Life in Barcelona: What is it like for foreigners

Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city and the capital of Catalonia. It ranks among the best cities in the world in terms of quality of life, safety, and equity. It is a healthy city, with a Mediterranean climate, green areas, incredible nightlife, and a great cultural, gastronomic and commercial offer.

There are dozens of reasons to decide to spend a season in Barcelona.  Many students decide to settle in this city to pursue a career or to study Spanish in one of the many schools that teach it, such as However, one of the main reasons why many people decide to live in Barcelona or spend some time there is the climate. In this Mediterranean region of Spain, it hardly ever rains, and the winters are mild. The temperature is almost always pleasant and throughout the year ranges between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius on average.

Barcelona has its own lifestyle that makes it unique in the world. Its Mediterranean character invites visitors to go to the beaches, visit the old neighborhoods and meet the people. Tour the natural areas and enjoy the leisure activities. The city has numerous green areas, parks, and gardens scattered throughout the territory. The avenues and streets are full of trees. In addition, nearby are the 8,000 hectares of Collserola Park, one of the most important natural areas in the world next to a city. This city also has more than 4 kilometers of paradisiacal beaches that are used for leisure and recreation by all the inhabitants and the thousands of visitors that this city receives daily.

Barcelona has the reputation of being a city with a high standard of living in terms of prices. However, this is not so. Although it is not a cheap place, it is not excessively expensive either. While other cities in Spain are cheaper, that is no reason to rule out living in Barcelona. Studying, working, or doing both in this city is more affordable than you might think. That is why many students decide to learn Spanish in Barcelona.

Life in Barcelona: What is it like for foreigners

Cost of living in Barcelona

Establishing the cost of living in Barcelona is not an easy task since it depends on many factors, and the main one is you. It is not the same if you just study in a Spanish school in Barcelona, or if you study and work, because, with a part-time job, you have a more comfortable budget. However, in this case, we will cover the basics.
Here we share with you an approximate cost of what you would spend on food, services, rent, and transportation when living in Barcelona.

Food: It is estimated that you will spend about 120 euros per month on grocery shopping. Of course, this figure is only an estimate. Here are some reference prices: For example, a chicken breast will cost you on average about €3.60, while a kilo of apples, €1.60. A dozen eggs cost €2.90 and a liter of milk, €1.00. But if you don’t have the time or inclination to cook and decide to buy, the most expensive full meal menu can cost around €14.00.

Services: Water and electricity cost about €88.00 per month while the internet, depending on the speed and the provider, can cost €30.00 per month.

Entertainment: Even though you are in a tight budget you must consider the money you will spend in entertainment. You can spend a season in Barcelona without visiting its most famous attractions, or without having “tapas” in the bar, among many other things.  Some of the prices you must take into account are the following: A cappuccino costs on average €2.50, a relatively expensive drink costs €11.00. Two tickets to the cinema cost €18.00 and for the theater, about €57.00 in the best location.
In regard to the main attractions, the prices are the following:
* Basilica of the Sagrada Familia: the cheapest ticket costs 20 euros. However, get in for free if you go very early on Sundays.
* Camp Nou: the most basic ticket (includes museum and stadium tour) costs 26 euros.
* Picasso Museum: general admission costs 12 euros. However, it is free on Thursday afternoons, the first Sunday of every month, and on open days.
* Parc Güell: It was designed by Antonio Gaudí and the entrance fee is 10 euros.

Transportation: Each trip by subway or bus costs 2.20 euros. 10,20 if you acquire the popular T-10 (ten-trip pass) or 43,50 euros if you acquire the 50/30 (50 trips to spend in 30 days).

Intercultural community

More than 300,000 foreigners live in Barcelona, representing more than 170 nationalities in the city. As you can see, you will meet other people who are far away from home as you, even from the same country of origin. Lots of foreigners decide to take a Spanish course in Barcelona and end up living there.
Getting to know people and meeting new friends will not be a problem since there are hundreds of meetings and events organized every week that aim to connect foreigners in Barcelona.
This city offers a very vast intercultural environment, making it very rich in cultural terms.


Once you have tasted Mediterranean cuisine, you become a fan. There is nothing that compares to it! Going out for lunch or dinner in a restaurant is an essential part of Spanish culture. One of the great Spanish customs is to get together with family and friends and enjoy delicious food together. It is one of their favorite ways to spend quality time.

All the restaurants in Barcelona are excellent. There are tons of places where you can enjoy the traditional “tapas,” good wine, or a beer.

The food is the main attraction in Barcelona. Catalan gastronomy is a beautiful union between the sea and the mountains. The mixture of flavors and smells of some of its dishes will make your mouth water, so if you decide to live in Barcelona, be sure to try them. This city is a magnificent place to study gastronomy. The culinary world in Barcelona is in high demand, so if you want to work in this foreign city, this is a good option.

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