The cost of living in Spain varies from one city to another. Spain is the 3rd cheapest country in Western Europe. However, the cost of living in Madrid is higher than in the average city or town in Spain.
Firstly, keep in mind that the cost of living in Madrid or any other city depends on each person’s lifestyle. There are people that earn 1,000€ and still save some money, and there are some others that struggle with a 3,000€ income.
If you are coming to Madrid as an English teaching Assistant, you’ll make 1,000€ a month, which I think is enough to live on in Madrid and still go on trips around Europe. In fact, you could even make some cash on the side tutoring.
In order to give you an idea about the cost of living in Madrid, I’ll write about some basic products and necessities. Most of the prices for going out will be the average price in Madrid.
You can always find cheaper and more expensive options (all the expenses below are for one person). I tried to give an approximate USD conversion so it makes more sense for you.
Cost of living in Madrid – 6 categories
I’ve classified the most common expenses within 6 groups, so it’ll be easier for you to find what you are looking for.
Housing & Utilities
In Madrid, like in most big cities, housing prices depend on the neighborhood. Rooms and apartments are usually furnished, so you won’t have to worry about that.
Renting a room in the city center will vary from 400€ to 700€.
Sometimes, there are companies that rent apartments to students and other young people. They usually include the utilities in the price and some other conveniences like cleaning. It’s a little bit more expensive, but it might be worth it.
|Expense||EUR (€)||USD ($)|
|Room in the city center||400-800||442 – 885|
|Renting a 1 bedroom apartment||1000||1106|
|Utilities (gas, electricity, water)||60||66|
Madrid has a great public transportation system. Odds are that you’ll have to use it on a regular basis since most places are not within walking distance.
The monthly pass is 20€ (if you are under 26 years old). You’ll need to apply for the abono (metro pass) and charge it every month.
Phone & Internet
There are many different phone plans and internet providers. You’ll pay more or less depending on how much you call people or go on the internet. The fees can vary from 10 to 50€.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait to get to Spain to receive a Spanish phone number. You can download WhatsApp if you want to start preparing for Spain.
The internet cost can range from 30 to 50€ — split between you and your roommates. However, if you are looking to rent a room the internet may be included. Ask your landlord.
There are several supermarkets in Madrid, some more affordable than others. I usually spend about 100€ a month on grocery shopping. Here are some of the basic products so you can get an idea of the cost of living in Madrid.
|EUR (€)||USD ($)|
|1 qt. of whole milk||0.90||1|
|Pack of ground coffee||2||2.23|
|Domestic Beer (0,5l)||1.10||1.23|
|Bottle of wine||3.5||3.91|
Wining & Dining
There’s always something to do in Madrid. Spanish people love to go out at any time of the day to have tapas or a drink. If you enjoy long nights out or just eating and hanging out with your friends here are some of the average expenses:
|EUR (€)||USD ($)|
|Lunch out (menu)||12||13.28|
|Diner out (mid-range)||20||22.14|
|Taxi (within the city)||6 – 20||7 – 22|
In Spain, people usually don’t tip. That doesn’t mean that tipping would not be appreciated but waiters won’t expect it.
There are several movie theaters in Madrid that show movies in English. Moreover, Wednesdays are usually the cheapest day. If you love going to the movies, going on Wednesdays could reduce your cost of living in Madrid.
Traveling around Europe
Living in Madrid you’ll probably want to take as many trips around Europe as possible—the airport is within a metro ride, less than 50 minutes from the city center.
Traveling around Europe would definitely increase your cost of living in Madrid.
The plane tickets to another European city range from 50€ to 300€. However, I wouldn’t cut on those expenses. Plan your trips in advance and choose less busy dates so it’s cheaper.
If you want to compare the cost of living in Madrid to your city, you can use this great tool.
I hope this post helped you get an idea about the cost of living in Madrid. Is there any other expense you want to know more about? Let me know in the comments.