Calculating the Cost of living in Alicante
In our Cost of Living in Spain article, you will have read about the average prices throughout this fine country. This gives you a general idea of how much money you will need to live in Spain but we’re now going to break it down to work out the cost of living in different regions, such as Alicante.
The Alicante province, which includes the Costa Blanca resorts, is a firm favourite with expats or second-home owners. It’s one of the best regions in the world to live, according to the World Health Organisation, and enjoys about 320 days of sunshine each year. The Alicante province is cheaper than the Costa del Sol, generally speaking, and you can get a lot of property for your money. However, prices vary from resort to resort.
When asked about the cost of living in Alicante, how much money you need to live, it’s a bit like asking ‘how long’s a piece of string?’. You can live very cheaply if you rent or buy a small apartment, find the cheapest menu del dias, and shop in the markets or you can enjoy a life of luxury by living in swanky Altea Hills or the Alicante marina, dine in Michelin star restaurants like Quique Dacosta’s which has no less than three Michelin stars, and charter yachts instead of boarding the ferries. The choice is up to you (and your budget) but we’re going to give you an idea of how Alicante compares to the rest of Spain.
As an example, this makes Alicante rent prices 50% lower than in Madrid, restaurant prices are 20% lower and grocery shopping is 17% cheaper too.
Alicante Shopping Tips
For fruit, vegetables, bread, meat, fish and local produce such as olive oil, the indoor markets are the best places to go. You get value for money because the quality is so good and you can buy as little or as much as you like. Alicante central market in v. Alfonso X El Sabio, 10, is open from 7.30am to 2.30pm on weekdays and until 3pm on Saturdays. Many resorts also have their own fish market opening at about 5pm when the boats bring in their catch of the day. Top fish markets can be found at La Lonja in Denia port, La Lonja in Calpe port and La Lonja in Santa Pola – a town renowned for the quality of its fish.
The weekly outdoor markets are great places to pick up bargains such as clothes, household goods, pottery, leather goods and other everyday items. The biggest markets are held in the Torrecremada car park in Denia on Mondays, Pedreguer industrial estate on Sundays, Avenida Habaneras in Torrevieja on Fridays, and Avenida de L’Admirall Bernat de Sarria in Benidorm on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Otherwise head for the supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi, Carrefour, Mercadona, MasyMas and Consum or the shopping centres such as Portal de la Marina in Ondara, La Marina Centro Comercial in Benidorm, Gran Via in Alicante, The Outlet Stores Alicante and Zenia Boulevard, near Torrevieja, which has more than 100 shops including Primark and C&A.
Buying or Renting Property in Alicante
As mentioned, prices vary a lot so it pays to do your research on sites such as Kyero, Idealista or Think Spain. If you want a 2-bedroom penthouse in the centre of Alicante, you can expect to pay around €1,400 but just a few kilometres from the city you could rent a 3-bedroom villa with pool for about €850. A 3-bedroom penthouse in Torrevieja, just 50 metres from the beach, is about €500 while a 2-bed townhouse in the urbanisations can be had for about €350 a month. Further north, you can get a 3-bedroom apartment in Javea for €550 a month or a villa for €1,200 a month.
If you’re thinking of buying, these prices fluctuate a lot too. You can get a 2-bed apartment on the Orihuela Costa or Torrevieja for about €70,000 but it could be €95,000 or more in central Alicante, €85,000-plus in Javea and €95,000-plus in Altea.
Getting About in Alicante
If you live on the coast, public transport is good but you’ll need a car or bike if you are going to move inland. The main way to get about in Alicante is by tram which is very cheap and reliable. Tram fares are €1.35 for a single in one zone and €2.30 return. A bono of 10 tickets is €7.60 (one zone) and a Bono 30 is €21.50. For all six zones it is €7.15 for a single, €12.20 return, Bono 10 is €40.50 and a Bono 30 is €113.70. This will take you all the way from Alicante to Denia, which is about 90 kilometres north of the city.
Buses are also very cheap – an ordinary ticket is €1.45, a Bono 10 for 10 trips is €8.70 and Bono 30 is €26.10. A ticket from Alicante to the Alicante-Elche airport is €3.85.
You can also get the ALSA buses to many Spanish cities for a very reasonable price. A one-way ticket from Alicante to Madrid is from €31.30 and takes just under five hours while a seven-hour trip to Malaga is €43.22 one-way.
The fast AVE train from Alicante to Madrid (2hrs 15mins to 2hrs 33mins) is from €55.25 while the slow train (5hrs 14 mins) costs from €37.20. Catching a fast train to Malaga costs from €55.25 and takes between 2hrs 15 mins and 2hrs 30 mins while the slow train takes 5hrs 14 mins but costs €37.20.
On top of this, Spain’s sixth largest airport is in Alicante which is used by all the major budget airlines, so you can catch flights within Spain and to all major airports across Europe.
If your children are older and not fluent Spanish speakers or you want them to follow the British curriculum, you could consider enrolling them at one of the international schools in Alicante. They will learn Spanish during their time here and some also offer the local language, If your children are older and not fluent Spanish speakers or you want them to follow the British curriculum, you could consider enrolling them at one of the international schools in Alicante. They will learn Spanish during their time here and some also offer the local language, valenciano, as an option. Costs vary but can be from €5,400 a year for nursery and primary school children up to €9,300 for sixth form students. Valenciano, as an option. Costs vary but can be from €5,400 a year for nursery and primary school children up to €9,300 for sixth form students.