Moving to Barcelona

On this page we will discuss everything important associated with moving to Barcelona. Sirelo is here to make your move as carefree as possible, from top tips, moving costs and free removal quotes. Below is an overview of everything that will be discussed on this page:

Move to Barcelona

Why move to Barcelona?

Barcelona’s beautiful climates and beaches attract a lot of UK expats every year. The close location to UK makes it a perfect place to migrate to without being too far away from home. If you like good food then Barcelona is perfect for you, it’s fine cuisine attracts tourists from many countries. The beautiful architectures, tourist attractions along with the low cost of living makes moving to Barcelona more popular than ever.

Living cost in Barcelona

The cost of living in Barcelona is a lot less in comparison to what we are used to in the UK. For example grocery are around 15% cheaper and also rental prices are around 60% less, which is what makes Barcelona such a popular location for UK expats. Below is an overview of the different costs when renting and buying apartments in Barcelona in comparison to London:

Apartment size and locationLondon priceBarcelona price
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre£1,683.38£668.42
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre£1,165.49£493.56
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre£3,097.02£1,127.53
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre£1,951.48£791.23
Price to Buy Apartment in City Centre£14,226.32£3,644.82
Price to Buy Apartment Outside Centre£7,441.22£2,411.52

Finding cheap supermarkets

The grocery prices in Barcelona may be cheaper to what we are used to but compared to the high unemployment and low salaries it can be seen as expensive by the locals. But not to fear, there are a few well known cheap supermarkets to save the day. Shops like Mercadona or Carrefour are very popular and offer good quality good at very low prices. If these aren’t to your standard then you can always shop in Aldi or Lidl.

Working in Barcelona

The low cost of living is associated with the low salaries in Barcelona, especially to what we are used to in the UK. Salary on average is around 43% less, but this is dependent on what industry you are working in. Spain in general also has a very high unemployment rate in comparison to neighbouring EU countries. Barcelona is very popular with entrepreneurs. The city is economically strong, and has become one of the more innovative cities in Europe.

Although you will have to scratch up on your Spanish skills there are many opportunities for English speaking individuals. There are many opportunities for English teachers due to the recent high demand for teachers in private enterprises and language schools. But in general the tourism and construction sectors are Spain’s most important industries and are the best areas to look for employment.

Moving to Barcelona

How much will it cost you to move to Barcelona?

Now that you’ve decided Barcelona is the location for you, the next step is how much moving to Barcelona will cost you? There are many factors that are dependant on the cost. Moving a 10 bed house will of course cost you a lot more than moving a 1 bed apartment from UK to Barcelona. The top 4 factors that will affect your moving cost include:

  • Size of household – A larger house will have more items so the cost associated will of course be greater.
  • Travel type – More convenient and quicker travel methods such as by air will save time but also cost around 4 x the amount.
  • Insurance – The better insured you are for your move to Barcelona the more you have have to pay.
  • Additional services – Services such as storage and help with packaging will add additional costs onto your move from the UK to Barcelona.

Cost of your move based on your city and size of household

Below is an overview of the costs associated with moving different size households from different cities to Barcelona by road. On average it takes around 3-5 days for your belongings to reach Barcelona from the UK.

1 bed2 bed3 bed4 bed5 bed
London£1,800 – £2,500£2,200 – £3,100£2,900 – £4,000£3,800 – £5,200£4,800 – £6,600
Leeds£2,000 – £2,800£2,600 – £3,500£3,300 – £4,600£4,400 – £6,000£5,500 – £7,500
Edinburgh£2,300 – £3,200£2,900 – £4,000£3,800 – £5,200£5,000 – £6,800£6,300 – £8,600
Plymouth£2,100 – £2,900£2,600 – £3,600£3,400 – £4,600£4,500 – £6,100£5,600 – £7,600

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Tips before moving your move

Sirelo has devised some tips of important things you should remember before moving to Barcelona:

NIE number

This is your tax number and is important if you are wanting live in Barcelona. When finding a job or opening a bank account you will need this in order to go through with the processes.

Phone contract

There are some phone network that allow you to still use your UK phone contract while in the EU. But for those that don’t it is important to get a new phone contract or you will be faced with some pretty steep charges. The top phone networks include:

  • Movistar
  • Vodafone
  • Orange
  • Yoigo


Moving to Barcelona does come with some negative aspects unfortunately. Being a prime tourist location also attracts pick pocketers and theft rates here can be quite high. So make sure your bags and pockets are closed to prevent any loss of belongings


Unlike the UK, before moving to Barcelona remember that many shops will not be open on Sundays.

To find out more information about what you will also need before moving to Barcelona visit our page moving to Spain

Removals to Barcelona

Finding your brand new house

First of all English is not always widely spoken in Spain, so learning some of the key terms before finding your apartment will help a lot. A few tips before getting your apartment are:

  • View the apartment – Pictures can be deceiving so make sure to visit it before signing.
  • Check out the neighbourhood  – It is recommended to stay in the neighbourhood for a few weeks to see what it’s like. Many neighbourhoods are student based and moving to these as an elderly couple may not be the wisest
  • Read the adverts properly – If they are wanting a new male flat mate and you are female don’t be stupid and apply for it. It says male for a reason

Here are the most popular websites with offers of flats to rent:

What neighbourhood is best for you?

Whether you are 105 wanting to spend the rest of your days at the beach sipping cocktails or 20 and wanting to party everyday, there are neighbourhoods suited for everyone:

Family-friendly areas in Barcelona

  • Pedralbes
  • Sarria
  • Tres Torres
  • St Gervasi

Student friendly areas:

  • Esquerra Eixample
  • Vila Olimpica

moving to Barcelona

Transportation in Barcelona

Public transport in Barcelona is widely available and the different options for travelling the city include metro, bus, and tram. Each has its own benefits and are a very inexpensive way to see the city. TMB is the transportation company in Barcelona, it is possible if you travel a lot to get discounted tickets. The table below shows the different discounted tickets available:

Ticket nameJourney’sPrice (EU)
T-1010 journeys9.95
T-50/3050 journeys to be made over 30 days42.50
T-MesUnlimited travel within a month52.75
T-TrimestreUnlimited travel over 90 days142.00

For more useful information about the TMB transportation system in Barcelona visit their website.

Request free removal quotes

Thinking about moving to Barcelona? Find out an accurate price for your move. Simply fill in our free quote form and receive up to 5 quotes. This will only take a few minutes and can save you up to 40% on your move from the UK to Barcelona.