Being one of the most famous cities in the world comes at a price, and if you want to live in such a city, you need be prepared! Whether you’re arrival in Barcelona is set and coming soon or you are simply exploring your European options, the best way to start preparing for your trip is to be aware of the costs. Citylife Barcelona is here to help you out! The following information will help you organize and budget your time in Barcelona. This “budget guide” will show you a general estimation of typical student expenses. It will not include possible visa fees, tuition fees or flight bookings.


There are several housing options for people moving to Barcelona to work or study. Realistically, most of them will involve sharing a living space with any number of people! Some flats will have 2-3 bedrooms, while others can have up to 10 people living them in them at once! The average prices to live in an average sized flat range from 350 to 650€ per month depending on where you are located. Prices drop dramatically the further you move from the city centre. To read more about accommodation in Barcelona and to get free support during your hunt for rooms, click here!

Public Transportation

The public transport in Barcelona is great! It’s easy to use and reliable as well. Chances are, you’re going to be using it a lot. Especially if you live just outside the city centre. Luckily, prices for transport are pretty straight forward. You have a choice of several different “transport cards” that best suit your needs. From the “T-Jove” card (from 105€) which offers those under the age of 25 a discount for unlimited travel for 90 days, to the “T-10” card (from 10,20€) which gives you 10 rides over an unlimited period of time! Prices change due to zone coverage and there are even more options to choose from! For more details, click here!

Cell Phone & Internet

Business concept - mobile phone over laptop keyboard

This is another area which will completely depend on your needs and your budget. Most expats and foreign students stick to pre-paid/pay-as-you-go type plans so they can easily control and monitor their spending. For some people this might cost 10€ a month while for others it could mean 50€+. For this type of deal, we recommend checking out Lycamobile. Lycamobile is one of the most popular cell phone companies in Spain and they offer a special prepaid deals for the young internationals! This will save you a lot of money and hassle along the way. Learn more about the free Lycamobile SIM card now by clicking here!

As far as internet is concerned, you can expect to pay around 30 to 50€ a month. To keep your costs as low as possible you should always look for flats with internet already installed. This way you can save money on installation and general stress of dealing with the companies directly. However, if by some serious bad luck you can’t find a place with internet and don’t want to set it up yourself, you always have WifiAway. This is a portable router which gives you internet access anywhere!

Medical Insurance

For students looking for private insurance or who would like to have an additional private insurance alongside their basic insurance, we have calculated a basic average of up to 40€ per month. For more info, check out our “Quick Guide to the Spanish Medical System“!

Food & Leisure 

All numbers mentioned in this portion are based on average estimates. Your lifestyle will completely dictate your expenses when it comes to social activities and food & drinks. According to Numbeo the average cost of a typical trip to the supermarket will cost around 50€ per visit if you’re planning on fully stocking your fridge every time. While going to an averagely priced restaurant in the city would cost around 40€. It’s important to remember that Barcelona is a hugely popular city worldwide. It attracts thousands of tourists and many spots will be charging tourist prices. This applies to bars and clubs as well.

Living in Barcelona is a dream, but not a cheap dream! The monthly average for expenses of a typical expat in the city can range between 900€ to 1400€ completely depending on your lifestyle and habits. To help you save money during your time in Barcelona we have created a great online discount resource. Here you will find discount codes and printable vouchers to save on popular student needs such as traveling, leisure activities, restaurants, hostels, museums, pharmacies, clubbing and much more! Check it out now!

Your friendly neighbourhood travel guide,

– Leah


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