Spain's cost of living – how much do you need to earn per month?
In terms of affordability, the cost of living in Spain is one of the main appeals of the country for digital nomads. Rent can be relatively low, and there are a number of great cafés and restaurants that offer affordable prices without compromising on quality. Spain has a lower cost of living than places like London or Berlin.
Let's break down the costs of living to see how much you will need to earn per month as a digital nomad.
Housing: To rent in Spain, expect to pay around €600-€900 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center. If you're looking to live in Barcelona, rent can go up to €1105–1540; however, there are significantly cheaper options in the outer areas.
Transportation: Most Spanish cities do not offer a monthly transport pass. Instead, there is a cost for each trip made and then the option to buy a 10-journey pass.
In Madrid, for example, you pay €2.00 per journey or spend €18.30 on a bonometro, which grants you ten journeys across the Metro network.
Food: Eating out in Spain is relatively affordable, with most restaurants charging around €10-15 for a main course. Groceries will also be relatively cheap, with basics like bread, milk, and eggs costing around €1-2 per item. Expect to spend around €32 per day on food if you combine eating home with dining out.
Entertainment: Going out for drinks or taking in a show will typically cost around €10-15 per person.
As a fair estimate, you'll need to earn at least €1,500 per month to cover your basic costs of living in Spain as a digital nomad. Of course, this number can vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits – you'll need to budget significantly more if you live in the middle of Barcelona, for example, as rent could take up the entire €1,500.
Cost of living in different cities
The cities in Spain can vary significantly in terms of living expenses, so it's important to note the differences and take them into consideration when deciding where to live and work.
Madrid: Up to €1,454
For many digital nomads, price is a key consideration, and Madrid is a great city to live in on a budget. It costs significantly less to live here than in other capital cities. The biggest factor in the cost of living here will be your rent, and you can choose to pay less by renting a one-bedroom apartment or living on the outskirts.
Barcelona: Avg. €1,817
This city sits on the pricier end, ranking as one of the most expensive cities in the world – but once again, much of the expense will come down to how affordable your rent is. While it is an expensive place to live, Barcelona has also been placed in the top 2% of the best places to live in the world.
One of Spain's most beautiful cities is Seville, which sits on the River Guadalquivir. It is the largest city in the Andalusia autonomous community. Despite being a key tourist attraction, it costs less to live here than in many other areas in Spain.
The city of Valencia may not feel as central as Barcelona. Still, it is even less expensive to live here than Madrid (around 15% cheaper), and there are plenty of beaches and other attractions to make your stay worthwhile. Without rent, your living expenses can be covered comfortably with €600-700.
Note that these estimates are rough guides only and do not reflect the added expense of your visa.