Cost of living in Spain: comparison between Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia

Collecting data from the Numbeo website referring to the cost of living in various cities around the world, we compared the current economic situation of Madrid, Barcellona and Valencia.

In some respects the differences between the three realities of Spain are considerable and must be taken into serious consideration before deciding what could be the right destination for a new experience.


Not surprisingly, rental costs are higher in the capital. In Madrid, you pay an average of € 800 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in the center, which can be as low as € 550 if you decide to take a house in the suburbs. In Barcelona, ​​prices are lower, around € 700 in the center and € 500 outside the city. But it is in Valencia that we can find the best deals when it comes to rental accommodation: you get by on average with € 380 per month in the center (less than half that in the capital!).


To buy the ownership of an apartment in the center of Madrid, as in the center of Barcelona, ​​you need about € 5000 per m², in Valencia it would take 3250. 2925 of Valencia.


The first surprise on the topic of bills: Madrid is the cheapest city among the three considered! For water, electricity, waste and gas in Valencia you have to pay 145 € per month (assuming you have an apartment of 85m²). In the capital of Catalunya the cost is lowered but not by much, up to around € 140. In Madrid, on the other hand, you would pay € 95 per month, 52% less than in Valencia!


For public transport, a single ticket costs € 1.50 in Madrid and Valencia, € 2 in Barcelona. As for the monthly passes, the two major cities both settle for around € 50, while the smaller Valencia reaches around € 40. As for taxis, the cheapest city is Barcelona. In Valencia, the basic fare is € 5, double that in other cities. In Spain, petrol costs less than in Italy: € 1.44 per liter in the capital, € 1.42 in Barcelona and Valencia.


Scraps vary according to the products but on average Barcelona is the most expensive city for food shopping, especially for fruit and vegetables. Few differences between Madrid and Valencia, with a slight advantage of the latter in products such as milk, rice, bread and fresh fruit. A curiosity: a pack of Marlboro cigarettes costs less in Valencia, € 4.20 against the € 4.45 of the other two cities!


For those who love to eat out Valencia is the right city. In Madrid and Barcelona, ​​prices are similar, around € 10 for a lunch out and around € 50 for a three-course dinner for two in a mid-range restaurant. In Valencia, on the other hand, you can get by with € 9 for lunch and € 40 for a “gallant” dinner. Eating at fast food is also worthwhile in Valencia: only € 6 for a menu, € 1 less than in the capital. Good news for those who like to indulge in a cervezita every now and then: a pint of beer in Valencia costs only € 2!


We talked about the money that would come out of our pockets in Spain, let's now see what on average goes into the wallets of workers in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. The capital, where the cost of living is generally higher, is also the one that offers the highest wages. The average salary in Madrid is in fact € 1850 net per month. In Barcelona you earn about 9% less, the average salary is € 1697. In Valencia, which offers affordable living costs, purchasing power is balanced by the lower value of wages. The average salary in Valencia is in fact around 1400 €.


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