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Moving in

What is the cost of living in Madrid?

Written by Miguel

Moving abroad to work or study can be very exciting, as it opens up our lives to a whole new world of possibilities. There are many important things to consider before making that decision, though – one of them being the cost of living in your new hometown. So, since you’re reading this, we assume you’re moving to Madrid – which is a great choice! The capital of Spain is currently ranked 183rd in the list of most expensive places to live worldwide. Pretty low, right? Now, let’s get into the specifics.

Related article: Where To Discover Family-Friendly Neighbourhoods In Madrid

Budgeting for living costs in Madrid

Photo via Visualhunt

Photo via Visualhunt

Knowing how much money you’ll need to live comfortably can make a ton of difference. If you are changing countries for business reasons, it allows you to fittingly negotiate your compensation with future employers. If you’re a student on a program like Erasmus, for instance, it lets you compare your monthly scholarship allowance with your expected expenses. Rent and apartment prices in Madrid vary a lot and depend on many factors. The city centre is a privileged location that grants you easier access to services and entertainment, but even a small house there can be quite expensive. Standard home utilities (water, electricity, gas and heating) will cost you about 75€ a month. With the cheapest internet service priced at 34€ and a basic mobile phone subscription available for 10€, your monthly cost with basic bills should be around 120€. Your cost of living will also depend on your location – living far from the centre allows you to enjoy better houses at much lower prices, and public transportation can help you move around swiftly – so it’s all a matter of what you prioritize – location or comfort. One-way tickets cost 1,50€ and are valid for both metro and buses. That’s already quite cheap, but if you move around a lot, you can save money by acquiring either a 10-trip ticket (12,20€) or a monthly pass (54,60€). If it’s ever more convenient for you to grab a taxi, you’ll be charged an average of 13€ for each 8km.

Photo via Visualhunt

Groceries will greatly depend on where you choose to buy your food. If you stick to the cheapest supermarkets, roughly 140€ will keep you well fed for a month. If you go to more expensive places such as El Corte Inglés, your grocery bill might rise up to around 190€. Madrid has restaurants for all sizes of wallets, so it all depends on how much you want to spend in this department. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you around 11€, but there also many bars that serve cheaper meals and combo menus. Mid-range restaurants charge around 20€ per person (for a three-course meal), while the most expensive ones in town will basically double that value.  A cinema ticket in Madrid will cost you around 9€. Theatre plays are quite a bit more expensive, at around 45€ per person. If dancing is more your thing, be aware that most Madrid nightclubs charge an entrance fee between 15€ and 20€, normally with a few drinks included.

Related article: Cheap eats: 10€ lunch menus in Madrid

These are the most important costs to consider if you’re thinking about moving to Madrid. Now you can crunch the numbers and figure out what works best for you. The first step of finding a home can be stressful, but don’t worry, – to easily find the house you need in the capital of Spain, all you have to do is visit the ShMadrid website. Whether you are looking for a monthly or yearly rental, or even to buy a property, you can find it there. It’s pretty easy to browse through, allowing you to search for particular specifications and easily compare prices. Enjoy life in Madrid!

About the author


Miguel is a freelance writer and copywriter who believes that words can really take you places - so hop on his words and dare to discover the wonders of Madrid with him.

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