Monthly cost of living in Madrid for students abroad

Madrid, as it happens with most (if not all) big cities, has a big offer of plans, housing adapted to all kind of budgets.

So, no matter what amount of money you are willing to pay while you are here, you will always find something to do in Madrid. But we rarely know what is the cost of the plans or the cost of living in the new city we are heading to.

However, just with an indicative intention, we want to guide you through an average monthly cost of living in Madrid, considering different factors and activities, which are categorized as follows:

cost of books in madrid

1.     Cost of books and university materials in Madrid

The average cost of university books and materials in Madrid is usually around 300-500€ regarding books, plus the different notebooks and associated materials you may want to acquire. However, the “good thing” about this, is that this payment only takes place once per semester.

TIP: There is always the option of purchasing already used books through different platforms such as Amazon, in case it is not a brand-new book that your professor wants you to get.

housing for students

2.     Average cost of housing in Madrid

As it happens with all cities when it comes to accommodation, in Madrid is more expensive to live downtown than on the outskirts of the city. If you are looking for a whole apartment for yourself, a studio for instance, you will have to be ready to pay 800€ at its less for it per month, even though the more decent ones are closer, if not above, 1.000€/month.

For individual rooms but in shared apartments in downtown Madrid, the average monthly cost is around 500€/month, whereas for shared rooms in shared apartments in Madrid, it will cost you around 350-400€/month minimum.

All those prices always depend on the area you are looking for, since not all areas in downtown Madrid have the same price. To know what area in Madrid is better for you to live in, check our “Best neighborhoods in Madrid” post in our blog.

TIP: you will always could find apartments for less than the prices mentioned above but, if you find very cheap ones, consider that pretty probably you will have to add to that rental price, an average of 150€/month in house expenses such as light, water or gas which won’t be generally included. That is why it is advisable to pay for higher rents, but that include those monthly expenses.

cost of grocery shopping for students

3.     Monthly cost of FOOD for students living in Madrid

Spain is known for many things all over the world, but it is clear that gastronomy is one of its strengths. However, if you are thinking about reducing costs while enjoying really good meals at home, maybe you will have to change your mind a bit. The average weekly expenses on food are 50€, what makes it 200€/month.

If you are thinking about eating out from home, the average cost for a decent meal in restaurants, you will normally pay 15-20€/person

If you want to taste the Spanish gastronomy the easiest way, have a look at any of the food markets we recommend in this post: "5 markets to savor Madrid"

TIP: If you love going to eat outside from your house, go chasing the many “Menú del día” (Menu of the day) that you will find all over Madrid, which are very complete and varied and you will be able of leaving the restaurant full for about 10€/meal.

cost of transportation madrid

4.     Transportation expenses during your study abroad program

Madrid has an amazing transportation network. Buses, trains, and subway in Madrid are very effective and clean. If you are under the age of 26 (as most of Erasmus are), you will only have to pay 20€/month for unlimited rides in any kind of public transportation, both in the city and the whole region of Madrid. If you would be more than 26, prices may come up to 50€/month depending of the areas you want your public transportation to be useful in.

You could also use taxis, which have a strong presence in Madrid as well as apps like Uber, Car2Go…

Madrid also counts with a public bike service called BiciMad, with has an annual fee that is between 15-25€/month, with which you will be able to ride bikes all around city center.

Do you want to know more about how to move around Madrid? Check this post: "Transportation in Madrid" or if you want to know how to get the Madrid Public Transportation Card, check this one: "how to get the public transportation card"

TIP: For private cars we have in Spain an app called Cabify, which is like Uber but with even lower prices for each ride.

nightlife cost in madrid

5.     How much would I spend on LEISURE during my exchange?

This is one of Madrid’s most renowned strengths, you have a lot of plans, either cultural, gastronomic… all of them at hand!

There are many plans you can do in Madrid, with a wide variety and range of prices:

If you want to have a coffee, you will have to pay around 1.5€ for it and maybe 2€ if you get it in a terrace. Beers are around 2-3€ (depending on the brand) and the drinks at a club usually cost between 10-15€.

If you are going out one night, the entrance for a nightclub is around 15€ (which normally includes 1 drink with that ticket), plus more drinks and the taxi for the ride back home, you will have to be ready to pay 30€ if not more.

If you are going more cultural, museum tickets normally cost like 15€ but, for university students, they use to be way less expensive if not free sometimes. Cinema has been getting more and more expensive with the years and now a ticket is between 8-10€ plus the popcorn, the soda…

TIP: Try going to the cinema on Wednesdays, which is the “Day of the Spectator” and the tickets have way lower prices.

But surely, if you want to know Madrid better, you should download our App for free: here! It's available for iOS and Android and you will be able to contact other international students in Madrid, stay tuned to the latest plans and have our survivor guides at hand!

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Comment us below with any suggestions you may have and thanks for reading!