Spain is a popular option for expats, particularly retirees – and it’s easy to understand why.

It boasts a warm and sunny year-round climate, a laidback culture, delicious cuisine, a world-renowned healthcare system. Yet, despite the amazing quality of life on offer, it’s still an affordable place to live – much more affordable than you probably think, in fact.

According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Spain is around 20.78% lower than in the UK. And a single person needs approximately €600 – €700 a month, on average, to live comfortably in most parts of the country (not including rent).

Of course, this will vary depending on the kind of lifestyle you wish to lead. But to give you a better idea of how much it would cost to live your ‘dream’ life in the sun, here we break down some of the main expenses you can expect to pay as an expat – including example prices for Spain in general and Marbella


Groceries and restaurants

Spain has a strong agricultural industry and produces many local products. As a result, food and drink tend to be very cheap – and everyday consumables, such as bread and milk, can usually be found in the supermarkets for under one euro each.

This is one of the main reasons why the cost of living in Spain is so low. Depending on what you like to eat, your monthly grocery shop can cost as little as €150 – €200 per person.

Dining out is also extremely affordable – so much so, it usually becomes a way of life for most residents. Resorts often have a range of dining options, including Michelin star restaurants if you’re looking to splash the cash. But you can easily enjoy a delicious seafood lunch at a local chiringuito for just €10 per person and a three-course meal for two typically costs around €40 – €50.


Grocery items

Average cost in Spain

Average cost in Marbella

Milk (regular), (1 litre)

0.78 €

0.98 €

Loaf of fresh white bread (500g)

0.99 €

1.08 €

Rice (white), (1kg)

1.01 €

1.58 €

Eggs (regular) (12)

1.88 €

1.86 €

Local cheese (1kg)

9.78 €

10.67 €

Chicken fillets (1kg)

5.98 €

5.89 €

Beef round (1kg)

10.39 €

6.89 €

Apples (1kg)

1.73 €

2.32 €

Banana (1kg)

1.56 €

1.87 €

Oranges (1kg)

1.43 €

1.26 €

Tomato (1kg)

1.63 €

2.73 €

Potato (1kg)

1.15 €

1.99 €

Onion (1kg)

1.17 €

1.22 €

Lettuce (1 head)

0.94 €

0.83 €

Water (1.5 litre bottle)

0.62 €

0.90 €

Bottle of wine (mid-range)

5.00 €

4.75 €

Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle)

0.88 €

0.62 €

Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)

1.51 €

1.23 €

Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)

5.00 €

5.00 €



Average cost in Spain

Average cost in Marbella

Meal, inexpensive restaurant

10.50 €

12.00 €

Meal for 2 people, mid-range restaurant, three-course

40.00 €

55.00 €

Meal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)

7.50 €

8.00 €

Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught)

2.50 €

4.00 €

Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)

3.00 €

3.50 €

Cappuccino (regular)

1.63 €

2.50 €

Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle)

1.73 €

2.38 €

Water (0.33 litre bottle)

1.17 €

1.78 €


Clothes and personal care

Everyday ‘personal care’ essentials are also very cheap. On your trip to the local supermarket, you can pick up a tube of toothpaste for around €1.78, a pack of four toilet rolls for €1.37 and roll-on deodorant for just €2.56 – which is roughly the same as you’d expect to pay in the UK.

Clothes are reasonably priced, with a pair of jeans costing €70 on average and a woman’s dress around the €30 mark in most popular chain stores (e.g. Zara, H&M).



Basic utilities – such as gas, electricity, water, rubbish collection etc. – are typically cheaper in Spain than in the UK. And the mild climate certainly helps to keep electricity bills in check.

The exact cost of your household bills will depend on several factors, including the size of your house, the weather and your personal level of consumption. But on average, you can expect to pay around €100 – €150 a month to run an 85m2 property. And high-speed broadband (60 Mbps or more) can usually be installed for around €30 a month.


Utility bills (monthly)

Average cost in Spain

Average cost in Marbella

Basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, Garbage) for 85m2 property

114.18 €

125. 59€

1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff local (no discounts or plans)

0.16 €

0.25 €

Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL)

38.54 €

29.25 €

Property in Marbella


Moving around the country is both easy and budget-friendly. Spain has an exceptional public transportation network, including a city metro system, buses and high-speed trains. A one-way fare can cost as little as €1.50. And residents over the age of 60 are eligible for a Tarjeta Dorada (Gold Card). This costs just €6 a year and entitles you to a 25-40% discount on Renfe train fares.

Cars in Spain are also cheap to buy and run (compared to the global average). And if you’d like to return to the UK for a visit, many economy airlines now offer very low-cost flights.



Average cost in Spain

Average cost in Marbella

One-way ticket (local transport)

1.45 €

1.25 €

Monthly pass (regular price)

40.00 €

36.37 €

Taxi start (normal tariff)

3.50 €

3.17 €

Taxi 1km (normal tariff)

1.05 €

1.23 €

Taxi 1hour waiting (normal tariff)

20.00 €

19.80 €

Gasoline (1 litre)

1.29 €

1.34 €

Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)

20,000.00 €

23,500.00 €

Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)

21,406.79 €

24,333.33 €



As long as you register, all UK nationals can access the public health system in Spain for free. In fact, if you have a Spanish Golden Visa, you don’t even have to register – you and your family will automatically be granted full access to state healthcare.

Having said that, lots of expats still choose to take out private health insurance. This can cost anywhere from €30 – €200 a month – depending on your age and general state of health – and entitles you to a more comprehensive healthcare plan, covering a wider range of treatments.


Leisure and entertainment

This is an aspect that’s often overlooked when researching the cost of living in Spain. But if you’re relocating permanently – particularly in your retirement – leisure activities are definitely something you should budget for. After all, you’ll have lots of long sunny days to fill. And whether you’re a fan of shopping, fitness, dining out… it’s worth having a little expendable income.

Golf is one of the most popular daytime pursuits in Spain – particularly Marbella. It’s home to some of the best courses in the world and green fees start from €50 – €200 – depending on the course and package chosen. Monthly gym memberships are usually around the €40 mark. Whilst two tickets to the cinema cost about €16.

Couple who have decided to live in Spain

Want to find out more about living in Spain?

If you’re thinking about relocating to Spain, there are lots of financial aspects to consider – from the day-to-day living expenses outlined above to the cost of a property, taxes, community fees and more. It’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed. But as a leading real estate agency, at Bromley Estates Marbella, we can offer our expert guidance.

We’ve helped countless UK citizens to find their ideal home in the sun and settle into a new Spanish life with ease – and we could do the same for you. If you have any questions about the cost of living in Spain, or the services we provide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We have excellent knowledge of Spain, particularly Marbella, and we’ll be glad to assist in any way we can.

Simply give us a call on +34 952 939 460 (+44 208 068 7606) or send an email to and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.


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