In my previous post, I presented what I believe are the best neighbourhoods in Madrid for expats. One guiriguide reader saw this and wrote to me saying: “Great stuff, but how much would it cost to live there ?” Then I thought that writing about the cost of living in Madrid would be useful to many expats out there. Here we go !

Global budget estimation

To start with, I’ll give you a rough idea of how much you can live on in Madrid in my opinion (total costs):

  • bare necessities in Madrid’s city center for an expat: 800 – 1000 €
  • living a bit more comfortably, eating out with some week-end excursions: 1100 – 1500 €
  • professional type living comfortably, travelling extensively : 1600 – 2000 €

That’s a pretty wide array of prices, I know. But according to your budget, It will give you an idea of what kind of lifestyle can you allow yourself to live.

What you can do is use this great tool for expats by expats : For instance, according to this tool, life in London is 43 % more expensive than in Madrid.

Renting in Madrid is expensive

What I would recommend is to look first at rental prices. To put it simply, these are the prices for quality properties expats tend to like in the center of Madrid:

  • Room in Shared Flat: 400 – 550 €
  • Studio: 700 – 900 €
  • 1 Bedroom Appartment: 900 – 1100 €
  • 2 Bedroom Appartment: 1200 – 1500 €
Google Map of Best Madrid Neighbourhoods
Google Map of Best Madrid Neighbourhoods

Utility prices in Madrid

To put it simply, all included (water, electricity, gas, phone) monthly:
– Room in Shared Flat: 40 – 80 €
 (per person)
– Studio: 100 – 150 €
– 1 Bedroom Appartment: 100 – 150 €
– 2 Bedroom Appartment: 150 – 250 € (total)

I updated my post and google map of best neighbourhoods for expats in Madrid where you can see average prices for each top neighbourhood.

If you need a more detailed breakdown of rental prices per neighbourhoods, with advice to the best price/quality ratio places, or details on utility expenses, head to my Madrid relocation blog.

Eating out is a real bargain

To eat a 3 course-meal menu drink included on a weekday: 9 – 12 €. This is the famous “Menu del día” which is always great value for your money.

For a night-out with friends in the city center:

  • cheap: no-frills meal in a chinese, indian or just delicious tapas = 15-20 €
  • average: quality meal in the city center without going over the top = 25-30 €
  • expensive: good quality meal in a posh environment = 40-50 €

As for drinks, you can grab a caña (typical small 15-20 cl beer) for 1,20 – 2 €, tapa included ! In some places, the tapa are just peanuts, but in other good places, they give a real small plate of home-made typical Spanish recipes. If you order a more advanced tapa on the side, it’s usually 2-3 €. For a ron-coke or something like this, 4-6 €, as for cocktails, 7-9€.

In the end, you can easily spend hundreds of euros for eating out and drinks since it seems so cheap and good. This is the most variable part of your budget of course !

And that’s it ! I hope this helped you to make yourself a first estimation of how much you are going to spend in Madrid, or to give you an idea of what the real price of things is !

If you need more details on budgets, on the best beighbourhoods and streets for best quality/price rentals, or if you have any other questions, send me an email at And please do comment !

Yours madridly,
Pierre –