Valencia, Spain’s third largest city, has been voted the best city to live in. Twice, in recent years! If you’re contemplating moving here, it’s a smart choice to considering the cost of living in Valencia first.
Yes, Valencia is a cool, affordable European city that might be the perfect fit for you. But before you pack your bags, you might want to know what you’re getting into.
From accommodation and utilities to food and leisure activities, here I’ll provide you with insights and tips to help you budget and calculate the cost of living in Valencia effectively.
Is Valencia expensive to live in?
Valencia is generally considered a relatively affordable city when compared to other European major cities in Europe such as London, Paris and even Madrid and Barcelona. However, the cost of living in Valencia can vary depending on individual preferences and lifestyle choices.
In terms of housing, Valencia offers a range of options that cater to different budgets. For example, renting an apartment in the city center is typically more expensive than in the outskirts or surrounding neighborhoods.
Daily expenses like groceries, transportation, and dining out in Valencia are are often inexpensive. Supermarkets offer a variety of affordable options, and local produce and fresh seafood are often reasonably priced. Public transportation, such as buses and the metro, is also affordable and efficient.
In terms of entertainment, Valencia offers plenty cultural events, festivals, and recreational activities. Many of these are free. On top of that, the city has beautiful parks, a well-preserved historic center, and stunning beaches which can be enjoyed without spending a dime. Also, many museums and art exhibitions are free on weekends.
Overall, Valencia is considered more affordable than many other European cities. But ultimately, the cost of living in Valencia can vary depending on factors like accommodation choices, lifestyle preferences, and personal spending habits.
What is the cost of living in Valencia?
The cost of living in Valencia can vary greatly depending on your individual preferences, lifestyle choices, and the size of your household.
Here is a quick calculation of some common expenses you might have while living in Valencia. To do the math, I’ve used averages based on my personal experience and that of people I know.
These are the average expected expenses for 2 people. If you have kids, you’ll have to also factor in other expenses, such as those related to education, which will greatly depend on whether your kids are attending a public or private school.
Please keep in mind that I haven’t factored in any taxes, which will greatly depend on your very personal financial situation.
Also, since Valencia is such a walkable and friendly city, I haven’t included any transportation expenses. But just to give you an idea, a single ticket for a bus or metro ride costs €1.50.
To this, you’ll also have to add a number of miscellaneous expenses, such as clothing and personal care items. So the real cost of living in Valencia for 2 people will likely be higher.
|Expenses (for 2 people)||Cost|
|1 bedroom apartment||€1,100|
|Dining out and entertainment||€300|
How much is the average rent in Valencia?
Rental prices per square meter in Valencia vary greatly depending on the property’s location, amenities and whether the apartment has recently underwent extensive renovations or not.
Also, expect to pay way more for a tastefully decorated apartment compared to an outdated or cheaply decorated one. Luxury finishings and an outdoor terrace will almost double the rent.
|Type of accommodation||Rent||Euro per sq m (average)|
|Studio in the Old Town||€700 – €1,900||€30/m2|
|Studio in Ruzafa||€900 – €1,300||€23/m2|
|Studio in El Cabañal||€600 – €1,300||€21/m2|
|2 bedroom apartment in the Old Town||€900 – €3,500||€19/m2|
|2 bedroom apartment in Ruzafa||€1,000 – €2,500||€18/m2|
|2 bedroom apartment in El Cabañal||€700 – €2,600||€19/m2|
How much does the food cost in Valencia?
Most people in Valencia buy their groceries from their local supermarket. The most popular supermarkets in Valencia are Mercadona and Consum. Lidl is another good supermarket but they have a limited presence. Since there are plenty of supermarkets throughout the city, walking to your local supermarket is very easy.
Besides supermarkets, you’ll find small grocery stores in pretty much any neighbourhoods. These small shops sell mostly fresh fruits and vegetables and tend to have lower prices (but also lower quality products) than supermarkets.
A third option is buying your fresh products from your local market. Valencia has several fresh produce markets. Here you’ll find the highest quality products but the prices also reflect this. Expect fruit and vegetable prices vary with the seasons.
Here I compiled a list of some basic products. It’s important to note that these are starting prices, usually for white label goods.
Different brands have different prices and can go higher depending on which brand you prefer/buy. That being said, white label products are usually quite good and many people use them.
|Water (1.5-litre bottle)||€0.40|
|Wine (1 bottle)||€2|
|Local Beer (0.25 litre, bottle)||€0.60|
|Milk (1 litre, generic)||€0.90|
|Baguette bread (250 g)||€0.50|
|Eggs (12, medium)||€2.70|
|Rice (1 kg)||€1.30|
|Pasta (1 kg)||€1.25|
|Potatoes (1 kg)||€1.40|
|Lentils (1 kg)||€1.90|
|Steel cut oats (500 g)||€1.00|
|Flour (1 kg)||€0.70|
|Sugar (1 kg)||€1.35|
|Olive oil (1 litre)||€5.90|
|Chicken breast (1 kg)||€7.00|
|Fresh salmon (1 kg)||€20.00|
How much does it cost to go out in Valencia?
Having a coffee or a beer on a terrace as well as going out for lunch or dinner are super popular activities in Valencia. To give you an idea of the cost of these activities, here’s a price table. Keep in mind these are on the lower end. You can definitely find more expensive options.
|Espresso in a café||€1|
|Coffee with milk in a café||€1.50|
|Specialty coffee with milk in a nice café||€2.40|
|Small glass of beer in a bar||€2|
|Spanish breakfast menu (coffee + toast)||€3|
|Spanish brunch (almuerzo)||€5|
|3-course lunch (menú del día) in an inexpensive restaurant||€12|
|3-course lunch (menú del día) in an nice restaurant||€17|
|Dinner (excluding drinks)||€25|
Is health care free in Valencia?
Public healthcare in Valencia is free, and available to every resident. You only need to pay a proportion of your drug prescription charges. This proportion varies depending on your age.
Private health insurance is an option as well, but it’s optional. You don’t have to pay for it unless you want to have access to the private health care system.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Valencia?
The amount of money required to live comfortably in Valencia will vary greatly from one person to the other. What constitutes a comfortable living can be very subjective.
Just like everywhere else, as a general rule of thumb, if you’re renting, the more people living in an apartment, the lower the cost of living per person will be.
Therefore, a single person covering the whole extent of the rent, will likely need to earn more money than a couple living together and sharing the household expenses (rent, utilities, etc.).
Above, I calculated that the average cost of living in Valencia for 2 people is €1,880. To this, it is safe to say that you’ll need to add a series of other costs, such as clothing and transportation.
Important! At the time of writing this article, those who have a capital in the hundreds of thousands of euro, also have to pay wealth tax. This is likely to change in the future.
So excluding taxes, which are really difficult to estimate, the cost of living in Valencia for 2 people is somewhere around €2,000. While the cost of living in Valencia for 1 person in a studio apartment, is somewhere round €1,400 – €1,500.
For a family with kids, the cost of living in Valencia will naturally increase, particularly in terms of accommodation, clothes, toys, and education-related expenses.
This is, of course, a general estimate, and individual circumstances can significantly affect the required budget. Ultimately, it’s essential to consider your specific needs, lifestyle choices, and any other financial obligations you may have when determining how much money you need to live comfortably in Valencia.