quixote: Miguel de Cevantes’s Don Quixote is considered to be the world’s first modern novel and was written in 1605.
- Currency: Euro – €. As of 2022, €1 is = £10.86, $1 (USD), $1.35 (CAD) $1.54 (AUD).
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Spain
Below are sample international shipping rates to Spain from various countries around the world.
For more see: Container Shipping Rates To & From Spain
2. Spain Housing Costs
Spain is more affordable than many countries around the globe which is why it attracts many retirees, especially from Germany and the UK. Salaries in Spain are lower than many European countries and the unemployment rate is high.
Monthly Rental Prices in Spain
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Centre: €500 – €1,200
- 1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: €400 – €900
- 3-bedroom apartment in City Centre: €800 – €2,000
- 3-bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: €650 – €1,500
- Price per square metre to buy in City Centre €1,900 – €6,000
- Price per square metre to buy outside the city: €1,200 – €3,576
Spain Housing Cost Comparison
Below are how rents in Spain compare with other countries around the globe.
United Kingdom is 42.86% more expensive
United States is 127.12% more expensive
Australia is 64.23% more expensive
Canada is 62.37% more expensive
Singapore is 256.47% more expensive
France is 17.18% more expensive
Germany is 20.94% more expensive
Italy is 4.64% cheaper
UAE is 66.86% more expensive
How to Save on Housing Costs
- Share an apartment or house. Flat or room-sharing is one of the best options to save money on housing. Have a look at the following sites to find room or flatmates in Spain – Erasmusu, iroommates, Roomder, Reddit, and My Roommate.
- Different areas – different prices. Housing prices differ extensively depending upon the demand. Cities are expensive worldwide compared to small towns and suburbs. Madrid, Barcelona, and Donostia-San Sebastian are considerably more expensive to live in than Granada, Cordoba, Alicante, Cadiz, Santiago De Compostela, Marbella, and Costa Del Sol. The Canary Islands generally offer cheaper accommodation than mainland Spain but job prospects are limited.
3. Spain Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs
Spaniards love their food. Long lunches and dinners are the order of the day with the whole family joining in. Lunch doesn’t usually start until around 2pm and most people don’t go out for dinner until at least 10pm. The variety of food is excellent with fish and seafood featuring in most restaurants and supermarkets.
- Inexpensive Restaurant: €8.00 – €17.00
- Domestic beer: €1.50 – €4.00
- Coke/Pepsi: €1.20 – €2.50
- 1L of milk: €0.59 – €1.05
- Loaf of Bread: €0.50 €2.32
- 12 Eggs: €1.20 – €3.10
- 1kg Chicken Fillets: €3.00 – €8.95
- 1kg Beef: €6.67 – €15.99
- 1kg Apples: €1.00 – €3.00
- 1kg White Rice: €8.80 – €2.00
Below is how food and restaurant prices compare with other major countries in the world.
- UK restaurants are 21% more expensive and groceries are 20.05% more expensive than in Spain.
- United States restaurants are 25% more expensive and groceries are 85.23% more expensive than in Spain.
- Australian restaurants are 66% more expensive and groceries are 77.76% more expensive than in Spain.
- Singapore restaurants are 33% more expensive and groceries are 89.35% more expensive than in Spain.
- French restaurants are 32% more expensive and groceries are 59.04% more expensive than in Spain.
- UAE restaurants are 49% more expensive and groceries are 23.27% more expensive than in Spain.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants and Groceries
- Know your supermarkets: Spain has a good variety of supermarkets and independently owned stores. There are also some great fresh produce markets where you can find high quality produce at reasonable prices. If you’re a lover of fish, the fish markets are a treat to visit. Have a look at these websites for tips on where to shop for food – InSpain, TheLocals, 10 Best Markets in Spain, SpainGuides, and ThinkSpain.
- Find Cheap Eats:Keep an eye on the locals to see where they go for cheap eats. The following websites will also point you in the right direction – Madrid Cheap Eats, Wanderlog, Spoon University, Cheap Eats in Madrid, and Budget Traveller.
4. Spain Alcohol Costs
The Spanish love to drink socially with family and friends, enjoying the wide range of wine and beer that are produced locally. There’s also a good variety of imported wines, beer and spirits. Note that drinking in public places is strictly prohibited in the country. Compared with most European countries alcohol is cheap, especially when it comes to locally produced beer and wine.
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: €2.00 – €4.00
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: €1.50 – €4.00
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: €0.50 – €1.52
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: €0.80 – €2.60
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: €3.00 – €8.00
How to drink for less in Spain
- Keep an eye open for posters and flyers advertising specials in bars and restaurants. You can also ask people who live in the area for their recommendations.
- Restaurants and bars, especially in the cities, usually have after-work happy hours where they offer alcohol at cheaper rates. The following websites contain tips on where to drink for less – Travel Dudes, Oasis Sevilla, Yelp and Oasis Toledo.
5. Spain Transportation Fares
Spain has an excellent public transport system, with motorways and high-speed trains. The railway network has expanded connecting all regions, cities and towns. Short distance train travel is free and high-speed routes often offer a 50% discount. Buses, trams, and the metro make up the remainder of Spain’s transport system and they are reliable and affordable.
- One-way ticket (Local transport) – €1.05 – €2.40
- Monthly Pass, (Regular Price) – €25.95 – €54.60
- Taxi start (normal tariff) – €2.35 – €5.50
- Taxi 1km (normal tariff) – €0.86 – €3.00
How to save money on public transport
- Travelling by bus is the cheapest way to travel.
- Train travel is cheaper when you book in advance.
- Take the advantage of Renfe’s free and 50% discount offer if you are a frequent traveller.
6. Cost of Internet in Spain
Spain has excellent internet with 99.77% availability and an internet speed of 16 Mbps in the country. Spain is ranked 22nd in the world for good internet services.
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym and Leisure
Spain has a mild oceanic climate with warm, sunny summers and rainy, mild winters, with snow in the mountains. July and August are the months when Spain is at its hottest, with temperatures of up to 45C. December to February are the coldest months with an average maximum temperature of 6C. October to January are Spain’s wettest months. The average rainfall in the country varies from region to region, ranging from 300mm to 1,000mm.
Below are some clothing prices, along with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 or similar): €30 – €100
- Summer Dress: €15 – €45
- Running Shoes (Trainers): €45.00 – €100
- Business Shoes: €50 – €130
- Gym membership: €25 – €53
- Movie (cinema) ticket: €6.50 – €10
- Short Doctor’s visit (15 mins): €55
- Deodorant: €2.00 – €4.20
- Shampoo: €2.50 – €5.50
- Toilet Paper (4 rolls): €3.40 – €4.45
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Spain
It’s easy to import you own car to Spain, just ensure that you have the correct documentation. You need to have proof of ID, your driving license, insurance, and registration documents. The Spanish government allows residents and non-residents to buy new as well as used cars in the country. You can drive for six months on a foreign licence, after which you’ll need to get a Spanish driving licence.
Below are sample costs of owning and driving a car in Spain:
- Volkswagen Golf:€19,141 – €25,338
- 1 litre (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol): €1.45 – €2.00
- Other fees (if any):The registration cost of cars varies depending on the type of vehicle and your location. Road tax costs between €20 to €200. Then comes the registration fee which depends on the make and value of your car. The average cost of running a car in Spain is between €230 and €400 per month.
Ways to save money driving in Spain
- Car sharing or car pooling is one of the best options to save money. Try Share Now, AVIS, Jeangalea, BlaBlaCar, and EsMadrid.
- Taxis can be a cheaper option for travelling a short distance, especially if you are parking your car all day. Try Uberand Cabify.
Need your car/vehicle moved to Spain? Then read our guide to: Car Transport & Vehicle Shipping
9. Taxes in Spain
As a non-resident in Spain, you will pay 24% of your Spanish source of income to the tax man. For more information refer to HTJ TAX. Property tax is between 8% to 11.5%. You’ll find the full details at Reaista. The standard VAT rate in Spain is 21% but, like most countries, it varies depending on the goods and services you’re purchasing. For details visit N26.
10. Flight Costs from Spain
If you do make the move to Spain, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities based on the lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner as of 2022:
- London: €40
- Paris: €35
- New York: €299
- Los Angeles: €350
- Toronto: €340
- Dubai: €343
- Sydney: €480
- Cape Town: €495
- Hong Kong: €590
Other Spain Relocation Tips
The above costs and pricing should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Spain. But perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Relocating to Spain Alone
Moving abroad is stressful and moving alone can be even more difficult. However, the relaxed atmosphere in Spain and the friendly people will help you ease into your new life. Below are a few tips about settling in Spain.
- Meetups:Connect with like-minded souls in Spain through Meetup. There are groups that cover most people’s interests. If you can’t find one, then start you own. New Meetup groups pop up all the time.
- Attend local events: Spain always has something going on and many of the activities and Meetups are free. Have a look at the following sites for inspiration – Spanish Festivals, Trip Savvy, Working Abroad, Spain Holiday, and Spain Guides.
12. Moving to Spain with a Family
Moving anywhere with a family is challenging but Spain has so much to offer that your family will soon settle into the relaxed lifestyle. If you are moving to Spain with a family, consider the following.
- New parents (or parents-to-be):Connect with moms and parents groups to meet other parents or parents-to-be. Check out Moms Groups in Spain, Moms & Dads in Madrid, MOPS, SH Barcelona, and HMHBPBC for advice, courses and ways to meet other parents.
- Live in a family-friendly area:Looking for an appropriate family-friendly area is obviously going to be one your first priorities. That said, the whole of Spain is family friendly. Popular family-friendly areas include Chamberi, Retiro, Arturo Soria, Mirasierra, and Conde Orgaz.
- Find things to do with the kids:Spain has so many activities for families, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Have a look at the following websites for inspiration – Trip Advisor, Learning Escapes, Kids are a Trip, The Family Voyage, and Best Places to Visit in Spain with Kids.
13. Moving to Spain for Work
Moving to a different country for work is one of the most common reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make the move.
Below are things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary:Salaries in Spain tend to be lower than many other countries in the EU. Refer to Glassdoor and Expatica.
- How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Spain, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start . Balcells Group, Expatica, Internations, Prospects, and Total Jobs.
- You may also want to Google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.
14. Moving to Spain from Australia
There are 2,805 Australians living in Spain. If you are moving from Australia to Spain, below are things to consider.
- Size comparison:Australia is 15 times bigger than Spain, but the population of Australia is almost half of Spain’s population.
- Join expat groups: Meetup, Internations, and Facebookoffer ways of meeting up with other Australians in Spain.
15. Moving to Spain from Canada
There are 4,879 Canadians currently living in Spain. If you are moving from Canada, consider the following.
- Size:Canada is 20 times bigger than Spain, however Spain has a larger population. The population of Canada and Spain is 38,246,000 and 46,796, 689 respectively.
- Expat groups:Connect with fellow Canadians in Spain through Meetup and Internations.
16. Moving to Spain from the United Kingdom
Migration from the UK to Spain is increasing every year and in 2021 there were 272,885 people from the UK living there. If you are moving from the UK to Spain and would like to meet up with fellow expats, consider the following.
- Size: Spain is 2.1 times bigger than the UK, but the UK has a larger population. The population of the UK and Spain is 67,327,000 and 46,796, 689 respectively.
- Expat groups:Connect with fellow Brits in Spain through Meetup and Internations.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to Spain you can start by comparing moving quotes here.