Is it more expensive to live in Madrid or Barcelona?

¿Madrid or Barcelona? In short, right now you are facing one of the classic Spanish wars going back to time immemorial, and that no, far from what you may think, is not only in football.

If you have lived or want to live in Spain, this is a full-fledged starter pack and you need to understand it now: don’t get involved, this rivalry goes back millennia and not even 50 beers will make you reach a conclusion on the subject.

The country’s two most populous cities are known for being poles apart, and it is these particularities that make them so special. But it’s undeniable that if you’re a fan of one, you won’t love the other, and vice versa.

One of the variables that make potential new residents choose between the capital and Barcelona is the purchasing power needed to live in each of them. In other words, the money you will need to have a comfortable routine and be able to indulge yourself from time to time.

Para que no tomes una decisión de la que puedas arrepentirte, vamos a contarte todo lo que necesitas saber para mantener un coste de vida bajo y una calidad de vida alta, aprovechando al máximo todas las posibilidades         que puede ofrecerte tanto en Madrid, como de Barcelona.

So that you don’t make a decision you might regret, we are going to tell you everything you need to know to maintain a low cost of living and a high quality of life, making the most of all the possibilities that Madrid and Barcelona have to offer.

Barcelona or Madrid to live

On the one hand, open-air architecture in buildings and squares and on the other, museums and monuments.  On the one hand, the beaches and on the other, the wonderful parks. The two cities are very different, but in reality (with the exception of the beach) they have much more in common than you might think, and you wouldn’t know which one we’re talking about at any given moment.

¿Which is the most expensive?

This question is tricky because as good “rivals”, both have a very, very similar cost of living. In fact, housing, transport, shopping and leisure costs vary almost imperceptibly from one place to the other.

In other words, you’ve reached the point in this post where we’re going to make your head explode: the factor that varies the purchasing power needed to live in one city or the other is you!

Everything will depend on where you’re going to live, what plans you’re going to make and what whims you’re going to indulge in, but be careful: there are certain details that you should take into account.

Go on, go on.


The city that every cosmopolitan falls in love with is also known for being a very expensive place to live. Although it is undeniable that living in Madrid you will spend more than in other cities in Spain, if you choose your accommodation well you can reverse this situation and even tip the balance in your favour. 

If you are looking for a room in the city centre where you can go out for tapas whenever you want, without having to take any kind of urban transport, you will have to invest an average of €700 a month, without counting the costs of utilities, internet, cleaning and paperwork that real estate agencies ask for. In other words, to get better prices you will have to move away from the most central areas and look for long-term rental contracts.


Just like in Madrid, rent prices are sky-high in Barcelona, but the difference is that here Cotown is there to save you.

In Barcelona you can live in one of the best flats without worrying about the cost of utilities, paperwork or meeting people to go out for a few beers, we introduce you to it!

From 500 € per month you can choose the flat that best suits your needs and located in the best areas of the city. So, if you want to delve a little deeper into the details and start planning your trip, you can take a look at our post about the price of living in BCN.

We are here to help you. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to ask us all those questions you’ve been wondering about.

Make it easy.

We are waiting you!

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