Spain’s living costs: A foreign perspective

Spainish value for money

Comparing prices. Credit: Denys Kurbatov/

Recently a report published in ‘Property Guides’ compared living expenses across several European countries to those in the United Kingdom.

The study highlighted Spain as having the lowest cost of living among the countries evaluated, which included Italy, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Cyprus, the United States, and France. For instance, a shopping basket that would set you back approximately €2,323 in the UK costs about €1,500 in Spain.

Basic goods more affordable in Spain

Basic food items, such as bread, milk, and fruit, along with dog food and detergent, are notably cheaper in Spain. In comparison, the UK sees dog food, gin, and dark chocolate prices that are double those in Spain.

Italy follows Spain as the second cheapest country for living costs, with Portugal and Greece taking third and fourth place, respectively. Germany rounds out the top five for affordability.

Global cost of living index

The Cost of Living Index provides a comparative measure of living expenses across different cities or countries, using Prague, Czech Republic, as the benchmark with a value of 100. For example, if a city has a Cost of Living Index of 134, it means that living there is 34 per cent more expensive than living in Prague.

London tops the ranking with a price index of 227, indicating it is significantly more expensive to live there compared to other cities. Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne, and Lugano in Switzerland follow closely, underscoring the high living costs in Switzerland.

In contrast, Almeria in Spain stands at 73rd place with a price index of 78, suggesting a more affordable cost of living. This is followed by Pula in Croatia and Bucharest in Romania, with Saint Petersburg in Russia and Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina also highlighted for their lower living costs.

Plovdiv and Burgas in Bulgaria, along with Mostar and Zenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina, are among the places with the lowest cost of living according to this index.

This report sheds light on the significant differences in living costs across Europe and beyond, with Spain offering a relatively affordable lifestyle for expats and locals alike.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • deborah

      16 February 2024 • 08:53

      Putting it all into perspective, it matters not what foreigners think they don´t live in the system and earn their money here! look at the big picture.

      • Tulio Chávez

        18 February 2024 • 14:17

        Yes, I agree. They only see the costs but not the lowest salary in Europe. We do not have any capacity to save money here. It’s a constantly supervising.

    • EL Tel

      16 February 2024 • 14:36

      Would you live in boznia or Bulgaria?
      There again UKis a third world nation with ridiculous pretension. We don’t produce,extract or grow enough to warrant any form of public services and are robbed through the shops(not their fault) property and direct taxes to pay for those referred to as KEY WORKERS. They’re not, they are consequential at the expense of the food and drink producers, power workers, garment makers, builders and transport/distributor workers.
      These people are looked down on by the parasitic useless degree holders who contribute zilch to the economy but are allowed to rob the genuine tax payers. As a result maybe go to eastern Europe they leave their rubbish out in the street with impunity, we put ours in various bins and get fined for the privilege whether it’s picked up or not. Crap health system, cap schools, corrupt police and unofficially privatised university system teaching ridiculous subjects to ensure the mugs get debt and have to get up on Mondays to pay for their stupidity. They can then pay tax as well to proliferate the system. BLESSMM


        18 February 2024 • 09:53

        Excellent synopsis, and most truthful.

    • Oz

      16 February 2024 • 22:27

      I live in both spain and the uk. Income tax is substantially higher in Spain and the average salary is about 60% of the uks. On the other hand, wine and gin is cheap. Beer isn’t!

    • Ian Barham

      17 February 2024 • 17:42

      Dog food is not cheaper in Spain than UK, that is a fact that I know personally, its just another UK bashing article.

    • Val

      17 February 2024 • 20:05

      I have been reading for several years that food prices are high in UK .
      I look back over the 60 years that I can recall how much food items cost, and I would say food in the 60s as a cost to the household income was exceptionally high. Families had to buy cheaper cuts of meat, bread snd sugar basic items were very costly, alcohol was unaffordable as an item in the regular shopping basket, biscuits, sweets for kids were unthinkable, they were occasional treats.
      I remember back to buying my first property in 1982 and alll the way through to 1988 I had to buy very little food because joints of meat, chicken etc were sky high in relative terms to our wage packets we were bringing in between us and interest rates on mortgages ran into double figures, a visit to a restaurant or a pub was sheer luxury.
      Today people are filling their shopping trollies to overflowing.Food in terms to the average income is a much smaller percentage cost to that of the 60s and 70s and 80s. Everyone today has cars, holidays abroad, numerous colour tvs in their homes and the list goes on. UK has a large percentage of population who are obese from young children through to teens and adults, this was not really a problem back in 60s, 70s, and 80s, why can it be so now…only answer food is cheap. I do not know why we keep hearing food is expensive, if it was why are we not seeing lots skinny kids and adults walking around our streets?

    • R Mercer

      17 February 2024 • 20:51

      Excellent quality and value. No point moving again just now. Marooned in the mountains! What luck!

    • Bob Jenkins

      18 February 2024 • 13:05

      You also have to offset hospital food costs. Remember, in the UK you are likely to be stabbed at least once a year, and (if you don’t die in the hospital corridor, or on the phone the helpline, you will receive free food for a week.

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