Updated: Nov 21
Author: Peter Watter
Date of Publication: 02/11/2022
First of all, living in Barcelona is awesome. I suggest it to every student, who has the possibility to get there. Barcelona offers many opportunities to see and experience. But that’s for another article.
In this article, we will discuss overall expenses in Barcelona during the summer for foreign interns. Prices refer to summer 2022. A lot of prices aren’t changing during the year, but specifically, the price for rent is much higher in summer. Generally, in July and August costs for renting a room/apartment are almost twice as high as in other months. Therefore, you need to take it into account during your stay.
Source of data
The data of this article is a result of an online survey lasting for two months, July and August. All of the participants were staying in Barcelona for the whole summer of 2022. So, there are a total of 42 interns students from universities aged 19 to 27 who participated in this survey.
In the survey was a wide spectrum of participants, from different countries. Some of them were from richer countries like France, Germany, Netherlands, and Italy but there were also students from poorer countries such as Turkey, Slovakia, Moldova, and Latvia. The average cost of living for all of these interns for one month in Barcelona was 1240€. This amount includes expenses for accommodation, transport in the city, trips, sports activities, culture, restaurants, alcohol, clubs, and groceries. But when we look at the box plot, we can see that there are three outliers which enlarge the average spending. After excluding these outliers (exactly students from the Netherlands), the average expenses for living in Barcelona are 1150€ per month.
Figure 1: Box plot of the interns’ overall expenses per month - identification the outliers source: own survey
In picture figure 2, we can see a distribution of spending money. As the figure shows, some of the people could live modestly and spend appr. 720-820€ per month. On the other hand, some of them spend more than the average. But most people spend approx. 1000€ per month for living in Barcelona.
Figure 2: Distribution of the interns’ overall expenses per month source: own survey
Categories of expenses in Barcelona
Average expenses on accommodation were 440€ per month. This price represents the average rent for one room in the apartment because all interns were staying in the shared apartment.
Average expenses on transport were 38€ per month. Most people bought 40€ ticket for one month for limitless rides in Zone 1 in Barcelona. But some of them rent a bike for 15-20€ per month. However, I don’t suggest it to you during summer due to higher temperature and humidity. The 40€ ticket is worth it.
Average expenses on trips were 158€ per month. Some interns used offers from “Barcelona Erasmus app” for low-cost trips to Costa Brava, Paris, or Zurich. However, you could also make a trip on your own. There are a lot of possibilities, for example, a trip to Madrid, Valencia, Mallorca, etc.
Average expenses on sports were 55€ per month and mainly consisted of gym subscriptions, renting a bike, or buying sports equipment.
Average expenses on culture were 45€ per month. Barcelona has stunning architecture and many cultural heritages to see. But I recommend that you check the special days when some of the entrances are free or for a lower price.
The average expenses for restaurants were 118€ per month. According to this amount, it looks like the average intern had lunch/dinner in a restaurant approx. 2 times per week. The average meal in a restaurant cost 13€.
Average expenses on groceries were 214€ per month. Most of the time interns prepared meals by themselves. It really saved them money but also, they learned something new to cook. Prices in stores are adequate. For example, Milk 0,95€; Bread 1,44€; Rice 1,26€; Eggs 2,47€, etc. I recommend supermarkets like Lidl, Mercadona or Consum where the prices are even lower. In Barcelona, you can see a lot of small markets with vegetables or fruits, which are mostly owned by Indians. They are kind and have really good prices and discounts.
Average expenses on alcohol were 65€ per month. Most of the interns were youths who love fun and enjoy socialising with others. Barcelona offers you to do it. Actually, people are gathering at the beaches, parks, or parties. For example, such occasions include beers or drinks. Average drinks in the bar cost 10€ and a beer approx. 5€. But in the supermarket, you can buy a good quality beer for less than 2€/litre.
In general, we split the overall cost of living into several categories. As was mentioned at the beginning the final amount of expenditure for all of this was 1150€ per month. In the survey, we also asked the interns about the satisfaction of their lifestyle in Barcelona. Afterwards, interns could choose from 1-5 (1 represented that they are very unsatisfied with the lifestyle in Barcelona and 5 represent the opposite), and the average number was 4,1. Therefore, it means that students were satisfied with their lifestyle in Barcelona.
At the end of the day, my suggestion is to take a chance and say welcome to Barcelona!