The Cost of Living in Spain - A Guide for Digital Nomads

Prepare to be delighted by the affordability of life in Spain. Enjoy a comfortable lifestyle at a cost that's 20% to 40% lower than many other countries, giving you the freedom to live well for less.
20 Mar 2024
Reading Time
10 minutes

Spain, known for its beautiful beaches, cultural richness, and delicious food, is calling digital nomads and remote workers looking for the perfect mix of work and fun.

Let's dive into the cost of living in Spain, showing you everything from how much it costs to rent a place to where to find the best spots for working remotely, all within a budget-friendly setting.

Thinking about making Spain your new home as a digital nomad or expat? Here’s what you need to know.

Among the many reasons to consider Spain as your next home, the affordable cost of living stands out as a major draw. Spain offers a high standard of living without the hefty price tag found in much of Europe. Wondering how Spain's living costs stack up against those in your home country?

Breaking Down Living Costs in Spain

Enjoy Spain on a Budget: Living in Spain can be surprisingly affordable, allowing you to enjoy a great lifestyle for much less than what you might spend back home.

Where to Live: Spain has something for everyone, from seaside apartments to city flats, with prices ranging from $500 to $1,500 a month.

Eating Out and Grocery Shopping: Spain’s food is both cheap and delicious, letting you explore its food scene without spending a lot.

Regular Bills: Living in Spain means low utility bills, from electricity to internet, usually costing around €100 - €200 for utilities and about $25/month for WiFi.

Getting Around: Public transport in Spain is both cheap and efficient. Expect to pay around €1.50 for a bus or metro ride, with monthly passes costing about €40-60.

Working Legally: Spain’s digital nomad visa makes it easy for non-EU citizens to work here legally, enjoying Spain’s culture and lifestyle.

Is Spain Your Next Digital Nomad Destination?

Spain offers not just beautiful views and a rich culture but also an affordable lifestyle for digital nomads. Whether it’s the diverse living options, the tasty and cheap food, or the easy way to get around and work legally, Spain might just be the perfect place for your next adventure.

Understanding the Cost of Living in Spain for Expats and Digital Nomads

Discovering the cost of living in Spain is essential for anyone considering moving to this incredible country.

Spain offers an enticing mix of high-quality life with affordability, particularly when compared to other European destinations. Here’s a breakdown of living expenses in Spain to help you gauge how it stacks up against your current living costs.

Renting in Spain: A Look at Housing Costs

The Spanish real estate market is diverse, offering something for everyone, whether you're looking for urban living in cities like Madrid and Barcelona or the coastal allure of Valencia.

In Madrid or Barcelona, expect to pay between €900 to €1,500 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. Step outside these metropolitan areas, and the rent drops to €700 to €1,200.

Valencia, known for its Mediterranean vibes, offers city-center living from €600 to €1,000, with prices outside the city center falling between €500 to €800. Opting for a roommate? Costs could range from €500 to €800.

Searching for "apartments for rent in Spain" will reveal a variety of choices to fit your budget and lifestyle needs.

Utility Costs in Spain

Utilities, including electricity, water, and internet, are part of the monthly expenses. For an 85 square meter apartment, utilities can range from €100-€200 monthly, depending on usage and apartment size.

Grocery Shopping in Spain

Grocery prices in Spain are notably affordable, with a single person's weekly grocery bill averaging €40-50. Supermarkets like Mercadona and Lidl offer economical choices that don’t compromise on quality or variety.

Dining Out in Spain

Spain’s vibrant dining scene means eating out is both a pleasure and affordable. A casual meal might cost €10-15, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant can be enjoyed for €35-€50. This makes savoring Spain’s culinary delights a regular joy without the hefty price tag.

Internet and Cable Costs

For those who need to stay connected, Spain offers competitive rates for internet and cable, starting at €30-€60 for reliable internet and an additional €20-€40 for cable or satellite TV. Bundling services often leads to savings.

Transportation Expenses

Spain’s efficient public transportation system makes getting around cities affordable. Single trips on metro or bus services cost around €1.50, with monthly passes available for €40-€60, providing an efficient way to explore or commute.

Healthcare in Spain

While Spain has a robust public healthcare system, expats and digital nomads often opt for private health insurance for faster services and broader coverage, ranging from €60-€150 per month. For broader international coverage, annual premiums can vary from $500 to $8,000, offering extensive care options. Short-term visitors should consider travel insurance for Spain to cover emergencies, with many affordable plans available.

Spain’s cost of living offers a blend of affordability and quality, making it an attractive destination for expats, digital nomads, and anyone looking for a change of scenery without sacrificing the comforts of home.

What About the Cost of Living in Canary Islands

Teide Mountain Tenerife

While exploring the cost of living in Spain and its beautiful regions, it's essential to highlight the affordability of the Canary Islands compared to mainland Spain. Notably, living in the Canary Islands is about 22.2% cheaper than residing on the Spanish mainland. This significant difference makes the archipelago an attractive option for digital nomads and expats seeking the Spanish lifestyle without the higher mainland costs.

Dining and Eating Out

When it comes to dining out, the Canary Islands offer a more budget-friendly experience. A basic meal with a drink at an inexpensive restaurant in the Canary Islands costs around $10.99, whereas the same meal averages $12.45 on the mainland. This 32.9% higher cost in mainland Spain emphasizes the Canary Islands' appeal for those who enjoy dining out without stretching their budget.

Grocery Shopping

Grocery expenses only see a slight increase of 2.7% on the mainland compared to the Canary Islands. Despite this minor difference, the overall lower cost of living in the archipelago means your grocery budget stretches further, allowing for a richer variety of local and international foods.

Transportation Costs

Transportation in the Canary Islands is notably cheaper, with a monthly public transit pass costing around $30.23, compared to $39.84 on the mainland—a 30.3% increase. This affordability enhances the appeal of the Canary Islands for digital nomads who value economical and efficient public transport options.

Housing and Accommodation

Housing is another area where the Canary Islands prove more cost-effective, with expenses being 8.3% lower than mainland Spain. This difference is particularly significant for long-term stays, making the Canary Islands an excellent choice for remote workers and expats seeking a more affordable Spanish residence.

Additional Living Expenses

Childcare, entertainment, sports, and clothing also come with a higher price tag on the mainland. For example, clothing costs are a staggering 69.7% more in mainland Spain, highlighting the Canary Islands' advantage for those looking to live well without overspending.

In summary, the Canary Islands not only offer the beauty, culture, and warmth of Spain but do so at a more affordable rate, making it an ideal location for those looking to maximize their quality of life while keeping living expenses in check. Whether you're a digital nomad, an expat, or considering a long-term stay in Spain, the Canary Islands present a financially viable alternative to the mainland, without compromising on the vibrant Spanish experience.

Cost of Living in Spain vs. Europe's Pricier Lifestyle

Fuerteventura, Costa Calma

Choosing Spain means your money stretches further, especially compared to countries like France or the UK, where living costs bite harder into your budget. In Spain, you can live 20-40% cheaper. Imagine getting a cool apartment in Madrid or Valencia for a lot less than a tiny one in London or Paris. Eating out, like enjoying a tasty paella, won't empty your wallet either.

Spain and Portugal offer a fun lifestyle that's also kind to your bank account, making living in Europe more affordable.

Spain's Cities: Where Your Money Takes You Further

Spain's cities each have their own vibe and cost of living.

Barcelona shines with its seaside charm but has higher costs for those looking for a fancy city life.

Madrid balances city excitement with more reasonable prices, attracting all kinds of budgets.

Seville, full of history, is easier on your wallet, perfect for living the real Spanish experience affordably.

Valencia, with its chill coastal vibe, is a win for budget-friendly living by the beach.

Bilbao, in the Basque Country, mixes cool culture with tradition at a moderate cost.

Each Spanish city offers something special, making Spain a great place to live, no matter your budget.

Need a Visa for Spain as a Digital Nomad?

If you're thinking about becoming a digital nomad in Spain, you're probably asking about visas. Here's some great news: Spain has a digital nomad visa! This visa is designed for remote workers from outside the EU who want to live and work in Spain. It makes it easy to move your work life to Spain, where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery, rich culture, and exciting lifestyle. This visa is a straightforward way for digital nomads to legally work and experience everything Spain has to offer, without complicated visa issues.

Wrapping Up: Your Cost of Living in Spain

Living the dream in Spain's Mediterranean paradise can range from $1,500 to $2,000 monthly. Spain offers a cost advantage, being 20 to 40% more affordable than in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, or Singapore. This means you can enjoy a fantastic lifestyle without draining your bank account.

Remember, your personal spending habits, where you choose to live, and your lifestyle preferences will tweak these numbers. Consider this budget guide a starting point to manage your money wisely and kickstart your exciting journey in Spain!

Choosing the Canary Islands could be an even smarter financial decision. Living costs in the Canary Islands are generally lower than mainland Spain, making them around 22.2% more affordable on average. This difference means you could enjoy a high-quality lifestyle with the unique blend of beautiful beaches, perfect climate, and vibrant culture for less. Dining out, groceries, transportation, and even rent in cities like Las Palmas or Santa Cruz tend to be cheaper compared to mainland cities like Madrid or Barcelona.

If you're a digital nomad or looking to relocate, the Canary Islands not only offer a cost-effective living solution but also a diverse and welcoming community for expats and remote workers. With savings on everyday expenses, you can indulge more in what the islands have to offer, from exploring the diverse landscapes to enjoying the local cuisine and culture. The Canary Islands could provide the ideal backdrop for your Spanish adventure, combining affordability with an enviable quality of life.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Discover Your Ideal Coliving Space at Casa Basilico in Las Palmas, Canary Islands

If the Canary Islands are on your radar as a dream destination for your remote work journey, look no further than Casa Basilico's coliving space in Las Palmas. Tailored for digital nomads, expats, and remote workers seeking a harmonious blend of work, life, and adventure, Casa Basilico stands as a beacon of community and affordability amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the Canary Islands.

Why Choose Casa Basilico in Las Palmas?

  • Strategic Location: Nestled in the vibrant heart of Las Palmas, Casa Basilico places you in close proximity to the city's finest beaches, bustling local markets, and cultural landmarks. Everything you need for a fulfilling island life is just a stone's throw away.
  • Built for Community: Our coliving space goes beyond mere accommodation by fostering a lively community where you can connect and create with like-minded individuals. It’s an environment that inspires collaboration, growth, and lasting friendships.
  • Tailored for Productivity and Comfort: Equipped with high-speed internet, dedicated communal workspaces, and cozy living quarters, Casa Basilico ensures that both your work and personal needs are met with the highest standards.
  • Live the Canary Islands Dream: Embrace the lower cost of living without compromising on quality. Our coliving space in Las Palmas offers an affordable gateway to experiencing the Canary Islands' unique charm, from its eternal spring weather to its diverse landscapes and rich culture.

Last but not least, infinite quantity of PASTA!


Fabio Deriu

Casa Basilico Co-Founder
Digital Nomad Paradise in Spain