Cost of Living in Granada Spain- $1100 Expat Life In A Stunning UNESCO City

Learn about the cost of living in Granada, Spain. See the quality of life you can enjoy for less than $1500 per month in a beautiful Spanish city near mountains and beaches. Get a detailed expat budget covering housing, food, healthcare, and utility costs from an American living in Granada. minutes

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Published On: February 11, 2022

Latest Update: May 3, 2024

About the author

Hi, I'm Marco Sison. I worked in finance for Fortune 50 companies before retiring early at 41 years old. I have been an expat for over 10 years, living in over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries outside the USA. I am a trusted resource on personal finance and overseas retirement for US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller- Abroad: Expats That Thrive.


  • Monthly budget in Granada for a Single Person = $1,500 <skip to budget details>.
  • Granada is one of the least expensive cities in Spain.
  • Dining out is very affordable. You can find a 3-course Menu del Dia lunch for ~$15.
  • Granada is highly walkable and the average cost of public transportation is $1 per trip.
  • Consumer electronics are often more expensive than in the US.
  • Some aspects of life, like bureaucracy, may require proficiency in Spanish.

Living in Granada as an expat often felt like a dream. I remember I’d often think about how lucky I was as I wandered through the streets of the historic district on a weekend afternoon. Far from Barcelona, Madrid, or Spain’s more expensive cities and nestled in front of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains in Southern Spain sits the Moorish city of Granada.  While this Andalusian city is small (population 236K), it is full of character. Trust me, expat life in Granada never gets boring.  

My name is Nina, and I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, in the United States. I have been living in Spain for five years and currently live in Logroño, a small Spanish city in the country’s Northern La Rioja region.

This post may contain affiliate links. I may get a commission if you purchase something using my link. Please note, there is NO ADDITIONAL COST to you. For more information, please see my disclosure.

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I lived in Granada from 2016 to 2018 while working as an English teacher. I rented a room in a shared apartment and generally lived a pretty simple life. I went out often and even traveled a bit here and there.

American expat Nina details her monthly expenses in Granada, Spain.
Our guest, Nina breaks down her monthly expenses as an American expat living in Granada Spain

I actually didn’t choose Granada specifically. I had only been to Spain once before moving here, and that trip didn’t include Granada. It did include Málaga and Seville, Spanish cities in the same region that are very culturally similar to Granada. When I applied to teach English, my program only allowed me to list the top three regions I wanted to live in. I chose Andalucía since I loved Málaga and Seville but ended up in Granada instead. I am so glad it worked out that way, as it was an unforgettable experience. 

Granada is a city full of life. People live their lives in the streets, enjoying a glass of wine and tapa on a bar or restaurant terrace. There are lots of festivals and plenty of places to go out dancing until 6 in the morning if that’s your thing. It’s not uncommon to find people playing music in the streets. The University of Granada attracts international students from Spain’s coastal cities and all over Europe. The student population keeps the vibe of city life pulsating with youthful energy.

Spain is on the euro. Right now 1 EUR = 1.13 USD. The conversion is so close that after a few months, I stopped converting. It helped that I was earning money in euros.

If you share accommodation, the monthly cost for a single person living in Granada is roughly $1500. If you prefer a one-bedroom city center apartment, your living expenses bump up to $1550 per month. This post outlines my real-world expat cost of living in Granada.


Living In Granada Spain As An American Expat

American Expat in Granada, Spain.

What is Granada like to live in for expats?

Imagine that you’ve just made the move to Granada, Spain. After a couple of weeks of searching, you find a trendy shared flat in the center of the city that fits your tastes. It’s a Saturday, so you wake up a tad late. You decide to have breakfast out, so you get dressed and head downstairs to your local cafe. You order a toast with olive oil and tomato and a coffee with milk (cafe con leche). You enjoy it on the terrace as you soak up the warm sun (unless it’s December-March when it’s a bit cold in Granada).

After enjoying a typical Spanish breakfast, you decide to walk through the city. You wander down the beautiful cobblestone Calle Elvira to a part of the historic district that feels a bit more like Morocco than Spain. Shops selling beautiful artisan crafts local items are next to chic cafes where you can enjoy a hookah and tea. 

You then wander up to the Albaicin neighborhood. Historically known as Albayzin, this Islamic neighborhood is full of the classic whitewashed buildings and Middle Eastern markets that everyone associates with Granada. You also have the best views of the Alhambra, a historic UNESCO fortress that is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in the city.

What is your social life like living in Granada?

You look at the clock and realize that it’s almost 2 p.m. You had made plans to meet a few friends for lunch as 2 p.m. is when people generally eat lunch in Spain. You meet at your favorite tapas place and fill up on mouth-watering local favorites. 

Since it’s Saturday night, you plan to go out. In Spain, like most Latin countries, the phrase “going out at night” means something very different than it does in the US. 

Your social life in Spain will start much later. Drinks with friends at a bar will not start until 10-11 p.m. You don’t get to the nightclub until 2 a.m., and you stay out dancing until 6 a.m. 

This is what expat life in Granada is like on a typical Saturday. A workday would be somewhat similar, minus the dancing til 6 a.m. and wandering around the Albaicin neighborhood. 

Six dollars of Granadian wine for party with friends.
Drinks with friends are very affordable when excellent bottles of wine are $6

Expats In Granada

My crucial piece of advice is to brush up on your Spanish. In the two years I lived in Granada, I spoke it daily. While some young people can speak English, you will need Spanish for daily life tasks like opening a bank account and sorting out paperwork. Start learning Spanish before your move so that you aren’t starting from 0 when you arrive.

The expat community in Granada is rather large and easy to access. There are lots of expats who move to study or work. If you identify as female, I’d recommend joining Granada Girl Gone International. It’s a group for expat women to meet people and make new friends. There is also an Expats in Granada Facebook group that is pretty active. 

Make More Friends Learning The Spanish Language

Connecting with locals, in general, wasn’t that difficult. Not to harp on Spanish again, but it will be a lot easier to communicate with locals if you can speak at least some Spanish. I met people through my roommates and language exchanges. Cultural immersion and language exchanges are a great way to meet locals as many locals want to practice their English. You can both practice your Spanish and meet some new people! I would also recommend looking into an online forum called Geokeda that has all sorts of meetups.

Monthly Budget In Granada Spain

Granada Alhambra, Spain is a good visiting spot for expats.


Spain Granada Cost of Living Updated 2024

Total Monthly Expense$1524
Rent- Furnished (485 ft2) 1 Bed, 1 Bath Balcony- Los Pájaritos685
Maid Service 5 hours per day 2 times per Month-
High Speed Internet40
Cell Phone- 6 GB Internet Per Month11
Total Housing Expense794Housing794
Home Cooked Meals 17 times per week225
Budget Meal- Spanish Tapas 2 times per Week94
Mid-Range Bistro 1 times per Week71
Splurge Meal 1 time per Month33
Total Food422Food422
1st run movie 1 time per month8
Drinks with Friend-2 beers at local bar 1 times per Week11
Coffee with Friends- Café con leche 1 times per Week6
Local Gym Membership38
Total Entertainment63Entertainment63
Bus Green Transportation Card22
Metro Plus 45 Card38
Total Transportation60Transportation60
Travel Medical Insurance60
Total Healthcare60Healthcare60
Dance Class once per Week 1 times per Week71
Haircut 8 times per Year14
Total Personal Luxury84Luxury84
Personal Care (Shampoo, etc.) & Household Items (Soap, etc.)20
Total Supplies39Personal Care39
Exchange Rate to $1 USD0.92

I have no complaints about my experience living in Granada. I was able to live comfortably with the money I earned each month. I lived in a shared apartment in the city with 2-3 other people and cooked at home at least 3-4 nights a week. I did eat out quite a bit simply because dining out in Granada is very affordable.

The bars in Granada are known for giving you a free tapa when you order a drink. So I would often wander from bar to bar ordering tapas and drinks. You could spend 10€ on dinner for a night. 

In general, a tapa + drink would cost around 2,50 EUR (2.82 USD). A mixed drink at a bar or nightclub would cost about 7 EUR (7.89 USD), and a coffee with milk (cafe con leche) was 1,20 EUR (1.35 USD). I spent most weekends meeting up with friends for tapas and going out dancing, so I’d spend money on drinks and tapas in the restaurants plus a few mixed drinks at the nightclubs.

I would also travel from time to time. While Granada does have an airport, Málaga or Madrid is where I would find a budget airline and the best discount flights to other parts of Europe. I spent weekends in London, Lisbon, and Dublin.

INSIDER TIP :  Granada Train Station- Unlike the main bus station, Granada’s train station is centrally located and walkable from the city center. Train tickets from Granada to Malaga (3 hours) cost roughly $25. The train from Granada to Madrid (3.5. hours) costs about $40.

I also spent time traveling around the Andalucía region. Cities like Seville, Córdoba, and Cádiz are all worth a weekend. Additionally, towns like Ronda, Úbeda, and Mijas Pueblo are absolutely stunning. Also, you can’t forget hot summers on the beach! While the city of Granada is not on the water, the beach is only about an hour away! You could go for the day or spend the weekend enjoying the Mediterranean lifestyle. Related: 5 Beach Day Trips from Granada

I didn’t have a car when I lived there, so I had to rely on other means of transport. I used an app called Blablacar, where you rideshare with people who are already making trips around Spain. If you’re not comfortable with riding with strangers, you can take an Alsa bus to any major city in the region. 

Granada has a low cost of living, so you can still enjoy an active life while being on a budget. 

How does the cost of living in Granada, Spain compare to the US?

The lower cost of living in Granada can save you over $23,500 a year compared to a medium-cost city in the US (Portland). 

Look at the cost of living comparison below representing the Top 4 essential expenses in the US: housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. These 4 expenses make up 68% of the average living costs in a major city.

Essential Living CostsUS-PortlandES-Granada
Total Average Per Month$3,309$1,337

Save 60% on Major Monthly Expenses

How does the cost of living in Granada, Spain compare to other cities?

Apartment Cost In Granada

Albaicin Houses as a housing option in Granada, Spain.

Housing Costs


Like any major European city, Granada offers a wide range of housing options. There are shared flats for those on a budget and penthouse lofts for those with a bit more to spend. The good news is that rental properties are significantly cheaper in Granada than in the United States.  

If you’re looking to save money, I’d suggest you rent a room in a shared apartment. I wanted to practice Spanish and meet locals, so I found Spanish roommates. When I shared rent with other people, I paid 220€ for my room. We had to pay the electric and water bill separately. I spent roughly 30 EUR every few months on utilities. Most apartments don’t come with air conditioning, and some don’t even have central heating. 

I got lucky and always found apartments with heating. Also, clothing dryers aren’t common in Spain, so get used to hanging up your clothes after drying them. 

According to a few websites, you’re looking at paying between 200-300€/month for a room in a shared flat. Here are a few websites where you can find rooms in shared apartments:

  • Idealista (be sure to choose the compartir option when searching)
  • Milanuncios
  • Roomgo

In addition to these websites, I suggest searching Facebook groups. I found my apartment my second year through a Facebook group called Pisos en Granada. People post about rooms for rent in their apartments there. You can also post in these Facebook groups introducing yourself and saying you want to rent a shared flat. That was actually how I found my second-year apartment! 

Understandably, not all expats want roommates. If you would rather live alone, apartments in Granada are more affordable than in the United States. You can find a furnished (485 ft2) 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath apartment in Los Pájaritos for under $700 a month.

How Much To Rent An Apartment In Granada?

A studio will rent for 400-600€/month. Rental costs for a furnished one-bedroom near the city center start at roughly 500€ per month. Families who want a little more room can find the average rent for a 2-bedroom starting at 700€.

INSIDER TIP :  Apartment Hunting In Granada- Another option when searching for property is to use an Inmobiliaria or real estate agent. This company has both rental and sale listings for apartments and houses. You will have to pay them a fee to access their real estate listings, so this option is often more expensive than finding a property on your own. However, if the process is overwhelming and you have the money to make it easier, I recommend finding a real estate agent in Granada.

Cost Of Utilities In Granada

Some apartments in Granada include municipal heating provided by the city in the monthly rental price. However, the heat is only turned on for a few hours per night in the winter, and you have no control over when it comes on. If you get cold easily, you’ll need additional electric heaters.

However, the price of electricity is one of the few places where the cost of living in Granada is worse than in the US. Electricity in Granada, Spain is roughly $0.23 per kWh vs. a Medium Cost City, US $0.063 cents per kWh- nearly 4 times the cost.

I know, you’re thinking “Granada is in Southern Spain. How cold can it get?” Very. Sure summer months are nice, but the average low temperatures in Granada hit 2.2°C (36°F) during the winter months. Now imagine what that temperature feels like when you only get 3-hours of heat a day. You’re going to want a tiny 800w heater to warm your toes, but that small portable heater will cost you an additional $60 to $100 per month. Budget for a big utility bill in the winter. 

INSIDER TIP : Community fees-  The rental price for apartments should already include a condominium or community fee for property maintenance and shared common areas. There should not be an additional charge unless it is explicitly stated in your contract. Check with the property owner or landlord to confirm and avoid a surprise monthly expense.

Pajaritos is home to Granada’s historic bullfighting ring, the Monumental de Frascuelo. Photo Credit

I lived in two neighborhoods as I lived in two different apartments. My first year was in the Arabial neighborhood. Arabial was maybe about a 10-minute walk from the dead center, central to a big department store, several grocery stores, and several bus lines. In my second year, I lived in a neighborhood called Pájaritos. Pájaritos was also about a 10 to 15-minute walk from the city center, close to bus lines and supermarkets.

Granada is a very walkable and safe city. Any neighborhood in the city has nearby markets, local restaurants, and bars, but the closer you get to the dead center and historic districts, the more expensive rent is. I always felt my neighborhoods, just 10 minutes outside the city center, were more akin to the “Real Granada,” where Spanish families and locals lived for a more authentic experience.

What Is The Best Neighborhood In Granada For Expats?

Granada has a wide range of barrios. The “best” barrio (how Spaniards refer to neighborhoods) depends on your priorities. El Centro and Albaicin are the two most popular neighborhoods for expats who want to be in the middle of the action. On the other hand, Bola de Oro or El Realejo tend to attract expat families who prefer a more relaxed lifestyle.

El Centro- the literal city center and the heart of the action. With the closest proximity to the historic sites, including the Plaza Nueva, the oldest square in Granada, El Centro is the most in-demand neighborhood for tourists and expats staying short-term. Expat life here will be active, but expensive. Expect your monthly budget here for rent, food, and other living expenses to creep toward $2000 per month.

El Realejo- While this neighborhood lacks the cache of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, El Realejo is not without historical significance. This neighborhood was the Jewish quarter during Granada’s Moorish rule until the 15th century. Filled with hip street art, a legendary nightlife, and delicious Spanish tapas restaurants El Realejo epitomizes the urban Spanish lifestyle of 21st-century Granada

Food Prices In Granada

Tasty food options at great prices in Granada, Spain

I typically eat three meals a day. Breakfast usually includes coffee, fruit, and yogurt. In Granada, lunch is the biggest meal of the day.

My favorite menu del dia lunch would start with a pisto appetizer. Pisto is onion, green pepper, and zucchini cooked in a tomato sauce with a poached egg on top. Then, as a main dish, oven-broiled sea bass with potatoes and garlic cooked in olive oil would follow.

Dinner in Granada is a light meal, usually something empanadas.

Food Costs


Grocery Shopping In Granada

In general, groceries are very cheap in Granada. I spent between 25-40 EUR (28-

45 USD) a week at the grocery store and then another 5-10 EUR buying fresh fruits and vegetables and the fruit/vegetable shop below my apartment. Spain is full of shops called fruiterías that only sell fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re often cheaper and better quality than the supermarket. 

Eating Out In Granada

As in any major city in Spain, eating out in Granada is a mix of local faves and international restaurants. International cuisine is more expensive. If you are craving nigiri sushi or spicy Indian food, expect to pay more than in the US. However, you’ll find the cost of Spanish food at local tapas restaurants ridiculously cheap, but still delicious.

  • Inexpensive Restaurant – Spain $15 vs. USA $16
  • Mid-Range Restaurant (2 People, Three-courses)- Spain $54 vs. USA $95
  • Big Mac Index – Spain $5.87 vs. USA $5.65

Tapas culture in Granada is the Spanish equivalent to street food culture in Thailand or Vietnam. Locals, expats, tourists, and people of all income levels enjoy cheap Spanish food by walking into nearly any bar in the city, ordering a beer or glass of wine for $3, and getting a free delicious plate of food. Tapas makes eating out in Granada nearly as affordable as cooking meals at home.

Expats in Granada even have specific tapas routes (Ir de tapas ), where you can bar hop or food crawl to eat the best tapas in Granada the cheapest.

The Cost Of Meals In Granada

Tapas $3- For a quick bite, nothing beats ordering a small beer and getting a free tapa for roughly $3. One thing I learned was that the best place for tapas wasn’t in the center of the city. The city center caters more to tourists whereas the outskirts are where the locals go. I wrote this post on where to find the biggest tapas in Granada.

Menu Del Dia $15- Most restaurants in Granada offer a Menu del Dia (menu of the day) for lunch. Typically consisting of 3-courses (starter, main, dessert) plus a drink for a fixed price, the menu del dia is the cheapest way to enjoy Granada’s mouthwatering restaurant scene.

Expensive Restaurant $25- Granada’s foodie scene is thriving and highly awarded restaurants like Chikito deliver innovative takes on traditional Andalusian cuisine for $25 per person. Chikito is not the cheapest place, but the taste is worth the splurge. 

Enjoying a 3 dollar paella with bread and wine.
Tapas $3- Paella tapas with bread and beer
Rich and creamy Razor Clams with butter and garlic.
Mid-Range Restaurant $15- Razor clams in butter and garlic
Eating expensive Seared Sea Bass with chorizo.
Expensive Restaurant $25- Seared Sea Bass with chorizo

Entertainment Budget In Granada

Flamenco dance is one of an entertainment in Granada, Spain.

Entertainment and Sports


When I lived in Granada, I had a pretty active social life. I would meet up with friends for tapas and go out dancing on the weekends. As I mentioned above, it was always relatively cheap. I’d say I would spend around 30-50 EUR each weekend. 

  • Cheap Winter Recreation $30 –  Granada is a 1-hour car ride away from Mt. Mulhacen’s Sierra Nevada Ski and Mountain Station. This ski resort, the southernmost in Europe, sits on top of the tallest non-Alp mountain in Western Europe. With 131 ski slopes, 21 ski lifts, and $30 night ski passes, this winter resort is ideal for cheap skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.
  • Gyms or Fitness Centers $35 per month- The estimated monthly cost for a gym membership is 20-40 EUR a month. Some gyms are more commercialized, but you can find affordable, smaller local gyms for less.
  • Dance Lessons $15- A dance class might cost 10-20 EUR a class, or you can often pay for an entire month or semester. 
  • Outdoor Exploring FREE- For recreational activities, I’d spend my weekend afternoons exploring the city with friends. Taking a walk is free, and it’s such an easy thing to do in a city like Granada.
  • Alhambra and Generalife – The biggest attraction in Granada is the Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous monuments in Spain. A guided visit costs 35 EUR. They let Granada residents visit for free on Sundays when I lived there. I had to reserve the tickets in advance and show them my residency card (NIE) that had my address on it. So once you get your paperwork sorted out, you should look into it! 

INSIDER TIP :   Visiting the Alhambra- Hours vary depending on the season.

OCTOBER 15TH – MARCH 31 08:30 – 18:00 
APRIL 1ST – OCTOBER 14 08:30 – 20:00 

Visit the Alhambra Complex at night for a different perspective. Night hours are below.

OCTOBER 15TH – MARCH 31 20:00 – 21:30 (Fri to Sat)
APRIL 1ST – OCTOBER 14 22:00 – 23:30 (Tue to Sat)

General Tickets are 14 Euros

Transportation Cost In Granada

Metro is a go-to transportation mode in Granada Spain.



Your transportation will largely depend on where you need to go. I didn’t have a car in Granada, but I never felt like I needed one. Walking or public transit took me anywhere I needed to go.

When I worked as a teacher, I had to take public transportation to school every day. Granada has a well-organized and very safe public transport system. Wait times are short, and the city bus system and metro frequently hit all the major sites.

  • Metro or Bus Single Ticket $1.60 –  Both the city bus and metro accept cash, but you can save money on transportation costs with a green transportation card. The card cuts a trip cost to less than $1, can be refilled at any metro stop, and is the cheaper way to travel. For added convenience, public transportation runs until almost midnight.

I would say that I spent between 20-30 EUR a month on transportation. Of course, there were months when I traveled to nearby cities and bought bus tickets. Those could cost around 20-30 EUR round trip depending on where you go. 

Travel Card or TicketPer Trip Price
Regular Ticket$1.60
Travel Card (top-up 5 Euros, 5 trips)$1.15
Travel Card (top-up 10 Euros, 11 trips)$1.05
Travel Card (top-up 20 Euros, 24 trips)$0.95
Monthly Travel Card 41 Euros (unlimited 30 days)UNLIMITED
Night Bus$1.70
Transfer Buses within 60 minsFREE
Granada Public Transportation Prices As of Jan 2022

INSIDER TIP :   Granada Bus Station- You can catch an Alsa inter-city bus connecting Granada to all major cities in Spain including routes to Barcelona, Alicante, Seville, Valencia, Malaga, and Madrid.

Annoying the main bus station is in the La Chana barrio and not near any of the expat neighborhoods. A taxi from the city center to the “La Estación de Autobuses” will cost you roughly $10.

International Flights

Granada Jaén Airport (GRX) is a medium-sized international airport with flights to the United Kingdom and France in addition to 8 domestic flights.

For a better selection of international destinations, check the budget airline flights out of Malaga’s airport.

Airport Pick Up-  Avoid the stress and hassle of finding a taxi in a strange country. Get a safe airport pickup with no hidden costs.

Other Costs When Moving To Granada

Alhambra View is a breathtaking spot in Granada, Spain.
  • Mobile Internet Plan $40- Aside from rent, groceries, and transportation, the only other considerable monthly expense would be a phone bill. I recommend you come with your phone unlocked and buy a Spanish SIM card from a carrier such as Vodafone or Orange. I get unlimited internet and data for 35 EUR a month. There are cheaper cell phone plans if you need less data.  
  • Spain Student Visa $160- My visa to move to Spain was also pretty inexpensive. As a language assistant, I came on a student visa. I remember paying the Spanish embassy 160 USD to process it. I also had to get a background check and pay for the trip up to Chicago from Cincinnati. 
  • Hair Salons $36- I usually get my hair cut a few times a year, so it wasn’t a considerable expense. I went to a low-cost place where my haircut cost around 10 EUR. A women’s wash, cut, and style costs approximately 30-35 EUR if you go to a typical salon. 

INSIDER TIP: What NOT to buy in Spain—Consumer electronics are often more expensive in Spain. I recommend buying cell phones and laptops in the US and bringing them with you. I bought a new laptop while living in Granada. My MacBook Air cost 944€, an 28% premium over buying the same model in the US. 

How Much Does Health Care Cost In Spain?



I was provided health insurance by my job, so I didn’t have to pay for it. However, if you move to Spain as a freelancer, you can find private health insurance. Plans can range from 20-70 EUR a month. Medical care in Spain is much more affordable than in the US.

 INSIDER TIP : Healthcare Coverage Abroad- Most health insurance will not cover you for any injuries sustained outside your home country. To get protection while living abroad, there are two options:

  • Travel Health Insurance– This will cover you for unexpected medical issues while overseas. However, the coverage requires you maintain insurance in the United States or your respective home country. I pay roughly $50 per month for complete coverage with no deductible.
  • Expat Medical Insurance– If you retire abroad, expat health insurance is a more complete option. Expat Medical Insurance is the “normal” insurance you are familiar with to from home. Coverage is built for people who live in a country versus traveling. While more expensive than Travel Medical Insurance, premiums are still cheaper than the US. 

Will I Have To Pay Taxes Living In Spain?

If you answer “Yes” to one of the following criteria, you may liable for Spanish income tax:

  • Did you spend more than 183 days in Spain in a calendar year? FYI, leaving Spain doesn’t reset your 183 day clock, unless you become a tax resident in another country. 
  • Is Spain is your “center of interest?” Do you have employment, economic interest, or family living in Spain? 

INSIDER TIP :  Tax residency in Spain- The United States and Spain have a double taxation agreement. Taxes paid to Spain by US citizens may be deducted from US tax returns. Check with a tax professional for more information. 

I partnered with a firm specializing in expat taxes to secure a special deal for Nomadic FIRE readers.

An Introductory Tax Consultation with an advisor is just $25 when you use the “Nomadic25Consultation” promo code

Even better, if their experts prepare your tax return, the entire consultation is FREE.

What Are The Visa Requirements For Spain?


US citizens can only live in Spain for 90 out of 180 days without applying for a long-term Spanish visa. Along with 26 other European countries, Spain allows freedom of movement inside what is referred to as the Schengen zone for Americans visa-free. Schengen is expressly for tourism and business and is not ideal for a digital nomad or US retiree looking for long-term visa options.

For all the Spanish visa options, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. 

Map displaying Schengen and EU countries.

More Details On Visa Options For Spain


Still researching the best cities for retirement? Check out our extensive Cost of Living collection for the best expat destinations. Get insider information and real examples of expat life from people who have spent years living abroad. I’ve compiled all the information you need: cost breakdowns, insider tips to save money, and detailed examples of the quality of lifestyle you can enjoy. 

Final Thoughts: Expat Life In Granada

I absolutely loved living in Granada and highly recommend this town. Expat life here is comfortable. It’s a beautiful city. Granada has an affordable cost of living, while still maintaining a high quality of life. What more could you want or need? 

FAQs: Expat Cost of Living In Granada Spain

Is Granada Spain a good place to live?

Yes, living in Granada is great. There is beautiful architecture, friendly people, and delicious food. The city center is lively and offers plenty of historical sites such as the Alhambra palace. Additionally, Granada is surrounded by mountains, which provide spectacular views and hiking.

What is the average expat cost of living in Granada Spain?

You can expect to spend between $1,400 to $1,800 per month to live comfortably in a furnished one-bedroom apartment in the El Realejo neighborhood. This monthly budget allows you to eat out several times a week and maintain an active social life on the weekend.

How much does it cost to eat out in Granada?

FREE. Granada is a town known for free tapas. Tapas are a type of Spanish cuisine made of up small appetizer-sizes dishes. In many bars in Granada, you can get a free tapa with a drink. If you are still hungry, order a larger portion (a racion) for roughly $5 more.

A couple of small beers ($2 each), two free tapas, and one larger racion ($5) and you can fill up for under $10 eating out in Granada.

Is Granada Spain expensive to live?

Living in Granada costs around $1,500 per month for a single person. This includes food, rent, transportation, and other expenses. The average monthly salary is about $1,800 after taxes. Even for locals, the cost of living in Granada allows for a high quality of life without working too much.

Granada is a beautiful city that is surrounded by nature, making some of the best activities in Granada free. There are plenty of outdoor activities and hikes to do just a hop away from the city. Even wandering the picturesque Islamic quarter and gawking at the stunning UNESCO architecture doesn’t cost a thing.

Is Granada cheaper than Barcelona?

Yes. Granada is one of the cheapest cities in Spain, while Barcelona is the 2nd most expensive. The cost of living in Granada is roughly 25% less than in Barcelona. You will especially save on housing costs, as apartments in Granada are nearly 50% cheaper than in Barcelona.

While Granada is much cheaper than Barcelona, both cities offer great experiences. However, when comparing prices, consider the quality of life in each city. If you want big city life visiting museums, attending cultural events, shopping, eating at fine dining restaurants, etc., then Barcelona is a better option. However, for those who want a more relaxing lifestyle, spend some time outside, and enjoy nature, Granada is a much better choice.


I have traveled to over 40 countries to give you the best ways to save, invest, and live overseas for less cost than in the US. After five years of traveling, my list of places to live keeps getting longer. To give you more information on the best places to live abroad, I partner with experts from the expat community.

You want insider information from people with feet in the street? I only work with expats with real-life experience living in countries you want to know about. Together you get updated info on the best neighborhoods, detailed Cost of Living examples, money-saving advice, and recommendations on the local places to eat, drink, and see.

Are you a travel blogger with information you can share on living in another country? Contact me and let’s talk about collaborating on a guest post. 


Nina is an American English teacher and travel blogger living in Spain. She creates content about traveling and living abroad.

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About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last eight years to over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller, Abroad: Expats That Thrive. [view press...]