As an international student considering studying in Spain, a popular study-abroad destination, you may be curious about the affordability of living here.
The good news is that the cost of living in Spain is reasonably low, given the high quality of education on offer.
In contrast, studying in countries like the US or UK can be prohibitively expensive without financial aid, such as scholarships or loans. Living in one of the most affordable cities in Spain can greatly enhance your experience of studying abroad.
In this article, you will learn:-
Here are the top budget-friendly cities to consider as an international student in Spain.
Once you have finished this article, make sure you read our other article - How Much Does It Cost To Go To University In Spain for a look at typical fees for the different educational programs.
Alicante offers a warm atmosphere and stunning scenery, making it a popular destination for students and tourists alike. Additionally, its cost of living is relatively affordable, with the cost of groceries, entertainment, and public transportation ideal for those on a budget.
Although rent is not the cheapest, it is still more affordable than cities like Barcelona and Madrid. In Alicante, you can enjoy activities such as going to the beach for free and taking in the beautiful local architecture.
Typical average costs for Alicante are:
Córdoba, in Andalusia, is an affordable city with rich cultural and historical significance. Famous for its Mezquita-Catedral, a mosque-turned-cathedral, Córdoba offers much to see and do while keeping expenses low.
As an international student, you can find a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre for around 400 EUR. Enjoy the beauty of Córdoba while saving money, as it is considered one of the cheapest cities to live in Spain.
Here are some average costs for Córdoba:
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is a budget-friendly and beautiful city to live in. With historic squares, churches, and palaces, its cobblestone streets offer stunning scenery.
As the capital of Galicia, it also offers unique local cuisine, including seafood, cheeses, and desserts. Meals at an affordable restaurant can cost as low as 10.00 EUR per head, but prices vary.
Santiago de Compostela is a top choice for international students seeking an affordable study destination in Spain.
In Salamanca, you can be part of its student culture, experience small-town life, and still enjoy cost-effective living. Home to Spain's oldest university, it offers a blend of affordability and adventure for international students.
You'll find tasty local cuisine like tapas, paella, and sangria, plus many vegan and veggie options, with drinks starting at just 1 EUR.
See the average costs in Salamanca below:
International students often appreciate Zaragoza for its university, bustling city centre, and numerous things to do, like visiting museums, concert halls, and historical sites, or just having a good time. With plenty of cultural landmarks, it's a great destination for students who enjoy learning and exploring. Zaragoza's unique folklore and cuisine add to its charm.
As an international student, you'll have ample opportunities to make memories, like discovering tapas bars, trying local specialties like dried tomatoes and truffles, and participating in events during the Pilar Festival in October. With the right balance of social and study opportunities, Zaragoza is the perfect place for students.
Take a look at some of the average living costs for Zaragoza below:
Seville is well-known, budget-friendly, and one of the most popular cities in Andalusia. Traditional tapas are readily available and a true representation of Spanish culture. The city boasts a rich history, Flamenco dancing, and authentic culture.
For international students and tourists, Seville's cost of living is an attractive feature. Although rent in the city centre may be a little higher, other expenses are generally very affordable.
See some average costs in Seville below:
Granada is a charming Andalusian city with stunning architecture and cobblestone streets, and living costs here are budget-friendly.
You can enjoy free tapas with drinks at most places in Andalusia, including Granada. Meal prices may vary by restaurant, but expect to spend around 11 EUR for a meal at a budget restaurant, sometimes even less.
Average costs in Granada:
Below we have added two of Spain’s most expensive cities, Barcelona and Madrid so you can get a comparison with those above.
Barcelona is one of Spain's priciest cities to live in, especially for international students who face much higher rental costs than other parts of Spain. However, living expenses such as daily expenses are comparable to other cities in Spain.
For example, a meal at an affordable restaurant costs about 14 EUR, which is similar to Alicante but slightly higher than Seville where it is 10 EUR. To save on rent, international students may consider flat sharing with other students or student halls.
Average costs for Barcelona are:-
Madrid is not considered cheap for international students to live in. The cost of living, including rent, food, and transportation, can be higher compared to other cities in Spain.
However, students can still find affordable options by sharing apartments or opting for student housing.
Average costs for Madrid are:-
September 22, 2023
September 12, 2023