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What is the Cost of Living in Barcelona for a Student?

Did you choose Barcelona as your destination for an Erasmus or another student exchange? Welcome! Barcelona has a lot to offer in terms of education and culture, but also in terms of nightlife, gastronomy, and entertainment.

The cost of living is quite cheap in the Catalan capital, compared to London or Paris. How can you know if your budget would be enough to maintain a certain level of living? In this article, ShBarcelona details the monthly cost of living for a student in Barcelona.

  • monthly apartment rental in barcelona


ShBarcelona created a cost living calculator with which you can calculate your own monthly cost of living in Barcelona. In addition to calculate your monthly budget, you can check the average prices listing of daily products like food, clothing, museums, utilities, housing by district, etc.

The cost of living per category


In Ciutat Vella, which is the most famous and beloved area for students, the average rent is about 17,37€ per square meter. In Sarriá-Sant Gervasi, the price is 16,01 €/m2 and in Sant Martí, about 15,01€/m2.

Those are the most expensive areas because they offer the best choice in terms of entertainment, bars, restaurants and supermarkets.

bedroom with cushions

Photo via Pixabay

On the other hand, the least expensive barrios to live in are Horta-Guinardó (11,3€/m2), Nou Barris (11€/m2) and Sant Andreu (11,47€/m2). Therefore, the monthly rent for an 85 m2 flat varies from 900 euros to 1300 euros.

If you are looking to share a flat and want to rent a bedroom, you could pay anywhere from 350 to 600 euros per month. When looking for a room, you should always ask if the utilities (gas, electricity, water and Internet) are included, which cost on average 50 euros per month, per person.

Related article: Barcelona for Students: Life on the Cheap Side


One of the main advantages of living in Barcelona is that everything is quite close and you can either cycle, walk or use public transportation to get anywhere. You will never be too far from bars and nightclubs to enjoy the city’s nightlife or far from your university.

The cheapest way to move around is by Bicing, the public bicycle network, starting at 50 euros per year (for the non-electric bicycle) and with the first 30 minutes for free.

bicing bikes in barcelona

Photo via Pixabay

If you want to use the public transport network (either metro, bus or tramway), you should buy a 10 rides ticket, which cost 11,35 euros, if you will only use it from time to time, or a monthly pass, which starts at 40 euros for 1 zone, if you plan to use it every day.

At night, a taxi trip can be useful too: it will cost you from 6 to 10 euros to get to your favorite restaurant or nightclub.

Study and live in Barcelona for a couple of months


A basic lunchtime menu will cost you 12 euros in the business district. The cheap version would be a 3 euros bocadillo with ham and cheese. A fast food meal would be about 7 euros.

food on the table

Photo via Pixabay

There are many supermarkets in the city center to do your grocery shopping at. The cheapest ones are Dia, Lidl and Caprabo. If you want better quality products, go to Bonpreu or Mercadona. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables is usually cheaper at your corner grocery shop.


What would you spend on a crazy Friday night out in Ciutat Vella? A basic dinner out for two in a tapas bar would cost you 30 euros. If you want to try out the local beer, a bottle of Moritz can cost you anything from 1,60 to 3 euros.

Are you more of a cocktail person? Cocktails like a Mojito can go from 3,50 to 9 euros at a local establishment.

Related article: Student Discounts in Barcelona

Student Discounts

Carnet Jove and Tarjeta ESN are the must-have discount cards for students in Barcelona. The Carnet Jove offers discounts on hundreds of products and services for Catalonia residents from 12 to 30 years of age.

cash on table

Photo via Visualhunt

You can apply for the Carnet Jove online. Discounts available are significant and include entry to tourist attractions, restaurant, shopping and travel. 

The  ESN Card is the official membership card of the Erasmus Student Network. It is open to all international students, members of the Erasmus Student Network. This card focuses more on travel discounts (youth hostels, hotels, transportation…).

Do you have any tips for students who are moving to Barcelona temporarily?
Share your best advice with our student readers!

Stay in Barcelona for a few years

About the author

Mae-Lise De Sousa

Barcelona is Maé-Lise's favorite city in all of Europe. Her articles in ShBarcelona share her journey through the Catalan capital.


  • I want to know the difference between the cost of living with house rent for a year in barcelona,madrid and valecia as an international student.

    • Good day Joseph,
      There is not one clear answer to your question… Concerning housing prices, you can check different real estate websites, for example ShMadrid and ShBarcelona and look at the different prices and square meters. There are also several subjects on our blog on living expenses in both cities. But of course it also depends on your lifestyle 🙂

  • I would like to know the average monthly expenses for a student in sharing residence, including all the other exp like mess, travel and other mis exp

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