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Working abroad in Barcelona vs Berlin


Working abroad in Barcelona vs Berlin

By Maria Recknagel

April 20th 2016


If you are looking to work abroad and you are looking for jobs in Berlin or jobs in Barcelona you should keep reading because we will compare cost of living in both cities and in the end you can decide which city is your favorite.



When it comes to the cost of living you will find that when you want to buy goods in Berlin it will be around 2.95% more expensive than in Barcelona. However restaurant prices will be around 7.7% lower than in Barcelona due to the fact that sunny Barcelona is attracting lots of tourist every year. But also Grocery prices in Berlin are on average 1.2% lower than in Barcelona. However, when it comes to rent you won’t find big differences in these two cities because rent prices will be only 0.6% higher in Berlin.

In general you would need around 3,069.35€ in Berlin to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 3,000.00€ in Barcelona (assuming you rent in both cities).


So as you can see both have their advantages and disadvantages. But let’s break it down a little.


Grocery Prices

Let’s look at some products most of us buy on a daily basis. For example milk will be on average 10 cents cheaper in Berlin compared to Barcelona, where one liter of milk costs 84 cents. But a loaf of fresh white bread in Berlin will cost you around 1.26€ and in Barcelona only 1.15€. Bottled water will definitely be cheaper in Berlin with 39 cents for 1.5 liter compared to Barcelona with 63 cents. But 1kg of apples for example will cost you about the same amount of money which will be approximately 1.85€.


Public Transportation

When you are moving abroad for your new job in Berlin or Barcelona you might have to commute to work. The easiest way to get around is usually public transportation. For a One-Way ticket in Berlin you will have to pay 2.70€ compared to only 2.10€ in Barcelona. And if you are commuting on a regular basis you might want to think about investing in a Monthly Pass which will cost you 79.50€ in Berlin and 52€ in Barcelona.


Going out

So you are working abroad and want to relax a little in your free time there? Maybe you want to grab something to eat with your colleagues during lunch. In Berlin you will have to pay around 8€ for a meal in an inexpensive restaurant vs. 10.97€ in Barcelona. And if you want to get a coffee on a Sunday afternoon you will pay 2.37€ for a Cappuccino in Berlin but only 1.64€ in Barcelona. And going out to party in Barcelona will be cheaper for you because a 0.5 liter domestic beer there will only cost you about 2.50€ compared to 3€ in Berlin.



Now let’s look at something that most people have to deal with when moving abroad. Finding an apartment. The prices for renting an apartment in both cities can range from as little as 460€ up to 1280€. This all depends on the size and location of course.

In addition to your rent you will have to pay for utilities too. Let’s assume you have a 85m² apartment in each city and you are looking at the prices for Electricity, Heating, Water and Garbage. In Berlin you will have to pay 216.54€ on average and in Barcelona only about 130.96€.


To look for apartments in Berlin go to:, and

Check out these websites to go apartment hunting in Barcelona: and



Now you have an idea of what you will probably have to spend there. But what can you expect to earn in those cities? And how much in total will your monthly expenses be compared to what you earn?

On average you will have a net income of 1,957.64€ each month in Berlin with estimated monthly expenses without rent of 720.67€ for a single person and 2,470.95€ for a four person family. In Barcelona you will have a little less with an income of 1,500.69€ per month and expenses of 667.46€ for one person and 2,369.34€ for a family.


Distribution of expenses:

Even though everyone is different we want to show you what you can expect for your distribution of expenses.

So we can’t really say that one city is better because both have their pros and cons. Both cities have relatively similar costs of living and compared to other cities in Europe aren’t that expensive in general. One advantage that we would see for Barcelona is of course the warm weather. However this isn’t necessarily an advantage for everyone so you could go to Berlin and enjoy the snow in the winter.

But whatever city you decide to go to- we’ve got you covered.

You can find jobs in Barcelona here

and jobs in Berlin here.


All stats sourced from

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